Stainless alloy suggestions

I would like to test some techniques for making stainless steel sculpture suitable for outdoor environments (inland).
I have hitherto been working with copper sheet (1-3mm) and would like to use
similar processes - that is: formed using hammers and stakes (and soon an English wheel when I've finished it) and TIG welded together. The wheels on the English wheel are made from 4140 and I am going to have them heat-treated hopefully in the range of 40hrc.
I hope to use 1-1.6mm thickness material and I need an alloy that will be soft enough to work cold using the above methods and tools (preferably not requiring frequent high-temp anneals), that is weldable with moderate to good corrosion resistance.
My reading to date is leading me towards 304L or 305. The latter apparently more susceptible to hot cracking after welding, the former more prone to work-hardening.
Any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Leuis.
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Stainless is harder to form than copper, but it also does not need to be as thick to resist forces that can occur after the piece is done. So I would advise trying some 1 mm thick or thinner material to start.
You might also find out what material is available locally before doing a lot of reading. I don't know of a source of 305 in my area.
If I were going to do something like you want to do, I would visit my local scrap yard and see if I could get some stainless steel sinks and play a bit with forming and welding.
Dan
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Thanks for the suggestion Dan. I have already made the trip to the scrap yard and had a play around with some material. I haven't tried sink stainless though. The pieces I tried were off-cuts.
The problem with scrap is I don't know what I'm working with. I don't want to be hasty in making decisions on process if I'm using an unsuitable alloy.
I'll check out what's available locally.
Thanks, Leuis.

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I am not sure of what they use for stainless steel sinks, but I suspect it is 304. The best ones might be 316. Whatever it is, it obviously can be formed. I was really suggesting that you use material from the scrap yard for your sculptures. At my local scrap yard there are residential sinks, commercial sinks, and beer barrels among the stainless scrap. Dan

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High end commercial sinks could also be monel as well as stainless. For a while at least, monel seemed to be popular for commercial sink and countertop applications. -- wf.
Dan Caster wrote:

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Wouldn't that be kind of umm expensive?
Tim
-- In the immortal words of Ned Flanders: "No foot longs!" Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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