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Stainless forging - grades / weatherproofing

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Hi guys, I have to make a stair railing PDQ.

It needs to be stainless and although mostly fabricated, I want to do a little forging to add some interest. Just some fullering and stuff.

I was going to use 316 stainless (also known as 1.4404) - is this suitable for forging, and as its for external use, will the anti-corrosion properties be affected?

I've never forged stainless, I have heard its the same as mild, just takes more work. Am I deluded / in for a shock?

Many thanks for any quick responses!

Cheers, Al.

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AL; My experience with stainless is very limited, but the pieces that I have worked (bolt stock) seemed softer than mild steel to me. I felt that I could forge better at low red heat than with mild steel. My stuff took on a very light thin scale slightly brownish in tone that I found attractive. I have read threads here that do indicate that you could run into problems with separation of the alloys at the surfaces. I'd suggest that you get some sample stock of your proposed alloy(s) and do some test forging and weather testing before taking on an expensive project. Check this thread and especially Goatman's post #13. http://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/f7/forging-stainless-steel-experts-please-12082/index2.html

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Hi, thanks very much for the reply.

I suppose the brownish tinge was from the steel in your hammer putting inclusions in the stainless as you worked it.

Looks like its possible then, just hard to arrive at a consensus on how to treat it post-forging for best corrosion resistance. I wonder is stainless wire brushing it will be sufficient?

Ideally I'd do a test as you say, but this has to be done next week!!!

Cheers, Al.

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