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Leaded steel for die stock?

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  • Leaded steel for die stock?

    I need to swage some tubing, approx. 1/4" id. with .020" wall thickness. It has a Brinell hardness of around 80. Has anyone used 12L14 or 11L17 as die stock for similar purposes? I have been using A1 or O1 tool steel, but the machining is slow going, and I wonder if it's overkill for my purposes. Any thoughts would be appreciated, especially from those of you familiar with using the leaded steel.

  • #2
    12L14 and 11L17 are both low carbon steels. They can be case hardened. 11L41 and 41L40 are medium carbon free cutting steels that can be direct hardened.
    Jim H.


    • #3
      12L14 and 11L17 are leaded steel -- they're very soft. Seems like that would be about the worst possible material to make a swaging die.

      4140 PreHard would be much better, if it's available.
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


      • #4
        I was making the assumption that the OP intends to heat treat the die after machining. I know about assumptions, and if that is not the case, leaded steels are not a good choice.
        Jim H.


        • #5
          I'm no where near an expert, but it may also depend on how many stamping cycles you need to do. A dozen or two may go quite well but 10K or 100K would be another thing.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!


          • #6
            Paul makes a valid point, with the 12L14 having about twice the OP 80 Brinell specification.