All stainless pattern weld? Can a pattern exist?

Are there any combinations of stainless that can be (forge)welded together that could be etched to bring out a pattern?
If so what types of SS would I be needing?
ALSO: oxide question
How fast does the natural oxide layer build up on stainless?
I've done some SS to carbon steel forge welding... I've even done it with an oxy/acetelyne torch and a couple of firebricks(nothing big this way)...
I normally grind then sand my steels to a good clean surface... sometimes near mirror. I always leave my SS until last.. I don't know if it helps but i figure the less time it has to form an oxide layer the better.
I worry that if I spend time prepareing many pieces of SS that an oxide layer might build up on the first pieces, almost undoing some of my prep..
Should I worry? What can I do if it might be a problem?
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John FLy wrote:

You betcha.

You'll need a 400 series and a 200 or 300 series. The 400 hardens up, the 200 and 300 don't. Think twice as many 400 series layers as the others. After you heat treat and etch, the echant will attack the 400 series for its carbon. You can get quite a deep etch with hydrochloric. 304 will polish up mirror bright and is very 'white' because of the high nickel content, and it's one of the toughest, most fiberous alloys I've ever had the misfortune to work with. This stuff is like wrought iron when it comes to absorbing a bending force, it eats fiber grinder disks for breakfast. It makes an excellent 'soft' part. It also resists blueing if you wnat to blue or parkerize the hard part to highlight the pattern.

Not that fast, months.

There's no such thing as too much flux. Prep? Oh, you mean burning all the oilfield crud off the metal... that's what the flux is for. Flux encapsulates the metal, which keeps the oxygen off it in the fire, it chemically cleans the metal, and carries the foreign material away when you hit it with the hammer.
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Thats great to hear.
I'm going to look at getting some 400 and 300 or 200 series and seeing what I come up with.
Its good to hear the oxide layer doesn't build up on SS.. I guess I was putting some of the things I've heard about alum. (that the oxide layer can form in seconds/min)) thus giving its "non-rusting" appearance.
I'll still try and get them as clean / flat as possible.. My forging skills are not that great. But I think I make up for it in prep time.
Thanks again for the help!
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John Fly wrote:

Working stainless is no more effort than working mild steel, just use bigger hammers. FYI, 200 and 300 series SS are non-magnetic, 400 series is. Take an icebox magnet with you to the scrapyard. Happy whacking...
Charly
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Hmmm... I'd like to know, but at this point my understanding is the oxide layer is quicker to form on Cr than on Al and Al is like instantanious. ;)
The chemistry teacher made a big deal about how you'll porb'ly never seen Al or Cr without looking at it through an oxide layer.
Oil protects sodium and potassium and lithium from getting oxidized so I figure it'd work pretty dangged good for Al and Cr too.
Also don't know this either but here goes nothing... the flix isn't simply a coating but is actually a reactant and sometimes even a remover of the oxide layer when the right flux gets to the right heat and the layer isn't too thick.
So if you ain't having any trouble with the oxide layer on stainless steel doesn't mean the oxide layer ain't there.
Now if it continues to get thicker with time and then you find trouble with a particular flux isn't working after the metal's been sittin around, could be that the layer is too thick for the "flux situation" not necesarily that it didn't exist.
What do you think?
Should I just shut up and sit back down? ;)
Alvin in AZ
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