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    Re: Dream Choice of Sextant
    From: Bruce Stark
    Date: 2005 Aug 10, 16:49 EDT
    I believe there's yet another reason stainless steel isn't used for sextant frames. 316 stainless is a poor conductor of heat. For that reason it would probably warp in the sun as parts of the frame warmed and other parts remained cold. You can heat a section of 1/2 inch rod cherry red and make a bend holding the rod in your bare hands only inches from the bend.

    Someone has already pointed out that 316 stainless would be a poor choice of material for sextant manufacture because of the difficulty of working it. It "work hardens," so it's not easy to remove small amounts. Try filing it and it soon becomes harder than the file. Interestingly, heating it red hot and plunging it into cold water anneals it. Just the opposite of the effect you'd get with carbon steel.

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