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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Little Rock
    Posts
    41

    Default Fragile Cast Iron

    My wife wants me to make a "Water Feature" for her using an antique cast iron pot which has an approximate 6" crack from the rim downward as shown by the attached photos.

    The old pot is thinner than you might expect - 1/8" at the lip enlarging to 3/16 - 1/8 going downward. It is very old even for an old cast iron pot and I suspect it has become significantly thinner at the rim over the years from rust resulting from laying rim down in the ground. Also, the iron is very poor quality.

    I'm not sure, but I think the crack has lengthened a couple of inches just from the handling involved in hauling it 70 miles from her mother's farm to Little Rock.

    I need to repair the crack only to the extent that it holds water while remaining stationary with the repair being as unnoticeable as possible.

    I have TIG, MIG, FCAW, and O/A capability but I'm afraid of putting localized heat on the pot.

    My ideas are as follows:

    1) Drill a small hole at the end of the crack and bevel and clean the crack with a die grinder no matter which method is chosen.
    2) Heat the entire pot and stick weld with 3/32 cast iron rod.
    3) Braze it.
    4) My Front Runner: J.B. Weld.

    My best results with cast have been with brazing. I have had no experience with modern FCAW rods. I welded (or attempted to weld) a lot of cast 45 or so years ago as a kid growing up on a cotton farm but this is my first involvement with it since I resumed welding as a hobby after I retired.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,913

    Cool

    Braze it if not worried about a color match. I would mig it with cast iron wire only because i stock it and have had perfect results with it...Bob
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Medford MA
    Posts
    542

    Default

    Cast iron is finicky
    You absolutely must follow the recommended procedures or you end up with junk
    I tried f-Ing around with some, trying the "easy way out" ... And it wasn't
    Furthermore, if you've not welded in a while, it is even harder

    Go with JB Weld

    Frank

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,854

    Default

    I would not put any heat to it. JB weld or some sort of epoxy I guess. Any way to make a liner for it instead of trying to repair? Maybe some pond liner material?
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Western Pa.
    Posts
    228

    Default Fragile Cast Iron

    I've had good success using NiRod & Tig.
    I just use a 3/32 rod, remove all flux & scotch bright clean. Warm complete pot to 300 deg. Then Tig weld with just enough heat to knit weld in. I weld about 3/4-1" then lightly peen weld. I'd probably start on open end & back weld. Post heat even keeping to 300 deg. Then wrap in fiberglass insulation let cool overnight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    306

    Default

    If your just using it for a water feature why not take it to a spray on Bedliner place tape off the outside and have them spray the inside? Waterproof, the inside will be black, don't have to attempt to weld the crack.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Little Rock
    Posts
    41

    Default Fragile Cast Iron

    Thanks for the really good suggestions.

    The wife wants it painted black, so I've decided to avoid the crack problem and permanently paint it black by going with the RhinoLiner both inside and outside.

    Great idea, jrsgcsr - thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dkennett View Post
    Thanks for the really good suggestions.

    The wife wants it painted black, so I've decided to avoid the crack problem and permanently paint it black by going with the RhinoLiner both inside and outside.
    I used something similar to coat the fender deck on my 35 yr old lawn tractor. (Bondo paint on bed liner - got a real deal thru work.) Here's a photo taken right after the maiden voyage of the boom sprayer. I tossed the mount together out of stuff laying about. I also put the bedliner on the inside of a wheel barrow and a lawn/garden utility trailer. Better planning on my part would have allowed me to use the rest instead of tossing it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    11

    Default Fragile Cast Iron

    Look up ChuckE2009 on YouTube. He does some beginner cast iron vids that would be right up your alley.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    greenfield new hampshire
    Posts
    878

    Default

    that stuff on tv, fix a leak in a can, that pot being round may give ya grief if any amount of heat is applied, weelding may be iffy at the least, unless you had an industrial oven and got to almost red then weld it and peen every inch or so

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