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Hello from Hudson Valley, what steel to use...

Discussion in 'A BEGINNER'S FORUM (Learn How To Machine Here!)' started by PGregory, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. PGregory

    PGregory United States Iron Registered Member

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    Hi From the Mid Hudson Valley of NY State.
    I have an entry level question about what steel to use for making tool holders for a tailstock turret.
    I'm looking at this as a first project with steel.
    The turret receiver is 3/4" straight.
    There are many videos and other sources of info about the differences in available steel stock, but not at the level of saying "for your first projects stick to XYZ." Possible choices from what I've learned so far seem to be W1 and C1018.
    Of course, the application is most important when choosing the steel - right material for the job.
    I have to drill a bunch of aluminum standoffs in the lathe and want to set the turret up to simplify the process of drilling and tapping the standoff ends.

    Cheers - Peter
     
  2. rgray

    rgray Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I made mine from 1144 stressproof tgp (turned ground & polished). You can buy it that way and then not have to machine the outer diameter. It also machines nice. It's not hardenable though.
    If you need hard there is o-1 and 4130 or 4140 that can also be purchased tgp. these also in my opinion machine better than w-1 or 1018.
     
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  3. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The above advice is good, and good steels for the job, the C1018 less so, but you asked for the best steel for your first project, and for that I would recommend 12L14, which is very easy to machine and won't work harden on you. It is not weldable, which is probably not an issue with this project. It is also not able to be hardened, like the other steels listed above, except the C1018. Wear will be a long term issue if the parts are not hardened. In a hobby shop, that is far less of a problem. Use an easy to machine steel and you will enjoy the process a lot more as a newbie.
     
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  4. PGregory

    PGregory United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thank you Bob and RGray - I am getting some 1144 and 12l14 to try out and I will post pics of the project as I go along. Nothing spellbinding, Im sure, but perils and outcomes will be new to me.
     
  5. Cobra

    Cobra Canada Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The other alloy steel that is easy to machine is 41L40.
     
  6. Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I made my turret bushings from 1040CR. They work for me.

    turret bushings.jpg
     
  7. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    1144 stressproof and 12L14 leaded are both good. The stressproof is a little harder to machine but harder steel. Both about the same price I think.
    Mark S.
     
  8. Eddyde

    Eddyde Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    While those steels mentioned above might be the best choices, I think W-1 or O-1 drill rod would be perfectly adequate for the application.
    BTW, Welcome to the forum!
     
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  9. PGregory

    PGregory United States Iron Registered Member

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    Well, I think this project may be a good non-critical one to try a few more of these materials. I have 2 x6 turret tailstocks, one of which I am going to refurb and put up for sale, again. And, more holders will be needed over time. Thanks for all the info and I am glad to be here in the forums.
    Here are seller's pics of the first and second tailstock I just picked up. The second was photo'ed assembled backwards by the seller, but it was more complete than the first one I got. Both are mechanically good.



    s-l1600 (8).jpg s-l500 (1).jpg
     
  10. chips&more

    chips&more United States Active User Active Member

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    Someone above said 1144 is not hardenable. That statement is not true/correct. It’s commonly called 1144 stressproof and is about Rc17 hardness. When heat treated the stressproof properties will be lost but you can achieve about Rc53 hardness. For reference, I have just heat treated ½” round 1144 and noticed a 0.002” increase in part diameter. So, be aware, this stuff can grow after heat treat.…Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  11. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As far as I know, 1144 is not a leaded steel; 12L14 is, though.

    1215 is the non-leaded equivalent of 12L14 and turns pretty nicely.

    I agree, both are good steels for this project. I don't think you need to heat treat these tool holders for hobby shop use and either will work well. 12L14 is far easier to work with but will rust fast so keep the holders oiled when not in use. 1144 stressproof is harder and will resist wear longer; it is good because it comes semi-hard, resists warping when machined or heated and gives a nice satin finish with a sharp tool.

    For a first steel project, I vote for 12L14.
     
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  12. Wreck™Wreck

    Wreck™Wreck United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Make them from whatever steel you have laying around.
     
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  13. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    1144 machines very nicely, as does 4130 and 4140. All is good until you let your cutting tools rub, which will cause the steel to work harden, and then the job will get a lot more difficult. With those steels and other higher carbon steels, keep the tool cutting freely the entire time it is in contact with the work. Shallow finish cuts can also be difficult with those steels, for the same reason.
     
  14. rgray

    rgray Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Streesproof info from Lasalle steel who developed it.:
    http://www.niagaralasalle.com/product-stressproof.html

    Can be induction hardened, but watch for quench cracks. The increase in diameter makes sense.
    I just make it a rule not to try hardening it. As I've had others have no luck with it.
    I just grab o-1 or 4130/4140 if I want hard things.
     
  15. PGregory

    PGregory United States Iron Registered Member

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    I am starting out and I don't have a handy local source of surplus at good prices, or free. Yet(!) But, I now have some 1144 and 12l14 on the way to start with. I think this is a good project to learn some of the handling properties of the others, too...
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  16. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Active Member Active Member

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    For the cost difference , after your first set make another with drill rod . It's harder but you can buy the od you need , I try to look at the time spent as money wasted or made. Just a thought.
     
  17. chips&more

    chips&more United States Active User Active Member

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    Yes, and the link says nothing about it cannot be hardened. Induction heating is just one process of heating the metal to critical temperature. Most of my heat treating is done with a Mapp gas torch. 1144 steel has 44% carbon in it. I have no problem in hardening it and have done so for many decades. Also, the internet has lots of the same info. Just remember, that if you do heat treat 1144, all of its stressproof properties will be lost. Good luck with the Hobby…Dave.


    PS. Induction heaters are very reasonable now from China. And like, if I don’t have enough on my plate. This toolaholic is seriously thinking of adding an induction heater to my toy shop. Good for heat treating, brazing, loosening rusted nuts...;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  18. rgray

    rgray Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    We're getting off topic but the induction hardening intrigues me. I find induction melting furnaces. Is this what you would use?
    Or would one just use an induction heating element and pass the item though and then quench?
    Found some on aliexpress and was gonna link a couple of pages but they are huge and take up a whole page themselves.

    P.S. you missed a decimal 1144 carbon content .4 to .44% :encourage: I know you knew that, just put it out there for others who might be following :wink: https://midwestmetalwarehouse.com/carbon-steel/1144-stressproof.html
     
  19. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Even more off topic, but it is easy to make long URL's short:
    http://tinyurl.com/
     
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  20. chips&more

    chips&more United States Active User Active Member

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    Just search fleabay with “induction heater”. For under 100 bucks you could easily have a new toy in your shop with a very powerful capability!
     
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  21. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    There's lots of steel all around. Just have to learn how to take apart things quickly when no one is looking :p
    also being able to run fast is helpful.:D
    M
     
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  22. Cobra

    Cobra Canada Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    From good old Wikipedia:

    Induction hardening
    is a form of heat treatment in which a metal part is heated by induction heating and then quenched. The quenched metal undergoes a martensitic transformation, increasing the hardness and brittleness of the part. Induction hardening is used to selectively harden areas of a part or assembly without affecting the properties of the part as a whole.[1]

    The interesting bit to me is that you could spot harden if you needed.
     
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  23. Wreck™Wreck

    Wreck™Wreck United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    You are making bushings for a tail stock turret to be used in a small lathe in a hobbyist setting making threaded stand offs, a discussion of material selection and hardening is way overkill. If made from plain old 1018 available at Home Depot you will not live long enough to wear them out even if you are 20 years old now.

    Last week on a Warner & Swasey turret lathe of WW2 vintage, 1 5/8" drill through 3 1/8 long steel parts in one shot, no peck and no pilot hole in less then 6 minutes each. Not a single one of the turret adapters is hardened either straight or tapered (several dozen).
    Draw you own conclusions.

    Sorry about the knee shot, I do not spend my days editing How To videos nor have the equipment and software to do so.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  24. benmychree

    benmychree United States John York H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Turret lathe doing what turret lathes do best! I had a #4 Warner Swasey in my shop when I sold it and retired, and used it for a variety of limited production work. I particularly like spade drills for doing that sort of drilling, they break up the chips, and are NEVER used with pilot holes, perhaps just a spotting drill to start them.
     
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  25. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    I like that picture! Rather artistic
    M
     
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  26. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    For any steel or cast iron to respond to heat treat, it must have an carbon equivalency of at least 2. This number is derived from the carbon content in association with the Manganese content in the material. Any steel can be harden if this number was met. Of course, other chemicals added like copper, high contents of Nickel and so on, make it so , it will not respond to HT. When you do that, it reclassifies the steel into different categories of metals.

    A place I worked at several years ago, we used to take 1020 castings and carbon restore into the surface of the steel. So when the parts were set up on the induction hardening machine, the surface was heated up and polymer quenched to give us a hardness of about 50-55 HRC. It would have been much cheaper to carburize the parts at the same time they were carbon restored. It was a political decision that came from upper management, our hands were tied!
     
  27. benmychree

    benmychree United States John York H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I am not familiar with the "carbon restoration" process, please explain.
     
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  28. PGregory

    PGregory United States Iron Registered Member

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    Glad to have all the info, gents. As a note, I will be on vacation for the next week, away from the lathe, but then should have a clear week to work on the tool holders.

    Best - Peter G.
     
  29. Rick Berk

    Rick Berk United States Active User Active Member

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    With out question, I would use 4140 PH, (pre-hard) this is about 30-35 Rc hard on the OD and softer on the inner area. The PH will give an excellent turned finish for .750 and the center can be drilled and reamed to the desired diameter.
     
  30. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I like to add a little to this. What people call 4140 pre-hard is really 4140 Q & T (Quenched & Tempered) to 28-36 HRC. And in rounds up to 3" in diameter, it's fairly consistent hardness to the center of the bar, not just the outer area of a bar. And really, the higher heat treated material in my opinion cuts much nicer. It's tough drilling, but with good cutting oils/fluids, it's no different than cutting 1018/1020 material dry.
     
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