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Hi guys i meed advice i got some cheap stainless steel but im a beginner and besides that its stainless i dont know what composition it has. Any advice on how to heat treat would be appreciated i want atleast attempt to heat treat it. If this does not belong here please tell me where to post it.

Edited by Adriaan G

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IF you knew what it was....you would probably be wasting your time with out a kiln/blade oven.

The last piece I tried the heat treat was something like hold at 1450...then take to 1950....then hold at 1976* for 10 min.

Apparently 1975 just wont cut it.

I have a probe and thought I did pretty good. When I gave it the chevy stress test it rolled like a potato bug. lol

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Yeah, stainless alloys have such a wildly variable range of heat treating requirements you really can't even test them like you can straight carbon steels.  Some are heat and oil quench, some are heat and air quench, some are heat, then heat more, hold for X amount of time, then clamp between aluminum plates prior to submerging in liquid nitrogen for several hours, and it gets worse from there. :lol:  If you're lucky, what you have is nonmagnetic and therefore not hardenable anyway, so you won't have to worry about it.  B)

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Just to add, don't mess with trying to forge stainless.

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10 hours ago, Vern Wimmer said:

Just to add, don't mess with trying to forge stainless.

Just to play devils advocate here, i assume you mean stainless blade steels? S90V, 440C, etc.? Because i have forged 303, 304, and 316L without any problems. You just have to watch your temps. 

Forging blade steel quality stainless is another story entirely...

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8 minutes ago, Will W. said:

Just to play devils advocate here, i assume you mean stainless blade steels? S90V, 440C, etc.? Because i have forged 303, 304, and 316L without any problems. You just have to watch your temps. 

Forging blade steel quality stainless is another story entirely...

Yah, being as it's the bladesmiths forum and all.....

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Lol true enough. But its still applicable information for fittings, guards, etc. Just figured i would clarify. 

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Always good to have accurate, and complete, info.

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@Adriaan G knowing where you find yourself in the world I can almost 100% guarantee you no piece of stainless you can find will be a suitable for a blade.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_blade_materials

If you haven't yet, study this page as a beginning.

Stainless knife steels are not suitable to forging and proper heat treat needs a digital kiln where you can hold a specific temperature.

Remember a good, flat piece of unmolested 5160 will cost you about as much as the charcoal you will need to forge and/or heat treat it.

If you cannot afford that I have some leaf springs and bearing casings you are welcome to.

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Yeah thanks my dad bought the stainlees i wasn't with gim but i started a blade on a leafspring ill get 5160 in yhe future, but can i just do the heat till non magnetic and quench for the 516o

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5160 (and EN43, found in Land Rovers) needs to be a fair bit hotter than nonmagnetic to fully harden.  Like 120 degrees F/ 48 degrees C hotter.  Read the 5160 thread and get a muffle pipe so you can watch for decalescence.

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I wondered for a while why some carbon steels required higher temperature to fully austenize. Turns out chromium is mostly responsible. Even a small amount such as 0.5% will meaningfully increase the required temperature to fully harden the steel. That's why 5160, 80CrV2 and 52100 steels aren't remotely close to fully austenize past non-magnetic(not that 1084 is that close either). 

Not that long ago, Alan taught me how to use the decalescence. Just do what he says, practice with a flat bar(of high carbon steel, of course) if you have to. After a few blades, it still fascinates me :lol:.

Edited by Joël Mercier

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I can appreciate anyone who is working on a budget but the best advice that I can give you is to buy some new 1084(1080) bar stock and learn with it.  It's not that expensive and it will shorten your  learning curve considerably.  If you continue to use mystery steels, you will never know why one  blade performs and another doesn't.

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On 12/6/2018 at 2:56 AM, Gerhard said:

"knowing where you find yourself in the world I can almost 100% guarantee you no piece of stainless you can find will be a suitable for a blade."

cpm s35vn is one of THE BEST blade steels.

https://www.crucible.com/PDFs\DataSheets2010\dsS35VNrev12010.pdf

it is painful to forge though, it works in damascus where another steel shares the stress load, but by itself it needs a really hot forging temp, you basically have to always use flux and a reducing atmosphere keep it really hot hit it and put it right back in. Not an easy steel but the end results are great.

440C is an ok stainless but I wouldnt make swords of it.

Edited by Joe Wulvz

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We'd have to import any and all of those at great expense, with 17 of my $'s buying 1 of your $'s

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That seems to be a major problem for alot of smiths. Typically a steel has a nomenclature and a vaguely similar steel by alloy content, so if us yanks like a steel you can always look up the equivalent.

It's not cheap here either.

Edited by Joe Wulvz

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