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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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Old 10-27-2016, 05:49 PM
pbgunrunner pbgunrunner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1
Newbie SS melt question!

Ok, first post here, so be gentle! I fix surgical instruments for a living, of course they wear out, crack, pit, etc...all things that make them worthless to the hospitals. So i started keeping some w the intent of using them to make some knives. I assume id need to melt them down and make ingots? They are mostly high end German stainless steel, although i couldnt tell you the alloy, im sure it is different between the different instruments. So, what do the experts reccomend? Anyone who can help near peoria, il or the quad cities in iowa? Id be willing to share!
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:27 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Decatur, IL
Posts: 2,608
What you are thinking about is going to turn you "free" steel into something that is going to be much more expensive that purchasing bars of a known knife steel. You are probably right in that not all the instruments are made of the same alloy. Some might be good for making blades and some might be totally worthless for t he job. You'll have to have them assayed to find out which is which. Then you will have to build a forge and buy or build crucibles to melt the steel in and then cast them into ingots. You will probably need another forge to heat the ingots up to forging temperature and then hammer or press them into bars. One thing about stainless steels is that most of them really don't like to be forged. They have a very narrow working range. Too cool and they crack and too hot and they will crumble like cottage cheese.

Do yourself a favor and toss those work out tools into the recycle bin and buy yourself some known steel to work with. The New Jersey Steel Baron and the American Knifemaker Supply are sources of blade quality steel, both carbon and stainless.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
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