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Stainless alloys for fittings


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Hey all,

 

I've made one guard from 316 stainless. The reason I've only used it once was the sheer difficulty that it presented in terms of drilling and filing. Is there a better/easier to use stainless alloy (416 maybe?), or a way to anneal stainless that improves its workability?

 

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Mastersmith Bruce Bump turned me on to 416 stainless. It works a lot easier than the 300 stuff. It is forgable and machines rather well. You can get it both with and without scale on it. USA Knifemakers has it clean.

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In South Africa we get a 'stainless' known as (if memory serves!) 405, I'll check and verify tomorrow, has low carbon content, and solders easily compaired to 316, easy to drill file etc, but clogs belts in no time! Makes a below ave. Blade, but polishes easily to mirror, I use it for bolsters/guards and liners for folders,,,however, grinding it to shape is a pita! Splinters fly off when grinding, best to use those 'flappy disk' wheels at a lower speed, and use wood file shaped objects with emery belt strips tacked to them rather than files! Slow is better with this stuff, drilling,cuttin etc, if you would like to see results I'll post a pic tomorrow as well...

-Miles-

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Just adding photo of one in 416 from my phone. On this one I milled the slot, ground the oval shape on the belt grinder, used a file to shape and form the quill, and finished it with 0000 steel wool. The guard is pressure fitted to the blade and back filled with GFlex epoxy.

 

1385381004804.jpg

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Sorry, I'm bad at paperwork, but the non magnetic stainless I use is 304L, made in Taiwan, comes I bar/ sheet form bar I get is 25 x 3 mm and 30 x 4.5 mm, ideal for bolsters guards etc.

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Miles,

 

That is what I used before the 416. It's the easier 300 series to work with. The 416 is magnetic and I use a magnet when grinding it clean, flat, and square. The 416 costs me a little more but, I have found the savings in work more than makes up for the extra cost.

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Thanks George! I'm about ready to order some more, but in Africa, (unlike the song by the rolling stones) you can't always get what you want...I'll have a look see what I can lay my hands on, that 300 series isn't my favorite!

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Miles, I know what you mean. To get reasonably priced 416 I had to search high and low here states side. I buy from Trugrit, USAKnifemaker, and Sheffield Supplies. All the local places only carry 300 series and not much in the way of 304, all the rest of it.

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