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Materials resources / reference material

Everything related to the craft of making custom cowboy gear. And a few other gadgets.

Materials resources / reference material

Postby Otto » Tue May 15, 2007 7:36 am

I'd like to see some people post some resources for materials. List the name and what they specialize in. Also, list some sources for good books and videos etc. List them as a reply to this topic.
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Postby jim dunlap » Tue May 15, 2007 1:05 pm

I get all my silver and gold from Indian Jewelers Supply. I've got a lot of tools from them too. As far as steel, I just get it from the metal supply guy in town. He has to order 4140 for me, but it only takes a couple of days.
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Postby R Vaughn » Tue May 15, 2007 3:58 pm

Jim, What do you use the 4140 for. Is this a mild steel. Id like to find something that doesn't require annealing to form and doesn't temper.
Robert
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What are you guys looking for?

Postby silverchip » Wed May 16, 2007 12:08 pm

Maybe if you asked specific Questions as to what you would like to find,we might come up with the aswers.
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Postby R Vaughn » Wed May 16, 2007 1:27 pm

Silverchip, I don't know much about the types of steels. What diffrent steels are used for spurbands and why. I have only used 1018.
Thanks, Robert
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Postby silverchip » Wed May 16, 2007 2:35 pm

I would say that for most spur application I would consider 4140 for the bands and 1018 for the shank.although 4140 is a mild tool steel it can be bent hot or cold. It is a little tougher than cold or hot rolled and should engrave pretty well too as a lot gun barrels are made of the stuff and you've seen what can be done with them
On the other hand , unless you have ready supply of 4140,which not many of us do ,I have used hot rolled mild steel cause you still have to weld,grind polish ect,and you and engrave,inlay -overlay,blue,brown or grey and it will do this just fine.
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Postby jim dunlap » Thu May 17, 2007 9:07 pm

4140 is a cold finish steel, so it has no mill scale on it. It is also a little harder than mild steel. You have to be a little more careful cooling it or bending cold, because it can crack. But it polishes so much easier than regular mild steel, it is worth the differance.
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muslin Buffing Wheels

Postby Norm Harris, Jr. » Sun May 20, 2007 12:50 pm

Hello All,

Years ago all the people that attended Elmer Millers Bit and Spur School were supplied with various tool and material vendors names,addresses, etc. There was an outfit that was supplying large muslin buffs that were stitched tight and were very stiff, approx 10" Dia. they worked very good with cutting compound for shaping or polishing metal. Does anybody out
there have that address or one for a source for large stiff buffs.
Norm Harris, Jr.
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Postby jason g howell » Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:36 am

I was making my buttons from carriage bolts, but a while back, I ordered buttons from Bill Adamson (nice and quick!) I also bought some premade swingers from Jeremiah Watt (have not used them yet, but will try them). I have a couple more leads on other supplies, (rowels, bands, etc...) but have never used them. I'm a knifemaker by trade, but have made a few sets of spurs. So much tooling and supplies used in this craft is related to knives. Here is a list of my 3 favorite suppliers.

http://www.texasknife.com/
http://www.knifeandgun.com/
http://www.popsknifesupplies.com/

I have enjoyed this forum so far and look forward to learning and sharing where I can.
Jason Howell
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http://www.howellbladesmith.com
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Postby jim dunlap » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:23 am

I am in need of some chain for slobber chains. I am wondering if any of you know of a place to get good stainless or steel chain for slobber chains.
Thanks
Jim
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Re: Materials resources / reference material

Postby Tom Bartlett » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:13 am

I found this site that has some neat clipart bulls, some one might be able to use. http://www.fotosearch.com/clip-art/farm-hand.html
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Re: Materials resources / reference material

Postby tweeter » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:47 pm

i am new to making bits and spurs kinda teaching myself i blew my knee out calf roping so trying to pass time does the 4140 steel come in flat bar or is just round. I been making some bits out of old horseshoes would you have to bake them in oven like i have heard about other bits having to be done. If so for how long and hot any feedback be greatlly appreciated thanks
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Re: muslin Buffing Wheels

Postby HollonsBitsandSpurs » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:33 pm

Norm Harris, Jr. wrote:Hello All,

Years ago all the people that attended Elmer Millers Bit and Spur School were supplied with various tool and material vendors names,addresses, etc. There was an outfit that was supplying large muslin buffs that were stitched tight and were very stiff, approx 10" Dia. they worked very good with cutting compound for shaping or polishing metal. Does anybody out
there have that address or one for a source for large stiff buffs.




I use Formaxmfg.com for my 12 inch wheels. I will have to check but they might be 10 inch. They stitch them a couple different ways and they work good with my cutting compound.
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Re: Materials resources / reference material

Postby Robert Jordan » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:44 am

4140 is a carbon steel that requires hardened/temper heat treat to get into the Rc 36-44 hardness range. You could use the material as cast but it would not have really high wear resistance. Another metal to consider is 8620 steel that does not have to be heat treated and has properties similar to 4140 (A little less strength) and has a little amount of chrome/nickel where 4140 only has about 1.0% chrome content.

Robert @ Dal-Air Castings
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Re: Materials resources / reference material

Postby Frank Turley » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:42 am

A "Brief Tutorial" from an old but not yet fossilized blacksmith.

What is sold as mild steel nowadays is not truly mild steel; it is structural steel, numbered A36 by the American Society for Testing Materials. A 36 has extra manganese and the carbon content may vary somewhat, but is usually about 0.27%. It is the same stuff that channel iron, angle iron and T-iron is made from. It is presently sold at steel supply centers in 20' lengths and has a mill scale finish. I am not criticizing it necessarily. It is pretty tough material.

True mild steel can be purchased as SAE 1018. One source is Travers Tool which has a website. Other suppliers on line are MSC and McMaster-Carr. Those Society of Automotive Engineers numbers in four digits indicate steel type and approximate carbon content. The 10 means a nonsulphurized carbon steel (plain carbon), and the 18 is the carbon content as 0.18%, in other words, 18/100ths of 1%. When the carbon is from 0.30% to 0.55% it is considered medium carbon steel and can be hardened by quenching. Plain carbon steel from 0.60% to 1.3% is high carbon, and edge tools can be made from it.

4140 is a standard alloy steel which contains carbon, manganese, silicon, chromium and molybdenum. The metallurgists do not call it a tool steel, but it is quite tough and tools have been made from it. It can be annealed, normalized, hardened, and tempered. 4130 is another steel which some bit makers like. It is likewise, pretty tough and many bicycle frames are fabbed from it. It is sometimes called "Chromoly" for short, and it contains the same alloying elements as 4140, but in different amounts (steel is made by recipe). I don''t think I would bend it cold, unless it was annealed first.

The 41 series steels would need to be purchased from a steel warehouse that specializes in tool and die steels. These firms are usually located in large cities. Try your search engines and the yellow pages.

The old timey bits were made of wrought iron (the material). It is no longer manufactured but can be salvaged. Wrought iron is a bit weaker in bend strength and tensile strength when compared to steel. Wrought iron had maybe 0.01% -0.02% carbon content, and it contained an impurity, an iron silicate, which did not seem to affect its usefulness. When hot rolled, the silicate, a slag, was drawn/stretched lengthwise throughout the mass as microscopic filaments. This gave the material a "stringy structure," but it also made the iron a little more rust resistant than steel. We sometimes hear the term "sweet iron," and this probably dates from the Spanish term for the material, wrought iron: "hierro dulce" which literally, is sweet iron.

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Last edited by Frank Turley on Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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