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Thread: The Looking For Hard To Find Metals Thread

  1. #1
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    Question The Looking For Hard To Find Metals Thread

    Hi everyone. I am having a really hard time finding " 1070 Steel " for my some of my swords that I want to create. I have been looking around websites and making calls and no luck so far. Does anyone know of any supplier that sells this kind of steel? Any assistance would be appreciated it. Thanks alot.

    Feel free to use this section for posting questions relating to the thread's title.
    Last edited by Luke Karwatka; 04-30-2012 at 11:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Luke,

    The ONLY place to buy steel is from Aldo Bruno at www.njsteelbaron.com, in my humble opinion. I know he has 1075, as well as other simple carbon steels. As a matter of fact, he probably has any steel you could be looking for. 5160, S7, Stainless, etc. Heck, he's such a good guy, if he doesn't have it, he'll find it for you. His prices are excellent, and his customer service is, too. He is geared to the knife and sword-making community and doesn't mind small orders. He won't charge you a $150.00 cutting fee just to get a piece of something new to try, and he doesn't gouge customers on shipping. He is also a wealth of knowledge in figuring out what steel you might need for individual projects. If you are near, he will be at the Atlanta BLADE Show this year, so you can come down and meet him in person and see what a great guy he is.

    You will find his low-manganese 1075 (which is pretty-much the equivalent of 1070 because every steel batch has a variance of + or - 4-5 points of carbon), is great for hamon-formation. However, I also really have to recommend his W2, which I have been using lately. It is really clean and super-responsive. Very sensitive (in a good way) to hamon formation. And it comes rolled in bar-stock--everyone else has it only in round-stock (rods) and has to be broken-down first to be used for sword-making.
    I know I seem excited about Aldo, but he has done a tremendous favor to us smiths by making steel available at a good price and with really exceptional spec.-tolerences, and in useful forms (not just plate that has to be cut with a torch or bars that have to be broken down with a press). Other steel suppliers will charge more, charge fees to cut it so it can be mailed to you, and you won't even know what you are getting in terms of quality. Anybody else still got some of that "dirty-batch" of Admiral 1075? I am making what I have left into swedges and tools. It's no good for anything else.

    Hope that answers your question and is helpful to you! Look me up--you'll see what kind of work I do and how much I depend on good steel.

    Sincerely,

    Shannon
    Last edited by J.S. Hill; 05-01-2012 at 07:12 PM.

  3. #3
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    Well I buy from Admiral Steel because they give me an option to buy in very small number like 1 piece or 2 for any steel. They also give me a huge break in price because I do my smithing in such a difficult way which is with a good hacksaw and good set of hand files. I'm poor so I don't have much money for huge batches or expensive equipment.

    I would really like to go to one of these conventions but just can't afford it unless it's around the Chicagoland area.

    So far though I've got 4 swords that I've made using a 5160, 1050 and 2 1075's with no issues with heat treating, performance and durability. I haven't had any dirty batches otherwise I would be refusing shipment and getting my money back or asking for a correct quality piece with a discount due to the hassle. I have no tolerance for garbage steel.

    However I'll give the gentleman a call tommorow and ask him to help me out. Thanks alot for the advice and the steel batch warning. I appreciate it alot.

    - Luke
    Last edited by Luke Karwatka; 05-01-2012 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Grammar

  4. #4
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    Hi Shannon. I called the gentleman at NJ Baron Steel but unfortunatly he did not have that kind of steel. All he had was 1075. I'm really looking for in this case 1070. Thanks again for the contact. He was really nice person like you said.

    Anyways though does anyone else know a supplier that sells 1070? I do not want 1074 or 1075. It must be 1070. Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Luke,

    I am glad that you were able to talk to Aldo. Sorry he did not have what you were looking for. Please keep him in mind for future needs.

    I am curious about your needing such a specific amount of carbon in your steel. What kind of grains are you trying to grow that 0.05 points of carbon make such a big difference? Is this something in a physics lab? Most of the time .10 points of carbon in either direction will make very little difference to a smith.

    TRUE 1070 is, for all intents and purposes, very similar to 1075. Steel batches will vary, and industry will allow retailers to call a steel "1075" as long as it is truly 1075-1080. "1070" is more likely to be found as 1065, as production mills will usually err to the side of slightly more carbon. 1065 (or 1070) will also have a lot more manganese, which is bad for hamon-forming structures. Usually, retailers will not worry about their certs. But it can be a big deal the amount of manganese and whether it is truly 1065 or 1080 to us bladesmiths. That is exactly why I recommended Aldo. He cares. He has certs. He knows what he is selling.

    To get TRUE 1070, you will have to find someone that has bought a lot of it as leftover from a custom production run from an industrial purchase. This would be leftover material from an order to the steel mill for a specific, custom run that would cert. specifically as 1070. I don't think anyone out there will have it. If you have something called "1070" and want to find an on-going source of it, I would try the 1065 sold at some places, as this is likely what you have.

    Otherwise, my suggestion would be to try Aldo's 1075 and adjust your techniques to get the best out of it. It would require a negligible amount more heat to get to austenization, is already very fine-grained, and with less-manganese, will yield better results than 1065 or Admiral 1075 in water-quenches.

    Otherwise, I am still very curious as to what effects and/or attributions you are seeking that you can get from (true) 1070 and not get from a good-quality 1075? Please don't think I am playing Devil's Advocate. I am just trying to understand your needs and help you what best I can.

    I would like to add that you could do an experiment to see the difference:

    Make three identical blades, one each out of your 1070, some 1075, and some 1065. Treat them all the same and then test to see if there is a difference in results. While I bet there is a difference between the 1065 and the 1075 (1065 has a good-deal more manganese and would be more through-hardening w/ a larger grain), I bet the 1070 you have will be identical to either the 1065 or the 1075, and not something in-between as would be theoretically expected. Just an idea to figure out your needs. Hope that helps.

    Sincerely,

    Shannon
    Last edited by J.S. Hill; 05-02-2012 at 07:33 AM.

  6. #6
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    The reason why I want a 1070 vs 1074 or 1075 is because of the basic balance of toughness vs edge retention. I'm a VERY picky person when it comes to what I want in a steel. Even if it is a minor difference. Think of it this way.

    Here is a simple scale that I made for carbon steels that I use so you can see my point of view.

    1050 Steel: Toughness = 5, Edge Retention = 1
    1060 Steel: Toughness = 4, Edge Retention = 2
    1070 Steel: Toughness = 3, Edge Retention = 3
    1080 Steel: Toughness = 2, Edge Retention = 4
    1090 Steel: Toughness = 1, Edge Retention = 5

    It may be crude way how I do it but it helps me decide for the exact science of the swords in terms of weight, design, harmonics, edge type. 1075 in this case would be a 2.5 in toughness and a 3.5 in edge retention. I know it's impossible to get the precise chemistry in a blade but I do the best I can.

    1070 should have around 0.60% to 0.90% in the manganese content.

    Anyways thanks for the experiment offering. I'll consider trying it when I get some more material.
    Last edited by Luke Karwatka; 05-02-2012 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Grammar

  7. #7
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    If you take the carbon content of 1070, it would be 0.65% to 0.75% and add them both together it would equal 1.4%. Next divide by 2 the average is 0.70% carbon in a batch of steel. So the chances of getting close to 0.70% which is the target carbon content I'm looking for is about 8.33% chance. However I'm fine with those results because again it's impossible to get exact 0.70%, unless of course your lucky. Plus I have more leeway in getting 0.70% due to carbon content intitial average.

    Now with 1075 steel the carbon content is 0.69% to 0.80 which equals 1.49% then again divide by 2 which gives 0.745% in that batch of steel. My chances getting close to 0.70% is bearly better about 8.46%. However though because 1075 has a higher minimum carbon content chances are I will get some higher than 0.70% much more likely, which is not what I want due to the higher minimum carbon content.

    I know this may sound confusing from a math point of view but it is the best way I can explain this from my perspective.
    Last edited by Luke Karwatka; 05-02-2012 at 08:42 AM.

  8. #8
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    Luke,

    What type of swords are you making? Sounds like European-type blades. If so, you don't want an RC of over 54-58, anyway, right? I think you are going in the right direction with anything 1065 and up in carbon to get there with a good "spring" to the blade (durability) and decent edge retention. And simple carbon steels are easy to manipulate in low-tech ways, which is what most all us smiths use in our forges. But you might be missing out on how durable AND sharp tempered martensite can be.

    Your scale can be very useful as a jumping-off point, but it leaves out the micro-structure of the sword, as well as the tempering aspects. You can, in fact, make a sword from 1095 that is tougher AND has better edge retention than a sword made from 1050. Even a bainite-structured 1095 will have better edge retention than a rudimentary-tempered 1050 sword. My biggest point here is, with modern monosteel, tempered martensite can be VERY tough. To squeeze the most performance out of any steel type, the smith has to take into account the amount of hardening and the amount of tempering. A higher-carbon blade that is tempered properly can have better edge retention AND still be very tough compared to a fully-hardened, relatively lower-carbon steel that is properly tempered. Throw in some vanadium (W2), and you have got a 1095 that you can really temper back in hardness, yet keep the edge retention, making for an awesome combination in longer swords. And none of this even touches on the geometry of the blade and what it is designed to do, which affect how much one can leave the blade harder and it still be durable.

    Don't get me wrong. I believe that a smith could choose a certain steel (say 1075, 5160, W2, etc.) and get to know it really well and exploit it for all it is worth. And in the end, I don't think that the sword produced is gonna be better than anyone else's because of which steel it was made with. I think it comes down to the skill of the smith and how well he knows his steel and is able to manipulate it/heat-treat it. And how consistent he is with his methods. Even then, there will still be better blades and worse blades from time-to-time, because we are all human. And if you gave a really good smith two different steels, you might end up with equally great swords, because he will treat them differently to account for the differences and make equally excellent blades with reasonably equal toughness and edge-retention.

    If your focus is on durability vs. edge-retention, it is not necessarily an inversely-proportional relationship. There is a "happy medium" that can be found for each steel for the intended application. You just have to be able to control your temps and do some testing to find that. Your scale only takes into account fully-hardened martensite stuctures in the cross-section of the blade. However, in reality we are DEFINITELY going to temper our martensite. Cross-sections will RARELY fully-harden with theses simple steels. And you don't want an axe head edge as hard as a sword edge, but you DO want the edge-retention of a sword on the axe head (intended use and geometries). And are you really going to push the limits on EVERY sword to get it as hard as possible, increasing the chances of it cracking when quenched (even in oil), just to gain an RC point or two? Or would you rather have a functioning sword that is durable and has good edge-retention that no one will complain has an edge hardness of 54 instead of 56?

    Please keep in mind that the difference in edge-retention AND toughness between 1065 and 1080 is negligible as far as the raw steel itself. The real difference is going to come from how it is heat-treated and thermal-cycled by the smith. And even then, you could get equal swords by balancing different variables of each steel.

    In the end, I encourage you to choose a steel that is readily available and delve into that steel, making, heat-treating, changing what variables you can control in your own set-up, and testing the swords. See how those variables change and influence the edge retention and toughness of the sword. By the time you do all this and have all the experience necessary to quantify these results and this data, you yourself will be able to make a sword from any material with reasonable edge-retention and decent toughness. From there, you can vary the steel-type to improve or enhance the performance in any direction. In short, experience is the only way to learn this nuance.

    I hope I am helping. I am trying to get you out in the forge so you can draw some of these conclusions for yourself! And some folks just "click" with a certain steel and get very good with it and do some of the best work out there with a rather simple steel. And that is just how it should be--on the merit of skill, not exotic materials. Try out some different steels, if you haven't already. If the 1070 you so desire IS the best for you, then run with it. Make and test. However, you will likely have to purchase it as 1065 in the US. IMHO, 1075, 1095, W2, and 5160 aren't all that different in their ability to make terrific swords, when you take away the smith's skills and are just talking steel. In the end, you have to find something that works for YOU and your intended results. If it is the 1070, and nothing else will do, Good Luck!

    Oh, and if you think that excess carbon will make the blade less durable, it won't. Not as long as it is tempered. You can make the blade as reasonably flexible as you want with almost any carbon content. You just have to manipulate the tempering process and make sure there is no retained austenite. And you can use the extra carbon to your advantage if edge-hardness is not desired by creating a mixed-bainite/cementite structure through marquenching and/or martempering. Just stuff to think about.

    Sincerely,

    Shannon
    Last edited by J.S. Hill; 05-02-2012 at 09:39 AM.

  9. #9
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    Hi Shannon. Yea the sword designs are european based. I do not at all do japanese based swords because I just don't like them in general. Anyways I just have certain requirement in the metal for certain swords but ya in all comes primarily to the heat treating process involded.

    You are correct about 1095 can be have awesome edge retention and toughness if the heat treating process is excellent. Cause I've seen what happens to any steel when it is not done properly. Turns into a pile of junk.

    I'm a novice at this so I've been doing it for only a year and my only source of information from learning is through books, trail and error and hopefully on this website.

    I will heed your advice on your post though. It does give me a few things to consider. Thanks again for your assistance.

  10. #10
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    http://www.pmtsco.com/ is another option, i think they have 1070? It seems they have "1060 / 70 plow steel?"
    I like swords.

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  11. #11
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    I asked the same question some time ago
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...090&highlight=

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