Old double hung window counter weights - unable to turn

I ripped out some old wood windows in a rental house. THe addition was put on in 1950 but they used a lot of salvage materials - windows
probably were much older. I threw the cast (iron?) counter weights (approx. 2 in. dia x 10 in. long) onto my scrap cast iron pile for a future trip the the metal recycler. As I was loading up the trailer with scrap one evening this week I decided to try to turn on of the counter weights - maybe I could find a future use (rather than giving it away for a couple of cents/ pound) for what I assumed to be cast iron. Using carbide, both C2 & C5, I was only able to cut thru the outer, rusty layer (in a cloud of dust, no chips!). Beyond that the carbide was simply polishing the material. What gives? What kind of a ferrous material is this?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Probly just hard.
Maybe try throwing em in the woodstove when its good and hot, them let em cool down real slowly with the ashes.
--
SVL



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
When they cast those weights they did not pay any particular attentin to carbon content, as they were never intended to be machined, so its basically pig or white iron. Less money to prooduce an item of the same weight than it is to produce an item of the same weighjt with a known content of ingredients necessary to make machining it better.
Afterall why go through all that bother for something that gets a rope tiesd toit and is hid beind a wall all its life. Our local scrap yard pays lower prices for that stuff than they do regular cast iron. Use em for wieights on fishing jugs etc, but for making anyting out of them on a lathe they are useless. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
While everyone is pessimistic about the value of the weights for machining, the truth is that the composition really is unknown. Sometimes they were made from the end of a pour of something better. Years ago, my mentor was faced with a Mercedes diesel that needed valve seats. I remember him telling me about how he went to the scrapyard and broke all the window weights he could find. When he found one that broke cleanly with fine grain. he took it to his shop and successfully made the set of seats. I have no clue how many he broke before he found a good one, but I imagine it was a lot. I wish he were still alive... he was an amazing man!
George Willer

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Be careful, very careful. Individuals have been known to have silver cast into window weights, paint them to look like cast iron. After all, what burglar would look there for hidden riches? Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmmm add that to your CI melt, gives a new meaning to the term "silver steel"! ;-)
Tim
-- "That's for the courts to decide." - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aribert wrote:

Everything including the bathtub and sink! Junk iron. The dregs of the plant are put into crude weights like that and curtain weights for movie curtains....
Martin
--
Martin Eastburn, Barbara Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
They are called "sash weights." They have more nostalgic value than anything else. In 1949 I "helped" my father take some to the scrap yard.... enough to bottom out the springs on the car. They weren't worth much, as they contain "slag" - my new word for that day.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 22:53:21 -0800, "larsen-tools"

They are very handy for inclusion in Agatha Christy novels however.
Gunner

Attending a Million Mom [sic] March, this last Mothers' Day, on hearing the bleeding heart cry about this innocent [sic] life, snuffed out by a five-cent bullet, I had to shout out "Where do you shop? They cost me nearly a quarter!" Jeffrey C. Dege Didn't go over well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes. A sash weight has actually been used in a murder - although not lately I'm sure.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If they're anything like the ones in my house (1924, original windows), they're the most disgusting globs of slag, sand, clinker and garbage you ever saw. 'Probably full of carbides, precipitated silica, and other nasties.
Ed Huntress
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

Even the cast iron pulley housings (which are much higher quality castings than the sash weights) are 'chilled iron' which means they are cooled very very rapidly.
I tried to cut one of those with a hacksaw - totally impossible.
Harder than the proverbial billy goat's dick.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com =================================================
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sash weights are kind of like wheel weights, not much counts besides mass, they could be anything for composition. They're cast iron, but you can bet NO care was taken as to how they cooled, they're probably one big mass of carbides. I tried the same deal when we pulled the sash weights out of my parents' place, just a loud screech, no cutting. When hurling the weights onto the scrap dealer's pile, several broke, they had giant bubbles inside, definitely not candidates for machining into something a little niftier. Got a little more than $6 for 350 lbs, though. The dealer takes steel, but you've got to have tons of it before they pay anything.
Stan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Like others have already said, they're of unknown composition, with a nice crust of half melted sand on the surface to keep things interesting. ON top of that, cooling them by tossing in water wasn't unheard of, when something's that cheap, taking care not to chill the casting isn't a priority. Nasty stuff, I'd like to have some cast about that size, but sash weights aren't "it".

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sash weights are chilled iron, brittle and *hard*. Imagine quenching and then not tempering the highest carbon steel you can imagine, then increase the carbon content two or three times, and you have an idea of the properties of sash weights.
They're poured from whatever was cheapest at the time. They usually include slag, sand, and may have voids. Just about worthless for any purpose except to provide cheap weight.
Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.