Primarily this work is designed for those who
have not had the benefit of a technical
education so as to enable them to extract from the numerous
books that have been written on this subject the information
which we have attempted to give in plainer language.
At the same time it is possible that the college
graduate may find some points herein, which may be of use to him
in actual shop practice that may have been omitted in the
existing books, under the impression that they were of minor
No attempt has been made to contradict any of
the many theories laid down by the
numerous writers who have written on this subject, some of which
doubtless have merit.
In short every effort has been made to employ plain language and
simple descriptions, such as are best appreciated by practical
mechanics, and such as can be readily applied by practical men
in ordinary shops not equipped with all modern appliances, under
the direction of a technically educated superintendent or master
It is presumed that the average consumer of tool
steel is most interested in obtaining results in the simplest
and cheapest way, and that he will be glad to secure a work that
will be easily understood by the workman on whom he depends to
produce these results. To this end the very confusing remarks
and tables about percentages of carbon for this and that sort of
tool, which some are so fond of indulging in, and which are
often very misleading and unreliable, have been omitted.
A little thought on the part of the reader will
convince him that it is among the impossibilities to establish
fixed rules for amounts of carbon for certain kinds of tools,
when the fact is taken into consideration that this amount may
be combined with many different kinds of iron of varying
quality, may be subjected to many kinds of treatment in making
the steel, and to many more kinds of treatment in producing the
tool at the hands of the various men who make them.
The views expressed about hardening, and the
various methods used, may perhaps be slightly tinged with the
writer's personal views, but these have been frequently
confirmed by observation as well as by the testimony of
If they are found in some respects
erroneous, it is hoped that they will be overlooked as only
general rules are described.