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TIG welding o1 tool steel to mild steel


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I am wondering if anyone has any recomendations on how to TIG weld o1 tool steel to a piece of 1018 mild steel. I have a piece of o1 tool steel that is about 4 inches long and .5 inches around. I don't like to use tongs to forge knives so I was thinking of welding a piece of mild steel to the piece as a handle. Was wondering if anyone has any recomendations on how to weld this up so it would hold up to forging?:confused: I was thinking of preheating it to about 500 degrees then welding it. Any recomendations or experience would be apriciated. Thanks in advance.

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You dont even have to TIG, unless that is your prefered method of welding. I arc all my billets to their respective handles, and you could MIG them no problem as well. Preheat and Post heating are important to prevent cold failures of the welds. However, I find that regardless of pre/post heat of the welds, if you overstress the hot weld, the material around the weld will still tend to fail. By overstress I mean like bending the material at the weld in opposing directions until stress accumulates to the point of failure. But with proper forging technique and good enough penetration in the weld that problem shouldn't be much of an issue. Lack of penetration is also an issue, like if you did a butt joint and didnt leave sufficient gap and your penetration is lower, then the weld will tend to fail, still usually at the material, not necessarly the weld, but it pulls away from your stock and without enough penetration to hold it you can have them come loose. Keep in mind also that my "experience" with this is using a little 115v HF buzzbox to stick weld the joint, so if I don't gap the joint I definetly wont have enough penetration. Wouldn't be much of an issue with better welding equipment that you can get some decent heat off of. But something to keep in mind none the less. Also, if your weld fails, in my experience it usually wont fail all at once, usually one side will go and give you some warning, rather than your half forged blade going flying across the shop without notice, inevitably into some back corner undersomething flamable thats hard to get to ;) .

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