I have a pack of Nickle-free cast iron electrodes that I picked up
some place in the distant past and never had a need for until now.
I have an old vise whose base is missing a hold down flange on one
side. I planned to make a new one out of 3/8" steel and weld it to
the cast iron base.
The box says that this should be good for old rusty cast iron and
joing steel to cast iron, so presumably I've got what I need. Anybody
have any expereience with this type of rod and what I need to do to
make it work? Sounds like the weld will not be machinable, but will
it be readily grindable?
I am a big fan of this type of rod for welding cast. IIRC, Lincoln? markets
it as 'Ferro-weld' and it is often marked FE.
I MUCH prefer it to any ni type rod. IMHO, It has a much nicer arc and is
easier to get a nice looking bead that washes well into corners and at the
toe without excessive convexity or cold lapping and seems more tolerant of
incompletely cleaned base material and without inclusions.
I do advocate standard cast welding procedures to limit heat input such as
short beads and back stepping, also piening the weld when still hot to
minimize contraction stresses when cooling. I use an air powered needle
scaler type flux chipper which is fast and easy and helps clean and prevent
slag & flux inclusions at the starts and stops of the short beads. I would
avoid or at least minimize multiple passes when possible.
The deposit is easily shaped with standard grinders but I have never tried
to drill or tap it and most sources say the deposit is much too hard to
machine cut. For machinable repairs I prefer brass brazing. I am not a big
fan of ni-rods, they are very expensive, hard to weld and have poor
appearance. I have little confidence in their performance. Many people
seem to think they are the only thing to use on cast iron but end up using
them on miss-identified cast steel which could have been better welded with
regular steel electrodes. Use your cutting torch to verify that the
suspected cast will not cut, if it cuts properly with OA then it is not cast
iron. If the broken piece requires bevelling, use of OA will reduce
grinding time and provides a good opportunity for the cut test. Some claim
to be able to identify cast types from the grinder sparks, but I just don't
see enough cast to develop a good eye for this and usually need to refer to
my books for spark examples.
Good luck, YMMV
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