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How to forgeweld stainless and carbon san mai?


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Hey all, I've looked and found some info on making San mai from this forum, but my question is...... can I place a layer of pure nickel in between the stainless jacket and carbon steel core? Total of 5 layers. Will this make it easier to forge weld eleminating the problem of the two steels not sticking together. If that won't work, I've read that 420c and even 440c can weld to o-1, but are there other combinations of steels that are easier?

 

Thanks all.

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I just realized my topic title looks misleading. I had forgot to put a question mark. Is there a way to edit it? I'm typing on my phone so it's hard to see everything. Apologies in advance.

Edited by Austin_Lyles
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I'll add the question mark, it takes a moderator to edit titles.

 

I have a feeling that nickel would just add to the difficulty. And, while I admit I have zero experience doing this myself, I have watched 316/1095 and 304/1095 san mai being made, so I know those alloys will work. It was done in a can made from aluminized exhaust pipe cutoffs and a hydraulic press.

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Thank you sir. The question mark should be enough I think.

 

Funny, I thought the nickel would make things easier. Guess I need to do a lot more research! Ha

 

Unfortunately, I don't have any experience specifically with cannister welding (I have done carbon steel San mai though, as well as experience making Damascus the "normal" way). If cannister welding is what it takes to make stainless San mai, I'll look into it a bit later. Hopefully others can chime here with their suggestions as well.

 

Also, I appreciate the suggestion of steel choice. I love options. :P

Edited by Austin_Lyles
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One of the forum members Ariel Salaverria has an awesome website full of tutorials (look under "Tutorials" and "Knifemaking") He does not have a tutorial on forging san mai with stainless jacket and non-stainless core but, here is one on welding two different stainless steels together. Forging stainless 304 and stainless 420 MV. The technique is the same for the stainless/non-stainless san mai. I thought he had a tutorial on that but... Hope this helps.

 

~Bruce~

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The challenge here is the scaling of the nickel and stainless.
I have attempted Ariel's method and it did not work for me.
I think for two reasons. Too low heat and my material was not clean enough.

Your material must be clean clean clean.

James Binnion told me you have to hit the hell out of it too.

I used a #2 hopkins screw press and it puts out a lot of force. No joy.

The way I have seen it done and work well is to take the pieces stacked and clamp super tight.

Tig weld all the way around the seems. I have heard people leaving a little weep hole to allow gasses to escape.
IDK if that is neccessary.

Anyhow. Once its sealed you have to hope that there was no Oxidization on the material via the welding process.

Then you have to take it to welding heat. Which I'm assuming is hotter than the carbon steel welding heat.

Someone else may be able to add to that.

And press it or run it on a power hammer.
IDK if you can hand weld it.

Good luck.

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I have done this and researched it by talking to others who have done it as well. Depending on the edge thickness, a nickel layer may be required to stop carbon migration if the high carbon steel edge will be quite thin. Basically to forge weld the nickel and the stainless have to be in an oxygen free environment. I just mig welded all the edges of the five layer billet after first grinding all of the steel clean and flat. I have had some success and some failure, most of the failure comes when I try to forge on the edge of the billet with a power hammer or press, it delaminates.

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