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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Oostburg, WI
    Posts
    34

    Default How to weld tool steel

    In addition to having to weld 1" cast iron as I have said in my previous post, I must also weld two 1/4" plates of air-hardening tool steel together. I have no experience welding tool steel, how does one go about it? Can I use any welding process with it? Do I need special filler rod for it? Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    375

    Default

    As I understand it, when you weld high-carbon tool steel, carbon from the parent metal can migrate into the weld puddle. As a result, when the puddle freezes, the weld metal (which is then high-carbon steel) gets super hard, just as if you had heated and quenched it. This can be a problem because internal shrinkage stresses can cause cracking in the hard (and not ductile) weldment.

    Again, as I understand it (which ain't that great) the ways around this are to use preheat and postheat (so the weld doesn't get "quenched" so much, or if it does, it gets "normalized" by the slow cooling) or to use a ductile filler like ER310, or to braze rather than weld the joint.

    I'm sure others understand it better than me and if I'm wrong hopefully somebody will set you straight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    375

    Default Follow-Up

    One more thing -

    Since you're talking about using air-hardening (as opposed to oil-hardening, water-hardening or brine-hardening) steel, you will probably want to let it cool really SLOWLY after you preheat, weld and postheat it, to prevent it from cracking due to excessive hardening.

    One way to do that is to drop it into a big metal bucket of dry wood ashes after you weld and postheat it ... and then let it cool down overnight. The slower and more evenly it cools, the less chance there is of cracking, I think.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Metro Detroit, MI
    Posts
    182

    Default

    Go buy some Royal 220m electrodes at your LWS and your in the money. My LWS sells it in 1lb tubes for about 30$
    Never Satisfied

    Millermatic 211
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    957

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,897

    Cool

    I welded AH tool steel for almost 15 years everyday and this is what i used Crown Alloys AH-20 http://www.crownalloys.com/TechSheet...ew_Warning.pdf . Now if the edges aren't going to be sharpened use the Crown Royal 220M as Rezeppa mentioned. I did a little preheat with the torch until the water comes out then start welding. Peen after every pass...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,239

    Default

    Water don't come out of steel. If you heat, depending on environmental conditions at the time --- dew point, etc.,,,, you will see water. It's coming out of the air, not the steel. You ever squeeze a piece of steel, get water squirting out???
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,239

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by foreverAstudent View Post
    In addition to having to weld 1" cast iron as I have said in my previous post, I must also weld two 1/4" plates of air-hardening tool steel together. I have no experience welding tool steel, how does one go about it? Can I use any welding process with it? Do I need special filler rod for it? Any help is greatly appreciated.
    I'm sure your teacher/professor covered this topic. Didn't you take notes??? If not, your best bet would be to consult with one of your fellow students,,, one who wasn't sleeping/smoking dope during that particular lecture.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,897

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by JSFAB View Post
    Water don't come out of steel. If you heat, depending on environmental conditions at the time --- dew point, etc.,,,, you will see water. It's coming out of the air, not the steel. You ever squeeze a piece of steel, get water squirting out???
    Yup you are right...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Detroit
    Posts
    37

    Default

    You never mentioned if it was in the annealed or hardened state. If the joint area isn't doing any work (trimming, forming), preheat to 500-600*f, weld with 7018, peen often (best with an air hammer) & let cool in still air. Only if it were a really large weldment would I post heat.

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