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Non-square tool blank--Shaper?


Ultra Member
I picked up a few more tool blanks last week and one of them is not like the others!

nonSquare blank IMG_4804.jpg

I think every other tool blank I've seen (except partings tools, obviously) has had a square profile. This one is 1/4 by 1/2 inches. Typical length of just over 4 inches although the ends are cut square where many tool blanks are cut on a slight angle.

Any ideas what this might have been intended for? My WAG is that it might be for a small-ish shaper. It could be ground with a bit of relief to take a chip nearly the full 1/4" width (big stepover) to speed up rough surfacing.

BTW, Stellite is not high speed steel. It is a cast alloy. Deloro is a town a bit east of Peterborough in Ontario. Cast alloy tools are more durable than HSS so you can run them roughly twice as fast as HSS. The quick way to identify cast alloy blanks is that they are non-magnetic.



  • nonSquare blank dimensions IMG_4806.jpg
    nonSquare blank dimensions IMG_4806.jpg
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Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I use a lot of that shape of blank for grinding internal threading and boring, and internal grooving tools. Mostly 1/4 by 3/8 inch blanks but have used larger ones.

The non-square tool blanks are not uncommon.


Well-Known Member
That brings up some memories, IIRC it was considered an alternative when carbide could not be used for some tooling. The local Tool & Cutter grinding shop did not like working with it, they charged a premium as they used different abrasives for it, and was slow going. Considered pretty exotic for its day.
Is it still used as valve seat material?
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Ultra Member
Premium Member
Stellite is also used as a wear resistant layer on the leading edge of steam turbine blades. Either welded build up or strips brazed on.