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Old 02-09-2007, 02:45 PM
dphipps dphipps is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Maryland
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John Deere Drive Shaft

Hey, Is the steel used for the John Deere drive shafts any good for knives. It's from a riding mower about two feet long and almost two inch around (very heavy) with gear teeth at both ends. A co-workers son works for a local John Deere dealer and he got it from a scrap pile.
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:28 PM
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JediOkie JediOkie is offline
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Location: Oklahoma
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I saw where some one was selling the steel that John Deere uses for the shafts of their tractors for knife material but I can't find where I saw that at.

Jayson H Bucy

"Live so that your friends can defend you but never have to" - Arnold H. Glascow
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:45 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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The part called the "load shaft" from Deere tractors is 5160 according to Fowler and Dan Gray. Gray was the one selling the factory cuttoffs from their manufacturing process.

There was a thread on Bladeforums Shoptalk.

Last edited by fitzo; 02-09-2007 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:58 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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The fact that you feel you must ask the question may be a good indication that it isn't good steel for you. There have been many threads (which you can find with the Search key) about using 'salvaged' or 'found' or 'scrap' steel. The bottom line to those discussions seems to be that if you don't know how to test the steel and decide for yourself, then it probably isn't for you. With high quality carbon blade steel so cheap and available, you need a really good reason to spend your time, supplies, and fuel messing around with an unknown piece of steel.

There is almost never a clean 'yes' or 'no' answer to your question because in most cases every manufacturer uses different steels at different times depending on what suitable steel is available at the best price when they need steel - therefore, no one except maybe the manufacturer (and not even them sometimes) can tell you what a particular part is made from. there are exceptions, but not many ...


Your question may already have been answered - try the Search button first!

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Old 02-09-2007, 04:34 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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Here are two threads you can read if you choose. I agree with Ray, though; IMO it's always best for new guys to learn with known steel to reduce variables. That said, *certain* JD load shafts have produced pretty good results.

Last edited by fitzo; 02-09-2007 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:14 PM
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DiamondG Knives DiamondG Knives is offline
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Im no mechanic, so here is my question, is the load shaft the PTO shaft, or the ram shaft from the hydolic cylinders?


"I cherish the Hammer of Thor, but I praise the hand of God"
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:55 PM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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I just forged out a knife from John Deer control shaft and it is some great stuff. It is 5160 but the alloying is proprietory. Dan Gray just sent a box of 1.2" x 8" round bar. It also machines real nice. Filing and grinding was very easy w/o annealing after forging. If I can get my hands on some more I would like to forge out many more knives out of it.

Before I forged any of it I sliced a disk off and hardened it (no tempering). After securing it into my vice I smacked it and it broke like glass.
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:20 AM
Ed Fowler Ed Fowler is offline
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John Deer Load Control Shafts have provided me with the best 5160 steel I have ever worked. Clean, always the same and if worked like we do the 52100 will be a tight race to the finish line. Forge at low temp, many thermal cycles and multiple quench in 20 second oil for best results.

Ed Fowler
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