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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

suspect you're getting it too hot.  High carbon steel crumbles like that when overheated.  Try it at around 2200 F and see if that helps.

My guess is with Alan. Not only temp but time as well. 30 minute soak is way too long in my opinion. I judged welding heat by the appearance of flux. Yes I put flux on the outside of the canister just as a temperature indicator. When I could see welding heat on the outside of the canister, maybe another 5 to 10 minutes for the core to catch up. Never really timed it. Some stainless crumbles like that as well in extreme heat for long times. Way way back I laid a piece of ss in the forge floor trying to keep the billet clean. Pretty quickly I was seeing small crumbles of the ss being forged into my billet as my pretty ss floor deteriorated. Don't remember what type of ss was used in my failed experiment. 

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Ditto what Alan said on temps. Way, way to hot. 

Personally I use miod steel cans, 52100 bearings, 1080, 1084 or 1095 powder with a small percentage of nickel powder to add contrast. No nickel, Not much contrast. Heat to 2290/2300F and soak  for at least 15 minutes or longer depending on my  patience.  Longer is better. 

Also try to darken room while heating so I can see color of metal. BUT since I never use stainless  cans I don't know how the colors would look. 

Good luck 

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2 hours ago, Matt Walker said:

Don't remember what type of ss was used in my failed experiment.


Was it that 440C strip stock that Jim had?

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I suspected it was too hot, but wasn't sure.  Thanks for the confirmation everyone.  I followed Alan's advice on the temp and stuck to keeping around 2200 degrees.  It came out MUCH better.  Only very small cracks in a few corners that should easily grind out! 



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  • 1 month later...

Knives are finished.  They came out pretty nice.  Had enough for 2.  Top knife handle is desert ironwood and the bottom is leopard wood.  Both already sold too!


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