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X 50 Cr Mo V 15 High Carbon Steel

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Casting Girl, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Casting Girl

    Casting Girl

    Aug 17, 2010

    I am an Oregon high temperature jewelry caster and I have a very unusual request from one of my customers. His client, a chef, would like to melt down his Wusthof knife into his wedding band. Yes, it's really true. Sacrificing his favorite knife for the woman he loves. So, question for the metallurgical types: has anyone cast X 50 Cr Mo V 15 high carbon steel? We cast 316 stainless all the time, but I've never cast this one. I compared chemistries and the big difference between the two is higher carbon in the X50 and considerably more nickel in the 316. I also would like to do a test melt before I potentially ruin his beloved knife, so I need to get my hands on about 200 to 300 grams of the X50. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  2. JasonSCarter


    Dec 20, 2008
    buy yourself the cheapest wusthof you can find. J.A. Henckles uses the same steel. try resale shops (goodwill, salvation army) you wont believe the good stuff they get in from time to time :)

  3. Nebulae


    Aug 24, 2009
    The biggest difference between 316, and Wusthof I think is going to be the high carbon content. If you cool the Wusthof quickly (which is probably the case for such a small casting) then you will form a Martensite grain structure, which is much harder, and more brittle. Additionally there will be internal stress that will need to be relieved by some other thermal treatment depending on the desired hardness, and strength. As for obtaining a sample Jason's idea is probably the best. Wusthof is a good brand, and it is widely used.
    but this is just my $.02 and others will likely be better informed than I.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  4. Troop


    Oct 26, 2006
    He should keep the knife.
  5. sunshadow


    Oct 2, 2006
    He should indeed keep the knife, failing that:
    quenching the investment to free the casting may well shatter the ring, melt and cast it under an inert atmosphere so that you do not burn the steel (Chromium, Iron and Carbon all love oxygen) Ideally you will want to vacuum induction melt it, failing that induction melt it under a carbon monoxide, Argon, or CO2 atmosphere, you get free oxygen in there and you'll have fireworks instead of a casting. Allow the investment to come to room temp then chip and sandblast it free, then spheroidize the ring, do any necessary shaping, then heat treat it, temper it, and finish sand and polish

    It's only slightly less of a nuisance to forge and repousse a ring out of 18K white sheet stock, have fun

  6. winterbear


    Jul 24, 2009
    Why cast and not forge /carve to shape? I understand that is your area of expertise but is there something inherint with the design that needs to be cast?
  7. Casting Girl

    Casting Girl

    Aug 17, 2010
    How tough would that be to forge a wedding band from a knife in this material? This is truly a customer service job for me with little chance for margin since it is so out of the norm. I am concerned that the thickness might not be adequate as well. Is anyone out there interested in this as a forging commission? I'd be happy to bounce that off my customer if it makes sense.

    btw...thanks for everyone's insight. You have a fantastic forum here;)
  8. sunshadow


    Oct 2, 2006
    As a continuous band it would depend on the desired final width, I don't know enough about the alloy to even consider a guess as to whether or not you could do a forge welded lap joint. Do you have access to a laserwelder? with enough joules you might be able to almost invisibly stitch a join closed under an argon or nitrogen atmosphere, otherwise you would be looking at doing a major upset job to build width

  9. Kevin Wilkins

    Kevin Wilkins KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 7, 1998
    That is 1.4116 stainless which is what the vast majority of all Solingen kitchen knives are made of. I used it for a run of my Mytuko Minis. Working hardness is around HRC 56. I still have about a square yard of 4mm plate standing in the corner of my shop.

    I doubt very much you will have any luck casting the stuff and it's kind of a silly idea, but you can give it a try I guess.

    The steel is used so widely in Solingen because it is forgable, so a better idea would be to try and forge it into a ring. It can also be welded but I dont know what type of rods you would need.

    The ideas some people come up with! :D

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