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Reply by luthierwnc

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Posted on Type 2 Sargent frog replacement question

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luthierwnc

150 posts in 2657 days


#1 posted 02-15-2017 05:03 PM

Cheat! Discretely scuff it with a grinder on both ends. On good steel; you should get a shower of sparks that look like lightning. On cheap steel; much less so. If you get the same kind of sparks on either end, I’d suspect only the edge end was hardened and tempered. If the sparks are different, you probably have different steels.

Back in the day, tool steels were so hard to make that it was worth the effort to hammer small chunks into mill-run blanks. Nowadays, it wouldn’t be cost effective to laminate high-carbon or alloy steels onto low-carbon blanks because of the extra machining and labor involved. The Tsuneboro blades are an exception but they don’t dominate the market.

A hundred years ago, good steel could be made in quantity. My guess is that those blades came out of the thickness rollers red hot, were immediately stamped for the screw slot and outline then quenched. Then they would be reheated to temper before finishing. Very little hand-work. It’s just a guess but other than the grade of steel, it’s no different than making shovels.

Hope it helps! I got the Hock blade and widened the slot with an angle grinder. I’ll see if I can’t put an edge on it and post some shavings porn by the weekend. sh


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