Cracked cast iron frame

I bought a small press in a junk shop for $20. I mounted it on a 2x6 and let it collect dust for a year before I started to use it to
flatten sections of copper pipe. It did very well until today: There was an ominous sound and the frame cracked:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27683124@N07/sets/72157635013299389/
No way will I admit using a cheater bar and even if I did I barely leaned on it. Anyway...Can this be repaired or is this thing done for? My understanding of welding cast iron is that it is not a free lunch.
Thanks,
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com fired this volley in

Mike, it's a frigging lemon press! <G>
Dump the $20 and find an arbor press for that sort of work. You'll spend more than $20 on time and materials trying to fix it, and it won't last; not under that sort of force. The screw exerts more side-thrust than down force!
Lloyd
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Grind the cracks out to a vee <stop short of the thread , leave a shoulder there>, braze with brass . Might not be a bad idea to have it buried in vermiculite and then cover it up to cool slowly when you're done . You'll want to alternate sides , you might even keep it round enough not to bind . Or seize ...
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wrote:

+1 on the v-grind, and either braze or TIG, or braze -then- TIG. Heat to red hot first, then weld. It will allow the brass to get all the way through the width of the cracks if you've properly fluxed it.
Otherwise, just look for a beefier press which is made to squeeze metal, not fruit. <g>
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On 8/10/2013 9:12 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

_Braze_ it. Tighten up the crack to a few 1/1000's & let the braze wick in. Take out screw & clean the bore really well. Good as new. Well, almost. Order of magnitude easier than welding.
Bob
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On Sat, 10 Aug 2013 18:12:15 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Thats a fairly easy repair. Though to be fair..Id consider brazing it before "welding" it. It is cast iron.......
Pull the screw. heat the whole thing up with a rosebud. Warm it fairly slowly until the entire thing is HOT.
Put some braze rod in the crack(s) and let it melt well along with fluxing really really well.
While the braze is still molten (keep heating)...Clamp both halves together with a big ass clamp..
Heat with a rosebud again until the braze melts and both halves close up, then finish with brazing rod along the crack openings.
You may..may at this point..consider V ing the cracks and filling with braze again. But the material is so thick that it may not be needed.
Gently back off the rosebud a little at a time until it starts to cool
Let cool ..if you can stick it in a bag of vermiculite or kitty litter overnight..it would be a good thing and let it cool slowly. Cast iron doesnt like fast cooling..not at all.
Tommorow...put in mill and mill a flat near the vertical center of the threaded section on both sides through the crack..as close to the screw as you can get.
Drill and tap each side for a long socket head capscrew
Install one of each in both sides, pinching the crack together (may not be needed..what say you guys?)
Repaint, reinstall screw, beat oneself in head with cheater pipe until it sinks in that cast iron isnt the same as cast steel.
And the next time you break it..it will bust someplace else and you just repeat the process around and around until you are welding the bolts together..at which point Id go to 6011 for the bolt welds. <Grin>
Now if it snaps while cooling..paint it again and put a stripe of red paint along both cracks and when dry, put it up on a promenent shelf where you can see it every day. Then put the cheater pipe on the handle for additional refreshment of that memory. And show the grandkids. And the neighbors when they come by.
(G)
Gunner
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Nobody's even mentioned the grease that's sneaked into that crack while it was growing. Probably damned-near the whole width of it is full of grease.
Good brazing flux? Ehh... probably not...
LLoyd
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On Sat, 10 Aug 2013 21:50:28 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"

I'd hope he'd have stripped and degreased the living hell out of the thing before heating to braze, don'tcha know?
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On Sat, 10 Aug 2013 21:50:28 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"

Heating up with the rosebud properly will likely burn out whatever grease is in there. And I rather suspect the 2 cracks didnt grow until he loaded it with the cheater..so it might be pretty clean.
Shrug
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wrote:

Judging by the "loud crack" sound he referred to, I bet there were no cracks until the final featherweight push on the 12' breaker bar. ;)
The crack's clean and should weld easily, with a bit less strength.
What he needs, though, is a HF 20T air-over-hyd press, huh? That should handle copper tubing pretty well. <snort>
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On 8/10/2013 10:44 PM, Gunner Asch wrote:

Ah yes, the trophy wall! Most shops have them.
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I certainly have one!!
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On 8/11/2013 5:23 AM, Gunner Asch wrote:

I throw stuff out the window above the main workbench. It really sucks when you hear it hit a previous contribution.
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wrote:

I often toss my mistakes into a crucible and try again ...
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On 8/11/2013 2:53 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

Cheater!
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Terry Coombs wrote:

Hiding the evidence? :)
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I would throw it out and buy or make something else.
i
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On Sat, 10 Aug 2013 22:15:16 -0500, Ignoramus11246

That's the one I am going with. I can almost certainly do the job in question using my big-ass $5 garage-sale vise. It was good enough for embossing.
Thanks to all for their contributions
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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On Sat, 10 Aug 2013 18:12:15 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Greetings Michael, I have experience with this type of repair that worked well. At wotk someone pounded on the large vise and it broke through the ram that encloses the screw. I was taking a welding class at the time so I brought it into class to fix it. I built an open top "oven" out of firebrick and set the vise part into it. I then heated the veed out part to nearly red heat with a big torch. Using flux and brazing rod I wetted the cast iron vee with the brazing rod. Once I had the surfaces completely wetted I just filled with brazing rod. I did this repair in about 1.5 hours and used a lot of welding gasses. This repair was done over 20 years ago and I still use the vise. Frankly, I did the repair for the experience, your press may not be worth it. It may just crack somewhere else. Eric
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On Sun, 11 Aug 2013 10:05:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:

A similar method, but likely stronger, is to pre-heat as above and then weld with "ni-rod" (high nickel) or stainless steel wire. Makes a very strong and permanent repair - the weld and the absorption layer around it are stronger than the base casting, as the alloy from the Ni-Rod or stainless "draws out" into the casting. Let it cool slowly and naturally when finished. I've used this method on numerous machine (agricultural) and tractor parts over the last several decades and I'm not aware of any of the repairs failing.
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