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Tom Lumpkins

Stainless steel forge welding,

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got a question for you all, Can you forge weld, stainless steel , I have no idea and a friend asked me the question, and I thought I would ask you..Thanks Tom

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I am told, and have read in several locations, that it requires a more potent (and more hazardous) flux than borax, but is otherwise about the same. I have yet to try but have some stainless that will be used at some point.

Phil

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I have a an article from Knives Illustrated from the 1990's where a smith from Califronia made pattern welded knives from 3 different stainless steels (I think CPMT-440, ATS-34, and 304).

He used a 50 ton punch press to weld and work the billets.

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Though I've never tried it myself, I have seen it done and know there a good many bladesmiths that do. Your temps must be very precise and in the upper ranges of the forgewelding temp, and you must remember that due to the chrome content in the steel, it air hardens below a certain temp, so all forgewelding, and all subsequent forging must be at much higher temps. Most makers of stainless damascus have programable heattreating ovens for the items they produce. Wes

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One way depending up on how much material is used is to wrap it in stainless foil to keep the oxygen out or go the canned route. Use a piece of square tubing ,weld a cap on one end, fill your material , weld cap on other end and heat and weld. Cut outside material off after weld and work from there.

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