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Welding bulldozer ripper blade to mild steel

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  • Welding bulldozer ripper blade to mild steel

    Looking for any "how to" information to weld a bulldozer ripper blade to a mild steel base plate. Company is trying to make a single ripper blade attachment, (3 feet long, 2" thick), to a 325 Cat. The on-site welders tried to weld the blade to the excavator mild steel base plate, 1.25" thick, with four very short mild steel gussets using 7018 rod with a fair amount of build up, no pre or post heat. The base plate was also cut out to insert the ripper to plug weld it from the bottom. After only a few minutes of operation, all the welds from the ripper to the mild steel base plate were broken. Not alot of information out there about doing this but I did successfully weld up a rock crusher roller about 10 years ago that was broken in half. My LWS suggested the Super Missle Weld, not sure of the number. Did a pre and post weld heat and cut the 6" round roller down to get a full pen weld on it and was still in service when they removed it from the job 3 years later. I suggested that they build a heavy duty reciever using 2" ms, 12" tall with 1 gusset forward and aft and 2 gussets on each side to the base plate and bolt the ripper in place. If they want to go without the reciever idea, any ideas what rod to use to weld the gusset directly to the ripper blade? Thanks for any input. Mike

  • #2
    My first thought is this is just as much an engineering/design issue as it is a welding issue. If I'm visualizing this correctly it will be solid mounted to the undercarraige base plate with no adjustment?
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    • #3
      Some pictures would be handy.

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      • #4
        Is this similiar to what you are wanting?
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Your welds on this will only be as strong as the parent metal. In this case, if you're using mild steel, its never going to perform in the long run. Build the base plate out of T1 at the minimum and when you get the ripper flame cut make sure there is a large flange where it meets the base plate to allow for increased weld surface area. There's huge stresses in these rippers and large gussets out of 3/4" T1 plate will be your best friend.
          Coalsmoke's Website

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          • #6
            This is the kind of thing that shouldn't be so marginally engineered that the welds are approaching critical. We haven't seen pics but obviously welding thick sections together without pre heat is a good place to start as well as some QC in regards to the rod. So many possible things could be wrong here we are all making a guess but,,,, have welded a lot of this type of thing together over the years with 7018 and not an issue. A picture would certainly be a good start.

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            • #7
              What's the ripper made out of? Ductile? Some other alloy?

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              • #8
                if you've got a ripper on a 'hoe..... in my 22 years in the business it means one thing..... the operator is beating the snot out of both machine and work tool....
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                • #9
                  Welding ripper blade to mild steel

                  Thanks for all the replys guys. Swamp Rat has a fairly accurate picture of what they want. From what I understand they have shortened the ripper blade by 12+ inches, the OEM bolt holes are no longer there. The other thing is, I dont know what material the CAT OEM adapter plate is made of but the base plate for the "new" ripper is regular A36 MS and is bolted up to it with 12 - 1.5" gr. 8 bolts. From what I have read on the internet, the ripper blades are made of a cast steel alloy which makes sense as the areas on the ripper blade where the welds tore away had a different, more coarse grain apperance then when you see mild steel break. The other thing is, this job is being done over on the Big Island of Hawaii and they are trying to rip up the lava rock at and below the waterline in Hilo Harbor for a new pier face and from what I understand the rock above the water will fracture fairly easily but the lave that ran into the water is tempered and is really hard. Sorry I don't have any pictures for you guys, (I always document my welding with photos), but I just went over there for a diving job and only air arc'd the ripper from the base and tried to design some support gussets to strengthen it. Just trying to get the right info so that the onsite welders can get it done right this time. Do you think that the preheat using 7018 will work and if so, what temp are we looking for? Thanks for all the replys and any future info. Mike

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                  • #10
                    Well, if it is cast then that is something different than I have experienced on rippers. I can tell you how I welded the ones I've come across. The rippers I have worked on were cut from solid high-alloy plate, such as a high grade T series or AR series. I preheated to 225F and maintained inter-pass temps of under 400F, and used a 110,000psi low-hydrogen compatible consumable. There may be better ways, but I never had a call back on one. If Calweld is here still he may have some better input, as he tended to work on the larger stuff and I was pretty well limited to working on machines under 30 tons for lack of having large enough welders.

                    We had a 450 excavator with a ripper on it that literally tore the end of the boom out from itself, it pulled the pin that connects the stick and boom through the pin bosses in the end of the boom, apart like they were made of plastic. It was an interesting sight to see.
                    Coalsmoke's Website

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                    • #11
                      I would use coalsmoke method, and change the base plate for some QT100. It is important to keep the pre and post heat temps and coll off slowly.
                      Good luck

                      PS: the pre and post heat and interpasses temps will help make the job last.

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                      • #12
                        Pre heat as said to 225F. and weld with NR-232 or NR-212
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                        • #13
                          DVR - On the pictured ripper , it is insert into the base plate 4" then braced off and welded solid above the base. The underside is welded solid with 5/32 11018 rod. As already mentioned - watch the pre-heat is very important/ necessary. This base i made was 1 1/2" and the ripper is 3" x 12". I also have another one identical to this one except it is inset into the base only the thickness of the base like you mentioned due to it being bolted to another plate, then i braced on the bottom of the base plate to the shank on all 4 sides with 1 1/2" plate and extened down the ripper at a 45 degree angle. Both of these are used on a regular bases on a Komatsu 220 Hoe and have held up well , they are used for rock ripping and also clearing /stumping.
                          PSS - bretsk2500 - it dependes on the operator if this abuses the machine or not , some people are operators and some can only run a machine / there is a HUGE difference.

                          Good luck - keep us posted.
                          Last edited by Swamp rat; 11-22-2011, 09:25 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Coalsmoke View Post
                            If Calweld is here still he may have some better input, as he tended to work on the larger stuff and I was pretty well limited to working on machines under 30 tons for lack of having large enough welders.
                            Ummmm,,,, Calweld doesn't exist here anymore, Holly (the admin at the time) decided Calweld was a discipline problem, smacked his "pp", then banned his azz. In spite of all the invaluable advice and entertaining posts he made previously. Rest assured, however, the following words are just what he would have wrote himself if he'd been able to.

                            Originally posted by MMW View Post
                            My first thought is this is just as much an engineering/design issue as it is a welding issue. If I'm visualizing this correctly it will be solid mounted to the undercarraige base plate with no adjustment?
                            I agree. There has been plenty of comments on the actual weld, the preheat advice is correct. More important, are you insuring that the 2" base plate isn't flexing? Don't laugh, it can and will, and if it does, no matter how well you weld it, it will break. A 325 Cat isn't that big from what I remember, but it can still put pressure on a tool.

                            Assuming what you are building looks like the picture somebody posted, you HAVE to weld stiffeners on TOP of the base plate, ideally two of them, one under and up to each of the pin bosses. Welded all around, to the base plate, each ear, and up to each pin boss; notch them out if necessary to provide clearance for the boom or the quick-tach. If you have the material and time, put another stiffener dead center from ear to ear, and one on each end of the ears, between the ears.

                            While I have put some of these together welding the ripper direct to the base plate, I much prefer to mount them like in an ag v-ripper --- two flat irons welded to the base plate, with the shank in between, and bolts going thru the flatirons and holding the shank in place. I have never welded gussets under the baseplate to the shank, it reduces the effective digging depth, and adds little or no strength.
                            Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

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                            • #15
                              JSFAB - with comments as posted , we can understand the hack artist comment.

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