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Gerhard Gerber

Forging 304 stainless?

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One of my last two knives turned into a carving knife rather than a chefs knife....by accident :P

 

With everybody from @Ross Vosloo to Alec Steele getting in on the fork action, I figured making a friend for the accidental carver might make it better.

 

Don't want to use knife steel, only other stainless I have is a bar of 304......will that work?

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That will work fine.  Just don't quench it! 304 anneals by quenching just like copper.

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Excellent, thanks Alan! B)

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Haha, thanks for the shout out! I forged mine out of 5160! Wish I had access to some 304 for bolsters and guards! Look forward to seeing what you come up with 

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I should also mention that if you think 52100 is hard to move under the hammer, 304 will set you straight. ;)

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43 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

304 will set you straight.

 

I once forged a guard for a sword (havent finished the sword yet) from 304 and I was surprised at just how firm and unrelenting it was! Coupled with the fact that its rough grinding as well, I tend to avoid working with it much anymore. 

 

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On 12/6/2019 at 10:29 PM, Alan Longmire said:

I should also mention that if you think 52100 is hard to move under the hammer, 304 will set you straight. ;)

Funny story, will be sure to take a few photos before I start...

 

Few years ago I had a VW Caddy "company car" and with the help of a friend and approval from the boss we built a roof rack for the Caddy so I could transport my kayak....

I had a piece of 304 flatbar left, and right at the beginning of the craziness, knowing less than nothing, I decided to make a big full tang chopper out of that piece of stainless.... :wacko:

 

I had nothing but  files and a hacksaw, I did not get far :lol:

 

Thanks for the warning, public holiday tomorrow, might start this afternoon.

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What in the composition of 304 makes it anneal when quenched? I have some RoyAlloy that work hardens pretty easily and I'd love a way to easily anneal it

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The whole 300 series of stainless can be annealed by quenching, it's all austenitic.  Meaning, the phase of iron in it is not hardenable except by work-hardening.  It's complicated, in other words.  I can't find much on RoyAlloy, except that it's a pain to deal with, apparently.  I did find one datasheet for Abrams 1.2085, described as "~RoyAlloy."  It says to furnace anneal, but doesn't give the cooling rate.  It just says "heat to 850-880 C, furnace cool."  I guess that means just leave it in the furnace and let cool naturally, but I don't know.  Maximum hardness is Rc48 with an oil quench from 1050 C.  

 

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I'd suggest trying a sub-critical anneal (AKA extreme temper).  Normalize it then heat again to just before the phase change and hold for a few minutes, slow cool.  Don't get it too hot on the second heating, you're just tempering the structure that is there, no phase changes.  

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Thanks for all the info.

 

Forging went well, it is a bit difficult to move, but I let it get a bit hotter and used a bigger hammer :)

 

.....but forging the fork is a different story :wacko: I'd thought up an "order of operations" that quickly went to pot, and my second plan of attack also failed.

I'll do some more research before the next attempt, at least I rough forged a little 52100 blade so it wasn't a complete waste B)

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