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.
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.
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.
Can't say as I tested it, but it is a hard metal, it has been used for a couple
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.
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