welding with coat hangers?

A colleague just told me a story of mechanics in Viet Nam fixing helicopters
by stick welding using coat hangers, and that the coating on the hangers
was sufficient flux to get the job done. Is it just me or does this seem
unlikely?
Reply to
ben carter
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I bet he was talking about gas welding.
The original stick weldors used bare steel wire, because that's all they had back then. It does seem to be possible.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
That wouldn't be stick welding. You can gas weld with coat hangers and bailing wire. They used to do it all the time back when cars were made of steel.
But, I doubt that there is much noncritical ferrous items on a Huey that one would want to trust to coat hangers and baling wire.
I could be wrong.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
Yep and the first pipeline that was welded that way had to be redone by gas welding due to all the leaks.
I've also see a early welding rod that was called "candy stripe". That's because it had a asbestos coating that was held on with a red thread spirally wound on it (that rod is hanging on the wall of my former employers house right now).
I agree with the others that it was likely gas welding that was done with a coat hanger.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
| A colleague just told me a story of mechanics in Viet Nam fixing helicopters | by stick welding using coat hangers, and that the coating on the hangers | was sufficient flux to get the job done. Is it just me or does this seem | unlikely?
Well, the second generation arc rods were merely rusty rods, then after that they were dusted with a flux, then the technology went up from there. So, I think in theory, it is possible, but even my "Modern Welding Practice" dated 1951 and 1958 says it's hard to get a decent weld with bare rods. There was a time when skill made up for many of those deficits, but I can't see anyone that desperate that they'd put a life on the line that way. The bare and dusted rods had pretty good metallurgy even back then, and coat hangers are anyone's guess as to what the mix is at any given inch. I don't think there was much steel on aircraft even in WWII, much less later, but there might have been some steel equipment installed, some locally made, some not.. We all know how rumors get started, too...
Reply to
carl mciver
That, and the fact that every Air Force welding shop/bay/area I've walked by was always stocked with an impressive array of every filler imaginable.
JTMcC.
Reply to
JTMcC
The longer the time span between the occurrence of an event and the narration of that event, the greater that event becomes. "We were doing so much with so little for so long that finally we could do anything with nothing."
I have gas welded with coat hangers. Your weld will only be as good as your filler material multiplied (or divided!) by your skill. I wouldn't recommend it for anything more critical than an automobile exhaust patch. If you can bend a wire twice and have it break apart in your hand, how good a weld could you expect from it?
I have never successfully stick welded with a bare wire or even one painted with whatever they coated hangers with in the 60s.
-- Jack
Reply to
Jack Hunt
I cant think of much of anything ferris on a Slick, other than the guns.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
"Gunner Asch" wrote
I rode on a hundred PHI and AirLog birds in the Gulf of Mexico. Don't remember a lot of iron items, either.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
There's very little ferrous metal on any helicopter. The main rotor shaft, tail rotor shaft, flight control cables and probably a few other items is all I can remember. Stuff you sure as heck wouldn't want to weld on. Used to work on the PHI ships you flew on, Steve. Back in the '70's.
Garrett Fulton
Reply to
gfulton
"gfulton" wrote
Used
I never got a chance to say thank you.
THANK YOU!
Many a time, one of those ships got me home, took me to a hospital (only three times, well, two of those were Coast Guard), or got me where I needed to be.
I thought of the unrecognized guys in the hangars who were working away when the ships were center stage out on the pads.
I've been to every port between Venice, Louisiana and Freeport Texas, and lots of LZs in the swamps and on barges. We were probably close enough a couple of times to shake hands.
THANK YOU again, and Merry Christmas.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
Well, one would use coat hangers to weld such things as old car fenders, farm implements, and noncritical items.
Why do you tell me what I think and how I feel?
My ex-wife used to do that.
Until I plonked her.
PLONK you, too.
Bye.
Reply to
Steve B
If you ever weld a farm implement with a coat hanger and get it to hold, call me. I want to watch.
-- Jack
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Reply to
Jack Hunt
It depends on the implement, doesn't it? A shovel is a "farm implement". No? Baling wire, or a coat hanger would repair a split shovel in a couple of minutes with an OA rig. Now, if you're talking about a harrow disk, or something with a lot of mass, surely, coathangers and baling wire won't work.
But, you knew that, right?
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
Sure it is. And if you're not going to shovel anything heavier than dry sand, a coat hanger is as good as a 1/16" 7018. But hang that puppy under a root and give the handle a good yank, and you'll find out what your coat hanger is made of.
So would a common nail, but let's not get ridiculous. The original poster said somebody used coat hangers to stick weld helicopters in Vietnam. And I call bullspit on all levels.
A loop of chain from the frame to the harrow axle between each disk will keep wet soil from packing in and breaking the disk centers, then you won't have to raid your closet for a welding rod. One of the first welding jobs I did was to do that fix on my father's disk harrow. I did that one while I was still in high school and I just attended my 30th year reunion this year. The harrow is still in use and all chains are still in place.
I know that. I have an O/A rig. And a flux wire rig. And a Lincoln 225 buzz box, and an Esab plasma cutter. But I don't think you'll find a coat hanger anywhere in my shop. Since I bought the Esab, I have let the o/a rig run out of gas and I don't use it anymore.
Almost all the welding I've done for the past 30 years has been farm equipment repair. I've done the odd dune buggy frame here and there, and some automotive repair, and a couple of years ago I even welded a motorcycle frame so a guy could ride it from Tennessee to Canada, since it was his only means of transportation.
I didn't use a coat hanger.
-- Jack
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Reply to
Jack Hunt

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