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reed steel

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A friend of a friend visiting from Louisiana inquired about availability of old hay tongs or grapples as the best acoustical steel for making musical triangles.  Living in a rural area as I do I come across these frequently.  I presume these are cast steel as apposed to cast iron although my knowledge of metallurgy is limited.  Would they have acoustic value as reed making stock as well?

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The very old stuff might might have been made by a blacksmith from wrought iron. Just a guess. I don't know about the musical properties of that material though.

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It would be about the most difficult stock to work with even if it was an appropriate alloy.  Ordinary 1095 spring temper steel ( 0.95% carbon steel ) is readily available in sheet form which makes perfectly good reeds. The blue temper is a little softer than ideal, but it doesn’t affect the sound, only the resistance to changing its set after initial tuning.  Reed steel for accordions etc. is tempered a little harder.  I haven’t used it, but supposedly old clock springs are a little harder temper of that alloy, but it might be worth it for making a replacement reed, but not for making whole reed sets..

Dana

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