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Question re "Government" steel

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Lauren

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Post Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:11 pm

Re: Question re "Government" steel

"Government Steel" is merely a marketing phrase to help you "Think Peterson". While Ken won't tell you what the mix of steel is, it is perhaps one of the best materials out there.
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Papa Gleb

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Post Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:34 pm

Re: Question re "Government" steel

I do agree with Lauren about the steel. I have a picks from Sparrows (economy), Southord (stainless), HPC (economy) and Peterson (gov't and regular steel). Out of those 4 brands, Peterson stands out like a glow stick at night.

Although Ken may not give out his secret steel forumal you can always try to call as a customer and speak to Cliff who answers the phones. Great guy who always helps so he may be able to add some info. If nothing at all then maybe they will release why they call it Government steel. Perhaps the formula is so good that the government uses it and Ken discovered it.
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Lauren

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:08 am

Re: Question re "Government" steel

I all ready know why they call it "government steel". Because it sounds as if it meets government standards. Pure marketing. Still a great product.
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jones

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:56 am

Re: Question re "Government" steel

escher7 wrote:Thanks Elbow. I will wait until next week and contact him. Meanwhile I was going to order a few picks from Peterson, but the postage and handling on $21 was another $32. Crazy when I just ordered a few things from Handcuffwarehouse (much heavier) and they only charged $12.95 for special delivery.



I had the same problem and in the "Notes" area I mentioned that the USPS charges $5.95 to mail my entire order, & they actually sent it US Mail and only billed me for the $5.95!
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JamesOzment1

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:30 am

Re: Question re "Government" steel

shipping was high on my order from petersons.I only ordered 5 picks .
1:hook 1
2:gem
3:slender hook 1
4:slender gem
5:hook 4
and I sawed the handle of my broken peterson gem to discover it's not a full tang handle. the metal only extends as far as the little hole in the front of the handle.if it extended the entire length it would provide better feel of feedback.

I have a sparrows worm rake and its pretty tough I abuse it daily never even bent it.can't speak of they're hooks though as I do not own one.I still like my southords.just get a few extra hooks and modify them.
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Josephus

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:50 pm

Re: Question re "Government" steel

JamesOzment1 wrote: and I sawed the handle of my broken peterson gem to discover it's not a full tang handle. the metal only extends as far as the little hole in the front of the handle.if it extended the entire length it would provide better feel of feedback.


A decent magnet is useful to explore what is inside handles.
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Lauren

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Post Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:08 pm

Re: Question re "Government" steel

It is true that the newer Peterson picks do not have the metal through the entire length of the handles. This was a way to get more picks out of a blank of steel, improving profits. Amazingly, the loss of metal, combined with a hard plastic, seems to improve pin set sensation over the solid metal handles (I own both). The only downfall, I would not leave these type of picks in the dashboard of locked car during a hot summer's day. The plastic could deform.
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Oldfast

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Post Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:16 pm

Re: Question re "Government" steel

Great thread with some very interesting thoughts!
Lookin' forward to your full review escher.
But I suspect it will be awhile yet.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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MBI

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Post Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:01 am

Re: Question re "Government" steel

A few years back a member here ordered some picks from Peterson. In the process of the transaction an invoice to Peterson from his steel supplier was accidentally sent to the customer, listing the cost and specs for the govt steel. Without really thinking about it the member posted it on the forum here since this question has come up before about what Govt steel really is. A discussion ensued about whether it was fair to Peterson to release this proprietary info. Out of respect for the pickmaker the member who posted it quickly edited the post to remove the information. It's not alchemy, but it is good quality steel, made to certain specifications as requested by Peterson.
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Doogs

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Post Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:00 pm

Re: Question re "Government" steel

Interesting factoid MBI. A bit of an embarrassment for Peterson then again maybe not as it verifies they do in fact have aspecific/high standard quality steel for their picks.
The other, other, other, other Mike

(21:55:20) HAL 9001RC:: Heh heh uh heh uh heh uh uh heh PhoneMan said ass
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Josephus

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Post Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:57 pm

Re: Question re "Government" steel

MBI wrote:A few years back a member here ordered some picks from Peterson. In the process of the transaction an invoice to Peterson from his steel supplier was accidentally sent to the customer, listing the cost and specs for the govt steel. Without really thinking about it the member posted it on the forum here since this question has come up before about what Govt steel really is. A discussion ensued about whether it was fair to Peterson to release this proprietary info. Out of respect for the pickmaker the member who posted it quickly edited the post to remove the information. It's not alchemy, but it is good quality steel, made to certain specifications as requested by Peterson.


So it is proprietary I take it? If Peterson had a metallurgist or similar design the product makeup and heat treatment it falls under trade secret laws. If not, then it is just another alloy or purchase order.
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MBI

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Post Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:36 am

Re: Question re "Government" steel

Josephus wrote:So it is proprietary I take it? If Peterson had a metallurgist or similar design the product makeup and heat treatment it falls under trade secret laws. If not, then it is just another alloy or purchase order.

Disclaimer: I'm not a metallurgist by any stretch of the imagination and I'm going off my memory, which admittedly is not what it used to be. So you may want to take my comments with a grain of salt.

When I saw the scan of the invoice, and given who the customer was and the thickness of the steel, it was clearly intended for making picks. I recognized the steel alloy that was listed but it struck me that it wasn't just a "stock" order. I seem to recall it had some specific heat treating/tempering instructions as an addendum on it. Basically it was more like "give me some of that, but do this, this, and this to it." Where that puts it in terms of patents and trade secret laws, I have no idea. In the end what it boils down to is that they don't publish the specs so it was decided that we'd be respectful and not do so here either.

I don't know if that clarifies my earlier comment for you or just muddies the water.
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Lauren

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Post Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:20 am

Re: Question re "Government" steel

Also, the direction the blanks are taken out of the metal is equally as important as the type of steel Ken is using. When metal is rolled, it has grain direction. The length of the picks must follow the grain of the metal for strength. These are things Peterson does for quality control. Ken is a smart man. I highly respect him.
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escher7

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Post Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:12 am

Re: Question re "Government" steel

Oldfast wrote:Great thread with some very interesting thoughts!
Lookin' forward to your full review escher.
But I suspect it will be awhile yet.


I put this project on hold, but will try to get it back on my agenda. I would be very interested in what the deleted post revealed about the Peterson alloy, which I suspect is just 301 stainless or something similar. And remember, Peterson uses two types of materials, one of which is just a standard carbon steel, so we must be careful not to compare apples and oranges.
In terms of strength and resilience, for my money there is no pick even close to the Southord Max. They use 301 with a high yield temper giving a tensile strength of 270,000 psi (Peterson claims 280,000 psi), but more importantly they cut the steel using EDM (electric discharge machining), a process that does not disturb the structure or hardness as other processes do. They are expensive ($11.95), but have a lifetime guarantee. I have posted this picture before, but it speaks for itself:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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Papa Gleb

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Post Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:31 pm

Re: Question re "Government" steel

MBI that was very respectful of removing the invoice. I wont lie, I am very curious to see what was on it :). Having placed several orders with a few returns and re-orders I got a very clear picture of the company but to me it feels like the entire company is a small 2-3 man operation with Ken being the man we all know. On the order/return part there is a gent named Cliff who is a very nice and friendly chap but he gave this impression that he isn't the most organized man on this earth plus scared to make a move on his own so it did not surprise me one bit that an invoice like that was sent out.

Escher, I think the thread topic clears which metal we are talking about and I really like that picture/test. Please do post more. I have not yet had the pleasure of playing with a Southord Max so if possible post close ups of the pics. More specifically the edges that arrive out of the package. Sorry I am going off course here. If this was already done before please advise and if so possible direct.
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