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#584734 11/20/20 05:50 PM
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Is drill rod a proper steel to use? The part with the largest diameter is a few thousandths under 1/4".

Can it be worked with files and sandpaper?

I have one good one and one that is way shorter on the back end. It does show peening.

I saw Dewey adjust one of mine years ago using a file. The pin was placed in the chuck of a drill which was held vertically in a vise.


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I forgot to mention I don't have a lathe. Am I on the right track?


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Use "Drill Rod" it is usually sold in its annealed state. If you have a standard diy electric hand drill hold a length rod in the chuck to make a complete striker, turn the drill on and using a fine file turn down the rod to the longest length and diameter of your striker then polish with wet/dry paper. Reverse the rod so the longest length is held in the chuck and complete and polish the rest of the striker profile. The Drill Rod in its workable state is hard but wont last that long as a striker I usually heat strikers to red hot quench in oil re- polish and temper to purple, this gives the metal some spring resilience and lasting power


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Thanks Damascus.

Fooling around with my torch I heated an old 1/4" drill bit to see if I could heat it to cherry red. I could only get it to orange, the color of a carrot. I have a pretty good torch but it is the propane type. Do I need something hotter? Is a MAPP torch hot enough?


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carrot orange might be 'cherry red.' In my experience, the color is dependent on lights, etc and can be hard to judge

You can use a magnet to test as well. once it's not magnetic, it's ready to quench.


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You can only use a drill bit for the material if the drill bit is made of carbon steel but today most drill bits are HSS (high speed steel) this requires far higher temperatures to anneal and harden, you will be more successful if you purchase a length of drill rod (in Brit land we all this "Silver Steel") close to the largest diameter you require.
How red is red when we talk about temperature, you should always judge this in subdued lighting. One of the biggest sunrises I ever had was when I visited the Blacksmith and Farrier school here in Salisbury. It was extremely dark with just the light from the forges, so as to be able to accurately determine the temperature of the metal by its colour.


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I will wait for the drill rod to arrive before anything further. I will shut all the lights next time. Thanks.


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You can look it up to confirm, but I believe when damascus mentions silver steel, it is sold in the US as O-1 drill rod. The thought above about using a magnet is not a bad idea, when it becomes nonmagnetic, literally no attraction. MAPP will easily do it, waive the flame and rotate the pin if you can.

Hold your firing pin with some stiff wire also so whatever tongs or pliers you might use, doesn't trip the magnet. Damascus is correct in describing the color you are trying to see as somewhat subjective, that is why the magnet strategy might make things easier. You can also stick the firing pin in a toaster oven cranked to 500* for an hour to temper it, instead of trying to watch for a particular color. A side benefit might be that you don't have to polish it to temper it?

If you have a fastenal store close by, they probably have the drill rod in stock. damascus has probably done a million of them, but you can start the material removal with a course file and switch to your fine cut things when you get close to save a good bit of time? Best of luck.

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Damascus, Woodreaux and Craig,
Thanks for taking the time to steer me in the right direction. Metal work is pretty new to me. Some great suggestions and directions here. I have 3 Fastenal stores within half an hour from me. I will follow up on Monday. We have a larger toaster oven that I can use. I wish I still had access to a plumbers Acetylene torch but I have been retired for a dozen years and lost contact with them. While at Fastenal it might make sense to pick up a Mapp (the new version) torch just to have anyway.


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Milt, I have been making L.C. Smith hammer gun firing pins for years and have used 01 tool steel. This is a oil hardening tool steel and I have never hardened any of them.
Heating with a torch is not the correct way as you are hardening the steel too fast and not letting the molecules flow right. Getting the right temperature which is usually 1500F (cherry red) and then quenching it in motor oil and then cleaning the scale and polishing it then heating it again to a straw color and quenching again is difficult and without an oven I think fruitless. I have made these for many members and have had only a few break in many years.
I have just bought some S7 tool steel which is more shock resistant but have not made any pins yet. The cost is about double the price of 01. S7 is used for masonry bits and many other tools that take a lot of shock.

If you decide to harden them use Mapp gas which is a lot hotter than propane.


David


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