View Full Version : Forging Stainless Damascus

HHH Knives
12-06-2011, 02:49 PM
Some of the coolest pics I have taken this year are FORGING pics. :) Between the sparks and fire and molten steel. it just doesnt get much better in my opinion.

Here are a few I took yesterday. Forging a can of stainless steel.

After seeing Randy Jr. progress so rapidly with forging Carbon damascus. In general he has been doing some wicked cool stuff over the last year! Making meteorite damascus, mosaic damascus, and san mai, etc. I figured a new challenge was in order!

Heres a few pics of our first welds..


Im gona go back through some of the forging and welding pics and post up some of my all time favorites!!

Eamon Burke
12-06-2011, 03:04 PM
What are the challenges with forging stainless damascus that carbon does not present?

mr drinky
12-06-2011, 03:06 PM
Agreed. Those are nice pics. What are you using? (camera/lense)


HHH Knives
12-06-2011, 03:49 PM

I have been shooting with a Canon 30D for the last 4 years. It DIED :( a couple weeks ago and I had to find a new camera.
After doing some market research and comparing all of the offerings from Canon.. I went with a new OES Rebel T3i. The T3i is a awesome and amazing camera and so far Im super happy with it.
For my lens I mainly shoot with a Ultrasonic 28-135mm Image Stabilizer.

Eamon, There are many challenges to forging stainless. And the thing is, most people that do it well and often dont share there process with the world (which I totally understand).. So as we try this, were learning the old fashion way, trial by fire!! Im sure we will find and overcome many of these challenges! and Ill be better able to answer the question. The first few that I can tell ya are being able to reach the proper temps needed to weld it. Then holding it at that temp for a sustained amount of time. Next is that the process must be done in the absence of oxygen, creating another set of challenges in and of itself. :)

12-06-2011, 04:07 PM
Cool Randy, i've found some shim stock to try myself in the new year and added some extra turbo power to my burner to get the soak temperature. What steels did you go for? And did it stick?:D

HHH Knives
12-06-2011, 04:19 PM
:pirate1: Yup! Jr. still has to draw it out and we will be better able to see, but from what I can tell right now. Its stuck. :happy1:

Gona call it beginners luck at this point! :)

12-06-2011, 04:25 PM
Yay, thats encouraging. Nice going Jr:biggrin:

HHH Knives
12-06-2011, 09:22 PM
Yep. I have my fingers crossed that its good and solid. The first billet will probably be random pattern. or birds eye,. Then after he refines the process and is sure about the steps. Start working on different patterns and stretching the limits of what should be done!! I may have him clad me a bar of Carbon steel and turn this first billet into a san mai blade. :) Not sure yet.

What do you guys think?

HHH Knives
12-06-2011, 09:47 PM
Heres a couple more of my favorite pics.


More to come as I get a chance to roll through the pics and or take some new ones!! :)

12-06-2011, 11:18 PM
I want that hat! HA!

HHH Knives
12-07-2011, 12:04 AM
It is COOL!! I think Mike airbrushed that. I bet he would make ya one! hehe

12-07-2011, 03:05 AM
From what I have been told, oxidized steel does not want to forge weld together, hence the need flux or "dry" welding. The surface of stainless steel is in a permanent state of "oxidation" in the form of chromium oxides that inhibite the formation of iron oxide as best as i can understand, so you either need to do a dry weld or use some REALLY aggressive flux that contains stuff like boric acid and some other nasty ingredients along with the normal anhydrous borax. I have a quart jug of some of that "super flux" that I got at Batson's hammer in a couple of years ago. I use a little bit to spike my normal 20 Mule Team borax. I used it by itself once and it tried to eat through the bubble bubble alumina coated ceramic tile that i had in my forge!!! One forging session with that stuff did as much damage to the tile as several with my current mixture does on kiln shelf tile that has not been slip coated with alumina.

HHH Knives
12-07-2011, 09:04 AM
jm, Thanks for the input about stainless. Yea flux is some very reactive stuff! I have seen its effects first hand. Its wild!!! :)

HHH Knives
12-09-2011, 11:04 AM
Here are a few pics of our first stainless damascus billets! :happy1: To say I was happy or excited about this would be a HUGE understatement. Im VERY proud of Randy Jr. and his accomplishments.. :)


Mike Davis
12-09-2011, 12:00 PM
Very nice! Turned out great!!!!

HHH Knives
12-09-2011, 01:00 PM
Mike. Were pretty Jazzed up about this first run. But Its gona take a few more billets and some testing then if it passes the tests, I will be truly happy. No doubt were on the right track! :D


12-09-2011, 05:50 PM
Well done chaps!:biggrin:

12-09-2011, 07:14 PM
Very Cool!!! Glad to see you are expanding your skills:thumbsup::thumbsup:

12-10-2011, 07:40 AM
Looks like you got it to stick :D
Which steels did you use, as I guess it's different chemistry to get one shiny and one dark with stainless?

HHH Knives
12-10-2011, 10:06 AM
Yep. There stuck.. :) lol Thanks guys for the encouragement. as if we need any extra!
This process is gona take some time. time to refine steps.. etc. This is just the start of something I see growing into many new offering for HHH Knives, from full stainless blades to San Mai and stainless clad blades. Heck at some point during testing and stuff. I plan on offering some pieces to other knife makers to test.

The steel we chose to start this process were what are common in the knife world for stainless damascus. AEB-L and 304 SS
Each billet is 150 layers. and about 12" X 1 1/2 X 3/16" thick.

Are we havin fun YET!?!?!?

12-10-2011, 12:19 PM
Looks cool Randy!

12-10-2011, 12:19 PM
Any luck on that other experiment?

HHH Knives
12-10-2011, 03:39 PM
Any luck on that other experiment?

Not yet, But I hope to spend the day tomorrow playing around testing it out Pierre..

HHH Knives
01-15-2012, 11:05 AM
Update.. sent a bar of this to Mike Davis for him to grind, Then back to me for HT and then back to him to test..

Ill update the thread ASAP. I expect with the new addition to there family that it may be a little while,. :)

Pierre, I got your PM an will be following up with you today.