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Identify Common Types Of Scrap Steel

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CluelessNewB

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#1
Q1) Someone had posted a list of common scrap steel items and what type of steel they typically were some months ago. I can't seem to find that list. Does anyone know where I can find that?

Q2) I have about 9 used lawnmower blades from a rear mounted tractor mower. Would these be weldable with MIG? I'm thinking about using them to make some new skid shoes for my tractor mounted snowblower.
 

4gsr

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I wouldn't trust half of the listed items in that chart. I guess if you were making Damascus knives/ swords, it would be ok. Another good source is looking at some of the steel companies books, they give excellent listing of what steels are use for common industrial parts, not so much for automotive industry. The old Jorgensen steel "blue" book was excellent steel book to look at.
Also, depending on the region of the country you live in, may have a effect on what kind of scrap the local steel yards bring in. In my area, a lot of refinery steels, generally low alloy, some chrome content, also oilfield steels, mostly alloys. Very little aluminum, brass, some stainless steel.
 

Ulma Doctor

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#6
Q1) Someone had posted a list of common scrap steel items and what type of steel they typically were some months ago. I can't seem to find that list. Does anyone know where I can find that?

Q2) I have about 9 used lawnmower blades from a rear mounted tractor mower. Would these be weldable with MIG? I'm thinking about using them to make some new skid shoes for my tractor mounted snowblower.
Hi CluelessNewB,
Q2) Yes, the blades can be welded with mig- most steels can be

are you going true mig or flux core?
 

CluelessNewB

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are you going true mig or flux core?
I can do either true mig or flux core, any recommendations? This surely isn't a critical project. The shoes rub on the ground and last about 4 seasons. This seemed like a good project to recycle these old blades. New factory shoes run about $25 each. I just didn't want to waste my time with something that was just not weldable. For those those who live in the snow free south this is about what they look like. I won't need to do the slots, just two holes for mounting bolts. They are about 10" long.

SB_skid_shoe.jpg
 

Ulma Doctor

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#9
I can do either true mig or flux core, any recommendations? This surely isn't a critical project. The shoes rub on the ground and last about 4 seasons. This seemed like a good project to recycle these old blades. New factory shoes run about $25 each. I just didn't want to waste my time with something that was just not weldable. For those those who live in the snow free south this is about what they look like. I won't need to do the slots, just two holes for mounting bolts. They are about 10" long.
View attachment 139637
i can't say for sure, but to bend them you may need to anneal them either in a bbq or a bonfire.
let em cool overnight in ashes or sand- (earth would work in a pinch)
personally, i'd go flux core for better penetration, but be prepared for a little extra spatter.
have fun, looks like a great use of recycled materials!!! :grin:
very cool project!
 

CluelessNewB

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you may need to anneal them either in a bbq or a bonfire
I have a wood fired furnace that I have used in the past. I just put the metal in a hot fire and let it burn all night. By noon the next day it has cooled enough to handle. I haven't tried that with these blades yet but that was my plan. It's been so warm here we haven't even thought of starting a wood fire yet. My replacement shoes will only have a single bend at each end, not like the double bend in the photo above. (The original ones only have a single bend.)
 

george wilson

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I use a wood stove sometimes in Winter,especially when the power goes out(!) I have put large pieces of hardened tool steel (12" x 3" x 1") into the stove,well stocked up with hardwood. Get it going. Turn the air intake down low,and let it heat all night. Gets very hot this way. In the morning,I'd find the bars of steel (more than 1) nicely annealed.
 

kingmt01

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Personally I wouldn't use fluxcore. It will crack at the weld. Use mig with the correct filler wire. You could just use soft steel to get the shape & weld beads to keep it from wearing out. I often put a spot of weld on a edge that is going to contact the ground. Weld is harder then woodpecker teeth.
 

T Bredehoft

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#14
At one time, the Tool Room I worked in had a sideline of inserting used carbide inserts (lozenge shaped) in runners of Snowmobiles. You might consider this for your 'blower shoes. We'd cut a V groove in the runners, and silver solder the inserts in place. Yeah, it was night shift.
 

FOMOGO

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#15
I've sharpened a lot of those with an angle grinder and a file. I don't think they are all that hard, otherwise there would be a lot more of them becoming projectiles. I like the Doctors idea of heating it red hot where you want to bend it. If you want to replace them less often, run a few beads of hard surfacing rod on the bottom. Mike
 

Ebel440

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I'm just curious why the flux core would be more likely to crack? Is it Just from the general weld process or something else?
Personally I wouldn't use fluxcore. It will crack at the weld. Use mig with the correct filler wire. You could just use soft steel to get the shape & weld beads to keep it from wearing out. I often put a spot of weld on a edge that is going to contact the ground. Weld is harder then woodpecker teeth.
 

Tony Wells

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#17
Naturally, there is a lot more to the story on the junkyard metals sorting. That chart is merely a suggested starting point, IMO. Over the years, steel makers are constantly changing things, and what may have been in common use 20 years ago has been replaced with something superior. So take it with a grain of salt....or maybe a lb. Add to that all the possibilities of heat treatment. If you find a finished part, yes, chances are pretty good that it has been heat treated. To what though? You can get such a variety of properties from so many alloys that even if your guess is correct on the metal type, you odds on guessing the HT condition aren't as good. About all you can do is take a file with you and check for hardness. Or if you wanted a correct set of hardness testing files.

The chart is not without merit, but there are caveats. Lots of good stuff can be found at the scrap yard. Ideally, since many metals are marked from the factory or distributor, you can find a piece large enough to still have some markings to ID it. But I wouldn't count on it. Around here, the local scrapers don't allow us to scrounge anymore anyway, so it doesn't help us. They used to, and I have a sneaking feeling that some of their regular customers might still get the privilege, but not most of us. There is a place in Jacksonville, a little town about 45 mins south of me that advertises sales of metals of all types. I've not visited with them, but I have often wondered if they are a distributor in disguise for a few larger companies.
 

george wilson

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#18
I have a bunch of surface ground steel billets made from steel from Switzerland. Some are hardened,and were drawn to a purple color. Parts that were rejected by a company that makes book binding equipment. many years ago I sent off a sample to the Bureau of Standards and had it tested. I THINK they called it .80 carbon steel.

The tricky part is: The stuff looks like CAST IRON when it is broken. HOWEVER,it can be forged, and cast iron can't. It can be hardened just like water hardening tool steel. It makes chips that look just like cast iron chips when turned on a lathe.

It is a complete mystery to me. I'd love to know exactly what it really is. Anyone have any ideas? I went down to the scrap yard in a driving rain to gather up as much as I could find after I'd gotten the first piece home,sawed off a sample,and tried hardening it. The scrap yard owner said he thought I was CRAZY!!:) Maybe I am.
 

4gsr

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#19
George,

Plain old high carbon steel equivalent to a 1060-1080 or C60-C80 steel, when harden is brittle a heck! When broken will have a texture of cast iron from the high carbon content. Don't know about the chips it makes, it has enough manganese content to make small brittle chips like a 1215 steel will make. Won't be powdery like cast iron chips but pretty close. The Europeans have more selections on materials than we do over here, so it could be something else out there.

Ken
 

george wilson

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#20
I have worked a great deal of W1 type steels. This stuff is not the same at all.
 

4gsr

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#21
1060-1080 or C60-C80 steel is not the same as W1 steels.
 
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