Ry rail welding

I have two 28" pieces of 100 pound railroad rail that I will weld
together to make an anvil for a 44 pound (+/-) power hammer. Being used
rail the bases measure 5-3/8" wide and the height is 5-3/4". I have not yet
decided whether to weld them with the bases abuted, or interlocking the
balls (most likely).
A very knowledgeable friend said to preheat them and use SS-309 rod.
If I decide to interlock the balls, I will cut 3/4" plug weld holes
in the flanges 3" apart where I can plug weld the flange of one rail to the
ball of the other. If I abut the bases I will install 3/4" bolts, 3" apart
the length of each side of the flanges.
For some unknown reason placing the balls face to face to each other
doesn't seem to make sense with just two vertical weld groves. With the
price of stainless and 1/2" plate locally, I am not interested to placing
two plates between the flanges in this solution.
Either way, there will be a 3"x3"x6" die on top the the mass, and I
plan to weld this on with Stainless also.
This rail is from the end of the original piece. I understand
rails have their ends hardened at the mill to reduce the hammering at the
joints. I don't know by which hardening process.
. . . . . . If there anyone with any experience with a similiar situtation
where there is very high impact stress on railroad track steel, I would sure
appreciate these experiences and any suggestions. . . . . chas
ps, locally 1/8" SS-309 is near $16 / pound. My experiences with 10018
lo-hi rod is that it is very sensitive to vibration and cracks easily in
these situations.
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I would use 7018 rod, it matches the strength of the rail better than 10018. I am still skeptical that a couple of little welds can survive a power hammer's repeated impacts.
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I have trouble with stainless steel in a hammer build. Stainless tends to stress fracture much faster than steel.
Preheat the rails to at least 300 deg and weld with 7018.
Rail is made from various manganese steels that harden from use.
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Ernie Leimkuhler
I will have 2 verts of deep vees that are each 27 inches long...multiple stringers...maybe 5 to each vert. Then there will be 32, 3/4" plug welded holes (16 into each ball, less than 3" on centers). This will all be capped with a 3"x3"x6" die atop a 1/2" plate and the entire setup will rest on a heavy plate... I like the 7018 lo-hi instead of the $16 / lb SS-308. It's been 56 years since I welded SS and that was with an 1/8" rod that was fluxed on both the inside and outside. It ran better than lo-hi and in any position. Ran it attaching 12 gauge SS launders to 1/4" SS angles.. . . thanks all.. . . .chas *********************************************
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