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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    Just to be sure -- are we all talking about the same thing? As I understand it, there is a special bronze used for TIG brazing. If you try to use regular bronze brazing rod, with or without flux, it will be awful. If you use the right kind of bronze, then the argon is used in place of the flux. Is this correct?
    I was talking about a regular brazing rod (no flux) when you use arc instead of traditional flame.

    P.S. In general, this is not a technics I'd choose to join cast iron. I'd do it more traditionally: If welding is needed, I'd choose nickel rod; if brazing- I'd do it with flame.

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    I have a similar issue and wasn't sure what process to use and figured it belongs in this thread. The parts I want to repair are from a vintage reflecting goniometer, obviously parts are unobtainable. Of course I could machine a replica but would rather repair the original for obvious reasons. There are two broken parts. In fear of screwing it up welding or brazing I thought about pinning and bolting one of them (the larger grey part in the links). Figured I would mill out a rectangular pocket so to speak, insert a .125" (or thicker" plate, then drill, tap and screw it into the original cast iron. Grind a small v-grind around the perimeter of the plates, JB Weld, sand down flat, then a repaint.

    I was a pipefitter/pipe/tube welder by profession but retired years ago. I'm 72 nowadays. I have done a lot of stick, TIG, orbital welding, silver brazing. I've also TIG welded with silicon bronze but have never touched cast iron from a welding perspective. The only welding machines I have nowadays are an old Millermatic DVI-2 MIG welder and a Miller Maxstar 150 STL. Of course I have a oxygen acetylene rig. Naturally I will need to fixture both repairs before welding or whatever I end up doing. Not sure what the smaller repair is made of. It has a bronze appearance.

    Since the one repair is so thick I wasn't sure how to approach it IF I weld or braze it. I would need to fixture it since it's not perfectly flat on the top or bottom, preheat while clamped in place, weld the top, flip it over, fixture it again, preheat and weld. Just not sure of the protocol here and one of the reason I was just going to pin it.

    Here's some silicon bronze welding I've done;

    169399191 photo - Squatting Dog photos at pbase.com

    169399192 photo - Squatting Dog photos at pbase.com


    Here's a link the the parts that need to be repaired;

    Cast Iron Weld Repair - Reflecting Goniometer Photo Gallery by Squatting Dog at pbase.com

    Regards,
    -JW:
    Last edited by Smokedaddy; 06-23-2019 at 10:39 PM.

  3. #23
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    The thing with cat iron is the brittle parent material. If you weld one side completely, then the other, there a high chance of the first side cracking as the second weld shrinks. (Almost all my cast iron repairs have been done with a nickel 55 rod.)

    If you brought that to me I'd V out it to within about a quarter inch of center. Clamp up as needed, preheat, and tack it together in a couple spots, flip it over, put a couple short weld on the other side, then progressively fill the vees with short (<1") welds. I use a needle scaler and cup brush on the grinder to clean between welds.

    Reheat the part as necessary to keep the weld area above spit sizzling temperature and grind out anything that looks like it may not have flowed into the CI properly. Reheat the whole part and let cool slowly. I usually just air cool, but wrapping it in insulating material to slow it down is even better.

    My biggest concern is that as a recovering pipe fitter you're going to hate how ugly the welds are. Remember you're going to grind it smooth later. 😉

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by fciron View Post
    The thing with cat iron is the brittle parent material. If you weld one side completely, then the other, there a high chance of the first side cracking as the second weld shrinks. (Almost all my cast iron repairs have been done with a nickel 55 rod.)

    If you brought that to me I'd V out it to within about a quarter inch of center. Clamp up as needed, preheat, and tack it together in a couple spots, flip it over, put a couple short weld on the other side, then progressively fill the vees with short (<1") welds. I use a needle scaler and cup brush on the grinder to clean between welds.

    Reheat the part as necessary to keep the weld area above spit sizzling temperature and grind out anything that looks like it may not have flowed into the CI properly. Reheat the whole part and let cool slowly. I usually just air cool, but wrapping it in insulating material to slow it down is even better.

    My biggest concern is that as a recovering pipe fitter you're going to hate how ugly the welds are. Remember you're going to grind it smooth later. ��
    I don't know how to identify what kind of cast iron this is. One thing I do know is it's approximately 73 years old and probably one of a kind and the reason I'm being so anal about this. I always strive to produce the best I possibly can and sometimes that takes a lot of homework. I know I could simply jump in and do it and if it doesn't work say that I'm sorry but I don't do that kind of work. I've corresponded with Muggy about this too looking for suggestions after I read about the Muggy 77. It's advertised as ... crack-resistant formula eliminates the need for pre-heating or special cooling. Naturally I'd still preheat and peen with a chipping hammer. I have a bunch of silicon bronze TIG rod too that I use on other projects but the Muggy 77 (or whatever) seems like a better option. I hear ya about the butt ugly welds but I'll be grinding that puppy, painting etc., and make it look as if it was never broken (like not a flaw).

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    Yep, it's me once again. I finally got the fixture/jig built and was getting ready to weld this puppy with Muggy 77 stick rod. Of course I haven't cleaned it up nor ground a groove in the part yet. Since I have no experience welding cast iron but I'm sure I can, I wanted those with direct experience to look at the casting section below. Does this look like cast iron to you (ignore the fracture please).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 4posting20190711_111227.jpg   fixture-finished-dscf0065.jpg  

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    Please don't destroy good 123 blocks with welding spatter. If they are already toast as far as precision surfaces go, that's a nice setup, but it's asking for a lot of contraction bending when you first release the clamps. Not sure how MuggyWeld behaves in that regard, maybe it will take all the strain and yield.

    Does that look like cast iron? Err, if it's about as heavy as steel, it's unlikely to be anything else. The fracture is actually very diagnostic, and not to be ignored. Hard to tell from just one photo, with one lighting setup, but that stuff may be well toward white cast iron, very hard and brittle, and not well welded by any ferrous rod. Surface looks very granular, maybe from sharp impact, maybe from crummy casting. Dunno what's in Muggy 77 w.r.t. ferrous or non-ferrous (nickel) alloys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfriedberg View Post
    Please don't destroy good 123 blocks with welding spatter. If they are already toast as far as precision surfaces go, that's a nice setup, but it's asking for a lot of contraction bending when you first release the clamps. Not sure how MuggyWeld behaves in that regard, maybe it will take all the strain and yield.

    Does that look like cast iron? Err, if it's about as heavy as steel, it's unlikely to be anything else. The fracture is actually very diagnostic, and not to be ignored. Hard to tell from just one photo, with one lighting setup, but that stuff may be well toward white cast iron, very hard and brittle, and not well welded by any ferrous rod. Surface looks very granular, maybe from sharp impact, maybe from crummy casting. Dunno what's in Muggy 77 w.r.t. ferrous or non-ferrous (nickel) alloys.
    I won't be using those machinist block when and IF I end up welding it. I have a bunch of aluminum gas cabinet stand offs that I'll use (the blue pups in the pic below). I have a piece 3" by 14" by 1"thick steel (see pic below) but it's thicker than the leg. The leg is 7/8" and tapers down to 9/16" and is a little narrower. The legs see a LOT lighter than the steel for sure.

    When I was asked to weld this I was told it was cast iron, so I assumed that. So assuming I have cast iron, I did talk with Mike Muggy and he suggested the 77 rod if I wanted to weld it. Said it would be the strongest option but didn't push his product. He made a few suggestions as well. I suppose the big question is 'what do I have" material wise.

    I've machined cast iron before but 'only' in making counterweights for telescope GEM's (German Equatorial Mount). This doesn't seem the same but then again I've never seen a broken section before.

    You searched for muggy 77 - Muggy Weld

    Oh, here's a close up of the broken end of the cast iron leg.

    After throwing a wire wheel at it to remove some of the paint (and not being a metallurgist) I'm leaning towards cast aluminum maybe and not cast iron? I tried to photograph it but can't nail what it really looks like in person. It's more aluminum looking (sort of shinny) instead of the 'white looking in the pics' last pics.

    I'm lost,
    -JW:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20190711_134214.jpg   20190711_135052.jpg   natural-lighting-2019-07-11-13-43-42-b-radius8-smoothing4-.jpg   20190711_140831.jpg   20190711_141515.jpg  


  9. #28
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    Cast iron is close to 3 times as dense as aluminum. You should be able to distinguish cast iron from aluminum just by picking it up. Is it lightweight or is it heavy? If it's heavy, call it cast iron. If it's light, it could be a bunch of things. Distinguishing aluminum from magnesium or any of the various zinc-based alloys is more difficult than hefting it in your hand.

    Magnesium has 63% the density of aluminum, so is even lighter. This is a big enough difference to tell by hefting it, but if you aren't sure about cast iron vs aluminum, you for sure won't be sure about aluminum vs magnesium. Zinc-based alloys are substantially heavier than aluminum; there's a broad range of densities, with some nearly as heavy as steel.

    A clean (freshly filed) zinc-alloy surface will react with vinegar or other mild acid (makes bubbles), while aluminum will not.

    Aluminum has a low melting point. If you cut off a chip, it will melt around red heat for iron. Zinc will turn into a puff of white smoke (but a lot of zinc-based alloys have a lot of non-zinc in them). Magnesium will not melt, but will ignite near a white heat.

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    ... a magnet won't stick it so it can't be iron based. It must be a white metal like zinc or aluminum. I read that white cast iron is very hard and contains iron carbides and is normally considered to be unweldable.

    ... nice.

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    I guess from here it is high zinc pot metal aka Gatlinburg horse metal. Nothing sticks to it-even lead is repulsed by the little black ooze that will come out when warmed. best bet is to drill and pin it, add some 5 minute epoxy, and then cast it in bronze or al. if you just need function, straps of bronze on each side, thru bolt them.
    I have had staybrite solder kinda hold it together, but the sun and moon have to be aligned for it to work.
    Of course, assuming not aluminum. If it is, then just weld it with big ole vee and beads.

    edits, addendum
    I would first try and test if it is good pot metal (hard to tell by pics, leaning not) and lead weld/solder it. with a sharp scraper if the crystals shave relatively smooth it is good canadate, if they feel grainy with scraper then no. Using high lead solder and an iron way to hot work it with a slow abasive cutting action into material, pulling a bead that looks like a mini mig weld. Ruby fluid flux, by hot iron I mean toxic lead fumes visible. only add solder to iron, not near the piece- any cold lead will contaminate repair area.
    This is not a hard process, yet not one you can usually get on first try, as more weld/lead is added the part warms, as part warms everything is better, until everything releases.

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    had this actually have been cast iron the fixturing you showed would have guaranteed the weld cracking. cast iron needs to be fixtured loosely. i learned the hard way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cg285 View Post
    had this actually have been cast iron the fixturing you showed would have guaranteed the weld cracking. cast iron needs to be fixtured loosely. i learned the hard way.
    I asked the same question to Mike Muggy using his 77 electrode and he said it should be fine. Just curious, in your situation, did you only weld about an inch then peen the weld?

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    Not that it will help you with zinc/aluminium castings, but using oxyfuel with square cast iron rods and flux has worked the best for me with the castings I've had to repair. I have had it work on castings that out right reject any attempts with nickle based fillers, both Stick and Tig. Fixture(if needed), gouge, preheat, heat the rod, dunk it in the flux, and weld away. Repeat flux dunking as needed.
    It acts more like a solder/braze in use but sets up to be about the same as the casting afterwords. MUCH better color match than anything else after its blended off... of which it will need to be because there is No way to make it pretty otherwise...

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    I appreciate all the help and suggestions. At this point, I'm not sure what to do since I don't know what sort of material I'm dealing with. I talked to one guy overseas that had a repair on a similar item but the welder used Mn-rich electrode which I assumed he meant manganese rod. Naturally I asked more questions but haven't received a response back yet.

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    I'd either bolt a plate under the leg in the hollow part or quote making a new one from scratch using some aluminum plate, if that's what you think its made from.

    I don't like welding / brazing mystery metal. At least make a good drawing of it before you mess up the joint and can't reverse engineer it.

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    I would NOT, repeat, NOT even try a lead solder on that, bad idea. with a brittle granular fracture its unlikely to be a lead or lead tin alloy, and it would be heavy if it were. lead will not work on aluminum or zinc alloys, which is most likely what you have there.

    most "pot metal" castings are either zinc based, or tin based, and if it were tin based, it would be similar in "heft" (density) to steel.

    you have already said it is significantly lighter that that, so I think we can eliminate a lead solder option. It would also f88k it up but good for a repair with proper filler metal.

    I'd V it out and give it a go with 4043 Al filler and AC TIG, but you don't have a machine with AC. have you GTAW welded aluminum much?

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    If it is indeed zinc/mazak/potmetal perhaps the 'magic' aluminum repair rods will work. It's sold under several names like Alumiwels, it's advertised to only need a butane torch to weld any aluminum like material. I've heard it's really aluminum solder. The stuff gets laughed at a lot, but I've pulled off some miracle saves using it on antique car parts that were cast potmetal and it's surprisingly strong. At worst you could try it on a location away from the break just to see if it bonds with the parent material before you risk contaminating the broken area.

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    Hey mud, I’m game to stock some of those “magic” aluminum repair rods, what brands/ sources can you recommend?

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    Acid test it or take it to a scrap yard with a metal analyzer, it's not like your in a rush, you had time to write and wait on this thread. I'd also try lighting a chip up, I wouldn't be suprised its some kind of mag alloy. You'd have saved some time if you broke out with a magnet along time ago. If it's not some unknown pot metal garbage, and is a mag alloy or aluminum I would TIG it, but if you can't do that, I would braze it. The Alumaweld that was mentioned is decent stuff and strong and works with aluminum, magnesium, pot metal, white metals, etc., but straight propane/butane/nap will take you forever, if even possible on that big and thick of part. Use oxygen/acetylene and you'll be done quick, so if dragging the torch out why not just braze it, only around 100 degrees Fahrenheit more needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyanidekid View Post
    Hey mud, I’m game to stock some of those “magic” aluminum repair rods, what brands/ sources can you recommend?
    This is my stash, I don't know what's available now.

    111.jpg
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