Is there an easy way to soften steel? - JeepForum.com

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 10-01-2003, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
shad4th
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 5
Is there an easy way to soften steel?

I am in the process of making some shovel mounting brackets for my Garvin roof rack. The brackets consist of some 2" wide by 3/16" thick mild steel bars and some pieces of angle bracket. I drilled the appropriate mounting holes in the bars, then arc welded on some angle bracket pieces. After it was all said and done, I decided to enlarge the existing mounting holes to accept 5/16 bolts instead of 1/4. When I tried to enlarge the holes, all I managed to do was wear out a couple of drill bits. I figured that the heat from the arc welding hardened the bars. Does anyone know of a way to soften the steel? If worse comes to worse, I'll just start over again (hell, the steel bars and angle stock cost less than the drill bit did anyway).
Thanks,
Shad4th

shad4th is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 Old 10-02-2003, 12:28 AM
awachwhiteboy
Registered User
1975 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Jackson, California
Posts: 551
Have you tried a cobalt bit yet? that is some good stuff. I drilled an old bolt out of my manifold with a colbalt bit it did it but by the end it too was getting dull. If its not the big of a deal and it sounds like its not just start over with your steel and drill first.

Sacramento Jeepers Group #1
awachwhiteboy is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 10-02-2003, 11:04 AM
YJWOLF
Registered User
 
YJWOLF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 439
Use a torch to soften up the metal. Its only mild steel, should be able to soften it up pretty quickle with a good flame.
YJWOLF is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 10-03-2003, 08:26 PM
sentinal02
H2 Recovery Team Member
 
sentinal02's Avatar
1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 6,681
metallurgy 101. you effectively air quenched the steel when you arc welded it. to soften it up again, you need to heat it up to about 800F (like YJ said, a decent torch can easily achieve this) and then let it cool slowly. if it's a small enough piece, get two buckets and fill one of them with dry sand and the other with a layer of sand on the bottom a couple inches thick. make sure there's enough room for the part you're softening. then, heat the part with the torch as hot as you can or until cherry red, whichever comes first depending on the torch you're using. then, quickly put the part in the bucket with the sand layer (using tongs of course) and have someone pour sand from the other bucket on top of it to complete cover it. let it sit for a couple of hours or even better, overnight. it should soften it back up. this is called an annealing process. the sand acts as an insulator keeping the part hot much longer. we did this in HS when we made cold chisels and punches during our forging projects. if you want to harden the steel again before finalizing it, shine up a small area of the part and then heat it to cherry red again. using heavy gloves and some emery cloth (several layers think) sand the open spot to expose the steel to air again. watch the steel carefully and as it cools, you'll see it change color. when it reaches a straw yellow color, quench it in a bucket of water until cool. depending on thickness of the part and other factors, you'll have a part with varyin degrees of hardness, but for the most part it will be close to the hardness of tool steel. lol. probably more info then you ever wanted, but it's good to learn something new. HTH

RIP: '88 YJ 2.5L Ax-5 NP231
Posi-Loked. Herculined. Optima yellow top. 1" Shackle, 2" BDS. Cragar 397's Aussie front.

92 YJ 4.0L Ax-15 231
5" springs, 1" shackle 31's or 35's depending on my mood
sentinal02 is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 10-03-2003, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
shad4th
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 5
Thanks.

Thanks to everyone for the information. Due to time constraints, I had to fab another set of mounting brackets from scratch. Now that I have some time, I'll try sentinal02's suggestion for annealing steel on one of the scrapped pieces. Great stuff!- thanks again. shad4th

Last edited by shad4th; 10-03-2003 at 11:03 PM.
shad4th is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Jeep Forums Replies Last Post
Soften the ride on my Pro Comp lift MayRoll Tires & Wheels 4 07-14-2008 12:05 PM
Help me choose which shocks to soften up my TJ snakester14 Tires & Wheels 8 02-22-2008 07:44 PM
RE Easy-Ride VS Easy-Flex Redrum8675 Tires & Wheels 0 10-01-2007 09:10 PM
One more easy ? BIGNUTT Stereos, CB & Ham Radios & GPS & Electrical. 7 06-05-2007 07:47 PM
how easy... mossive Street Jeep Forum 16 09-15-2006 11:14 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome