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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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Old 09-27-2013, 11:33 PM
nifemayka87 nifemayka87 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: San Bernardino, CA
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Question Rebar???

I'm brand new to knife making and i have rebar available. i just want to know if rebar works well for making knives.
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:07 AM
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cnccutter cnccutter is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Dorena, Oregon
Posts: 183
welcome to your new addiction.

re-bar is poor quality steel from recycling. its got low or no carbon to speak of so hardening and getting a good lasting edge isn't really possible.

if your new to knife making don't start out with mystery steel. the cost of good known steel like 1075, 1085 or even O1 is pretty cheap and after you put in 35 hours of filing the last thing you want is steel failure.

you might want to fill out your profile with some basic info like name and location. you might be surprised a knife maker might be right around the corner from you

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Old 09-28-2013, 12:55 PM
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Naboyle Naboyle is offline
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Location: New Florence, Pennsylvania.
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Save the rebar for holding damascus billets in a few years! Listen to what cutter has to say, that's some solid advise right there.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:41 AM
nifemayka87 nifemayka87 is offline
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Location: San Bernardino, CA
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Thank you. Now I am wondering if I can use the rebar to make tongs.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:41 AM
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Gary Mulkey Gary Mulkey is offline
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Location: Branson, Mo
Posts: 1,129
You can use the rebar for tongs but it may not be the best choice. Since rebar is mainly made from melted scrap it will contain many different types of steel and may or may not be best for tongs. Ideally tongs should be of an iron or steel that won't harden or suffer from repeated water quenches.

Eventually you will need to weld a handle onto something and that's where I would use the rebar. [When I make handles I use a piece of it tack welded to a piece of pipe of equal size.]


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Old 10-29-2013, 01:28 PM
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BigCountry86 BigCountry86 is offline
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I have some 1.5" rebar that makes great blades. I've had no good results with small residential rebar though. If you don't want to ruin good steel its good for practice forging.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:04 PM
Cthulhu Cthulhu is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Kannapolis, NC.
Posts: 439
Theres plenty of good steel out there at good prices that you don't need to risk using rebar.

I will say this though. Rebar and Railroad spikes are good for practicing your hammer work if you're like me and can't afford to buy good steel and screw it up with bad hammer strokes. Or just to build your strength and confidence.

Also you can make your own tongs by buying things like big good quality nippers and pliers, and hammering them into shape.

Saw a book where the author did it so he could have cheap tongs and it seemed to work out well for him.

Just remember to cool your tongs from time to time as well.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:28 AM
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mete mete is offline
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Location: NY State
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Rebar is a strange creature .Unlike other steels it's made only to mechanical specs not chemical so you're not sure what you have. And there are diffderent types including stainless steel !
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:10 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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I did some work for a steel mill in El Paso and got to watch them make rebar. They dumped crushed cars into the furnace, then lowered 3 huge carbon electrodes into it. After a lot of arcing and smoke, the mix melted. Then they used a long pipe to pump oxygen into it to heat it further and drive out the excess carbon. They had materials on hand to add to batches of steel they used for other purposes, but the rebar was made from whatever ended up in that pot from the melted junk cars.

God bless Texas! Now let's secede!!
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:34 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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It proves that it has adequate carbon in it to make at least an adequate knife. As mystery metal you will still be left to divine the proper heat treating which will probably involve making and testing more than one knife (as in probably several) by which time your bar of re-bar will be used up and you will have to start over on another bar. Much better to start out with a known steel that you can at least look up the data sheet to give you a starting point.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:11 AM
jemoran jemoran is offline
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88% of all steel in the US is recycled.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:15 AM
jemoran jemoran is offline
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:29 AM
jemoran jemoran is offline
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Posts: 33
I posted some links, on recycling and rebar, but they're stuck in limbo for now.

88% of all steel in the US is recycled. That dosn't mean that the other 12% is pure and used to make quality steel. The other 12% is used to dilute the 88% to achieve the proper chemistry.

If you are holding a quality piece of steel in your hand, most of it came from old cars.

Not withstanding, as mentioned earlier, rebar is only specified in mechanical properties not chemistry.
Read the link when it is released from limbo.
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