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Forging 154cm Question

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by Dave Hodson, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Dave Hodson

    Dave Hodson New Member

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    Sorry - don't have much experience forging so hopefully somebody can help me out.

    Up till now, I've been making stock removal knives and using 154 CM and ATS 34 pretty much exclusively. When I started out, I mistakenly ordered some 154 CM bar stock that was pretty thick for the knives I've been making so kind of put it in the corner. Just recently though, I made a propane forge and was hoping to be able to use the thicker 154 CM but it just gets brittle and shatters when I try to work it. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for any help you can give me

    Regards
    Dave
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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  3. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Hi Dave,

    I suspect that the steel is hardening as it cools. Air hardening steel will not like being heated, banged and cooled. It might be overkill for the application, but I often use annealed scraps of 154 CM for bolsters and other non-blade parts of knives.

    Dan
     
  4. Dave Hodson

    Dave Hodson New Member

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    Thanks Dan and John. Good idea using up the scraps. This is pretty nice stock so maybe I'll pick out some projects that will use the thickness. It's not that bad (1/4") but lots for me to grind off for the thinner knives I've been doing.

    When I had the gas feed turned down the steel moved more at the lower temperature before breaking (but hard to move). When I cranked it up though, it shattered almost right away and hardly moved at all. Not sure what's going on but I'd like to understand it better. Maybe I'll give Crucible a call.

    Thanks again
    Dave
     
  5. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    You most likely did not have it either hot enough or at the right temperature. If this is the case it will either crack or crumble.
    I could not find a forging temp for 154 but the temp for 440C is around 2000 Deg F.
     
  6. Dave Hodson

    Dave Hodson New Member

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    Thanks Forge, you were right about the 440 - they indicated that 154CM is a slightly modified 440C. Many thanks to John Shiesly and Bob Skibitsky (Senior Product CPM Metallurgist) from Crucible. They were really helpful and Bob provided me with the following:

    Dave,

    154CM is not a grade that most people would use for forging. That being said we do forge the ingots and hot roll billets and bars from this grade. We use a forging range of 2075-2125F. This grade will forge similar to but slightly more difficult than 440C if you have ever tried that. It is essential that a tight forging range is maintained. There will be significant loss in hot ductility by being either too hot or too cold. I could not find a hot ductility curve for this grade but I would say 2125 is the max and you may be able to go as low as 2025 but that’s about it. Good luck. Someone always has to go first.

    Bob Skibitski
    Senior CPM Product Metallurgist
    Crucible Industries
    Pretty tight range - I don't think I have the temperature controls necessary for this, plus the variations getting to the anvil and hammering is going to make managing it challenging but I don't know - what do you think? Is this something you've managed to do on your setups? Now that I understand what's required, I might putter a bit more but likely I'll look for a few thicker projects to use it up.

    If anyone has a good way of monitoring forge temperature, I'd appreciate if you could let me know. Right now I'm kind of winging it (tank feed psi and steel colour) but I'm a bit of a rookie there.

    Hope this is helpful
    Dave
     
    dancom likes this.

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