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  • Aluminum “form” for stick welding?

    Hey Folks,

    I have a general (probably stupid) question. I have seen people use aluminum to back holes in steel that are being filled, so that 1) argon is trapped, and 2) it sort of forms the weld on the back side... cutting down on grinding.

    I am wondering if aluminum flat bar could be used on the sides of an anvil that I am going to hardface with stick, to give me a nice, clean edge that I won’t have to clean up later. I’ve never tried it, but thought that if I could do it without destroying my aluminum bar, I’d save myself a lot of time grinding that hard facing metal when I’m done.

    Thanks for any input!

  • #2
    I've never done it with aluminum, but I've done it a lot with thick pieces of copper. It not only keeps the weld flat, but acts like a heat sink to help from blowing holes when welding thin stuff. I've never tried the technique when stick welding but it works very well with GMAW. I wonder if the flux might make a difference.

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    • #3
      Good question!

      I would just like to avoid as much grinder time on that hard metal as possible. I’ll have enough to do just flattening the top.

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      • #4
        You may already know this, but traditional hard facing rod doesn't work well on anvil repairs. The Gunter method of anvil repair is the only really reliable method. I'm a bit of an anvil nerd...had over 100 of them so far.

        More often than not, folks welding up the edges do more harm than good and contrary to what many people think, you don't want a sharp edge as that's what causes chipping.

        If you used the aluminum/copper to stop where the weld penetrated you'd likely wind up with a section that really is poorly bonded to the parent metal.

        https://www.anvilmag.com/smith/anvilres.htm
        Last edited by G-ManBart; 02-04-2021, 12:28 AM.

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        • #5
          Thanks, G-Man.

          I’m technically not repairing an anvil... I’m making one. Since anvils sell higher than gold these days, and my need for one is pretty limited, I am just going to get a big hunk of scrap steel and build it up with some 7018 and then hardface it for occasional use to straighten piece of bent something.

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          • #6
            Just buy the right hunk of steel and skip both steps. Or use either 7018, which will work harden, or hardface rod, no need to use 7018 first, then hardface.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sarge338 View Post
              Thanks, G-Man.

              I’m technically not repairing an anvil... I’m making one. Since anvils sell higher than gold these days, and my need for one is pretty limited, I am just going to get a big hunk of scrap steel and build it up with some 7018 and then hardface it for occasional use to straighten piece of bent something.
              Gotcha....for that sort of work a true anvil isn't always the best choice anyway, especially if you want to work on cold metal. Lots of folks use sections of forklift tine...very durable and other than cutting to size it's pretty much ready to go. I have forks for my skid steer and have used the tines to straighten things rather than on the good anvils and it worked perfectly. Sooner or later I'll find a tine in a scrap yard and make an improvised anvil out of it for this very purpose....super handy to have around.

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              • #8
                A chunk of old railroad track works pretty well for what you’re doing. I also have a short, fat chunk of H-beam that works pretty good too. I only have three anvils....well four if you count the tiny brass one I found at a flea market. Not sure what you’d use it for though.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                  A chunk of old railroad track works pretty well for what you’re doing. I also have a short, fat chunk of H-beam that works pretty good too. I only have three anvils....well four if you count the tiny brass one I found at a flea market. Not sure what you’d use it for though.
                  The small "anvil" will make a good paperweight.
                  At least, that's what I use mine for!

                  Griff
                  Last edited by griff01; 02-05-2021, 09:37 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sarge338 View Post
                    Hey Folks,

                    I have a general (probably stupid) question. I have seen people use aluminum to back holes in steel that are being filled, so that 1) argon is trapped, and 2) it sort of forms the weld on the back side... cutting down on grinding.

                    I am wondering if aluminum flat bar could be used on the sides of an anvil that I am going to hardface with stick, to give me a nice, clean edge that I won’t have to clean up later. I’ve never tried it, but thought that if I could do it without destroying my aluminum bar, I’d save myself a lot of time grinding that hard facing metal when I’m done.

                    Thanks for any input!
                    This may be hard to find, but motor brushes from a huge electric motor work excellent for your stated purpose!

                    Griff

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      @walker I was only planning on doing both 7018 AND hardfacing after watching a Stoody video where they recommended layering 7018 under the hardface. As for buying the “right” hunk of steel, I’m not totally sure how I’d determine what is “right” while walking around in the scrap yard. You have to buy it before you can cut, grind, etc. I can obviously find the size I want, but I don’t know how I’d identify the type of steel it is before I get it home.

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                      • #12
                        The Iron a Railroad track is made of ( and there are many profiles out there to chose from) seems to be a popular place for some to create a fau-type anvil. Anvils are nice tools to have around......I have a pair here 169 lbs and 325 lbs.
                        Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          I ended up finding a “hunk of metal” that looked like it was sawn off a gigantic solid bar. It’s about 17” across and weighs 500 lbs. that will probably work for my VERY basic purposes. I’m not doing any real forging of any type. I just need something besides the driveway to use when I’m straightening some piece of metal that I’ve bent somehow. :-)

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                          • #14
                            Yup, that’ll probably be sufficient.

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                            • #15
                              for my 2 cents, I never used metal for backing but do use ceramic stick on shields they are readily available and in-expensive

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