Bench Holddowns

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In rec.woodworking

Yep, I'm bending some out of cold rolled steel in our machine shop. Then I plan on heating one end and shaping the flat with a hammer and anvil, then heating the whole thing cherry red and tossing in a bucket of oil. It'll be good to go.
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Now you've done it. The orders will come rolling in. :)

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In rec.woodworking

LOL! I'm not going into the blacksmith business :) These are for me only. Now my 18 year old boy may be interested.

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Bruce wrote...

Since cold rolled steel has a carbon content below 0.2 percent, "heating the whole thing cherry red and tossing in a bucket of oil" won't do anything good for the tool. Since doing so would definitely pose some hazards, you'd be better off to skip that bit.
I'll bet CRS is a fine material for the application, though.
Jim
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Sure will. It sounds like this guy knows something about old blacksmith's methods. The point of doing this is not to harden it, it is to impart a black oxide coating that resists rust.
"heating

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CW wrote...

Well it certainly will impart a black coating, but IME that particular coating does little to prevent rust. The oil alone does as much. I think the coating you are speaking of is nothing more than a conglomeration of scale and oil, and much of it is rather loosely adhered to the steel. Bang it with a hammer and the crust flakes off easily, although there are always some stubborn bits that remain behind. The same is true of forge and mill scale without the oil.
This coating is nothing like very durable black oxide finishes that are so often used on tooling. Unfortunately, the better ones require rather noxious chemicals and are ill-suited to application in the home shop. The "cold-bluing" methods, while not as durable as the hot methods, are better suited for the occasional user.
If the OP's intent is to put a protective finish on the tool, he'll get better results from one of these methods, or by cleaning it well and applying a coat or two of good quality paint.
Jim
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Works. Used to do it a lot. Heck of a lot tougher and more protective than the modern equivalent though not near as nice a finish.

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You sure its steel? The ones they advertise now are cast iron.

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of years, it has been beat on harder than is ever necessary for a hold-down (my bad) and it seems none the worse for wear. I guess that they could make the damn things so cheaply that they actually break in normal use, though, but that has not been my experience. I thnk I paid about $2 on sale.
Dave Hall

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May be they sold some steel ones at one time but the ones now are cast iron. Not even worth $2.00.

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