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What is Drill Rod used for?

ottoluck

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Location
Central WI - ~USA~
Drill rod is a tool steel in an unhardened state. It is tough but soft enough to machine. After machining, it can be heat treated up to around 60-62Rc and drawn back to whatever hardness is required for your job. If you just need a tough steel, you can use drill rod without heat treating!. If a part needs to be surface ground, you machine it oversize, heat treat, draw back to required hardness and then grind it. It's a great general purpose tool steel. I prefer oil harden type, then air, and last water(I will not use water harden type). If a job does not call for a specific tool steel this is a good all around choice!. It is inexpensive and easy to find. ENCO runs a good sale on them most the time. It's available up to at least 2"dia., usually in 3ft and 6ft lenghs. Hope This Helps!!.
 

dennh

Stainless
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Location
northeast
Punches, dies, precision tools (blades, scribers, drivers), much more. One novel (to me) use I've seen for different diameters is that if you mount a hardened, flat faced section in a lathe toolholder, perpendicular to a part and at the proper height, you can use it as a radiused grooving tool, cheap and accurate (albeit for low speed use).
 

CCWKen

Stainless
Joined
Mar 5, 2003
Location
Lytle, TX USA
I will not use water harden type
Why not? It's the cheapest and easiest of all to HT and the strongest in it's "as produced" state. I use W-1 almost exclusively. Drawing down on W-1 just because it doesn't match your snob factor doesn't mean the material has no use.
 

ottoluck

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Location
Central WI - ~USA~
CCWKen, lighten up guy, I will have to be more politically correct!. I was "told by an old timer", not to use the water harden type. I took this as meaning something, I quess not. Sorry I disturbed you, why don't you post- listing the advantages and disadvantages. I would like to know!. PEACE---
 

CCWKen

Stainless
Joined
Mar 5, 2003
Location
Lytle, TX USA
Sorry.


I hear a lot of criticism of W1 with no reason(s) given. I'm not sure why. If there's no spec for tool steel, W1 is the most cost effective. As I've stated, it's easy to heat treat and more forgiving than the other tool steels. It's harder but easily machined and can be use in it's stock state. It can be harded to a higher RC than oil or air hardend steels. It will even beat D2 and S7. Not that I'd want anything at RC-68 but it's there if I do.

I make all my dies out of W1 including hammer dies. They'll outlast me, I'm sure. If you're not working by a specific alloy request, there's no reason NOT to use W1 in my opinion.
 
I don't use that much water hardening, but as Ken says, it is about the nicest machining of them all, and very tough. In bigger sections it will not through harden. That is, there is a gradient with a very hard surface, going gradually less hard toward the core. Sometimes this is very desirable feature. Sometimes not.

smt
 

BT066

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Location
Mass.
Just don't mix up the water steel in the same storage bin as the oil steel. I lost a couple projects that way. Spend a couple hours creating a nice tool, heat treat it and find out its dead soft and all the carbons out of it.

Hint...Mark ALL your scrap pieces before putting them back in the bin!
 

dsergison

Diamond
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Location
East Peoria, IL, USA
BT066

is it really that different?

I don't know the procedures unless I look them up. but isn't the quench rate just a little diferent between water and steel. I would not have guessed that it would cause "dead soft"?

sorry, stoopid noob question.
 

SLOEIT

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 28, 2004
Location
Granada Hills, CA
Quench severity wouldnt cause a steel to have "all the carbon out", but rather extended periods at heat treatment temperature. Its like carburization in reverse. Also, quenching a water harden steel in oil, SHOULD allow for some hardening, you wont get 60-62Rc, maybe in the 40's due to lesser martensite production. Then again, id need to see a TTT diagram or the composition comparison.

Nick
 

mflywheel

Aluminum
Joined
May 3, 2003
Location
Birmingham, AL
As far as using W1 goes, Tool Steel Simplified (4th ed) by Frank Palmer, et al puts it this way:

"Rule 1. All tools should be made from water-hard unless there is some good reason for making them from something else." page 96

"Decarburization. Water-hard has very little tendency to decarburize in the surface when heated for hardening." page 249

"Machinability. Water-hard is easy to machine in the annealed condition. The absence of special alloys accounts for this fact." page 249

"Applications. All tools should be made from water-hard unless there is some good reason for making them from something else. The reasons are such things as increased accuracy in hardening, safety in hardening for complex shapes, increased toughness, or increased wear resistance." page 250

Of course there are good reasons for using other tool steels for specific applications and this is discussed at length in the 535 pages of this book.
 

Ultradog MN

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Found this old thread on an internet search. It is a pretty old thread so I don't know if this reply will even get seen by anyone.
There was a small industrial supply company went out of business near me. A health/exercise club bought it out for the building. They were getting rid of all the stock. Just throwing it in the dumpster. Tons of stuff.
They let a few of us come in and just take what we wanted. To see it all go into the dumpster was sad and overwhelming. You cant take it all.
I hauled half a pickup load home. One of the things I took was this round stock. It was in a rack that said drill rod. Bunch of sizes. Mostly fractional. Some metric.
There was no other provenance on it. None.
I took all there was. 50-60? lbs. I don't know what to do with it now. Will keep a few pieces/sizes. Maybe make go cart axles. Dunno.
I know it is expensive. Hate to see it made into yard art. Worse yet, go to scrap.
Would like to sell it but with no provenance, who would buy it?
Just thinking out loud here.
Jerry


20220113_191259.jpg
 

ratbldr427

Stainless
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Location
jacksonville,fl.
I use drill rod quite a lot. Mostly O1 and mostly metric. The tolerance is fine for bearing axles, which the machines in our business have thousands of. So it saves a lot of machining time. Also a lot of shafts that need to be on size a piece of drill rod saves a lot of work. Rarely need any further heat treat , just depends on the job.
 

Zeuserdoo

Aluminum
Joined
Aug 31, 2015
Location
The Moridor
"CCWKen, Do you draw it back after HT?. See, now that I read this, I will give water harden a try. Oil harden does get a bit messy!. Thanks!"

and smokey, and stinky.
 








 
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