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Steels for dies

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  • Steels for dies

    I ran into a guy today who has hundreds of pounds of steel for making dies. He wants it picked up and out of his life. It is some kind of oil hardening steel pre-D2, which is apparently his current favorite for whatever work he does.

    He spoke fast and I was rushed also. I didn't catch the name he gave the steel. It was not numbers and letters, as with O1. It was a word, like a place name of family name. Does this ring any bells? If so does anyone use this stuff for anything? I have a few reamers I would like to make if only I could learn the process. Beyond that I am mostly a backyard blacksmith when it comes to converting metal into edges.

  • #2
    if you're helping him out by hauling it off, can't he slow enough for you to write out the name? when you don't know what it is, its called mystery metal.....somethings thats ok but tool steel requiring heat treating would be one of those times you'd like to know what it is.
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


    • #3
      Sounds like it might be one of the specialty company steels, like the Carpenter Steel Co (now Carpenter Technologies) names. Many companies had names instead of numbers, things like "Stentor" etc.

      Carpenter seems to have NO cross-reference for their old names on the website, though. I have a book somewhere from them with a list of their old names, if that might help.

      Here is a site with a list . They have the same list in a ".xls" file format

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      • #4
        Was it BRAKE DIE aka 4140PreHard? While not technically a tool steel, it is used in tooling. Great stuff, especially if it's ground stock.

        Edit: I actually read the OP closer ans see it was more of a proper name. Some names from my Carpenter book:

        Last edited by moldmonkey; 01-27-2008, 01:12 AM.
        Jon Bohlander
        My PM Blog


        • #5
          Sheffield Steel

          Some folks refer to "Sheffield Steel", which I beleive is the Old School name for O-1.



          • #6
            Ok, hundreds of pounds you say? You did take him up on it didn't you? There are ways of finding out just what type of steel it is and with this much you could afford to have the lab work done,that way you know for sure what is what.
            After you know what type it is you could "sell" some to your friends here.


            • #7
              I am not sure I will take him up on it. That is like adding about 300 entries to my "to do, but not done list". Valuable stuff just keeps tumbling off dump-bound trucks around here. I can't possibly house it all. On the other hand there are some guys who became nationally known for their knifemaking after carting home similar stacks of material and becoming the world expert on a particular steel.

              The guy has an accent, frankly not one that is normally foreign to my ears, and after asking 3 times, I kinda nodded and attempted an air of understanding. When I sort this out I will report back.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Blacksmith
                The guy has an accent, frankly not one that is normally foreign to my ears, and after asking 3 times, I kinda nodded and attempted an air of understanding. When I sort this out I will report back.
                I'm not even a blacksmith and I know what you mean! My hearing ain't what it used to be either
                - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


                • #9
                  If it turns out to be Hy-Ten M then it is L-6
                  Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


                  • #10
                    In just reading your post, I'd vote on "Sheffield" steel as well. Many of the "old time" tooling makers that I have worked with use that stuff silly.

                    As for picking it up or not, if I even think that I can use something I grab it. My theory is that I can always throw it away or sell it if I need to. And if I have to purchaes the stuff, then the price that I am willing to pay is contorlled by the fact that I might have to pick one of the above two removal methods. I have found that using this method gets me stuff that I can use cheap and keeps me from spending money on leftovers that I wont need.

                    Plus, you'd be amazed how many people will give up on trying to sell the thing and just give it to you. Now thats the stuff that I just cant give up! Ended up with a fantastic vise vesterday using that method. The gal got tired of tripping over it and told me to come get it before the scrapper did.

                    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


                    • #11
                      With a UK background, and finding himself living in Canada, "Sheffield" would be a possibility. It just sounded more like it started with a W.

                      I think all these people who have this stuff they are giving away, started out like us thinking what a great deal it was, and then gradually worked their way down. A slow seeping away of life blood. If I had a lot of storage left I would take it but anything more I get affects my ability to use what I have.

                      Oh sure, I will probably take it if he still wants to give it away...
                      Last edited by Blacksmith; 01-27-2008, 02:54 PM.


                      • #12
                        That's what some of the old toolmakers I used to work with called 0-1.
                        Here's a guide with various tool steel names:
                        Last edited by PhilR; 01-27-2008, 04:21 PM.


                        • #13
                          The company a friend of mine worked for was closing their shop here in the SF Bay Area; there was literally thousands of pounds of die stock going into the scrap bin... my F250 was wallowing under the load :-). Almost all of it's gone to another friend who's starting a small specialty company developing ultralight backpacking gear; they've built lots of custom tooling using that material.

                          Having at least some storage space is key to making this sort of thing work.
                          Bart Smaalders


                          • #14
                            Well now I have to take the stuff if he is still tossing it, just to find out what it is called.


                            • #15

                              Where are you? I want some. Peter
                              The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.