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Jon H

Cutting or reshaping AerMet steel?

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I've got Aermet picks on my tools. Amazing steel, really. I've got a problem though - the shape of the picks. The top of the pick, above the head hole, protrudes a good 1/2" from above the tool head. It's shaped like the old Alaska picks.

 

It looks roughly like this:

Black-Diamond-Alaska-Pick-1.jpg

 

More than once this week I had trouble cleaning the tool because the protrusion got caught inside an ice mushroom. I want to cut off that protrusion and round the top so that it cleans easier.

 

I want it to look like this:

CL-IA-TITP_1_zoom__27896_thumb.jpg

 

How can I do that without ruining the temper of the steel? What tool/blade/cooling process etc?

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Portabands cut through all kinds of metal. It would give a straight cut but you might be able to make a couple cuts to make is kinda round.

 

No clue about temperature though. Dane has more knowledge about metals.

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i'd just say fuck it and buy a set made right

 

I'd say that too, but they don't make them anymore. Got any more helpful tips?

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Cutoff wheel on a die grinder. It will get hot, but that area should be OK with the reduced hardness.

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ha, some funny answers here. Thanks for the comments though :)

 

Bench grinder, no gloves and a bucket of water will easily do it, no harm done. You'll know when the pick is getting too warm.

 

BTW nothing special in the early BD aermet picks. They are very thin, climb ice well but will break easy enough if you take them mixed climbing.

 

dane now in denver for 7 hrs

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Just a followup... Bench grinding picks is slow business. After spending almost 10 minutes working on one of my Aermet picks and making minimal progress, I decided to try grinding down the same protuberance on a pair of old Titan picks which have the same shape (see pic above). Interestingly, the Titan seemed to be about as difficult to grind down as the Aermet. The dimensions are the same, but obviously the steel is [supposed to be] very different.

 

On both the Aermet and the Alaska picks, I was able to grind the point down to a rounded radius, but that's pretty much it. Figure I took off 2-3mm of metal. Grinding the point takes all of 60 seconds, but after that, you make no progress whatsoever. I took off more steel in the first minute than I was able to do in the next 10.

 

I think I'm going to go with an angle grinder to take off the bulk of the horn, then use the bench grinder for final shaping.

 

Any metal-geeks here have an explanation for why the hardness of the metal increases as you get deeper into the pick? The thickness of the stock is identical.

 

I'm not sure how these picks were made. Is there a Heat Affected Zone on the edges? Wheres Tvash when you need him?

Edited by Jon H

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Hi Jon,

 

Send me the picks and I will get the anvils removed for you. Ship them to me at BD - 2084 east 3900 south, SLC UT 84124.

 

Cheers,

 

Bill Belcourt

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Now that's funny. My son has access that sort of trickery at Univ of Michigan these days, wicked cool things you can do with it.

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Hi Jon,

 

Send me the picks and I will get the anvils removed for you. Ship them to me at BD - 2084 east 3900 south, SLC UT 84124.

 

Cheers,

 

Bill Belcourt

 

Ha, that's pretty damn cool. And that's why BD has my business for life.

 

Bill, I'll have them off in the mail to you after this weekend's icy festivities.

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