> Because if it was possible to track down say, 1/16 merchant steel sheet, regardless of the as delivered finish, it might make things like spring steel pieces more economical... Spring steels are most often delivered as well finished cold-rolled and demand premium pricing... Getting a hardenable steel at basically scrap pricing is always a good thing.
Only some batches are hardenable, the way they make it is simple.
'Charley, we have a big order for MS, drag out all the crappy, unknown
scrap and melt it down!'
If your pressed for money, scrapyards may be the way to go. Weyger's in
"The Complete Modern Blacksmith" covers what most common scrap
composition usually is, you can get high carbon steels as scrap fairly
cheaply. Another approach may be to buy 'ends', leftovers from other