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Old 01-18-2013, 07:03 PM
cmcgearhead cmcgearhead is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: abilene texas
Posts: 8
steel/file question

One more question made my first knife from a old file and I am very happy with the outcome. I have been told I will need to temper since a file is so hard is is actually brittle, also had I done that first the grinding would have took half the time, true or false. Also the local steel shop has cold rolled steel they are unsure of the carbon content anyone have any experience with cold rolled Thanks again DON
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:12 PM
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cnccutter cnccutter is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Dorena, Oregon
Posts: 191
Good evening. Don

the cold rollled steel wont be any good for blade stock. it will have low or no carbon in it.

as for the file, it will be easyer on you and your grinder to temper it back a bit. files usally are pretty hard and that is hard on your belts. Michal Morris makes all his knives out of nothing but files and he said he tempers them all back. how far will depend on what you want in a knife and what its end use is for.


Last edited by cnccutter; 01-18-2013 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:43 AM
Ed Tipton Ed Tipton is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 352
cmcgearhead...Welcome to the forum. There is always some local "expert" who is willing to tell an aspiring knifemaker that excellent knives can be made from old files and used leaf springs. While it is possible to make good knives from both of those sources, it is not recommended for the beginner.
Using steel from these resources is what we call "mystery metal". It's very likely that even the Mfr of those items could not tell you what steel was used in their mfr. Old files can be good and so can leaf spring material, but they are better left alone until you have some forging experience behind you.
A much better plan is to order some 1080, 1084 from one of the recognized knife supply houses where they know what you need, and they can provide you with good steel at a good price.
Local fab shops are not in the knifemaking business. Whether their steel is CRS or HRS really doesn't matter since those terms only refer to the process used when the steel was processed at the mill. in any event, any steel provided by a local provider will almost certainly be low in carbon and is considered mild steel...meaning that it cannot be hardened sufficiently to make a quality knife. Even if you have them order it in for you, it's still going to be a crapshoot as to what you're going to get....since their providers are just selling them steel without understanding the special requirements needed for making knives.
Using old files and leaf springs means that you should first anneal the steel prior to grinding, and then you are left with a piece of steel that is a "mystery" to both you and us. If you ask us for help, it is difficult for us to help you because that steel is a mystery to us as well as to you.
Best advice: forget the files and leaf springs for now, and order some 1080 from Aldo Bruno, Kelly Cupples, Jantz, or Alpha knife supply. You'll be doing yourself a huge favor, and if you have follow-up questions, we'll be able to assist you.

Last edited by Ed Tipton; 01-19-2013 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:22 PM
ramitupurs84 ramitupurs84 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 43
I assume the same goes for lawn mower blades?
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:15 PM
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NorCal Nate NorCal Nate is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Kneeland, CA
Posts: 374
Originally Posted by ramitupurs84 View Post
I assume the same goes for lawn mower blades?

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