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Old 12-18-2003, 12:00 AM
B_Schroeder B_Schroeder is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Armstrong, British Columbia
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Industrial Wood Chipper Blades

Hello, I am brand new to this forum with limited experience to knifemaking, the extent being a drop point skinner for hunting and a machete for my garden, both made from scrap chainsaw bars (1075).

I found some fairly used industrial wood chipper blades in my basement and im hoping someone here would know what steel it is. I believe they were made in 1993. A friend of mine said they are commonly D2 while others said L-6, I'm hoping someone could claify this for me. Also, would I need to anneal them? Any help appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-18-2003, 08:49 AM
cactusforge cactusforge is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Quartzsite Az.
Posts: 1,482
I was given two brand new chipper blades and thay spark checked out D2. Gib

Old 12-18-2003, 09:55 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Location: Wauconda, WA
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Such blades are often D2 but they could be anything. That's the problem with 'recovered' steel. Yes, you would have to anneal it unless you prefer to spend a fortune on cutting tools and belts, not to mention your time. If it is D2, you would need an electric furnace to properly reharden the steel after your blade is made. A few experts can treat D2 in a forge but it isn't a task for someone new to the game.

Free advice: D2 (if that's what you want) and several carbon steels that you could possibly heat treat yourself with a torch are available from any knife supply house. D2 is reasonably priced, carbon steels are very cheap. They come flat, straight, and annealed in sizes appropriate for knives and you will know exactly what you have and how to treat it...........


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Old 12-18-2003, 11:25 AM
cactusforge cactusforge is offline
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Location: Quartzsite Az.
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Ray you are exactly right, these blades are new and 1/2" thick and I don't know if I will ever use them. I would need to forge them and the time required would make them very expensive blades and not the best due to heat treating restrictions. Gib

Old 12-18-2003, 02:17 PM
OutWest OutWest is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Western Slope, CO
Posts: 70
If you are lucky, the blades will have a phone number on them. Most of the ones I've picked up did and the mfg. was able to identify their steel.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:56 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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If you are thinking about forging D2, if it is D2, you will run into problems. From Jim Hrisoulas' book, The Master Bladesmith, it needs to be forged at yellow to bright yellow and even then it will pretty much laugh at your efforts because it is red hard. It will also need a high temperature oven to harden, as pointed out by Ray, to austenize before air quenching. In that last read that you can't really normalize it but you could do a sub-critical anneal. You have to heat treat D2 right or you end up with large carbides, causing sharpening problems, and retained austenite (the high regulated high temperature oven again) and possibly a talwar of liquid nitrogen.

It won't take long for that "free steel" to become awfully expensive. Buying a known carbon will probably end up cheaper in the long run.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough

Last edited by Doug Lester; 01-29-2020 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:56 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Location: Acworth, GA and/or Hanging Dog, NC
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Doug is spot on with his advise. Had several bladesmiths argue with me about this very same subject/metal. Performance testing is the best way to resolve the discussion. Not the backyard steel some "think" it is. Great blade material if you have the right equipment, but "muhhh" if you don't.

Carl Rechsteiner, Bladesmith
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