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  • Alloy for making a hedge clipper

    Does anybody have a suggestion for an alloy to make a hedge clipper? The neighbor has a fanciful design for a hedge clipper she wants tested and I said I'd make it.

    I'm not sure what to use for the blades though. I was thinking something like 4140 or 4340 or perhaps some sort of medium carbon steel but I don't have the experience to know what will hold and edge well and not be totally insane.

    I'd also be interested in a suggestion for an alloy for ring roller dies.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,
    Cameron

  • #2
    Originally posted by ckelloug
    Does anybody have a suggestion for an alloy to make a hedge clipper? The neighbor has a fanciful design for a hedge clipper she wants tested and I said I'd make it.

    I'm not sure what to use for the blades though. I was thinking something like 4140 or 4340 or perhaps some sort of medium carbon steel but I don't have the experience to know what will hold and edge well and not be totally insane.

    I'd also be interested in a suggestion for an alloy for ring roller dies.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,
    Cameron
    4140 would be fine for ring roller dies, may be a bit overkill.

    As far as the hedge trimmer. I did make some parts for a grape harvester trimming attachment and we made it from T1 plate, its damn tough stuff but not bad to machine. Just remember to counter mill any flame cut edges and dont try to climb mill them. If it has a fancy shape you can send a .dfx file for the parts and have them cnc plasma cut.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ckelloug
      Does anybody have a suggestion for an alloy to make a hedge clipper? The neighbor has a fanciful design for a hedge clipper she wants tested and I said I'd make it.

      I'm not sure what to use for the blades though. I was thinking something like 4140 or 4340 or perhaps some sort of medium carbon steel but I don't have the experience to know what will hold and edge well and not be totally insane.

      I'd also be interested in a suggestion for an alloy for ring roller dies.

      Any suggestions?

      Thanks in advance,
      Cameron
      As in hand clippers? Small pruner-like or two-hand trimmer?

      4140 could work. O-1 tool steel is widely available for use in tool and die sorts of things. D-2 will give you more wear resistance and A-2 will be less likely to warp if you have a thin shape that you want to stay flat through heat treatment and you don't have the option to grind it flat or to shape afterwards.

      Depending on what your design is like you might also consider selective case hardening to provide a self-sharpening quality. If you think of a pair of scissors with two contacting faces and slightly beveled edges where they cut. Case hardening only the contacting faces would provide a quality that the beveled edges would wear most on the softer steel leaving the thin hard shell as the cutting edge.
      .
      "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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      • #4
        Thanks guys. This is useful info.

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        • #5
          Ooo yeah! I like TGTool's idea. I read about that in one of my blacksmithing books but had forgotten it until just now.

          Just going to through this out there, what about a stainless alloy? It'd be a pain to machine but then you don't have to worry about rust from sap or anything. We have a pair of handheld grass clippers (yeah... grass clippers ... for your hand ... I don't get it) that are stainless.

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          • #6
            After some investigation, I discovered that www.CrucibleService.com happens to have a facility here so I just have to drive across town and tell 'em what I want: If I wanted to, I could be making peculiar hand hedge trimmer prototypes out of crucible powder metallurgy steel hard enough to cut HSS (Not likely)

            The stainless idea was good too but I think I've settled on 4140 for the time being.

            2"x0.5"x10' 4140 bar is $125

            Thanks again,

            Cameron

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