View Full Version : 1065 or 1065 ?

06-21-2003, 04:16 PM
I've made a couple blades from a new batch of 1065. The old batch was 3-4 years old. I bought the steel from the same supplier, but the two are as different as night and day. All 1065 was not created equal! It may take a year or two to figure this new batch out. This batch has a more blue tint and the quench lines have a totally different charactor.

06-21-2003, 04:49 PM
Ive heard people having problems
with 5160 and 1084..
Is good steel hard to find?
Or should i say consistency in steel?????

06-21-2003, 08:03 PM
Good steel is hard to find and consistancy does not exist.

06-21-2003, 09:08 PM
Was steel more consistent
when you first started

06-22-2003, 12:40 AM
When I first started, about 25 years ago, "good" steel was easy to get. It's not the same anymore. You can never be sure what you actually get, but generally it's lower quality.

06-22-2003, 08:42 AM
Well, the steel mills are ####ting down like mad because they "say" they can't make a profit.. They also "say" the quality of their product has not suffered since most of the companies have gone off-shore.


I live in the Ohio Valley, it's nothing *but* steel mills (and coal mines) here.
LTV an Bethlehem are long gone; Whg-Pitt just got their restructuring mone from the Royal Bank of Canada (says something for how much faith Americans --and American politicinians-- have in their own market, doesn't it?) and our Prez is quite likely going to rescind the steel tarriffs come September.

See, those steel tarriffs are "hurting" the multinational corps.
Awww, my heart just bleeds for them....

Those tarriffs are a joke anyhow.
Too little, waaay too late. Like putting a bandaid on a severed artery.
And don't blame it on NAFTA...... I read one of my father's old Whg-Pitt contracts (1974, right after Nixon opened up diplomatic and trade negotiations with China and hasn't that worked out to be a wonderful idea?) and even then, the employees were hollering about "illegal dumping" and "unfair trade."
France was the big steel maker then, now they are in the same boat as us.

Used to be, Whg-Pitt operated 9 plants along the Ohio River, today there're 4 and, of these, none is running more than 40% capacity.
Two shifts where there were three for more'n a century.

Weirton Steel ("Home of the Tin Can") went ESOP 20 years ago --still having trouble competing with the Chinese-made stuff we're trying to make knives out of ...

Babcock & Wilcox just went out of business one day. There was a strike (usual thing when a contract has been expired for 3 mos) and they shut the place down.
Sold the tooling to a Chinese firm.

Last spring, on the KGA forum, a fellow said that "steel was a small part of the US economy".... Yep, some dimwit actually thought to say that --or didn't think at all.

The other part of the problem is the way steel is sold.
Admiral, Crucible, etc can't just say "we want 40 tons of Whg-Pitt 5160" and get it from the manufacturer. They got to buy through 'middlemen' who bid on 5160 and suppliers/ retailers have to take what they get... which could be anything from anywhere.

Now I am not all about "keep everything American' .. It's a big world (or small, depending) and there's enough room for everyone.

But what makers are now feeling is what we, in the "Steel Valley," have known about for 20+ years.

Quality --or lack thereof-- of steel.. don't get me started.

Corporate America and it's so-called 'conscience,' don't get me started.
We got guys around here with 30 years in the mill who lost their pensions ("sorry, we can't afford to pay them, we spent /squandered /emabezzled it anyhow" ... True, in 1985, Dennis Carney, Whg-Pitt CEO took 40 million dollars.. He uh, was
required to return it. Carney gave back 4 mil, said he's spent the rest and not a #### thing was done by the SEC) and are now delivering pizza to make ends meet.
We got metallurgists with PhD's working as telemarketers.

Sure, folks, keep buying at Wal-Mart and Harbor-Freight.......

Sorry to hear about your 1065, Tai, but you're right, the stuff they are calling "steel" these days .. Well, it's some form of metal, but that's about it .....


06-22-2003, 01:06 PM
We have unioned our selves right out of the market. Everyone needs and deserves a "fair" wage but when you pay 20 an hour to the floor sweepers, a corner has to be cut somewhere.
We refuse to pay for products made by the high cost of the American wage. Maximum wage and low cost product are an unattainable goal.
Nothing can be sold today unless it has a "sale" tag on it. Ya get what you are willing to pay for. Leaves new meaning to the old saying "You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear" or should I say:" ya can't make a thousand dollar knife out of a one dollar piece of junk recycled chinese car body."
I know what you mean Trish. I have watched our steel town turn into a ghost town. U.S. Steel and LTV have turned into warehouses for China and Japan steel. I think we have nothing to blaim but our own greed and trusting our best interests to criminal run unions interested in lining there own pockets.

06-22-2003, 02:09 PM
Obviously I'm not the only one who lives in what I call the "post-industrial" wastelands of America. I live in a city of 100k along the shores of Lake Michigan. Along that lakeshore there was a big Manville Transite plant, a power plant, a tannery, a natural gas distribution center, a paint plant, a US Steel wire drawing mill, cemented carbides plant, US Envelope, a foundry, a Cyclone fence plant, and at the south end the pharmaceutical manufacturing chemical plant where I worked 30 years. Covered about three miles of lakeshore. The power plant and pharma company are still there, that's all. Nowadays everyone is selling to everyone else, "you want fries with that?"

We were talking yesterday, though, how much of a "favor" these companies did for us by creating a second-generation economy about to spring up. It's called cleaning up toxic waste. Kind of all those companies to pollute the lakeshore area so bad that it is a bonanza for the folks making "Hazardous Waste" signs. Fencing companies prosper, too, as these were big plants that need to be cordoned off. Excavation companies to flatten it and bury that crap under a rubber sheet to "protect" future generations til we someday have to dig it up and feed it to some nuclear furnace to finally kill it off. Not to mention the burgeoning medical dollars generated by all those people these companies poisoned and then bailed on. Redistribution of wealth on a generational scale.\

So the "evolution" of capitalism goes. We seem to create new industries from the excesses of the past ones. We pay for our mistakes in a spiral, the question is, "Is it an ascending or descending spiral?" There is no doubt, though , that the interludes between "pardigm shifts" cause upsets in the economy that affect an entire generation, essentially, who can't find jobs, or lose ther ability to support their family in the lifestyle they became accustomed to in the heydays.

Still, much better than the seemingly bungled attempts at large-scale socialism. What is going to happen at Chernobyl in the near future when the containment vessels fail and the holocaust their shoddy methods created restarts? Why, those folks are too poor to pay for it, so our taxes will go up as the US hires an American disaster-management mega-corp to go in and a small segment of our working poulation will be very busy preventing another eco-disaster. They'll get great pay and overtime, and some families will prosper.

Ah, yes, so goes the spiral. Hard to tell if it's up or down, though, from our vantage point, isn't it?
And, worst of all, it's tough to find decent steel....:eek:

06-22-2003, 03:46 PM
I'd gladly pay more money for better steel. The steel I've been buying is dirt cheap anyway. Too bad there isn't an honest to gosh specialty steel manufacturer.

True, it doesn't make much sense to make a high dollar art knife from a crapy piece of steel. Most of that would be a waist of time. It's one of the reasons I have changed my direction more towards riving knives, bush knives and whackers. I think the steel still performs within loose standards and can be used for certain types of things, if the heat treating and geometry follow what the steel can and can't do. A good smith can make a good knife from a crapy piece of steel, maybe not a great knife,... but a crapy smith can't make a good knife even out of a great piece of steel.

06-22-2003, 04:00 PM
Hypothetical question, Tai?

Do you think if a sufficient number of makers could get together and agree on spec's, etc, and find a company to produce a multi-ton run of steel based on those specs, that we could get quality steel, or is that an unlikely scenario amongst today's steel producers?
There is, BTW, a domestic company that will produce 10ton specialty runs, but I forget their name. Someone else may know.

06-22-2003, 05:30 PM
Yes, but how would you get them together?

There still is the option of salvaging prime American or Japanese steel from the 1950s- the 70s.

Roger Gregory
06-22-2003, 05:43 PM
It's the same story over here politically.

Sheffield used to be the busiest steel town in the world, heck it was the first steel town in the world. Now there's a load of far-Eastern tat being sold with Sheffield labels on it.

The big steelmakers have long gone and those US tariffs didn't help. We can still find speciality steelmakers but I'll bet most British knifemakers either put up with what they can get and tolerate the variety between batches or buy Swedish steel where there still seems to be some consistency......


06-22-2003, 10:22 PM
Batch to Batch I bet the steel falls in the same parameters. BUttttttttttttttttttt. The one batch may be higher in content in one element even if it is a simple cqrbon steel I would be pretty neat tohave an anyalisis test on the old batch against the new.

I'd like to see what happpened too :)

We got any ananylisis guys in the tribe?

Raymond Richard
06-25-2003, 03:39 PM
I don't even think 1084 or 1095 isn't even made anymore. What you get now is 1084/95. Wouldn't surprize me if the 1065 you just got is 1050/65.

The thing with getting a small run of steel made up is your looking at a pretty hefty price tag. I tried talking to a fellow at a mill that advertized doing custom orders and he wouldn't even bother giving me a price.

06-25-2003, 07:07 PM
Tai, you come to Harley's hammer-in next spring and I'll bring you some W-2. *g*... promise. Easy sizes, all cut to fit in the bottom of a lunch box... *g*

Roc, I gotta disagree --some.
Yeah, the wage scale got wacky *but* general labor was making 8-9 bucks an hour, not 20. I know, I shoveled hot coke for 3 years, didn't make anything like 20 an hour.

When you look at the "package" (health care, UI, workers' comp, vacation) then it seems like 20. an hour but that sure is not reflected in the paychecks.

What I remember was the big EPA push in the early 70's. Yeah, so this place was filthy (but the sunsets were pretty) and we needed a federal mandate to clean it up because the corps sure weren't going to do it on their own.
Might cut into profits.

I mean, the river in Cleveland caught on fre for heavenssakes!

So Whg-Pitt whined and moaned and said "we can't afford capital improvements because we have to pay all these fines" (waaaah) and then I remember my dad complaining about working (machinist in the rolling mill NOT a roller) while standing in grease 6" deep in front of his lathe.

Then Whg-Pitt said "we can't afford to re-negotiate contracts and you'll have settle for concessions because we have all these capital improvements to make" (which kept them from paying LOTS and LOTS of taxes) so the most my dad ever made in one year was $15,000.

Not a lot of money and that was in '72, under the best contract he'd ever had.
Oh yeah -- the lathe he ran the most often was a 'leftover' from the Carnegie-Illinois days of the 1880's.

He started in Whg Steel in 1933 (retired in '75), worked until 1938 without a union at all and I don't think that anyone who talks to anyone who can really remember the non-union days would prefer to go back there.

Yep, theres a lot of corruption in the unions but it's mostly petty politicking that keeps things from getting better. You know, just like everywhere else.

What's amazing --belay that, meant to say typical is that the corp officials --the BoD, CO and COO-- are all getting real good money and have been throughout this decades-long "steel dumping" crisis that they helped create.

Nah, Roc, the bugaboo in this mess ain't the 'greed of the American worker,' it's the #### country club dues he's gotta pay for his CEO so he can "relax'' after a hard day.....

Go here: see what's happening in corporate America.

Besides, can you imagine the shipping on 10 tons of steel?
"yes, that's correct, tracking no is 007 and the UPS charges are $4000."
Who'd store it til we each could come after our "bit?"
"Mommy, why are there 7 semi trucks trying to back down the driveway?"
I mean, I hear guys whose wives complain over the room a new bandsaw takes up... yikes...
... drop it off at my house, fellas, I got room... hate cutting grass anyhow.... *g*


Fox Creek
06-25-2003, 09:44 PM
I just finished a blade of 1070 that turned out well. This is 3/4 inch round stuff. I had it anylized after guessing it was something less than 1095 by the way it sawed and broke, and it turned out to be clean, high silicon 1070. The blade is subtly different, cant put my finger on it. but it is keen. forges well. 'had a 20 foot piece of it. It was some sort of guvermint surplus material. I really liked it.

06-25-2003, 11:18 PM
Trish, I'm going to try and make it to Harley's. I should always carry a bar of W-2 steel in my lunch box, huh?. :)

Richard, that sounds like a prime piece of steel.

Ken Smith
06-25-2003, 11:20 PM
WRT getting steel made to order... Wasn't it Howard Clark that got 10 tons of 1086m made to his specs. My recollection is that he was only get it in 1.(mumble)-inch rounds.

10 tons/20,000lbs of steel is not a large volume (roughly 40 cubic feet) of stuff; it's just heavy.

Shipping by freight it wouldn't be to frightfully expensive.

It seems to me that the real problems are:

0) getting it unloaded from the truck (someone is going to need a fork-lift or crane)

1) getting it (economically) cut up into UPS-sized (4ft or so) pieces.

2) dealing with the administrivia of shipping it to 100-200 people.

3) finding 100-200 people that can deal with 1.(mumble)-inch round stock :(

Raymond Richard
06-26-2003, 12:34 AM
I believe the last batch that Howard got was someone's miss order so they contacted Howard. I don't think many guys got there hands on it. Lonnie Hansen was one that got some of it. 1 3/8 round stock. I saw Lonnie in May at the Washington Knife Show, he gave me a 6" chuck of it. Just wanted to say I got to try it. Really a premo steel but darn stiff....

06-26-2003, 02:34 AM
Trish, piece at a time...till that cadillac was mine......
You are right. The more ya make, the more they take. ya get a dime raise, the price of a loaf of bread goes up a dime. I really shouldn't talk. I have never worked. Always been an artist. It would really suck if I ever had to get a job.

06-27-2003, 10:10 PM
I got a big batch of 52100 (8000 pounds) about 6 years ago, all the same batch, with mill specs and have been rolling it out for knife makers. It is virgin, vacuum degassed, vetrical poured, good stuff. I haven't found any voids in it in the years I have been using it and have even won a few cutting contests with it. It has done such a fine job for me that that is all I will use to make knives unless specially asked to use another.
I have made inquiries as to how much it would cost to get a complete batch run (50 tons) and it would have cost about $40,000.00 and that was 3 years ago. All the steel would be in round bar and that usually cuts down on the number of people that can use it. Since I have been rolling it out into flat bar, it has been available to a lot more people but right now, a lot of people are still thinking that 52100 is to hard to work with. For those that have had problems when heat treating 10xx steels, the same procedure applies to 52100. It will probably require a higher temper temperature due to the type of steel it is but that is still no problem (at least it hasn't been).
Hopefully in the future, I will be able to get some 5160 and 1080 in round bar to roll out for people that know those steels better and want a quality steel. I do not know what the price will be yet as the man is still checking on it.

06-27-2003, 11:06 PM
Thanks Ray. Keep us posted on that.

07-23-2003, 09:36 PM
I got about 350 pounds of the round bar ( 1 1/2" dia) 5160 that came in 12" sections. It weighs 5.9 pounds per foot. For those that want a super clean 5160, this is about as good as can be made. I will take $10.00 a ft. for it in the round or $9.50 a pound rolled out to the size you need. (About 24" is the maximum lenght that I can roll and still normalize and anneal) I also have the mill analysis on it for those that would like it. Shipping is not included in the price. This steel was procduced by the same mill that made the 52100 steel and was reduced from a six inch bar down to the 1.468" dia. Shipping priority mail runs about $20.00 for 12 pound (2 bars) from here to California and about $15.00 most other places.
I haven't forged any out of it yet as I am still having back problems and Troy Brown has gotten a few bars to do some tomahawks with it. I haven't heard from him on that yet. I don't know when I will be able to get any of the 1075 or 1080 round bars that size. Most of them are 6" to 9" dia. bars that they make there.