Caveman welding

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by William Antrum, Mar 25, 2013.


  1. William Antrum

    William Antrum GunMetal Monkey

    To start I will inform you of the obvious yes the obvious. Welding is a dangerous endeavour. I claim no liability for your inability or p.p decision making. Nor am I liable for destruction of yours or others property or person . So tread knowing that if you botched it you bought it
     
  2. William Antrum

    William Antrum GunMetal Monkey

    First and foremost safety. You need a welding shade of any kind that will suit you and your abilities. Next like I had posted in another thread,and if the conditions are such you need to do this, take a spare twelve volt battery and heavy gauge jumper cables. Attach cables as you were going to jump another vehicle. Red-pos black -neg . Place black jumper to welding work piece. Take a short piece of wire hanger and place it in the red jumper. Put your Hood on and go to work. More to come
     
  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Good thread and should be ripe for some interesting discussion.

    Quick comment on clothes hangers for welding rod. I have welded with clothes hangers and in the most dire circumstances you do what you have to do and this is clearly an option. Just understand the limitations. The problem with hangers are at least three fold:
    1. They are usually painted or coated and that does not fully and cleanly burn away during the welding and can contaminate the weld compromising it's strength. One should sand them to bright clean metal first.
    2. They are generally of a crappy quality steel. Even with a perfect welding job the hanger material will quite likely be far weaker than any of the metal it is joining. Plan and compensate accordingly.
    3. Most important, unlike a regular welding rod, they do not have a shielding flux coating that creates an inert gas shield around the weld where the metal is molten that keeps oxygen away. This is a big deal. Without a gas shield, the metal in the weld will to a varying degree oxidize and this hugely compromises the weld strength.

    As stated, one does what you have to do but stashing a couple dozen 1/16" welding rods in a piece of PVC pipe and sealing the ends and burying this in the bottom of the tool box for an emergency is a good prep and plan. If welding rods aren't sealed well while stored the coating will absorb moisture. To dry them, bake in an over or next to an open fire for an hour to really drive any moisture from the flux before using.

    AT

    Edit: fixed some autocorrect typos.
     
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  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    All 70XX filler rods MUST be sealed and stored dry, and preheated before use to prevent hydrogen contamination of the deposited material. 60XX material doesn't suffer from that, but dry storage is mandatory. Some say you can take a chance with unsealed and room temp 70XX, but I wouldn't. So far as coat hangers go, use one for the electrode and another as a filler. Make sure there's no paint left on them, and don't use them if there's to be a life depending on the work.

    AT is right, stashing a can of rod is a good idea; if you can't weld, there might be a good barter item down the road.
     
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  5. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback



    Arc welding with 3 car batteries. Okay for an improvised fix in the field if you have a kit made ahead of time (stinger, ground clamp, and cables already fitted with battery clamps and rods)

    EDIT: And safety gear
     
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  6. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Brass rods, with or without flux coating should also be stored, add a box of flux. Solder with acid core and with out. Solder with rosin core.
     
  7. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    Brass rods without flux? I have done a lot of brazing with rods, but I wonder how unserviceable brass cases would work.
     
  8. Rabid

    Rabid Monkey

    I have brazing rods and flux but SHTF will dry up gas supplies. This summer I plan to play around with some HHO and hydrogen gas welding.
     
  9. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    Mr Ghrit ,
    I dont want to sound like a jerk but u are completely wrong about having to store LH or mild steal rod in a seal dry condition...
    Yes if you are doing some certified welding or some special job it is nice to have but u can leave these rods on the shelf for a long time and they will be just fine ...

    Have done alot doing it now never been on a job with a rod oven and everything comes out just fine ...

    Im not saying it not a good idea but it is definatly NOT A MUST...
    No disrespect ment to anyone ...
    This is a great thread!!!!
     
  10. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    dont forget about the Macgyver trick welding with coins ...

    every one has done it ...
     
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  11. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Yes fluxed rods was not common in the past and for a good reason, brass rods are easy to store and rugged, add a cover of flux and a little moisture and it all goes to shit.
    I guess you could use a brass cases, the only thing you would need to do is clean the case to an extreme to remove any carbon, this to reduce imperfections in your joint . Work the case into a shape to draw it out and then you simply heat the case a bit, plunge it into the can of flux so it gets a good covering and braze away. Mention was made of "No Gas" no big deal. Brazing is simple to accomplish on most parts by first cleaning them, fix them in the position you want, heat them to a cherry read and apply the brass and flux. The flux can be added before the brass, this to clean the metal and then let the brass flow. The reason I mentioned this in a electrical welding format is that oven brazing/welding is the norm in high production manufacturing.
     
  12. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Ghrit is telling you how to do it right. If stored and then heated over even a camp fire then ALL rods weld better. Many flux types for milld steel has a cellueose base and will absorbe a lot of moisture. Part of the heating is for driving off the moisture in the coating. The moisture may not be equal at all points in a poorly stored rod and this effects the melting point as well as the combining of the two or three metal types you may encounter. Or you can just go ahead and make a PP weld. As always your choice to do it right or wrong.
     
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  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Yep, but doing it right isn't necessarily "caveman welding." That said, if you have the proper filler metal, it'll be best to treat it right so you can reliably hang more than your hat on the weldment. There's not much more exciting than having a pad eye welded up with wet lo-hy pull off under load. (Wonder how I know that? Nuther farm story for nuther time.)
     
  14. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    No doubt, I have done a fair amount of "Farm' welding, that is one of the reasons I always preheat my rods. If somthing large falls on me you can forget 911 or maybe any help till they see the buzzards circling above my cold body.

    Then again the Caveman who took short cuts or did not do his work the "most right he could" under the existing conditions is the one the saber tooth tiger ate for dinner.
     
  15. Rabid

    Rabid Monkey

    While on this caveman welding, we are going to have to face many of shortages and will have to resort to unothordox methods to make welds. As I said before I am looking to use hydrogen as my heat source. I am also considering trying to use a small rocket stove as a heat source for brazing. I'll post my findings on that experiment. Now I would like to be able to find a reasonable replacement for commercial flux.
     
  16. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Wrll now, what you may thinks is some miracle FLUX material is little more than BORAX.
    BORAX as FLUX:
    Borax is used for brazing and forge welding flux. It is applied several ways. Brazing rods are coated with it or plain. When using plain rods the end is heated and then dipped in some borax powder which sticks to the rod and begins to melt.
    When forge welding it is common to sprinkle it on. Occasionally a hot piece of iron or steel is "dipped" in the can or box. Many smiths go to the trouble to forge a long handled spoon. Another method is to use a "poker" with a short bent end. The end is heated then dipped in the flux. The flux is then transferred to the part while it is still in the fire. This has the advantage of not removing the part from the fire OR sprinkling a lot of flux in the forge.
    The high temperature solvent effect of borax will also dissolve refractories (such as your forge lining or fire brick), which after all, are metal oxides. "

    • Sodium tetraborate Na2B4O7 melts at 741°C (1,366°F)
    • Sodium tetraborate, decahydrate, Borax
      Na2B4O7·10H2O melts at 75°C (167°F), -8H2O, 60°C
    • Sodium tetraborate, pentahydrate Na2B4O7·5H2O melts at -H2O, 120°C (248°F)
    • Used for forge welding flux, brazing flux and a constituent of arc welding flux.
    • Also sold world wide under the trade name Solubor® as a boron fertilizer.
    What it means is that borax only needs to get 120°C (248°F) to become dehydrated e.g. it will loose the water trapped around the molecules (due to the polarity of the water molecules and the affinity that Oxygen has to electrons....)
    So, to get borax that doesn't make that weird dance on the steel. Just pop it in the oven at 150°C for an hour or so and the water will go away. This will make the borax slightly faster in protecting the steel from oxygen and other harm.

    Got a box of Twenty Mule Team Borax Soap, you got a type of flux.
     
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  17. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Ever think about using hardwood charcoal?
     
  18. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    I, LOVE, THIS, FORUM!!!!!!
     
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  19. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    We could probably split this thread into gas/forge welding, gas brazing, and stick welding (and a couple others like the post I made a couple days ago about MIG welding in the bug out vehicle thread.) We are mixing several types of welding in this great discussion and I can't say I like mixing up my rod with other rods.

    At the least let's define which we are referring to with each post so the novice welder might be able to make some sense from this.

    AT
     
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  20. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    Other ideas are thermite and wood gas. Not sure if the wood gas flame would get hot enough for welding, but perhaps brazing. I admit I have never used either one of those (except for thermiting some stuff overseas)
     
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