Framebuilders - High carbon steel
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05-02-06, 08:29 AM
Hi all. Im building a recumbent trike in the near future and am very tempted to use high-carbon steel. Thus I have two questions;
1. Can High Carbon steel (HCS) b brought as easily as any other steel? I know it was used a long time ago on road bike frames, till it was superseded by cro-mo, yet Ive never really known if it has other uses that allow it to b accessible as mild steel etc.
2. Does HCS require a certain form of welding or change of technique? Im using an ARC welder, 2mm tip, 70amps. I have built entire mild steel frames with this equipment. Will HCS b this easy or do I need a different form of welding to b successful?
Thanx in advance, Michael :)
05-04-06, 08:20 AM
Thanx for the help guys. I guess there's a lesson learnt here. If u need something done, do it yourself. I think I'll do that.
What steel specifically are you considering? Are we talking over .5 carbon, that stuff is not an easy weld. I don't see any advantage, unless you have a very large airless heat treating oven the extra carbon is just going to give you welding fits. High carbon steel is mostly used for items that will be heat treated, like cutitng tools, springs, hardened items like ball bearings.
There are some cheap grades and scrap, but with so much steel production having left the US it is getting harder to find cheap carbon steel in some grades. It is not generally used for structural applicatins and tends to be very expensive. Like where a piece of CR would cost me 2 bucks, the same HCS, like O1, might me 60-80, and no advantage until it is heat treated. Of course it really depends who feeds into you dump, but most people using scrap sources are stuck with spring stock and ball bearings, and while they can make nice swords, it would take a lot of work to convert them into tubesets.
Chromo steel like 4130 would be perfect for your application, and is cheap, plentiful and welds nicely.
Don't get a chip on your shoulder, you are going to have a hard time getting any answers on frame forums unless "brazing', "lug", "expensive tubeset", or "singlespeed" are in the header.
05-23-06, 12:46 AM
I've built a bent using 2" muffler tubing before... :)
Muffler is either stainless iron or 0.25% carbon mild/low carbon steel, though.
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