Blades and Bushlore

Knife and Tool Discussion => Self-Made Knives => Topic started by: Alan R McDaniel Jr on August 12, 2020, 05:27:15 PM

Title: Stainless Steel
Post by: Alan R McDaniel Jr on August 12, 2020, 05:27:15 PM
I have a piece of stainless steel flat bar.  I have no idea where it came from or what it was used for.  How can I tell if it is knife quality steel (besides making a knife out of it and having it be no good).

I was reading about various tests (spark, acid, etc..) but I thought perhaps you guys knew of a "quick and easy" method...


Alan
Title: Re: Stainless Steel
Post by: Moe M. on August 12, 2020, 05:45:11 PM
I have a piece of stainless steel flat bar.  I have no idea where it came from or what it was used for.  How can I tell if it is knife quality steel (besides making a knife out of it and having it be no good).

I was reading about various tests (spark, acid, etc..) but I thought perhaps you guys knew of a "quick and easy" method...


Alan

 I think I'd try to seek out an area tool & die maker and ask if there is a simple way of determining the acceptability of your bar stock for making a knife, short of that a local blacksmith may have some suggestions that might help you out.
Title: Re: Stainless Steel
Post by: Alan R McDaniel Jr on August 12, 2020, 05:56:34 PM
I was hoping for a magical solution, but your suggestion sounds like a good way to go.  We had a local Blacksmith, and he was a good one, but, he died and took all his knowledge to the great beyond. 

I'll see if I can find a place in Victoria that can give me a definite maybe on what it is.

Thanks Moe.

Alan
Title: Re: Stainless Steel
Post by: wsdstan on August 12, 2020, 10:35:03 PM
It isn't easy to identify steel but here are a few things you can do to try and find which family it is in. 

https://www.shew-esteelpipe.com/news/how-do-you-identify-which-grades-stainless-ste-14141864.html

Title: Re: Stainless Steel
Post by: randyt on August 13, 2020, 04:51:38 AM
bevel one end like a chisel and try various heat treats and see how it sharpens and holds a edge.
Title: Re: Stainless Steel
Post by: Plumber on August 14, 2020, 11:44:52 AM
It isn't easy to identify steel but here are a few things you can do to try and find which family it is in. 

https://www.shew-esteelpipe.com/news/how-do-you-identify-which-grades-stainless-ste-14141864.html

Stan, I went to this site, but it used the term "picking". Are we still talking stainless steel, or grapes? 
The first thing I would do is, check it with a magnet. If it's 400 series, it has a higher % of iron, and could be suitable for a knife. If it is a 300 series, the magnet most likely will not stick, and is too soft for a knife. If I am incorrect, someone will correct me.  ???
Terry
Title: Re: Stainless Steel
Post by: wsdstan on August 14, 2020, 04:59:01 PM
No you can do all those things too. 

The word is pickling and they did misspell it but got it in the text.  There is a thing called pickling paste but that isn't the reason I posted that.  If you read a little further down there are easier methods and using a magnet, copper sulfate, and grinding can give you some idea of what it is, or isn't.

We want it to be 400 of some kind so you do a few things and maybe you find it is a 300 family stainless and it probably won't work for a knife. The one I like best is to make the chisel bevel and see how it holds up that Randy suggests.  Alan can do that as well as the two or three things suggested in the link I posted.
Title: Re: Stainless Steel
Post by: Alan R McDaniel Jr on August 15, 2020, 03:31:03 AM
Thanks for the responses guys.  I just got back yesterday afternoon and I'll try some of the suggestions this morning to see what it does. 

Alan