Advice on forging 416 SS.

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Can't really find 416 ss in the dimensions I want for a reasonable price. So, I picked up this 1.5" bar pretty cheap online, guess I'll try forging what I want. Any of you guys have experience doing this? How hot do I work it? Does it air harden quickly while you're working it? Annealed? Hardened? Going to be used for guards.20180922_125344.jpg
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I've been forging round 416 into guard stock for a few years now. (for the same reason) I find it easy to forge at typical forging temps. It does seem to scale significantly more then typical carbon/alloy steels.

Where the glitch came for me was annealing it. At first I tried annealing as I would typical knife steel....in vermiculite....no joy. Inconsistent at best, with hard and soft spots, and in many cases I could not drill or file it, and it some cases the vermiculite simply had no annealing effect on it.

I consulted some folks, asking for advice, and got various answers on annealing. The one that worked for me was after forging it to the size I wanted (and leaving a bit extra for scale removal) using a heat treat oven, soaking at 1350F for two hours, and forcing it to SLOW cool in the oven. (I placed several pieces of 1 1/2" X 3/4" A36 around it in the heat treat oven to force a slower cooling......and the slower I could force it to cool, the better the annealing results, and the more consistent it was/is to work/finish into guards.
 
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Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
[QUOTE="EdCaffreyMS......and the slower I could force it to cool, the better the annealing results, and the more consistent it was/is to work/finish into guards.[/QUOTE]
Hey Ed, do you leave it in the annealed state on the knife? I was wondering if that would affect its durability and corrosion resistance. I've got a program in my Evenheat just for annealing that I've used on SS blade steel, that's no problem. I was thinking about pinning a guard, like a loveless style, so guessing that would have to stay annealed?
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Personally, I think heat treating 416 guards/bolsters is kind of a waste. It only slightly increases the stain resistance, but makes everything else more difficult. And the most important part.....if you heat treat a 416 guard or bolsters, then install it with annealed 416 pins, the pins will show every time.;)

Not sure what your program for annealing SS blade steel is, but don't run the 416 past 1350F, and don't hold it longer then 2 hours for annealing. It's requirements are different then the blade steels.
 
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