Stainless San mai

JeremyBartlett

Well-Known Member
So with the recent interest in San Mai I decided to make a few billets this weekend. I made 3 different billets. 416ss/1095 core, 416ss/1075 core and a203e/1075 core.

Here are the 2 billets with 1075 core, I didn't get a pic of the 1095 core one because I already started making knives from it lol
IMG_20190212_021056.jpg

When forge welding stainless to high carbon you need to make sure 0 oxygen gets in to oxidize and ruin your weld. On these I MIG welded completely around the billet:
IMG_20190210_171419.jpg


Here is a blade I'm working on from the 416/1095
IMG_20190212_020318.jpgIMG_20190212_020255.jpg

With and without some oil...far from finished.
 

Kev

Well-Known Member
I love this look on blades. The contrast is always stunning.
I personally am not a forger, but NJ steel baron sells a clad bar with 416 and 52100. Has anyone tried this? I’m afraid that the “wavy” affect of the steel transition won’t be there because they are evenly distributed? Does anyone know.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
@Jeremy: that looks good. Do you have a press? OR - is that hand forging? I've not tried any billets as long as you've got. My max length after cleaning up is around 9" or so. SS cladding seems to really make San Mai "pop". I'm thinking my next folder just might have a San Mai blade.

Ken H>
 

AkWildman

Well-Known Member
Very cool,I've done cable Damascus over 5160 and not tried using stainless over a carbon steel due to some failures that I saw some other folks having,the blades were ripping apart during tempering if memory serves me .had something to do with the extreme rate that the different steel expand and contract. Love the contrast !
 

JeremyBartlett

Well-Known Member
I love this look on blades. The contrast is always stunning.
I personally am not a forger, but NJ steel baron sells a clad bar with 416 and 52100. Has anyone tried this? I’m afraid that the “wavy” affect of the steel transition won’t be there because they are evenly distributed? Does anyone know.

Yeah, I've seen that Aldo sells that stuff. Price is a bit high in my opinion, but then again, I've never used it. I would have to assume that each layer is very uniform and would need to be forged to shape to get any waves in the pattern.
 

JeremyBartlett

Well-Known Member
@Jeremy: that looks good. Do you have a press? OR - is that hand forging? I've not tried any billets as long as you've got. My max length after cleaning up is around 9" or so. SS cladding seems to really make San Mai "pop". I'm thinking my next folder just might have a San Mai blade.

Ken H>
Ken, I have a press. It makes life much easier when doing these things. I built my own rather than spending $5000. I probably had $1800 in my build. I'm going to make one more smaller billet today with 416/1075 and then a 45 layer twist billet from 1084/15n20...got a couple of special projects to do :)
 

JeremyBartlett

Well-Known Member
Very cool,I've done cable Damascus over 5160 and not tried using stainless over a carbon steel due to some failures that I saw some other folks having,the blades were ripping apart during tempering if memory serves me .had something to do with the extreme rate that the different steel expand and contract. Love the contrast !
"Knock on wood" I've never had any issues like that...you would think that it would happen in quench and not in temper. I think the key here is....get your billet super hot and smash it all together...if you get a good weld, chances of it ripping apart are less
 

AkWildman

Well-Known Member
I think it was during tempering, the welds held but the two materials would shear apart. I cant remember if they ever figured it out .I love the look of San Mia but I wasn't willing to put the time into a blade and have it do that.I suspect it had more to do with normalizing cycles. Anyway awesome work !
 

JeremyBartlett

Well-Known Member
@springer82 Thanks! So, I made an H frame press that should be right around 24 ton. I made it beefy enough that I can upgrade it someday if I want/need. 5hp electric motor, 2 stage pump 3gpm/11gpm, 5 inch bore cylinder with 10 inch stroke
 
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