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Welding A2 Steel

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  • Welding A2 Steel

    I'm a beginner welder, and just getting into knife making. I recently purchased two pieces of A2 steel, 2 1/4 X 3 1/2 X 8", and I want to weld them together to form the main body of an anvil. I will be using them on edge, so the seam will be vertical and not horizontal. I would appreciate any advice about how to make this weld, and to approach this process. Specific questions:

    * Should I heat treat the pieces prior? they are already pretty hard, and barely dent with a hammer. They also have good rebound. I would not be able to fit them into my forge in the welded state.

    * Should I/how should I approach pre-heat before welding? I'm aware that cracking is a big danger in welding this. I have 7018 rods I've purchased for the task, and I have only a stick welder.

    * I presume it would be best to bevel the edges a good bit and make several passes - yes? Should I weld all at once, or do one or two beads on different sides and then cool, repeat, etc.?

    * Once I've welded together this main body, I plan to build a hardy hole onto the end of the anvil using mild steel, by welding several pieces of 3/4" mild steel then welding to the body - will that also be a difficult task with this steel?

    In any case - any advice at all here would be most welcome!

  • #2
    No, leave them as they are.

    Yes, preheat you should. Min. 150, to a max of 400. You goal is to prevent a rapid quenching. E7018 should be fine. I'd post heat as well and don't force the cooling.

    Yes and no. Yes to a "V groove, no to a need to go crazy in depth or width. 3/8" deep, 60degrees open, three passes. The important is the preheat and your ability to lay a bead. Yes, weld all at once. Preheat, tack weld to align, tack weld to support, grind out the alignment tacks and start welding, grind tacks as you go, and yes to balance the weld contraction by doing one side then the other.

    No. Follow above you should be fine. Other's may say other wise? That's good. Never hurts to get a second opinion.


    • #3
      I welded A2 steel for almost 7 years, daily. I preheated and ran stringers with Crown Alloys AH-10. Peen after welding and cool slow...Bob
      Bob Wright


      • #4
        I agree with the peening as well. Do it right away after welding. If you have a needle scaler that will make it easy, provided you know how to do it without bending your needles all up. Plus it’ll take the slag off nicely.


        • #5
          I'd deal with the Hardie first by using a couple inches off one piece with the square hole accomplished by burning out a U & finish grinding. Then I'd bevel that piece and it's mating surface on the remaining long piece AFTER drilling a Pritchle into the Hardie piece. S L O W cool wrapped in insulation or buried in a tub of vermiculite.

          If you can do the job in a single section lay the top flat and weld the shortened piece on narrow side to wide bottom face of the top.

          Bob needs to come up with a stick rod number that is close to AH-10

          Stand the T on top of a mild steel plate, probably 1/2" to marry to your stump and skip weld T to base. Probably best to predrill the base if you intend to bolt it to the stump. Base should be minimally twice as wide as the top. 7018 will probably suffice there since the impact force has spread by that point of interaction.

          Peening ain't going to hurt, but I'd do that with a rear exhaust needle scaler or .401 hammer with a rounded over chisel. That operation would happen in the tub of vermiculite.

          ESAB calls out a well detailed procedure for tool steel.


          • #6
            Thank you all for the excellent information!!!!


            • #7
              Sorry - one question for clarification - for the pre-heat method - would it make sense to pre-heat both pieces in an oven for several hours at say 320 deg F before welding?


              • #8
                Both pieces NEED to be preheated.

                Oven heating tends to get nasty if you're married and using HER *^$*) oven.

                Gas grill or turkey burner will work for your job, and quick if you have some bricks to suround the items being heated.


                • #9
                  Mold Weld Company is a good source for tool steel information, you can talk to their tech support if needed, just saying....
                  West coast of Florida


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Franz© View Post
                    Both pieces NEED to be preheated.

                    Oven heating tends to get nasty if you're married and using HER *^$*) oven.

                    Gas grill or turkey burner will work for your job, and quick if you have some bricks to suround the items being heated.
                    They say it's easier too beg forgiveness then too ask for permission.

                    Just remember they will get hot, don't drop them melting the lino or she might figure things out?
                    Hot potato, hot potato. Oh crap. lol. Good luck with that.

                    And while cleaning aluminum car parts in your dishwasher seems like a good idea, it isn't.


                    • #11
                      Another thing worthy of mention; Buy your own d a m OveGloves for the shop. I don't care if the woman is a Bonded Certified Saint, she is NOT going to forgive an oil soaked Ove Glove.

                      Noell, did you use Dove in the dishwasher again? I know I Memoed you on the difference between hand dish washing juice and machine juice.
                      You would have used some Polysorbate on the wash and rinse cycles she never would have known.


                      • #12
                        Once again I have to look something up. Canadian tire carry that stuff or to do I have to try a chemist? You have to make this easy for us simple Canadian folk.

                        While I did pre clean the stuff, I just threw in a dishwasher pod thinking good too go. I was mistaken.

                        I should maybe mention, I was then long pushing on my own path and figured my cleaned parts were more important then a used dish washer. Seems I was right. Never used it much anyways?

                        But that Polysorbate...


                        Never hurts to be a little more informed and knowledgeable.

              [email protected]+9005-65-6

                        What doesn't kill you makes you smell good, look younger, and will shine your furniture. Sounds like a wife?


                        • #13
                          This could go very bad very quick Noel. There are 3 different Polysorbates in common use, P~~~20, P~~~`40 and P!!~~~80.
                          The one we'll be working with in this case is Polysorbate 20 eh. A marvelous little chemical it is, derived primarily from Soy Beans as they are processed.
                          Just for fun, next time you're in the Pharmacy/Chemist/Druggist whatever yall call them, pick up a bottle of the wonder product called Minoxidil and read the ingredients. You'll probably need glasses to see Polysorbate 20 is the active ingredient. Last I looked a half ounce US with a spritzer top was around 18 bucks US. That little bottle contains less than half a drop of Polysorbate 20 which currently costs around 20 bucks a gallon. The poly is the ingredient that works and the rest is just paint thinner so to speak.

                          You'll also find Polysorbate 20 in commercial ice cream. It allows compressed air to incorporate into the ice cream and expand the volume by as much as 20% You can usually get thrown out of the supermarket by weighing the cheap ice cream against the premium brand and asking why the cheap crap is so light by comparison. Less than half a cup of Poly 20 and compressed air turns 10 gallons of ice cram into over 15 gallons (do the metric conversion yourself)

                          Poly 20 allows oil and water to emulsify into a foamy glop. (scientific Canadian term) Add heat to the water andthe poly becomes better and incorporates more grease per gallon of water. US, NOT Imperial. Better yet, Poly 20 glues the glop together so well it stays glued for a long time.

                          If you're running a commercial transmission shop with a commercial Hobart (cousins) dish washer, you run 170°f water with Poly 20 to taste, and them parts come out 99.9% degreased and hot enough to air dry. Only defect in the system I ever found was it doesn't work well on grease filled crevices and fissures. Soak time is generally necessary for that.

                          Oh, about those pods, while they are slightly better than powdered dishwasher detergent, they really don't keep the grease & dirt suspended long enough to get to the sewer, and you wind up needing a sewer augur. Never use pods or powder on glass. Both contain sodium silicate and that streaks your fine Mason jars terribly. Nobody appreciates a cloudy Molsons.

                          Now, if you can get your hands on some raw soy diesel fuel, Never mind, too many eyes looking. Somebody wil run and tell Captain Acetone and he'll get all bent.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Franz© View Post

                            Bob needs to come up with a stick rod number that is close to AH-10
                            Simple enough
                            Bob Wright


                            • #15
                              Right there is why Bob gets the heavy pay envelope.
                              He memorized the whole high priced welding rod catalogue while laying around waiting to sell the next welder.