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  • Wrought iron=mild steel?

    Have a perfect excuse for a welding project. My moms cheapo metal handrails have rusted to heck, and she wants me to replace them. She probably has the same stuff in mind, but I got a bunch of 1" square tube that would be perfect for this.

    My question is, is the "wrought iron" scrollwork one sees these days really just mild steel? I have some 1/2" flat stock MS that would work for this too.

    John

  • #2
    What is called "wrought iron" these days is just plain old mild steel. True wrought iron is hard to find. I have a few pieces of old buggy or harness parts that I picked up in old farm scrap piles, or dug out of the woods.
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------

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    • #3
      No, MS is NOT wrought iron. MS is just that, 'mild steel'. Like Pop said, true 'wrought' is hard to find. You can use the MS for your projects, but realize it won't be quite the same. The fact the old stuff rusted to heck makes me think it wasn't 'wrought' either.......
      I NEED MORE COWBELL!!!


      'Red' Powcon 300ST (no torch yet)
      (ok, not really a 'Red'... )
      'Blue' Miller 35 (older than me and runs great), Thunderbolt AC arc (ditto)
      'Craftsman' AC arc (who made this originally?)
      O/A x 2 (both smaller than I'd like)
      14" Milwaukee chopper
      20t HF press (crap, but works)
      Buffalo forge w/ blower
      Alot of pumps!

      "All of us know more than any of us."- TexHand

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      • #4
        Most of the rail elements I am seeing now are cast steel, which is yet another story......

        Triple S steel has a ton of styles available, a ton? Actually more than that.
        Jeff Phillips
        Silver Moon Forge

        HH 180
        Hammers and Anvil
        Coal forge.
        Other "stuff"

        "Those who don't weld so good, become expert Grinders"
        "Measure to build, Hammer to fit, Paint to hide."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rcav8r View Post
          Have a perfect excuse for a welding project. My moms cheapo metal handrails have rusted to heck, and she wants me to replace them. She probably has the same stuff in mind, but I got a bunch of 1" square tube that would be perfect for this.

          My question is, is the "wrought iron" scrollwork one sees these days really just mild steel? I have some 1/2" flat stock MS that would work for this too.

          John
          The Flat stock scroll work you see today is in fact Mild Steel- so your 1/2" will work just fine

          You can look through King and see the various steel used today

          http://www.kingmetals.com/

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrought_iron
          Ed Conley
          Screaming Broccoli, Inc
          http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
          MM252
          MM211
          Miller Passport Plus, Spoolmate 100
          TA185
          SO 2020 Bender
          Miller 125c Plasma
          "Hold my beer while I try this!"

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          • #6
            Wrought iron

            Wrought iron is essentially just iron and a very small amount of carbon, generally <.10%, and some slag stringers as impurities. It is easily welded due to its low carbon content, and is a good deal weaker than mild steel. I tried to obtain some scraps from an ironworking shop a couple of years ago and found that they don't even use it anymore, use mild steel instead.

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            • #7
              You can occasionally find true wrought iron, but it is scarce and expensive. For example, here is some from old chain links. Presumably, knife makers may want it for forging Damascus or some such use.

              http://elliscustomknifeworks.com/
              --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

              Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
              -------------------------

              Comment


              • #8
                well wrought iron when it is made it has 1 more alloying element added into it and that is silica so if you have a fracture just look at it and it should look like fibers that broke and to make wrought iron they beat the heck out of it with a bit hammer or something to that extent upon doing so they beat the carbon out of it and it tends to rise to the top therefore escaping the metal leaving it with a reduced carbon content.

                i think those college courses helped alot
                it is always better to be long than to too short.

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                • #9
                  Ok, then using mild steel to replicate wrought iron, how do you give it the look of wrought and the rust-resistance of wrought? Maybe that's a question for king metals, but does anybody know how it's done? I'm thinking modern 'wrought' iron fences, railings, etc.
                  --Bob
                  millr210, 125cf tank C-25w/.030 wire. spdgls 9002x. Jet 5x6 bndsw, HF chopsaw, 4.5 and 9 inch grindrs. .

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                  • #10
                    BFH and paint.

                    You can buy hammered Flat, Round Square stock-Mild Steel
                    or iffin' ya want the fancy stuff you can get the Cast Steel Panels or individual pieces.

                    Both will need some sort of protection as neither one will provide any type of resisitance to RUST as true Wrought Iron does.


                    or.. make it out of aloominum- they got dat too
                    Ed Conley
                    Screaming Broccoli, Inc
                    http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                    MM252
                    MM211
                    Miller Passport Plus, Spoolmate 100
                    TA185
                    SO 2020 Bender
                    Miller 125c Plasma
                    "Hold my beer while I try this!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Broccoli1 View Post
                      BFH and paint.

                      You can buy hammered Flat, Round Square stock-Mild Steel
                      or iffin' ya want the fancy stuff you can get the Cast Steel Panels or individual pieces.

                      I find it interesting that the old blacksmiths (pre-industrial revolution) went out of their way to remove all evidence of hammer marks as a mark of a quality job and today we go out of our way to put hammer marks in to indicate "handmade." I'll go back to sleep now.
                      Blacksmith
                      Stickmate LX AC/DC
                      Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
                      Hand cranked coal forge
                      Freon bottle propane forge
                      HH 210 and bottle of C25

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                      • #12
                        One common finish in Blacksmithing circles is Beeswax and Linseed oil, melted down and applied to warm metal. Not sure the ratio. I have heard that properly applied this is a rust resistant finish.
                        Jeff Phillips
                        Silver Moon Forge

                        HH 180
                        Hammers and Anvil
                        Coal forge.
                        Other "stuff"

                        "Those who don't weld so good, become expert Grinders"
                        "Measure to build, Hammer to fit, Paint to hide."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have used just beeswax or vegetable (cooking) oil for kitchen utensils. I have also used parafin and heard of people using linseed oil. Do not know of any ratios.
                          Blacksmith
                          Stickmate LX AC/DC
                          Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
                          Hand cranked coal forge
                          Freon bottle propane forge
                          HH 210 and bottle of C25

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            And that gives you that 'wrought iron' black look? I'd be using a map gas torch, so it might take a while. Thanks for the pointers!
                            millr210, 125cf tank C-25w/.030 wire. spdgls 9002x. Jet 5x6 bndsw, HF chopsaw, 4.5 and 9 inch grindrs. .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bob,

                              The Mapp torch will work plenty fast to get the metal hot enough to apply a wax treatment.
                              Ed Conley
                              Screaming Broccoli, Inc
                              http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                              MM252
                              MM211
                              Miller Passport Plus, Spoolmate 100
                              TA185
                              SO 2020 Bender
                              Miller 125c Plasma
                              "Hold my beer while I try this!"

                              Comment

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