Blacksmithing is primarily earmarked for artisans who enjoy working with an assortment of different metals. Though the techniques, tools, and even processes are much like those used by early metalworkers, the modern-day blacksmith has options for an array of possible custom pieces to produce—whether for business or pleasure. The key is to know what the best types of steel for blacksmithing projects are to have the ideal results.
Also known as mild steel, carbon steel is often used structurally. The framework in buildings, vehicles, pipelines, household appliances, and bridges use this type of steel. Often, blacksmiths will use it to make tools for cutting, punches for nail setting or digging grooves, and various blades.
Carbon steel can be broken down into low, medium, or high carbon. Most blacksmiths use low to medium. Once heat-treated, carbon steel is hard to deform, making it desired for set pieces. However, it is more susceptible to corrosion than other steel options.
This is a mixture of multiple different metals. Every steel is an alloy but not all are referred to as alloy steels. This type of steel is typically comprised of carbon mixed with other alloying elements such as nickel, chromium, and boron. Alloy steel can be found in jet engine blades or applications requiring a response to magnetism.
Compared to carbon, it can improve strength, hardness, and resistance to corrosion and wear. This option is broken into two categories: low or high. Most often, the name refers to low alloy steel which is used in body jewelry and cookware because of its rust-resistant properties.
Stainless steels are alloys, but they consist of 10 to 20 percent chromium. This makes the steel about two hundred times more corrosion resistant. It is low carbon steel. We often think of stainless steel in regard to modern kitchen appliances or restaurant-grade counters and tables.
It first became popular in art-deco creations. Metalworkers find it to be a great medium for fashioning cutlery and sculptures.
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