View Full Version : forge welding stainless steel, Please advise!

HHH Knives
08-24-2010, 03:54 PM
Hello and good day..

I have a job that will require a 3/4 X 3/4 X 2 1/2 inch chunk of 416 stainless. I have searched the world VIA the internet and cant seem to find a chunk that size. So my question is this.. :les:

Can 416 stainless be forge welded??
What I was thinking is that I would use a 1"X3/8"x4" pieces and forge weld 3 of them together.. If this is a possibility.. I figured Now that I have a hydro press.. I can get the size down to something close to what I want and then surface it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated..

Wayne Coe
08-24-2010, 04:16 PM
Randy, Big Blu (www.bigbluhammer.com (http://www.bigbluhammer.com)) has a video for sale about making stainless damascus. I have a copy of it and it is a good video. Basically the smith cleaned then wrapped the billet in stainless foil and made sure he had all of the air out of it before he started forge welding it. I haven't watched it in quite a while but I'm pretty sure that he did it under a Big Blu Hammer.

I would think that surely there is stainless that big,,,somewhere. I would call the stainless suppliers. If it is to big you could probably forge it down, like you said.

It must be a really good commission.

Rudy Joly
08-24-2010, 04:20 PM
Just a thought....
Since you have the press, wouldn't it be easier to squish some round bar into a square ? I run across 416 round regularly on fleabay(in Metals & Alloys) but never any square or flat bar. As to welding it I don't know.

Good luck,

HHH Knives
08-24-2010, 04:26 PM
Wayne, Thanks for responding.. I know that there is 416 stainless that size and larger.. . but, I have to buy like 3 foot or MORE to get any of it.. I only need a 2 1/2 inch chunk.. The commission is good. But not that good! :)

So what I was thinking is cutting a smaller bar into a few pieces and forging them into one piece.. not really damascus.. Just a Chunk of 416 stainless. it has to be 416 because its going to be engraved.. or I would of recommended a damascus piece for this job..

Thanks again and any advise on forge welding the 416 would be great..

HHH Knives
08-24-2010, 04:28 PM
Rudy, I didnt even think to look on Fleabay.. yea round would be a better alternative if I can get a smaller chunk. Thats a good idea.. Thanks you.

Rudy Joly
08-24-2010, 04:30 PM

Here is a start if that's the route you take.
If theres any left over can I have a bar 1/4x 1.5x a few feet ? :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
Mods...just trying to help


HHH Knives
08-24-2010, 04:37 PM
Hey, Rudy Thanks you.. Im so getting a chunk of that round bar and then gona square it up..

Im thinking a 1 1/4 round would square up to 3/4 square easy..

HHH Knives
08-24-2010, 04:38 PM
Man I LOVE Knife Dogs!!!! Iv said it B4 and will say it again.. This is the BEST site on the net!

Thank you both for your help! I think I got this... :)

Rudy Joly
08-24-2010, 05:17 PM
Glad we could help.
I'm all verklempt now. I hope it works out for you.


Wayne Coe
08-24-2010, 05:41 PM
You can keep in mind that round stock has 20% less volume than square. So if you square 1" of 1 1/4 round you should get 1" square 1" long. Then if you draw that out to 3/4" square it should be 1 1/4" long. Of course you are not going to start forging with such small pieces and don't forget that you will loose some to scaling. In mild steel we allow another 20% but that can be much more or much less, depending on your technique. So lets see, 1" of 1 1/4 makes about 1 1/4" of 3/4" square and you need 2 1/2" so if you start off with about a foot to have something manageable and that you can hold onto in the press you could forge the first 2", check it out, and if needs be, forge a little more.

Have fun and let us know how it works out.

HHH Knives
08-24-2010, 06:14 PM
Wayne, Great info.. I sure will have fun and post pics of the finished knife and a progress report on how this works out!
Thanks again.

08-24-2010, 06:55 PM
You will have to anneal the stock after forging. I forged a san mia guard from 416 and 1084 to match a blade and it broke endmills like crazy trying to cut the guard slot. I dont think it would be fun to engrave without a proper anneal.

HHH Knives
08-25-2010, 06:12 AM
Do I anneal it the same as I would say 1095.. please advise...

08-25-2010, 10:22 AM
I might be able to help you out here.
I have some 416 heat treated bar . 4" dia and 6" dia . also have 1 1/8 dia you could square up . also have 2 x 2 1/2 Bar stock.
Let me know if you're interested in a piece.


HHH Knives
08-25-2010, 06:53 PM
John, Thanks for the offer.. I found a piece on ebay and ordered it already.

HHH Knives
08-27-2010, 02:02 PM
Can anyone tell me the best process of anneal the piece after its forged to size? Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks. Randy

HHH Knives
09-08-2010, 08:01 AM
Here is the 416 guard on the finished knife. I ended up purchasing a round bar and machining it. Thanks for all the advise and tips!
The knife is in a classic Loveless style. Its Al May Damascus with Ironwood handles and 416 Guard and pins.

Again guys thanks for the help!

Randy, HHH Knives