Welding bead on angle iron?

joel_bcApril 2, 2008

I've been learning oxy-acetylene welding, pretty much on my own (a bit isolated where I live). (Don't be alarmed, I acquired good safety habits from a couple of books and a video.)

Anyhow, I've got a problem with technique in a certain situation. I've been trying to weld two pieces of 1-inch mild-steel angle iron, approximately 1/8"-thick stock. The two lengths are clamped together so that they run side by side and their cross-section hence forms a "T", if you can picture it. I've been tack welding along the top of the "T", every six inches or so, and then attempting a tidy and penetrating seam to join the two adjacent top surfaces together strongly.

Problem seems to be that because the vertical portion of the angle iron is 1" deep below the line I'm trying to weld, it does not puddle along that line like a butt joint with flat 1/8" stock. The vertical metal seems to act as a sort of heat sink, if that makes sense. I can get a puddle, but it tends to spread wide on the top surface of the angle iron. When I finally get it hot enough that the two top surfaces are puddling and the filler rod is flowing in, I get beads that wind up 3/8 or 1/2 inch wide, and not very tidy looking!

It seems like a situation worth pursuing. I'm taking this as a challenge in learning oxy-fuel welding skills. Can you offer any advice? Thanks.

Joel

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green-zeus

Instead of welding this, would brazing work better? Sometimes brazing rod works a whole lot better for some situations,especially when you're trying to fill in an area.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 4:07PM
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joel_bc

Thanks... I think it could be easier!

But actually, I have been practicing the situation that I described (using steel rod & higher temp) for two reasons: One is to just develop the skill. Second is that although brazing can be very strong as a bond, it is far less resistant to shock stress, hence can crack or break more readily along a seam than a good weld.

Joel

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 7:52PM
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davej_07

Are you getting the base metal hot enough before you start trying the weld? If you get it hot enough it shouldnt cool the puddle before you can get it flowing....
Just a thought.
Dave

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:23PM
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knick

Trying Grinding off some of the corner of the 2 pieces so it gives a slight V shape. That way you can get the heat where you want it and more surface area to weld too.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:10AM
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joel_bc

Dave & knick, you each make good points. Thanks.

Knick - I've tried grinding the corner-edge off at 45 degrees, so when the two pieces of angle iron are clamped together you get a 90 degree groove to puddle the metal in. Yes, this is very good.

It also seems to me that getting the base metal hot enough, as Dave said, is important. I've concluded that using a tip that is a size or two larger than what would be indicated by the 1/8-inch gauge of the metal is one way to ensure that.

Any other thoughts?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:38AM
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brickeyee

Gas welding has such limited use that it is rarely seen anymore.

The amount of heat required is much larger than arc welding resulting in distortion in the sections as they cool off.

I only even bother gas welding when I already have the torch out for another reason and am to lazy to get the arc welder out.

The joints tend to be compromised by the contamination in the weld bead resulting in a weaker joint.
Open arc welding is a little better if you use coated rods, and any of the MIG/TIG shielded methods are even better.

The heat zone is much smaller, creating less chance for warping also.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 11:47AM
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joel_bc

Brickeye, you wrote: "Gas welding has such limited use that it is rarely seen anymore. The amount of heat required is much larger than arc welding resulting in distortion in the sections as they cool off."

I agree, in a way... just in the sense that arc or MIG or something my often offer advantages -sometimes substantial ones. I know a number of people using O/A to weld on a regular basis in my area. I just saw a little 20-year-old utlity building the other day, metal framed with a shed roof and "panelled" with expanded-mteal lathe. The edges of the metal lathe were welded to the framework, and actually it might have been debated whether the welding was done with gas or arc (either could have been used.

I've been using the gas rig for welding, brazing, or braze welding steel pieces up to 3/16" thickness.

You also wrote: "I only even bother gas welding when I already have the torch out for another reason and am to lazy to get the arc welder out."

Well, that's my situation all the time - since the O/A is the only welding rig I own. It's versatile, since it can be used for welding, brazing, bending & heat forming work, anealing, and cutting.

If I were to get into arc of any sort, I'd want to buy good equipment, and there is a lot of other useful and needed stuff in life to spend monty on! (I paid $150 for used O/A torches, hoses, regulators, and caddy.)

But your criticisms are valid.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 5:51PM
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mrclancy

try preheating

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 8:30PM
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