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dorothyroeder

tumbling st. steel

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Question about tumbling. I got some twisted wire rings (2 strands round twisted), somewhat dull. They were quite soft. So I tumbled them in walnut shell for a few hours or more and they came out much stiffer. So how much harder would soft steel become after tumbling in steel shot? How similar to harder steel? Looking for a way to work with 16 ga steel more easily.

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A lot depends on the alloy, your best option would be to use a sample and see what happens.

In my experience the steel does not harden much, but longer tumbling may have a more noticeable effect.

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it will NOT become harder.  This is a very old myth that is still perpatrated.  to work harden something the material must move, Tumbling, is not an impact process.  there might be a TINY bit of metal movement on the very surface, but it won't be enough to noticablely harden anything.  unless you can heat treat it, your steel is gonna stay the same hardness.

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