View Full Version : Is 0.262" too thick?

10-21-2010, 05:16 PM
I have a spring shop near my office that sells 2x0.262" for $0.48/ft, but is that too thick for blades about 10-14" OAL?

It will be all stock removal...

Justin King
10-21-2010, 05:23 PM
That is a hair or two over 1/4". If you want heavy chopping blades I would use something around this thickness. If you want lighter blades or the blades will be narrow I would consider a thickness closer to 3/16". With 1/4" stock I like a wide blade with a full flat or high flat grind, otherwise the bevels become too obtuse to cut well.

Dan Pierson
10-21-2010, 07:09 PM
Are you forging? If so you'll be putting a distal taper on the blades anyway so that should be just fine.

Doug Lester
10-21-2010, 07:41 PM
I would only use that thickness for heavy chopping blades. If you try to make a thinner blade from it it will take you a lot of time and you'll leave a lot of the steel on the shop floor. I forge and, though I may start out with steel 1/4" thick, most of my heavy blades end up closer to 3/16" thick. For stock removal I would start out with steel closer to the finished thickness.

Doug Lester

10-22-2010, 01:18 AM
Lets see if I can get all the questions without looking back.... Yes it will be for a somewhat heavy chopper, no, sadly no forging but maybe this is my reason to start :) Ok, so it was only 2 questions...

Thanks guys... I am just entranced by the $0.48/inch price. I was going to drive to West Memphis at lunch to get a 36" piece of 2x3/16" O-1 for $44... 36" of 1095 or 5160 would be $18

10-22-2010, 06:28 AM
Now that I am awake and looking at my very first knife that was made from 1/16" machete steel, I really think 0.262 is just ridiculously TOO thick unless I was making some giant Viking-wielded sword.

When I called, I was only asking about 2" width, but I am going to go by at lunch and see what smaller stuff they have (hoping for about a 1.5x3/16 or 1.5x1/8) but I'm not getting my hopes up. It looks like I'll be heading across the river at lunch. I'll at least post what I buy in this thread.

Thanks again Justin, Doug and Dan...


10-22-2010, 08:18 AM
Well if I was in West Memphis at lunch I would drive across the river and eat at the Commissary. Pulled pork plate sure sounds good right now.

But that wouldn’t get you any steel would it ?

Sounds like its time for a forge:biggrin:

10-22-2010, 08:53 AM
I live in Cordova, so I have a Tops within 5 minutes and the Commissary is only about 15 minutes away in Germantown... Oh, and when we have meetings at the office, Commissary and Central BBQ are on our list of options. :) Next time you are near Midtown (Central and Cooper area) check out Central BBQ.

Yeah, a forge is just one more thing to put on my List of wants, but don't Needs..

10-22-2010, 04:26 PM
It is not that difficult to distal taper that thickness as long as you have a good grinder. Distal tapers are not dependent on forging. Using a 45° angle, taper the spine, then grind away everything from the edge to the spine. It's that simple. With that width, it will not happen in 5, or 10 minutes, but it will work in less time than dealing with a forge, and you will end up on the grinder before it is done anyway. Use a 36 grit belt. It will move some steel.

10-22-2010, 05:05 PM
I went by and picked up 4 pieces of 1.75"x15"x0.262 today for FRREEEEEEEE. :) the shop foreman said it is 5160 and he will heat treat and temper for me for basically nothing because he will already have his furnace running for leaf springs.

I am gonna have to change my design I want to do in order to accommodate the 1.75" width, but that's ok.

I am trying to convince my wife that its time for a belt grinder, or at least I need to buy my own belts to use someone elses grinder.

10-22-2010, 05:06 PM
I went by and picked up 4 pieces of 1.75"x15"x0.262 today for FRREEEEEEEE. :) the shop foreman said it is 5160 and he will heat treat and temper for me for basically nothing because he will already have his furnace running for leaf springs.

I am gonna have to change my design I want to do in order to accommodate the 1.75" width, but that's ok.

I am trying to convince my wife that its time for a belt grinder, or at least I need to buy my own belts to use someone elses grinder.

10-23-2010, 01:46 PM
FREE .262 is just the right thickness!!!!!

10-23-2010, 02:59 PM
FREE .262 is just the right thickness!!!!!

Sounds about thick enough to me aswell.

10-24-2010, 02:43 PM
So how do I UN heat treat 5160? I put the 24grit grinder to this stuff today and all it did was polish it to a nice shine. :( Unless I can make it soft again, I am out of luck on this free stuff...

Justin King
10-24-2010, 03:25 PM
Best way would be a 2 or 3 hour soak at around 1300F, don't hold me to those exact #'s because someone else might know better. From the state it is in now, a sub-critical or spheriod anneal will make it easy to work and set it up for a good HT. If all you have is a grinder then you save yourself a lot of headaches buying new precision ground material. Saves a lot of grinding to get rid of scale and you know it is properly annealed because it makes it easier for them to surface grind.

10-24-2010, 06:04 PM
Thanks Justin... Since I have heard you can temper 5160 in a grill with lump charcoal, I may get them in the grill and keep it hot tomorrow after work... I have no furnace or forge, so I have to make due.

Justin King
10-24-2010, 06:11 PM
If you can get it a bit abouve non-magnetic and slow-cool it in ashes or something that will work to a degree but heating it just to the tempering range will not help much.

10-25-2010, 07:44 AM
My goal would be to keep it in the hot fire (including forced air) for a couple of hours, then just cut off the blower, and let the fire die overnight... I hope this doesn't kill my Weber grill... :\

If that doesn't work, then I'll go back to the needing to buy steel but I've gotta at least try

10-25-2010, 12:21 PM
I think I just had an epiphany on this... The reason he said it was "raw" is that it is still in the "as-rolled" state. In order to do any machining/grinding, I will have to anneal the material myself by heating to 1450F and then allowing to air cool. This is based on the following table I found online at http://www.suppliersonline.com/propertypages/5160.asp

Chemistry Data : [top]

Carbon 0.56 - 0.64
Chromium 0.7 - 0.9
Manganese 0.75 - 1
Phosphorus 0.035 max
Silicon 0.15 - 0.35
Sulphur 0.04 max

Principal Design Features 5160 is a carbon-chromium spring steel. It exhibits excellent toughness and high ductility, with a high tensile-yield ratio.

Applications Commonly employed in heavy spring applications primarily in the automotive field for leaf springs.

Machinability Machining this grade can be very difficult in the "as rolled" condition, and the alloy should be annealed prior to machining to obtain maximum speeds and feeds.

Welding Weldability is poor in this alloy due to its high carbon and chromium content. For best results, preheat the section and stress relieve after welding. Either gas or arc welding methods may be used.

Heat Treatment 5160 is normally hardened in oil. Recommended quenching temperature is 1525 F, with a wide range of mechanical available by tempering between 800 and 1300 F.

Forging Forge this grade between 2100 and 2200 F.

Annealing Heat to 1450 F and air cool.

Rudy Joly
10-25-2010, 03:47 PM

Here is a pretty good reference to different steels. This one says to cool slowly ( in furnace ) so packing it in ash or vermiculite after you grill it may work. :les: Try not to overheat it.


10-25-2010, 04:02 PM
Thanks for all the help Rudy and Justin... That's a good link! and I found this color chart (I'm sure you all have your favorite color charts already though)....


Looks like I will be going from dull red, to pure red, to one shade into orange before letting it begin cooling... I'll try and take some pics if I remember....

10-25-2010, 06:58 PM
I thought I had posted this from my phone already, but forget it... the pieces I have are 0.262 thick and 1.75x15" and that's just TOO much steel to heat in a grill. I am really frustrated right now because I understand how the reactions work, I just don't have anything I need to MAKE them happen. I had them over and under and surrounded by white hot coals for 2 hours and not even the middle of the pieces reached anything close to being dull red, so I know there would be NO way for me to get the entire bars annealed with what I have available.

I am now back to shopping for steel and will just order some from Admiral or something... :(

On that note... if anyone has anything they want to trade for 4 pieces of 5160... I'm willing to let this stuff go ;) My thought was that this would be great for forging because you could walk that thickness out into a much larger knife than just doing stock removal.

Justin King
10-25-2010, 08:10 PM
I urge you to call Aldo for steel, you won't be sorry unless he talks your ear off...The 6$ grinding charge is well worth it, if the stock is not flat ground already. The labor it saves makes knifemaking more pleasant as a whole, I find.

10-25-2010, 08:16 PM
I can talk ears off with the best of them... just ask my wife... :) I'll look him up. Thanks for the direction.

10-26-2010, 12:15 PM
What do you want to trade?
But why don’t you just cut them in half and make 8 nice hidden tang knives?
Heck it was free.
Make a knife for the fellow who gave you the steel and I would bet he would have more for ya:thumbup1:

10-26-2010, 02:38 PM
I got a PM from someone asking about trading for walnut scales, but I'm not overly excited about walnut in general... I just don't know...
I would cut them in half, but they are SO hard that 24grit on a flap disk just polished it, despite throwing major showers of sparks. Am I just being impatient? I put the end of one of these on the coarse wheel of my bench grinder and it started taking away materials decently well.

Perhaps I will keep one for myself to test and try on and the other 3 can go...

Rudy Joly
10-26-2010, 04:38 PM
A cutting wheel on a grinder should do the trick or a chop saw ? A flap disk wouldn't do much for removing lots of steel anyway, the flaps have too much give to them.


10-27-2010, 12:45 PM
I still have 3 unmolested bars, but did this today with a cut off wheel (just to get a very rough shape) to prove that I could do it. Its 10.5" OAL and 6" blade. I am going to take the handle back to about where the sharpie line is...



Jim Adams Customs
10-28-2010, 06:21 PM
The bowie I could make out of 1/4 5160. Brad don't be such a steel hog. Get over here and let make a bowie out of it.

10-28-2010, 08:26 PM
I did some more shaping and grinding tonite for a couple of hours... Here's what I have gotten to, and the "edge" is still about 3/16th thick, so I have quite a way to go... I will most likely end up in your shop some time next week for some help with the final finishing on the blade... Then I have 3 to build for Christmas...



Archer Moon
10-29-2010, 09:45 PM
Looking great! Keep us posted.

10-31-2010, 07:56 AM
looking great! Keep us posted.

x 2

11-01-2010, 08:31 AM
I am still slowly working on thinning/grinding that Wharncliffe, but cut this rough blank out Sunday morning. the first pic show the lines I want to work to, making a large bowie/fighter with hidden tang and probably an S-curved guard. The second pic shows the overall size.