If you are in a more rural location and have access to a Farm Supply -
likely also available at TSC.
buy 'black oiled' fencing wire.
This is a lower carbon content steel. Sorry, can't off the top of my
head quote you spec number (although Tim might know?) My guess is that
it will work out to be something between a 1005 - 1010 (with mild steel
a 1020 - that is .2% C) Mind you, it normally comes in 10 lb coils at
about $20. Check also for someone who uses it for chain maile making and
can provide a scrap.
The size is roughly 1/8 inch diameter. This puts it closer into the
range for the needle in the first place. I've not tried it, but you
likely can hammer work it cold down to a smaller size. It will not
suffer the same delamination as actual wrought iron (no slag inclusions
in the wire). I suspect it will slightly work harden (but not very much)
when worked cold.
Another possible source material in the small size range would be our
standard 'soft iron' rivets. Those are made from a 1005 steel (so .O5 %
C). If she starts with 1/8 x 2 inch long it might provide enough
material for a needle (although harder to hang on to that a piece of wire!)
Tell the individual if she gets stuck finding either (both purchased in
bulk after all!) that she can contact me directly (info@...
and I would be happy to mail her a bit of both types.
Darrell / Sylard
Darrell Markewitz - Artisan Blacksmith
the Wareham Forge - Historic Reproductions & Architectural Forgings
Interpretive Program Design - Norse Replicas / Viking Age Equipment
Blog : Hammered Out Bits
Introduction to Blacksmithing (DVD)
Historic Bladesmithing (DVD)
Forging the Viking Age (DVD)
Experimental Iron Smelting from the Viking Age (CD-ROM)
Exploring the Viking Age in Denmark (data DVD)
all available at http://www.warehamforge.ca/video.html
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