What does Forged Steel Look Like?

mdesiderioJanuary 12, 2006

OK, here is my dumb question for the day....what is forged steel? From previous posts (TY very much) I am looking at some King Architectural parts because I would like a more modern stair railing in my home. The one I like comes in forged steel. Is that black? My preference would be to have the rail look like chrome/stainless. I thought I could paint it but the woman at the help desk said that it would have to be sandblasted first to remove the initial coating from the factory. That sounds expensive. I am trying to do this without spending a fortune. HELP!

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Forged steel typically refers to the process of making steel objects by forming them into shape with hydraulic machines (as opposed to casting), and then heat treating the product. Typically, forged steel is stronger and less prone to cracking than cast parts. In any case, a forged steel item will need a coating or plating to prevent rusting, unless it's stainless steel.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 4:28PM
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As for prepping the factory delivered item, I'm not sure sandblasting is required for your situation. I would find out what the coating is and then check with a company like Rustoleum (rustoleum.com). You might just need to wipe it with a solvent to remove any traces of oil or grease first, or give it a light hand sanding to rough up the existing coating, and then just apply a primer.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 4:36PM
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If you want a coustom made rail try getting in touch with knights fire forge. They do amazing work and you can finnish it any way you want.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 10:01AM
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Forged steel looks like what it is: hot semisolid metal that is squeezed with great force between dies or plates to assume its final shape. Unlike casting, there should't be plug holes or "flash" on a forged part, although there may be what looks like a seam where the two parts of the forging dies came together.

The greater strength of forged parts comes from the fact that the grain inside the metal is optimized by the pressures involved. A casting will be weaker because of non-uniform grain formation. There is a special class of castings, known as Meehanite (after the inventor, Meehan) that uses carefully controlled casting processes to make the grains more uniform throughout the casting. This results in a stronger, more dimensionally stable casting, and is in demand for creating the bases and columns of things like mills and vertical machining centers.

Parts machined wholely from billet, depending on the type of billet used, may fall in between castings and forgings in terms of strength and other desirable properties, and both castings and forgings often receive final machining to exact dimensions. The big advantage to casting is that it is a quicker and more economical way to produce large numbers of identical parts, whereas forging is preferred for parts requiring superior strength.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 4:50PM
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Forged steel will look like steel, deep gray-blue color. This product may not actually be forged in manufacture, but only intended to look like forged steel. Forgings of old were done with a fire, an anvil and a hammer. It may have a look of having been beaten with a hammer. A lot of times raw steel is coated with an oily substance to keep it from rusting before use. You would have to wipe this off, or if the piece has some sort of paint or poly, etc, you should be able to paint right over. You're not likely to get a paint looking like chrome or stainless. Better bet would be to look for something that is already chrome or stainless. Is this a straight stair or spiral stair?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 8:17AM
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I am looking to replace a 5' straugh stair section. I am having a hard time getting anyone interested because it is such a small job. I wish I could just pruchase a pre-formed piece and have the guy who is remodeling my kitchen install it.

Is there anywhere that sells a 5" section?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 8:40AM
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There are several places where you can buy stainless tube by the foot. You could have a metal shop or a good exhaust shop weld ends on the tube and a couple mounting brackets and have a nice looking stainless rail. 1 1/2" diameter tube runs about $8/foot.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 10:03AM
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If I were you I would at least look into having a blackmith make one for you. I have seen a lot of blacksmiths making railings. I don't know where you live, but I would start by looking up a shop that sells blacksmithing supplies, like anvils, hammers, etc. Then asking them for names of the smiths that buy their supplies there. Odds are they have a bulletin board full of business cards of people open to commissions.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 8:13PM
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