simple forgeable stainless

Noellaflamme

Well-Known Member
So I don't know stainles alloys very much, but is there a stainless alloy that forges somewhat well, that i could use for a fillet knife? I do also have a kiln for heat treatment if that helps so it wouldnt be a forge heat treat.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
IMO the words "stainless" and "forgeable" do not belong in the same sentence. I spent two years of my career trying to/forging stainless steels, and the only real thing I accomplished was ruining a lot of otherwise good stainless steel. Yes, there have been people who forged stainless steels, but honestly, it was more of a gimmick then anything. Nothing wrong with a Bladesmith making a stainless fillet knife via stock removal. You'll have far less frustration, and a far better end product.

Personally, from a Bladesmithing aspect, when I produce a fillet blade, it's usually 15N20, and it's finished out with clear Gun-Kote for protection. ;)
 

Noellaflamme

Well-Known Member
IMO the words "stainless" and "forgeable" do not belong in the same sentence. I spent two years of my career trying to/forging stainless steels, and the only real thing I accomplished was ruining a lot of otherwise good stainless steel. Yes, there have been people who forged stainless steels, but honestly, it was more of a gimmick then anything. Nothing wrong with a Bladesmith making a stainless fillet knife via stock removal. You'll have far less frustration, and a far better end product.

Personally, from a Bladesmithing aspect, when I produce a fillet blade, it's usually 15N20, and it's finished out with clear Gun-Kote for protection. ;)
haha thats good to know, and yeah i could jsut do stock removal.... but honestly i hate doing stock removal haha.... nothing wrong with it but its not as enjoyable lol. I will definitly look into the clear Gun-Kote though. any reason why 15n25 and not another carbon steel? like may 80crv2?
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
More flexibility out of 15N20, and available in thicknesses better suited to fillet blades.

If you've never tackled a fillet blade, there are a lot of "twists and turns" in creating one. It's not bad forging the thickness, but grinding is where the frustration begins.
Generally when I produce a fillet blade, it's .050 for smaller ones, to around .070/.080 for those that are 10"+, that thickness means that the blades warp as they are being ground. Best practice is to have some type of a "backer" when grinding. There are a number of things you can use from wood to steel, but I prefer aluminum, because it "sucks" the heat away from the blade, and gives a measure of burning protection when grinding post heat treat. Correctly heat treating can be a bit frustrating too. Most of the time it's "Give-n-Take"..... meaning that personally the flexibility in fillet blades are more important to me than edge retention, so I will accept a bit softer than I'd like in order to achieve the flexibility I demand. Sometimes, that can be a matter of 15-20 degrees F when tempering. Hardening is also sometimes a real challenge. The first time I ever literally say a blade turn into a "U" shape in the quench, was one of my first 15N20 fillet blades.

Most folks who don't have experience with fillet blades think of them as just another blade to make/build..... but often learn that they are a very specialized discipline in knifemaking, and that there are reasons that you don't see many experience makers producing them.
 
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Gilbert M

Member
Could be tricky to get it so thin ,but you could do stainless /carbon San mai . For stainless San mai I've only used 410 and it works well.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
As Gilbert says, if you want to "forge" SS, then do a SS/high carbon San Mai. Have the SS cladding fairly thick so the cladding doesn't leave much of the high carbon exposed after grinding and you'll have a "forged" SS blade. Not sure about using that for a fillet knife, as Ed says they need to be pretty thin.

While there is nothing wrong with 15N20, my choice for an 8 to 10" fillet blade would be stock removal using AEB-L about .060" thick. You've got a kiln that reaches 1975F? If so you could HT yourself.
 

Noellaflamme

Well-Known Member
More flexibility out of 15N20, and available in thicknesses better suited to fillet blades.

If you've never tackled a fillet blade, there are a lot of "twists and turns" in creating one. It's not bad forging the thickness, but grinding is where the frustration begins.
Generally when I produce a fillet blade, it's .050 for smaller ones, to around .070/.080 for those that are 10"+, that thickness means that the blades warp as they are being ground. Best practice is to have some type of a "backer" when grinding. There are a number of things you can use from wood to steel, but I prefer aluminum, because it "sucks" the heat away from the blade, and gives a measure of burning protection when grinding post heat treat. Correctly heat treating can be a bit frustrating too. Most of the time it's "Give-n-Take"..... meaning that personally the flexibility in fillet blades are more important to me than edge retention, so I will accept a bit softer than I'd like in order to achieve the flexibility I demand. Sometimes, that can be a matter of 15-20 degrees F when tempering. Hardening is also sometimes a real challenge. The first time I ever literally say a blade turn into a "U" shape in the quench, was one of my first 15N20 fillet blades.

Most folks who don't have experience with fillet blades think of them as just another blade to make/build..... but often learn that they are a very specialized discipline in knifemaking, and that there are reasons that you don't see many experience makers producing them.
Well i lucked out today and got my hands on a large bandsaw blade, .055 thick and about an inch wide after i remove the teath... this should work perfectly!
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Be careful. That's not necessarily 15N20. Many of those blades are bi-metal....meaning that the only "hard" part is the teeth. The rest is a more flexible/softer material. Usually, unless the saw blade is 6" wide or more, it's not 15N20. It's pretty inexpensive to just order a piece and be sure of what you have, versus possibly wasting a bunch of time/effort/supplies to find out it's not what you need. ;)
 

Noellaflamme

Well-Known Member
Be careful. That's not necessarily 15N20. Many of those blades are bi-metal....meaning that the only "hard" part is the teeth. The rest is a more flexible/softer material. Usually, unless the saw blade is 6" wide or more, it's not 15N20. It's pretty inexpensive to just order a piece and be sure of what you have, versus possibly wasting a bunch of time/effort/supplies to find out it's not what you need. ;)
i may still order some 15n20, but im going to play aorund with this stuff... worst case scenario i get practive grinding very thin blades. it does seem to be somewhat hardenable though... only destructive testing will tell how it will do i guess
 
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