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Forming stainless



I am 74, a semi retired machinist/tool and die. Bending stainless is a
very tough job. If I understand what you are wanting to do, It would
be a gravy job for a savy machinist to machine from bar stock. I am a
latter day jeweler, so I use my machine tools any time that I can.I
plan to cut dovetail channels , grooves ect. in stainless, and fill
them with gold . Ithink it would make some pretty stuff. I converted a
scroll saw to a fine power jewlers saw . Please excuse the rambling,
and Happy new year from north Mississippi



Why not approach this stainless bending problem from a blacksmith’s
perspective? When I need to make steel rings, I just clamp a steel
rod of appropriate diameter in the vise, sticking straight up. Then
I clamp the rod I want to make rings out of at the base of the
upright rod with a pair of vise-grips, sticking out perpendicular.
Then, I grab the other end of the rod-to-be-bent with a pair of
pliers, and using an oxy-acetaline torch, I heat it as I bend it and
just wrap it around the upright the way you’d make jump rings with
wire. Now for heavy guage stuff, I just leave the coil on the rod
and using one of those wafer thin cut-off disks in a 4 1/2"
horizontal grinder, I cut down the length of the coil and “voila”. .
.rings! (I’ve made curtain rod rings this way). You could do a
miniature version of this, and using a seperating disk in a foredom,
cut off the rings. Only problem with this is the stainless will
discolor, but you can re-finish using the 3M’s new “radial disks” or
mass finishing methods in a tumbler.

David L. Huffman


I attended parts of a workshop on forging stainless steel this fall.
Stainless is much more particular about temperature ranges that
forming can work. And each (of thousands) are very different, you’d
need to ask the supplier for the correct alloy and its temp rang. Many
varieties can not be bent but would only be formed by forging and
visa-versa. Forming at the wrong temp can permanently crystallize
stainless or create permanent carbon faults. Hope this helps, just do
your homework well! Ed