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  • Cast Steel Welding

    Hello Fellow Welders!

    I had the base on my drill press break as someone tried to beat something straight on it... It broke off one of the corners so when I try to use it, it falls towards me which is very annoying as I can't focus on drilling my hole while preventing the press from falling on me.

    So I took the base off, beveled the seams from the broken pieces, cleaned them with paint thinner and pulled out my 316L rod and Tigged it with my trusty Dynasty 200 at 130 Amps. Worked surprisingly well and only had a few minor cracks across parts of the beads. totaled of about 5 beads on each side (it was a 1/4" thick so I did both sides) Tried to do it as fast I could to keep the expansion and contraction rate as even as possible and it turned out pretty well, like i said, only a few cracks

    But is there a way to have no cracks? Did I just get lucky or did I do it properly? the only other cast items I do are aluminum or iron like for a kitchen unit with a flame under it. Just wanting to get your input on how you would do it.

    I would attach a picture but when I walked out the shop, my good Samaritan co-worker remounted the base and spray painted it so now you can't really see the welds properly anymore.

    Anyways, any advice is appreciated for next time.


    if there's a welder, there's a way

  • #2
    Would bet that base is most likely cast iron not steel...

    Steel would have deformed not cracked...

    316L works ....either way...so would Silbronze or Albronze...

    I use Cronatron 211 just because I have it

    preheat and slow cool will help avoid cracking
    Last edited by H80N; 05-19-2016, 05:12 PM.
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

    Comment


    • #3
      I was told it was cast steel, not sure how to tell them apart.

      Silbronze? like silica bronze? never head of albronze?

      Cronatron? Are these just brand names?

      I got silica bronze rods, 5053, 4043, 4049, 308L, 316L, mild steel and copper rods. what is best to use? I read something about using nickel or copper based rods but then again, not sure whats best.
      Last edited by Olivero; 05-19-2016, 05:13 PM. Reason: Meant to say cast steel, accidentally wrote cast iron.
      if there's a welder, there's a way

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Olivero View Post
        I was told it was cast steel, not sure how to tell them apart.

        Silbronze? like silica bronze? never head of albronze?

        Cronatron? Are these just brand names?

        I got silica bronze rods, 5053, 4043, 4049, 308L, 316L, mild steel and copper rods. what is best to use? I read something about using nickel or copper based rods but then again, not sure whats best.
        A grinder "Spark Test" can tell you the difference

        https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...2Spark+Test%22


        Silicon Bronze & Aluminum Bronze

        Yes Cronatron 211 is a trade name ( I think Nickel based)

        https://www.lawsonproducts.com/Crona...Wire/CW1901.lp

        Last edited by H80N; 05-19-2016, 05:48 PM.
        .

        *******************************************
        The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

        “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

        Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

        My Blue Stuff:
        Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
        Dynasty 200DX
        Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
        Millermatic 200

        TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

        Comment


        • #5
          No kidding. Wow, had no idea such a rod existed.

          Gotta get my hands on some of those, how do they work? Still have to preheat and tap it with a hammer?
          if there's a welder, there's a way

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Olivero View Post
            No kidding. Wow, had no idea such a rod existed.

            Gotta get my hands on some of those, how do they work? Still have to preheat and tap it with a hammer?
            I don't do lot of cast iron these days but do like a LOT of preheat and depending on the size gas grill or big charcoal fire provides the heat...

            and yes I stitch and hammer peen the welds... then bury in sand or embers for very slow cool
            Last edited by H80N; 05-19-2016, 05:47 PM.
            .

            *******************************************
            The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

            “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

            Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

            My Blue Stuff:
            Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
            Dynasty 200DX
            Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
            Millermatic 200

            TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

            Comment


            • #7
              Kitty litter or floor dry works best and is simple to get for that slow cool down

              Comment


              • #8
                Your base is cast iron NI rod will do the job whatever you preference is with a welding machine. Cast steel can be welded with 7018 or MIG or any other process you want. Big difference in material. But your base will be cast iron...Bob
                Bob Wright

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've tig brazed cast iron with great success, including reattaching a vice jaw that I snapped off. The tig braze is a good choice because you're not actually melting the base metal and therefore avoid the cracking issues. If you say you can see five or six cracks, there are plenty more and go deeper than you probably think. Here's what I've done in the past:<br />
                  <br />
                  Prep the pieces and get a couple of tacks to hold it in place.<br />
                  <br />
                  Start a nice fire outback, cook some hotdogs on it then toss your piece in the fire. <br />
                  <br />
                  Eat the hot dogs. <br />
                  <br />
                  Now go fish your piece out and wrangle it to your welding bench without melting your hands off. <br />
                  <br />
                  Brush it off and get after it. Once you have it done, put it back in the fire and leave it overnight. <br />
                  <br />
                  Be good to go the next morning. <br />
                  <br />
                  Probably need a new paint job though.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cool guys, thanks for the replys. I will have to try the slow cool down and see if it prevents the cracks.

                    So which contains more carbon, A.K.A is harder to weld, cast steel or cast iron?
                    if there's a welder, there's a way

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Olivero View Post
                      Cool guys, thanks for the replys. I will have to try the slow cool down and see if it prevents the cracks.

                      So which contains more carbon, A.K.A is harder to weld, cast steel or cast iron?
                      Cast iron presents the greatest challenges...

                      on top of all else.... "Cast Iron".... can encompass a huge range of alloys... some fairly easy to weld.... others so full of impurities (and or oilsoaked) that they are near impossible to join...

                      It can be a crapshoot... each one is different...
                      .

                      *******************************************
                      The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                      “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                      Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                      My Blue Stuff:
                      Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                      Dynasty 200DX
                      Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                      Millermatic 200

                      TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Okay cool, I noticed what looked like oil was seeping out of the base yesterday after I welded it, i noticed what looked like oil running down the side of it but figured it might just have been from using oil while drilling in the past and it might have made its way down, but I guess it could be from the casting.

                        I did clean up whatever I saw but by the time I was done, there was more. Didn't think much of it at the time.
                        if there's a welder, there's a way

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here is an overview from the Harris site that may be helpful

                          http://www.harrisweldingsupplies.com...cast-iron.aspx



                          .

                          *******************************************
                          The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                          “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                          Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                          My Blue Stuff:
                          Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                          Dynasty 200DX
                          Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                          Millermatic 200

                          TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here is the base.
                            if there's a welder, there's a way

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              cast iron, hands down, way harder to deal with. Not that you can't light up on it and melt metal together, but its all the other "things" that cause problems. If you preheat it like I was saying...or by tossing it into the fires of Mordor for a while...it will burn that goop out of there. Which is why you cook the hot dogs BEFORE you throw your piece in for preheat. The post heat just keeps it from cooling too slowly and cracking all over the place. I've peened only small repairs that I've used a cast iron welding rod for. You don't have to beat the living daylights out of it either. And its a battle, weld a bit, peen it...weld a bit, peen it...repeat.

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