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upcoming cast iron light pole repair

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  • upcoming cast iron light pole repair

    Ok, so not really a light pole. It's an old...ooooolllllddddd....gamewell pole. There were used way back in the day for reporting fires. The pole had a little house looking box on the side with a pull station (lever) that activated the fire alarm. The system would send a signal to the fire station and it would "tick" out a series of holes in a reel to reel type paper roll. It would also illuminate the light globe at the top of the pole. The firemen at the station would take the ticked out hole punched sheet and compare the code on it to a card in what was essentially a card catalog. They would then report the fire alarm and dispatch the resources that were listed on the card from the catalog.

    These are in my town and from my fire department. We're moving them to a new station that has just been completed. Merely decorations, we still would prefer they not fall on someone. This old repair quit while the sand blaster was doing his thing.

    Going to be a tough one boys....
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Do you have a game plan, or still formulating...
    Richard

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    • #3
      Still planning/thinking/stuttering...

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      • #4
        Silicon bronze. GMAW, GTAW, or OAW... I'd go GMAW, my final answer. What do you think the last guy used?

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        • #5
          The oldest guy around that I can find, retired two years ago with 47 years of service here, told me that it was welded before he came to work there. This move makes it it's 3rd move to a new station. So given its age, my guess is that it was nickel rod. I haven't cut into yet, but I plan to cut all that old weld off.

          My tentative plan is tig braze with aluminum bronze. That's a lot of tig brazing and build up though. Aluminum bronze will be easier to dress back down, that's for sure. I've also had great success with it on cast on past jobs.

          I can't use Helga, running her that long and that high will just trip the breaker. It will have to be an inverter.

          Accepting suggestions/opinions....

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          • #6
            Epoxy a sleeve into it.

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            • #7
              Probably be a couple days before I can look at it a little closer, but you make a valid suggestion. It is going in for paint and not powder coat too.

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              • #8
                After I ground all that old crap off and fitted it, I would probably use flux coated brazing rods and a cutting torch for heat. Much pre-heat beforehand and post heat as well.
                I have some really insane junk out there still going that I done that way. Big torch works good on big cast.
                Not saying you should do it that way as much as I'm saying that's how I was taught by an old guy 40 years back and it hasn't failed me yet.

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                • #9
                  My luck, it's a big booger weld of nickel rod in there. That stuff is hard hard hard.

                  Once I get it in the shop, I'll have a better idea of what I'm facing.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                    After I ground all that old crap off and fitted it, I would probably use flux coated brazing rods and a cutting torch for heat. Much pre-heat beforehand and post heat as well..
                    I would agree............more control with the Oxy , although not sure I would use a cutting torch for heat?..........But would use a large Rosebud to pre-heat ( make sure your good on acetylene) as it uses allot and then a standard large welding tip to braze...........You could do the same with Nickel rod........all must be clean and free of any rust or corrosion.........multiple passes to build up material , find a place underneath the part to practice on that's out of the way to see how the process works. Might have to go to different colored lenses to see the weld zone...........get a welding blanket standing by and a few moving pads to cover the work up once done......I have also used a small electric heater under the welding blanket to slow down the cooling for a few hours.......Good Luck!
                    Last edited by tarry99; 03-13-2019, 10:24 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I have a decent size set of O&A torches, but all I have is a cutting head and a small set of brazing tips. I'll have to ponder this for a bit. Maybe it's a good excuse to buy a new tool!

                      This cast doesn't have a bottom for this repair. These poles will be free standing as yard art basically. They have to be close to 100 years old. No telling the quality of that cast either.

                      I know I'm going to go through some abrasives cleaning it up though. Just have to take this job one step at a time. Unfortunately, this is a free job. I wouldn't have taken it on if someone I'm very close to hadn't asked for a personal favor. As far as that goes, it wouldn't matter what he asked of me, I'd do it. Loyalty. Hopefully I can pass that trait along to this younger generation of firemen. Maybe get a few of them over here to learn how to fix stuff.

                      I bet I can get one the younger guys to take pictures along the way and maybe actually document one of my off the wall repairs. We shall see.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                        I wouldn't have taken it on if someone I'm very close to hadn't asked for a personal favor. As far as that goes, it wouldn't matter what he asked of me, I'd do it. Loyalty. Hopefully I can pass that trait along to this younger generation of firemen. Maybe get a few of them over here to learn how to fix stuff.

                        I bet I can get one the younger guys to take pictures along the way and maybe actually document one of my off the wall repairs. We shall see.
                        Anyone qualified to help out, like do some grinding?

                        Do you have any of the ceramic flap discs? or do you have something else in mind?
                        Richard

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                        • #13
                          Remember the first rule of medicine, do no harm. Second rule is do less harm. Followed closely by learned my lesson I sure won't do that again.

                          After you've ground the surfaces, the abrasion and heat will have smeared the carbon/ graphite, cold file the surfaces again to remove. You could also use an oxidizing flame and sear it, then file.
                          You mentioned previously you had a roll of bronze wire, I'm telling you, now's the time to bring it out. Your not worried about color match, mixed gas or argon, it won't get easier.

                          Now...if it was the good old days, I'd say OF brazing or oxy fuel with flux and a cast iron rod. If it was old days, I'd say fancy Ni rod. It's today however...time to get modern. I'm looking forward to the pictures of the main event. Good luck.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post

                            I know I'm going to go through some abrasives cleaning it up though.
                            High Speed or Carbide burrs on a High Speed grinder or porting tool should go through that cast iron easily.......

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                            • #15
                              What's worked well in the past for me is grind most of it off with a hard rock, then bust out the carbide burrs and finish it off.

                              I'm sure some guys will come help me if I ask. Most of the time, people that are inexperienced are more in the way though. I may ask a couple guys and keep it simple.

                              Mig brazing is not completely off the table, but I'll probably want to at least join the parts with tig braze first, just to make sure things are tied up. I will want to tig braze with aluminum bronze, my mig wire is silicon bronze. Anyone see any compatibility issues there?

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