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What's "MAXEL" tool steel?

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  • What's "MAXEL" tool steel?

    I was making extra AXA tool holders for my lathe out of CRS when the guy I mentor with at the H.S. asked "why don't you make them from tool steel, like maxel?"...."What's maxel" I asked, and he told me it was a manufacturers name for one of their specialty steels, but he didn't know who.....He gave me a couple remnants he had for me to try.....

    This stuff machines like a dream compared to anything I've used before.....(after all, I'm a home-shop trained guy, what do I know?)It's hard, but cuts smoothly with carbide OR HSS, leaving a near mirror finish.....I've looked in machinerys handbook and on the web, but I can't seem to find any info as to it's composition, or what other steel it's comparable to.....

    Soooo, have any of you heard of maxel?....

    TIA, Jim

  • #2
    I use MO-MAX lathe tools made by Cleveland.
    These are Cobalt and very hard to grind.

    At this point, I may be on the wrong stuff.



    • #3

      Do a google search, there's lots of information on it!


      • #4
        We use 4150 at work and we use it for press brake tooling. I never thought of using it for machine tooling. When I need to make a bit of machine tooling I normally grab 4140. The press brake stuff does flame harden well, but so does the 4140. Some of our press brake tools still look good after thousands of hits.

        Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


        • #5
          Thanks Norman, Mike and Rockrat;

          After looking at maxel's specs on crucible's website, methinks it could be a bit pricey.....Have to check out the metal suppliers on Monday.....

          4140/4150 would probably do as well and may be easier and cheaper to get.....

          Thanks again, Jim

          [This message has been edited by Daminer (edited 06-19-2005).]


          • #6

            Whilst I obviously got the wrong supplier, I seem to have stuff with similar performance.

            As an amateur using small lathes, the question of cost is not too serious.

            As most readers will be aware, I have very good tool sharpenning facilities now. However, some of the tooling which I have bought cheaply and from dubious factories abroad does not stand up to even the modest demands in my own little workshop.

            At this point, I would dump the crap and buy the best. The finish of work is better and the times before sharpening are extended.

            I am sure that more experienced workers will support this.



            • #7
              I have a three foot stick of 06 tool steel. This is a very special free machining steel with a slight excess of carbon that forms free graphite at the grain boundaries. It machines like aluminum and leaves a mirror finish.

              It is highly resistant to galling and hardens to RC 62-65. It is used for punches and dies as well as all around tooling.

              It is expensive. I paid about $2.00 per inch for 1/2" round stock but it sure is nice to work with.
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              • #8
                Never heard of Maxell. I'd imagine it's some proprietary brand. If it was me, I'd make them from S-7 and have them heat treated. To me anyway, when making things like this, the object isn't whether or not the material machines easily, but whether or not it'll do the job and last once finished. Toolholders can be made from cold rolled 1018, sure. But S-7 isn't one bit harder to machine and it's heat treatable, and not too brittle for the job, like A-2 would be.