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  • Steel selection advise

    I've been a bit 'enthusiastic' with my vise handle and it's now somewhat banana'd. I've also discovered that haemoglobin isn't an effective lubricant for cheater bars...but that's another story
    Anyway, I'm thinking that it'd be fairly easy to thread the ends of a 12mm rod, screw a ball on each end (no torch, so peening not an easy option) and blam, vise handle. All I have in stock is EN1A which is described as "free cutting mild steel" and according to this table equivalent to 1113 or 1213. I figure this will bend much easier than the original handle and hence, not be of much use.
    I've seen someone making vise handles out of 1144 steel but I can't get that without shipping it in from the US at a cost higher than buying a new vise. I figure it needs to have high tensile strength so as not to bend but still be machineable enough to put a thread on the end. I'm also thinking that if/when it does fail, it would be preferable if it bent rather than snapped. I know that I can get EN3B, EN8, 16, 19, 24 and 36. Can anyone suggest what I need to be looking for in the selection and why please? (The why is so I have more of a clue going forward)

    Many thanks,

    Gareth

  • #2
    En24 (Temper T) looks good. 34crnimo6 in here or 4340 for amuricans.
    If available you could go for even harder temper grade (X, W?)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cenedd View Post
      I've been a bit 'enthusiastic' with my vise handle

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      • #4
        Could you go to a scrap your and get a drive axle from a front drive car and turn it down. I don't know what they are made from or how hard they are but they shouldn't be much money at a scrap yard.

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        • #5
          Use an old lug nut wrench

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gambler View Post
            Use an old NAME BRAND lug nut wrench
            Fixed. LOL. I have bent twisted and broken (the welds) cheap lug wrenches.
            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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            • #7
              Increasing the diameter of the handle where possible would also significantly increase is resistance to being bent, potentially moreso than increasing the strength of the material it is made from.

              Increasing the diameter from 12 to 13mm reduces the stress in the handle by about 25%. 14mm - 50%.

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              • #8
                Threading is not necessary. Loctite 638 or similar is your friend. http://www.loctite.co.uk/loctite-408...=8802627616769

                RWO

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                • #9
                  Michael Edwards: nah, that would imply my over-abundance of muscle was the cause....and it definitely isn't that! It was fine until I managed to find a cheater bar that wasn't made of paper-thin aluminium.

                  MattiJ: I only have experience of mild steel and HSS (nothing like polar opposites to broaden your experience). Mild is easy to thread with a carbide insert but I'm not sure the HSS would have been so much fun - turned well enough though. Would the tempered EN24 be soft enough to thread? Not really sure where it would be between the two.

                  Gambler/Bob: I'll check out the price of the new bar and look at scavanging mysteralloys if it's too hideous. Thanks for the idea.

                  Sun God: thanks, that's worth a check. Could probably widen and clean up the hole in the vise screw for a larger bar. It's a decent enough vise but it's probably import in origin so it could just be that the bar was a bit weak. Stood up to me foolishly (I'd say stubbornly, but I think I crossed the line!) persisting in putting a 90 degree fold in 800-odd mm of 2mm thick 304 stainless with just a Veritas bench vise bender. I guess this is one way of learning how to better spec the materials you're planning to use - half the thickness would have sufficed!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cenedd View Post
                    Michael Edwards: nah, that would imply my over-abundance of muscle was the cause....and it definitely isn't that! It was fine until I managed to find a cheater bar that wasn't made of paper-thin aluminium.

                    MattiJ: I only have experience of mild steel and HSS (nothing like polar opposites to broaden your experience). Mild is easy to thread with a carbide insert but I'm not sure the HSS would have been so much fun - turned well enough though. Would the tempered EN24 be soft enough to thread? Not really sure where it would be between the two.

                    Gambler/Bob: I'll check out the price of the new bar and look at scavanging mysteralloys if it's too hideous. Thanks for the idea.

                    Sun God: thanks, that's worth a check. Could probably widen and clean up the hole in the vise screw for a larger bar. It's a decent enough vise but it's probably import in origin so it could just be that the bar was a bit weak. Stood up to me foolishly (I'd say stubbornly, but I think I crossed the line!) persisting in putting a 90 degree fold in 800-odd mm of 2mm thick 304 stainless with just a Veritas bench vise bender. I guess this is one way of learning how to better spec the materials you're planning to use - half the thickness would have sufficed!
                    EN24T is A LOT nicer to thread than mild steel with carbide inserts and reasonable also with hss tools.
                    Long holes and tapping needs good and sharp tools but nothing superhuman.

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                    • #11
                      Excellent, I shall give it a try then. Did notice that the turned finish on the HSS was notably better than EN1A.

                      RWO: sorry, didn't spot your post while I was typing my own. I have found that on Amazon now. Was originally looking for another (608 IIRC) that I'd seen in videos but had given up on it as it was about 100 dollars on Amazon UK. The 638 is about ten for the same quantity. If I have trouble threading I'll give that a go. May even give it both

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael Edwards View Post
                        Reminds me of the old Samsonite luggage commercial where they give a guy in a gorilla suit a chance to bang it around to show how tough it was. A TV station took the luggage and put a banana inside and gave it to a real gorilla. The gorilla picked it up and sniffed at it, then tore it in half like it was a paper bag, and ate the banana!

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                        • #13
                          My current favorite is 416 stainless (you'll have to look up the UK equiv). Not really all that expensive, cuts like butter with a beautiful finish (can also be polished), and unlike 303 can easily be hardened/tempered if required. The advantage is that it requires no paint etc in service. Not suitable for salt water, but decently corrosion resistant.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cenedd View Post
                            Michael Edwards: nah, that would imply my over-abundance of muscle was the cause....and it definitely isn't that! It was fine until I managed to find a cheater bar that wasn't made of paper-thin aluminium.
                            Have you considered that the vise handle you bent is only that strong for a reason? Wanting to build a stronger handle implies you intend to crank down on the vise like that again - vises do break.

                            Seems to me it would be wisest to either straighten out the bent handle or make another of similar strength, not stronger.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cenedd View Post
                              I've been a bit 'enthusiastic' with my vise handle and it's now somewhat banana'd. I've also discovered that haemoglobin isn't an effective lubricant for cheater bars...but that's another story
                              Anyway, I'm thinking that it'd be fairly easy to thread the ends of a 12mm rod, screw a ball on each end (no torch, so peening not an easy option) and blam, vise handle. All I have in stock is EN1A which is described as "free cutting mild steel" and according to this table equivalent to 1113 or 1213. I figure this will bend much easier than the original handle and hence, not be of much use.
                              I've seen someone making vise handles out of 1144 steel but I can't get that without shipping it in from the US at a cost higher than buying a new vise. I figure it needs to have high tensile strength so as not to bend but still be machineable enough to put a thread on the end. I'm also thinking that if/when it does fail, it would be preferable if it bent rather than snapped. I know that I can get EN3B, EN8, 16, 19, 24 and 36. Can anyone suggest what I need to be looking for in the selection and why please? (The why is so I have more of a clue going forward)

                              Many thanks,

                              Gareth
                              Well, as you are in the UK, why not use silver steel, (drill rod) its readily available in a range of diameters in 13" lengths. Pretty tough stuff.
                              'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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