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How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate

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Lanse
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:48 pm    Post subject: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hey guys!!

So, things are going alright for me now... Tomorrow (Monday) is my first day of School at Hobart, looking forward to it Smile

Anyways, this is one of my next projects:









Its a broken Chas-Parker vise from a local steel yard. The place is probably three acres, and theres a 12x12 shed of good, clean,new metal. The rest is full of... well... junk. They sell steel by the foot, and although it is expensive, buying it from them saves me the 50ish mile trip to the "other" steel yard. I was there a few weeks back, and found this poor broken vise sitting in a shed(like thing) and brought it home. Figured it would be a fun project if nothing else...

Heres the dilema.. I'm in this thing a whopping $20 (I know, I know, the guy there is a tough negotiator but its got to be worth atleast $10 in scrap lol), and its clearly broken. Its a thick casting, probably an inch in places. Theres no way Im going to spend $100+ on specialty cast electrodes to fill that opening when theres no guarantee it'll even work (even less with me doing the welding), and you can buy a nice Chinese wilton vise thats bigger and probably stronger for $250 anyways. This vise, just isnt worth it.

A buddy of mine grew up welding on a farm, and is of the "screw it, lets do it" mentality. Says he's welded cast with 7018 many times and its almost always held... And I've heard of people using Stainless Steel tig wire, and tigging it. Im told these old vises are quality castings, so they should weld better than some other things, cast wise atleast.

I can understand spending a fortune on Ni rods or something and doing it "right" if its a super rare engine block, or head, or something that lives and livelihoods depend on, but this... isnt. Its like an old beater pickup, sure the "right" fix might cost $1000 but its a $600 truck...

Anyways, I wonder what my best bet here would be.

Im thinking I could grind a nice "V", preheat and 7018 it, then bury it in sand and let it cool slowly. When we learned about 7018 in welding class, our decades old paper thing we were handed mentioned that 7018 could be used for welding cast in some cases, and I've always wanted to try it. Or do the same thing, but replace the 7018 with some 309 stainless tig wire. Its pretty rusty... And Im partial to SMAW, so I think Id rather not go that way...

Look, its not like this is for a customer... Its because... I dont really know why I bought it lol. It'll be fun. If it works, GREAT, if not, the loss of $10 and a few electrodes isnt going to break me.

Who's successfully welded cast with 7018 or stainless wire or the like? I understand cast is always a little bit of a crapshoot, but like I said, Ive never done it.

Ohhh, and another update. I got the new StickWeld wired in, and tried it out for the first time tonight. That thing is SWEET! I'll have a video here soon. Have a nice week, everyone Smile
 
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

For that particular repair, I don't 7018 is the
best method but might be a good experiment if
nothing else. You'd have to do a lot of grinding
an preheat the crap out of it. Before welding,
clean up the grinding with a carbide burr. Do
short welds (1") and peen them with a small ball
pein hammer or dull chipping hammer. You don't
want to beat the death out of them as instead of
relieving stress, it would add stress. Just hit
the hot weld with a heavy tap about 10 times. If
you had an oven to put it in after would be ideal
as you could gradually lower the temp. If it was
something you really wanted to save, I think spray
welding might be the best fix. George MD would
probably have a good idea.
 
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mjsnodgrass
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

in the past, i have used 7018 to weld cast steel, but not cast iton. i would think the 7018 would make the cast iron brittle, maybe pulling the weld away when the vise is tightened up. i have however repaired the same break on about the same size vise by brazing with a bare brass rod and some blue peterson flux. the vise was in use daily when i retired 7 years later. i filled a few scrap boxes while learning what worked and what didn't. good luck and have fun with it.
 
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NCWayne
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hey Lanse, looks like it's about time you learned to braze. In a situation like you'v got here a 7018 simply isn't going to work. I can say that because I've tried it before and the result has always been the weld pulling away from the cast, or the casting simply breaking off right beside (within 1/16 inch) of the weld due to the change in chemistry in the cast caused by the weld.

That said when it comes to a good, cheap, and lasting repair for cast you simply can't beat torch brazing. Over the years I've repaired parts of vices, tractor axel housings, flywheel housings, etc, etc, all by torch brazing. I've also watched an old welder/machinist, that was my 'go to guy' for anything welding related til he passed away a couple of yars ago, braze the head off of a pretty good sized old hydraulic press. In that instance parts of the casting were well over an inch thick. What he did, and what I always do myself, is to V the cracked area either halfway through from each side, or all the way through from one side (depending on the part). From there get everything hot and then start brazing. Once your done put the part in a bucket of sand to let it cool slowly, just as you would if you were to weld it. In the end you'll have a repair that should be just as strong as the solid cast part origionally was.

Beyond that, good luck, that's too good of an old vice to just throw away based on an easily repairable break.
 
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Bob Huntress
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What I'm looking at when I see your pictures, makes me think that even if you were able to weld that back togather, it would be very weak whenever you use it, and would likely break whenever it is used. Stick is right, however. If you could get ahold of George MD, he would know what you could do to correct it, if possible.
 
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wisbaker
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'd pin it and braze away.
 
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george md
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:25 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Lance,

Anyone that tells you that you can get a
strong weld with any type of arc weld is most
likely full of some kind of compost. One possible
method with arc is to heat to 900 to 1000deg f
and weld with a nickel alloy of your choice ,
typically no one is any better than the next as
they are all in the range 90k tensile and cast
is rarely over 50k.

I think this is your chance to learn to weld
cast with a torch and cast iron rod ( cast iron
in stick form). I have welded vises and one of
them I use every day ,done with cast rod and
torch. Basically for a vise if you want success,
weld it with a torch , if you want it to fail
in use ,arc weld it. I undo a lot of arc weld
damage and redo it with torch.

If you want to chat about it send me a phone
number and I'll call you.

george
 
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Puddles
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:35 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

george md, I for one would be very interested in reading about your technique for welding cast iron with a torch! I can probably count on one hand how many times I've had to repair cast iron. Now cast steel I've done numerous repairs on pile driving equipment. For years the company would buy a rod by Welco, called Super Missile Weld. Basically just a more expensive 312 stainless steel. Later we just started using 7018. Now this was on cast steel, not cast iron.

I think this was posted by member Cast Weld on Welding Web forum. If I remember correctly he repairs cast iron for a living.
I do a lot of cast iron repairs with 100% success so far. Last year, after several months of research, I found information on a couple websites & mostly in an old Lincoln Welding book. The process is called "Cold Welding Cast Iron With MIG". I practiced several weeks on broken cast iron parts & broken/cracked manifolds my bro' gave me to get my technique down pat. It has worked with superb results.

I use MIG, 309/309L .030 wire, 98/2(AR/CO2) @15cfh & generally in the 80A range. You can use any gas with a mix of no more than 5% CO2 (ex:95/5). The 309 wire has a carbon content of .01 & works best. The idea is to keep the temperature cool by running short beads <1" & allowing the joint to cool before continuing. After running the short bead, you can take your glove off & lay your hand on the metal & will feel only warm to the touch. Since your pieces are not large, I would suggest shorter 1/2" beads & allow each weld to cool back to room temp before continuing.


On Tractorbynet forum there is a member there who goes by yomax4, he does a lot of cast iron repair with Spray Powder Torch.
 
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Indiana Ken
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:35 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote


1) Machine the broken end of the slide bar back to good metal.

2) Machine a socket in the vise head to fit the slide bar.

3) Fit the two parts together and furnace braze.

4) Tell everyone what ever story you want and stick to it.

Enjoy your class at Hobart.
 
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johnpop1
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:00 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I will have to side with the "braze it" mentality. I
am not sure I would V the pieces but I am very sure
I would sand blast the surfaces to be brazed and get
the closest to clean casting at the joints. The
braze will only be as strong as the metal is clean.
Make sure that you use good flux on the joint and
the adjoining surfaces. This should give you a
strong part when you are done.
 
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60 acre hillside
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:11 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It looks like your third paragraph contradicts the first paragraph. I know you have much experience and I respect your opinions but please explain.
 
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Welding man
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:33 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you use 7018 on that vice you will fix it alright. You will fix it so it can't be fixed. Listen to George Md. He is the cast Guru. As for your first day at Hobart. Now you will begin to find out what you know and don't know about welding.
 
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Richard G.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:00 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Lanse, I would take it all apart and V it out. Then I would drill in from the handle end and tap the slide and install grade 8 bolts from the handle end.
Then braze or cast rod weld with the torch after heating and then slowly cool in sand. If you could get 3/8 or 1/2 bolts in it, it will be very strong.
You may be able to put 4 bolts.
Richard
 
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Dick2
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:01 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Boat anchor. Be sure to use a rope that is easy to cut, so you can leave the "anchor" at the bottom of the lake.
 
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D7fever
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: How To Weld Cast Iron... Like A Cheapskate Reply to specific post Reply with quote

clean it up , heat up red... the whole thing, put it
on a charcoal fire or something. Weld it with torch
and cast iron rod and cast iron flux. let it cool
in the fire as the fire goes out. Have to v it out
some. I have welded with torch and cast iron rod
many times, takes patience and a lot of heat.
 
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