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Hardest steel ever!

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Curt Hal, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Curt Hal

    Curt Hal Gold Member Gold Member

    545
    Jul 8, 2014
    I just started working on this English Spear and Jackson 3.5 lb axe. I believe its a 50’s or 60’s vintage made from Sheffield steel (according to their catalogue.) The poll filed nicely, and then I started working on the edge. Wow! I sanded 1/2” up on either side of the edge with the orbital sander to avoid filling my files with crap. I have refurbished approximately 60 axes now, and this is without a doubt the hardest steel I have ever encountered. Only one of my files touched it! It’s going to be a labour of love! If anyone has any suggestions regarding what might touch this kryptonite, I am wide open to your ideas. 9356FB63-D782-40B6-BE55-2BB21F4ACD42.jpeg
     
    muleman77, Ironkid883, garry3 and 5 others like this.
  2. ithinkverydeeply

    ithinkverydeeply Gold Member Gold Member

    744
    Dec 17, 2018
    Maybe a muscle rub like Icy Hot or Bio-Freeze. ;)
     
    protourist, A17 and Yankee Josh like this.
  3. Curt Hal

    Curt Hal Gold Member Gold Member

    545
    Jul 8, 2014
    Haha. You’ve got that right. First time I’ve ever been tempted to use a grinder! But I won’t.
     
  4. Edgy 1

    Edgy 1

    15
    Jun 2, 2019
    In for answers. What grit with the orbital usually works?
     
    muleman77 and ithinkverydeeply like this.
  5. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    989
    Mar 31, 2018
    I only have two suggestions... One is be patient and see if it gets any easier once you are down through the rust. It usually does. But not always! I've been lucky to find quite a few on the hard side but I have two in particular that are stupid hard.
    Second suggestion is to try and find an old Simmonds nu-cut file. I'll be interested to see what others chime in with!
     
  6. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    It may take some time, but stones always work. Look up the Mutt if Baryonyx has them in stock.

    Looks like they do. I have and use one. The price is right, highly recommended. Then finish with whatever finer stones you have.

    http://www.baryonyxknife.com/baamubest.html
     
  7. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Gold Member Gold Member

    741
    Jan 10, 2015
    My go to with the hard bits is the Norton Crystolon Tradesmen's Stone, #JT930, Combination Grit, PROD. NO. 87675-1. I mentioned this a couple years ago and I think some of the guys tried it, and liked it.
     
    muleman77, A17, jblyttle and 6 others like this.
  8. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Abrasive files of almost any sort will fit the bill. Aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, CBN, or diamond are all gonna' be way more than hard enough to cut even the hardest low-alloy high carbon steel. What you want at that stage, though, specifically, is as coarse as you can lay hands on, and a long enough length to get a good stroke out of it.
     
  9. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Double post.
     
  10. Curt Hal

    Curt Hal Gold Member Gold Member

    545
    Jul 8, 2014
    EC42EB29-12E9-471E-8FED-68142AB27979.jpeg
    I’m definitely going to give your fine ideas a go. This is as far as I got in an hour with the file!
     
    muleman77, A17 and Edgy 1 like this.
  11. Curt Hal

    Curt Hal Gold Member Gold Member

    545
    Jul 8, 2014
    I done usually use the sander on the edge. I typically clean off the whole head with the angle grinder and cup. For this one I used the orbital and 120 to clear the dirt and rust from the edge so that I’d have 1/2 to work with.
     
    muleman77, A17 and Edgy 1 like this.
  12. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Old fashion sandstone grinding wheel is what I will use on them real hard ones rather than wreck a good file.
     
    Old Axeman, muleman77, Fmont and 3 others like this.
  13. muleman77

    muleman77

    410
    Jan 24, 2015
    I know nobody wants to hear it, and to
    each their own, but a 36 grit belt or flap wheel followed by an 80grit will do a beautiful job on that in about 15 min.

    Then finish it up by hand.
     
    Fmont, A17, garry3 and 3 others like this.
  14. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Yeah, or at least use a flap disc to get thru the oxidation layer to the softer steel below.
     
    Fmont, A17, FortyTwoBlades and 3 others like this.
  15. A17

    A17

    886
    Jan 9, 2018
    I'll be hiding from armed mobs for this but if I get a really hard axe I'll use a grinding wheel to rough it out and a flap wheel to get it almost to where I want it, then I'll finish it with a stone. If you use a grinder be VERY careful not to get it too hot.
     
  16. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    If using a grinding wheel just make sure it's a white friable aluminum oxide wheel and use a flippin' light touch with fast passes. It does work, but your common cheapo wheels are formulated to hold their shape grinding mild steel that doesn't need to be kept particularly cool during grinding so they generate a lot of heat.
     
    jblyttle likes this.
  17. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    I feel like many things are good options provided that you know what you are about. Light touch indeed. No worries if used with knowledge and care. Having said that, I use files and stones. If I needed to turn stuff out at a high volume professionally, I'd become proficient with power tools. But carefully.
     
    Fmont likes this.
  18. Curt Hal

    Curt Hal Gold Member Gold Member

    545
    Jul 8, 2014
    Are you talking about a flap wheel for a drill, or a flap wheel for an angle grinder?
     
    Fmont likes this.
  19. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Flap disc for an angle grinder.
     
  20. Fmont

    Fmont Gold Member Gold Member

    600
    Apr 20, 2017
    For serious reprofiling I usually start out on a belt, too. I want to do as much as is reasonably practical by hand, but when you have to remove a ton of metal... It's incredible what a good 36 grit belt will do. My bench grinder has been relegated to wire wheeling and buffing for years now. A *good* modern abrasive belt is pretty freaking incredible. You just have to buy the quality ones!
     

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