I'm also interested in any answers to this!
I found these posts from a guy who'd done some stainless smithing.
Harmful vapour warnings abound.
Also, I'm going to be getting back to my forge during a three-week
Xmas break from work and school. I plan to make a bunch of tools and
practice forge welding, which I'm utterly terrible at (and being a
newb doesn't help). I know the theory but I've only been able to do it
once, and it wasn't pretty. Any suggestions for exercises? I know
making chain is good practice but I'm wondering if there's something
easier I can start with to practice timing and shaping and such.
If you're terrible at forge welding with gas, don't beat yourself up,
it's not as easy with gas as it is with coke an coal.
I was not aware of toxic nature of forging stainless :-O
I've got a huge stainless bolt that I've made a start forging with,
although I still have to wrap my head around a sub-zero quench.
"Stainless steel" covers a lot (A LOT!!) of ground.
In order to get useful information, you are going to have to know the
alloy, and find out how the alloy must be treated.
I've only had stainless in the fire more or less by accident. Forging
stuff that was "off the pile" as it were.
Some of it is hot short (it crumbles when hit hot) some can and some
cannot be heat treated at all. Some alloys harden by being held at a
steady high heat, others don't.
All the pieces that I had, turned to shite on the surface, being
heated up in the fire. About half fell apart, either on heating to
forging temps, or when worked.
To be very clear, I am not saying that there are not "stainless
steels" out there that can be worked in the forge, I just had
experiences with stuff off the junk pile, and they were not favorable.
You really don't need to be reathing the smoke from burnt nickel or
chrome anyway. :)
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