Cutting Stainless

The Big Gate Project is nearing fruition, but I've hit a small snag.
This is a gate hinged to go up and down (I know of them as 'scissors'
gates, but others have argued with that moniker -- so I'm not going to
it anything but damned heavy). To make it manageable, it's got
some great big springs to counterbalance it.
I need to modify the spring mount -- the gate works fine except that
when you manually operate it the thing tends to crash, which fractures
the welds, which is bad news. So I want to extend the spring mount on
the gate, move one or two things on the base, and put a honking big
damper on the thing so that it eases shut instead of thumping into
cement with a great big crash.
The problem is that the spring mount on the gate appears to be
stainless, or at least some really high-alloy steel. It's shiny, even
after having been out in the weather for years, and the former property
owner who built the gate did all sorts of contract-built fixtures for
hospitals, all out of stainless, so it'd be a natural material for him
to use.
Rather than taking a guess at what it's made out of and trying to put a
heavily stressed extension onto a 1" diameter bar of Mystery Metal, I
want to cut it off and weld on something whose origins I can vouch for.
If it _is_ stainless, can I just whack that thing off with a regular old
cutting torch? Or do I need to sweat my way through multiple saw
blades, cut-off wheels, and grinder wheels to get it off?
Reply to
Tim Wescott
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Ccould you maybe post some photos of this gate on your web site? In previous discussions I think several of us have based our responses on other gates we've seen that aren't like yours.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
A regular old cutting torch works by burning the metal with oxygen. Stainless does not oxidize readily. So a regular cutting torch will not work. If it were not so thick, you could try putting some regular steel above it. You would then burn the regular steel and hopefully produce enough heat to melt the stainless. I don't think that would work here.
=20 Dan
Reply to
But plasma would work, if you still want to avoid the abrasive approach. Got a buddy with one, or a local rental place?
--Glenn Lyford
Reply to
Glenn Lyford
How about arc gouging rods?
If they can cut half way through and heat it hot enough the rest might come off with a hammer.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Can you cut it by Carbon-arc? If you have a carbon-arc cutting setup (big stinger with air holes, other end has air connection fitting and electric fitting), that would be my choice. With smaller carbons (1/4 inch) you can lower your air pressure and just drip the welds out, saving the base metals (works great for removing vertical welds). Or you can crank up the air and give the shop a great fireworks show!
Reply to
try sticking a magnet to it. If the magnet doesn't stick it is most likely a 300 series stainless steel.
You can weld that to whatever you want using 309L-16 stick electrode.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Thanks. I knew that, but I was too dumb to remember it.
How much time (and how many rods) should I budget for getting used to that electrode? I'm pretty facile with 6011 and 6013, and that's where my experience runs out.
If I _do_ weld it I'd be butting a like-sized (1" or maybe 1-1/8") bar onto the end, to carry a considerable force from a spring.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
This is one of those places that the seventy dollar power band saw would shine. I was using mine to cut one inch by two for gate hinges. Cut so fast, I even rounded the corners.
Reply to
Bob Noble
Stainless stick electrode runs really easy in the flat and horizontal positions. Vertical and overhead are difficult because stainless steel is a more fluid metal, so the bead will tend to drip down.
I would bevel both pieces from the top side of the joint, so you have a 60 degree includes angle. Tack a bar across the bottom as a backing bar, so you can gap the parts about 3/16" - 1/4" and start filling in the V-groove, one short stitch at a time. After welding grind off the backing bar and clean up.
That way you have a full penetration weld, but you aren't trying to weld overhead.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
(top posting fixed)
Argh. A magnet sticks quite happily. So it's either 4xx, some high alloy steel, or it's plated. It's _definitely_ got a high shine where the paint has flaked off, I don't see any rust on it anywhere -- even where it has holes drilled in it -- and I certainly have no clue what it may really be (other than 3xx stainless, which it isn't).
Reply to
Tim Wescott

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