View Full Version : stainless

Robert Washburn
12-19-2011, 08:43 PM
Steve,what stainless do you use for guards and where do you get it. Robert

12-20-2011, 09:29 AM
Type 416SS. You can use it as-is, or heat treat it, which ups the stainless qualities, somewhat. It is hard to find at times, but is usually available in 1" wide by 3/8" thick. Any of the suppliers have it, most of the time. I have ordered some from the New Jersey Steel Baron, not received yet and from Scott Devanna of SB Specialty Steels, not received yet. I like it 3/4" wide x 3/8", also 5/16 x 5/8" wide and 1/2" x 5/8" for longer guards. Both of those two above say that they can get it in those sizes.

New Jersey Steel Baron, LLC
295 Wagaraw Rd.
Hawthorne, NJ 07506
Office: (973) 949-4140
Fax: (973) 689-9501

T. Scott Devanna
Vice President -Marketing & Prod Development
SB Specialty Metals
800 365 1168

Robert Washburn
12-20-2011, 05:10 PM
Thanks Steve,I found some in my storage shed today.But ,I will keep them n mine.I got the New Yorker ready to put handles on today.Will post pics when I finish. Robert

Larry Peterson
12-20-2011, 06:08 PM
If I may,

My question is nearly related to this thread, is the stainless steel guards and pommels superior to nickel silver? When it is NOT so cold, I cast my guards and pommels with "white brass and silicon bronz." I use what ever I have on hand after I run out of castings. Usually stainless. Is the 406 stainless a better way to go for the long run? What about 303 stainless?

Thank you for toleerating me. Larry Peterson

Robert Washburn
12-20-2011, 06:45 PM
It is in my opinion one of the best.I`ve tried the nickel silver and the other stainless but,always came back to the 416 if avaliable. Robert

12-20-2011, 09:07 PM
Anything will work for a guard, some even use G10, or carbon fiber, horn, bone, etc. N.S. and brass are fine, unless you are interested in tarnishing, or not tarnishing. I guess SS would last longer, but either of these would last more than a lifetime, if half-way taken care of. SS will not tarnish, requires less upkeep, stays bright forever. However, it takes longer to work and will it will still scratch, though not as easily as the brass and nickel silver. Many collectors don't want to have to polish their knives, or handle fittings. Others like the patina of brass, N.S., mokume or bronze fittings. Actually, the latter often are first choice when it comes to mating handle materials and damascus blades.......they seem more appropriate. A mountain man's knife would require N.S. or brass, IMO. A $5000 fighter would require SS, again, my opinion. Many, many ABS knifemakers never even THINK stainless, I would guess, just not appropriate for many of the styles that they make........don't get me wrong, SS certainly has it's place there, also, if it's desired by the maker, or the customer. It's all a matter of how the knife is going to be used, handled and also the opinions of those involved in their manufacture, be it the customer or the maker. I think I'd best stop!

Larry Peterson
12-21-2011, 05:22 PM
Thank you both for elaberating. I went out to the knife shop for a few minutes and promptly "woosied out" cause' it was too cold for me. While I was out, I remembered another knife maker telling me he used 303SS because it filed almost as easy as brass. If you don't mind, would you elaborate a bit more on your prefering the 416SS? I have tried a lot of different metals, even pure .9999 silver. That was not such a good idea!

I am not challenging anything and I reaally beleive the world is big enough for all of us to build what we want. I do like to exchange ideas and discuss the more important things of this world, like making knives!

Best wishes, Larry Peterson

"All the indians in South America walk in a straight line, at least the one I saw did!"

12-21-2011, 08:18 PM
303SS is harder to work with than 416SS and engravers like 416SS a lot, that's why I use it, but my experience with 303 is very limited, so I can't give an informed opinion. Just try it and see how you find it to be.

As you can see in this chart, the machinability of 416 (110%) vs 303 (78%) is considerably different:

Here is a comment from another forum:
[QUOTE] "303 is easy to cut, 304 is a Design Error. No decent manufacturer would make a steel like that, and if you get some you should immediately send it back for a decent US made replacement."

Larry Peterson
12-23-2011, 12:59 PM
Thank you,

The chart really says it all

Best wishes, Larry Peterson

12-23-2011, 10:15 PM
Could you explain using 416 hardened ?

12-24-2011, 12:25 AM
Simply have your heat treater harden it and it'll come out somewhere between 35-50 on the Rockwell "C" scale, which is still very workable. I can't hardly tell the difference between hardened and annealed 416, but I haven't compared them for many years. Hardening also increases the corrosion resistance. You can look up heat treating specs online easily, or contact any of the heat treaters out there.

12-24-2011, 11:19 AM
My current project.