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Charles dP

Now what?

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So I was gifted this chunk of stainless this week. It is 15cm (6”) diameter, as tall and weighs in at 21.3kg (~47lb). Question is, what do I do with it :huh:. I’m leaning towards anvil but how will stainless stand up to such use. Of course other ideas are welcome.

 

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Any idea what grade of stainless it is?

 

It may be worth more in trade than anything smithing related.  A piece of 316 that size would cost a machine shop a couple hundred dollars around my parts.

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4 hours ago, Charles dP said:

I’m leaning towards anvil but how will stainless stand up to such use.

I got nothing, but I'm interested in hearing an answer.

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I tend to look at such gifts as "Is it something I really need?"

 

You can talk to a machine shop about swapping it, but expect to only get the scrap value out of it.  Although to buy it new would cost $$$, buyers may not be wanting to spend that for a drop. I ran into that trying to trade a piece of 2in x 4 foot length of titanium.  Cost a ton to buy it, scrap value was like 6 bucks and that was all anyone was offering so I just gifted it.

 

To use it as an anvil, maybe, but normally I look at stainless and pass. 

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How good are you with drilling and tapping? The only use I can see you getting out of it is if you made up dovetails that bolt on, then basically make a large power hammer die to serve as an all-metal stump anvil. Personally, I'd just give it to a machine shop.

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Depending on what grade of stainless it is it might work harden. At the railroad we used 304 stainless as wear plates.

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Don’t know what grade it is and searching the writing on it yields nothing. Setting it in a stump is what I was thinking. A bit like the recent video Brian posted (not as big a stump of course).

 

 

 

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Give it a couple of whacks with a hammer and see how it reacts.  I use several smaller pieces as bench anvils for setting pins, hammering on small things like guards and other furniture.  On it's side it might make a nice forming surface.

 

Geoff

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OK, I'm going way outside my element here, but here is what I (think) I know. 

 

There are a lot of different stainless steels, but given it is in large bar stock form I bet it is either 300 series or 400. 

 

If it is something like 303, 304 or 316, it will be very rust resistant.  If there aren't any traces of surface rust, I bet that's waht you have.  The 300 series steels can't be hardened by heat treating, but they do work harden.

 

I know less about 400 steels, but they tend to be more prone to rusting.  Light spots of surface rust would make me more inclined to think that this is what you have.  I don't know as much about these, but at least some of them can be heat treated to harden.

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1 hour ago, Geoff Keyes said:

Give it a couple of whacks with a hammer and see how it reacts.  I use several smaller pieces as bench anvils for setting pins, hammering on small things like guards and other furniture.  On it's side it might make a nice forming surface.

 

Geoff

 

That's a good idea. If he polishes the face he could also use it as a leatherworking anvil.

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One simple test to see if it's an austenitic stainless like 300-series or 18-8 etc. is to try to stick a magnet to it.  If it sticks, it's hardenable martensitic stainless.  If it doesn't, it's austenitic.

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Posted (edited)

Excellent. What I thought was some surface rust wipes away with a finger and a bit of pressure. Not bad considering it had apparently sat outside for years. The magnet sticks to it like glue. Going to be a right pain to forge though :D. I had also thought about cutting chunks off it to use for guards, etc. but not sure about that. Perhaps if I have it cut into thinner disks.

Edited by Charles dP

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5 hours ago, Charles dP said:

Going to be a right pain to forge though :D. I had also thought about cutting chunks off it to use for guards, etc. but not sure about that. Perhaps if I have it cut into thinner disks.

Now you're into the area of "time, effort, return"  The return isn't going to warrant the time and effort. 

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you could use it as an engraving or hot cutting anvil, if its not too hard.
or delegate it to being an "outside" anvil, something small to carry around maybe to blacksmith meets or to couple w a portable forge set up?

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The few guys that I've known of that have worked with stainless, they more or less just curse it. It's tough stuff.  A young guy at my open forge tried to forge some stainless, no idea what grade it was.  He would get it up to a good yellow heat, hit it a few times, and it would just crumble.

 

I've been learning a hard way that gifted stuff, usually tends to be something that I just cant use or even get rid of. These days I avoid scraps that people think I could use, and I say pretty specific what I'm looking for.  Everything else I refuse.  Too much effort into trying to making something usable.  My goodness how many stacks to leave springs I've been offered . . .

 

 

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Just send it to me for proper disposal...............:D

Having my own machine shop I would find some use for it and I never turn down gifted steel, brass, aluminum ect ..................B).   

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Hehe. @Clifford Brewer, I don’t even want to think about what the postage on that would be.

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10 hours ago, Charles dP said:

Hehe. @Clifford Brewer, I don’t even want to think about what the postage on that would be.

 

If it was in the US it would fit in a USPS medium flat rate box, so only $13.65.  Crossing the pond is going to add a lot.  Looks like about $105 via UPS from Essex to Klamath Falls, OR.  

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Ouch 

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