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O/T: Knife blade material from a sway bar?

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  • O/T: Knife blade material from a sway bar?

    Should be quick and easy for you guys.

    I have some old sway bars I need to move. Hard to say what they can go in.

    The Q is solid or tubes? I dont want to cut one just to find out she is a tube VS a solid SB. Dont like ruining stuff.

    But, if the fat one might be solid I can make a few knives from her.

    The big one is 1-1/8" dia. Kinda fat for a solid. The smaller one is solid.

    So? Do I just go for it on the fatty and make something usable unusable (not my pref) by cutting it or do I go to the brain bank and ask some advise Here?

    Errrh, seems advise.

    I wont cut it if it is a tube. I cant use it. If it is a solid I will have some nice blanks.

    Car folks will maybe know more? I have never cut an anti-roll bar.

    I would like the spring steel if it was solid

    Thanks... JR

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    I think that on some cars the sway bars may be hollow.

    You can weigh it, and find out if it weighs lighter than expected for that size. If you look at the eyes on the end, they should show a seam if tubing was flattened. I don't see a seam in the bottom bar in your picture.

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

    Location: SF East Bay.

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    • #3
      I cut the sway bars off my jeep and they are a solid 1-1/8. Most likely made of something like 1075. This is an *excellent* blade and tool steel. Ditto for the axle shafts.
      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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      • #4
        If it's hollow and you forge it, would it not become solid ?

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        • #5
          Would leaf springs be a better choice since they are already flat. Just need to take the curve out of them.

          JL.................

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          • #6
            Not much help, but it could be either!

            Could you drill a tiny hole, say 1mm? That would soon tell you. Otherwise, weigh them, calculate the volume from length x diameter, work out the density - Archimedes figured that one out.

            Running through the streets naked and yelling "Eureka" is optional, but if you do, post the vid

            Ian
            All of the gear, no idea...

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            • #7
              From my experience pretty much all sway bars are solid. However, like everything else there may be exceptions. If they’re off a larger vehicle, it’s safe to say they would be solid. I’m no expert on knife making but I would think the steel quality would be very good for knife production.

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              • #8
                I have found hollow sway bars on some front wheel drive Cadillacs ( and probably other similar GM cars ) from the 80s and90s. They had s small hole in the bars near the link end to allow any moisture that entered to escape. The link end was swedged and punched so the tube was not water tight.
                Look for a hole.
                Joe

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                • #9
                  it's a torsion spring. a hollow torsion spring makes as much sense as a fish bicycle.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AD5MB View Post
                    it's a torsion spring. a hollow torsion spring makes as much sense as a fish bicycle.
                    Why not? Center part is just dead weight.
                    Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                    • #11
                      I'd say the top bar is solid, I don't see flattened tube having such steel and clean shoulders heading for the flat. Same goes for the bottom bar.
                      I've used leaf spring material for knives and plane irons, they work well. If you talk to spring shops that build on site, you can often get off cuts cheaply or even free and avoid any chance of finding cracks in used ones.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MattiJ View Post

                        Why not? Center part is just dead weight.
                        Why is it "just" dead weight, a bar the size of the hollow part would have some torsion abilities?

                        Sarge41

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                        • #13
                          Why don't you scavengers just BUY the steel you want?
                          For a knife, we are not talking about a lot of money here.
                          You are not going to get PREDICTABLE heat treatment results
                          unless you know what the alloy is. Maybe you are an addicted
                          gambler, because mystery metal is always a gamble with
                          results of machining and heat treating. Spin the wheel.

                          -Doozer
                          DZER

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sarge41 View Post

                            Why is it "just" dead weight, a bar the size of the hollow part would have some torsion abilities?

                            Sarge41
                            Torsional ridigity goes up as fourth power of diameter. Central part has very minimal effect other than weight (and manufacturing cost).

                            if 1" solid bar would have 1000 lbf⋅ft per degree "rigidity" then 2" bar solid bar would have 16 000 lbf⋅ft per degree.
                            Boring out the 2 " bar would lose only that 1000 lbf⋅ft.
                            So 2" solid bar would have 16000 lbf⋅ft per degree and 2" hollow bar with 1" bore would have 15000 lbf⋅ft per degree. Thus pretty much dead weight.
                            Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                              Why don't you scavengers just BUY the steel you want?
                              For a knife, we are not talking about a lot of money here.
                              You are not going to get PREDICTABLE heat treatment results
                              unless you know what the alloy is. Maybe you are an addicted
                              gambler, because mystery metal is always a gamble with
                              results of machining and heat treating. Spin the wheel.

                              -Doozer
                              Because my checking has been in the red all week and will stay that way till next week. And because this is just hobby, not survival -- for now, at least. If I was making money at it, then someone else would be buying the steel.

                              FWIW, Machinery's Handbook 25th Ed. pp 420 - 422 lists "General Applications of SAE steels" with typical Ag and Automotive uses as a rough guideline. I've found it quite handy when scrounging.
                              25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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