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Old 09-02-2005, 04:58 PM
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Cleaning up Welds

i haven't been having very good results cleaning up some of my welds. sometimes i'll weld a seam somewhere and i usually like to smooth it out with a flap disc which i like cause it doesn't remove too much, too fast and leaves a nice smooth finish.

so sometimes i'll have an area like a corner or something where i can't get in with my angle grinder and then i'll use my die grinder but the stones i have can't always get into the tight spots. grinding down a mig bead with a small stone can take a long time, so i'm just wondering what you guys have had success with?

JB
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Old 09-02-2005, 05:05 PM
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I rely on my 4 1/2" grinders for flat areas - 1 w/ grinding disk and second one w/ sanding disk for final finish. For hard to reach places I rely 100% on my air grinder w/ carbide burr. I have been using/abusing one of these for 8 or 9 years and it is still as good as new. I had a ball one too but got it so hot the silver solder melted and the head flew off the shaft! This shape is so versatile, I never bothered to get another one.
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Old 09-02-2005, 06:51 PM
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When a weld needs to have a good appearance,I find it easier to just adjust my technique or the welding method to get an acceptable looking weld in the first place.I'm not the best welder in the world,but I've played around with welding enough to be able to make my welds reasonably good looking.
Various welding rods are available for stick welding to give a good appearance,and changing the travel speed and weave can give you good results.
Using different gases and varying secondary voltage can hellp the appearance of a MIG weld.
The key to a nice TIG weld is practice and good technique.
I don't like to grind weld fillets-it takes away some of the strength of the weld.
When I do wind up with an ugly weld,or a weld that is defective structurally,I do much the same as Willys,but I try to remove all of the old weld,and reweld the joint better.
I'm proud of my welds and don't try to hide them.I've spent a lot of time learning and practicing welding and I like to show it off.

George
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Old 09-03-2005, 02:41 PM
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I've got an Idea...

use a small amount of body filler..makes cleaning up welds very easy.


Tazz
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:30 PM
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where i'm talking about is going to be very visible and not structurally important, so i want it to look good. after i get it ground smooth i will use filler to clean it up.

btw, willys, i bought a set of carbides on the weekend. they work nice, although it didn't take long to get about a dozen slivers! those little particles get everywhere.

JB
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:06 PM
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I agree on the carbides. I bought a set about 15 years ago and use them all the time in a die grinder.

This one is my favorite for what you are talking about.



Rich
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Old 09-07-2005, 12:21 AM
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Safety tip on grinding in general and grinding w/ carbide burrs specifically - WEAR GOGGLES!! I have never had trouble grinding steel. However grinding both brass (brazing) and cast iron I have gotten maybe half a dozen splinters in my eyes over the years that needed to be dug out by a doctor. Those two metals seem to get past the cracks of my grinding goggles and find my eyes. Watch out for them.
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Old 09-07-2005, 04:04 AM
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If I have to grind down a weld in a tight area where a burr won't fit I usually use a fiber cutoff wheel on a die grinder.
Be careful though and wear a full face shield and heavy gloves. I've never had one come apart on me but why take the chance...
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:35 AM
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To add to what Willys stated, make sure you get carbide and not high speed steel. Most you will find are carbide but there are many high speed steel out there and they will not last when grinding welds. Also there are many grades of carbide. So if you see a carbide for $1.98 walk on past. You want to get a good grade. Also if you are not sure about the difference between high speed steel and carbide...high speed steel will be silver and carbide will be more grey. Also high speed steel usually (but not all times) be designated with HSS on the shank. A carbide burr (or rotary file) will be grey looking, usually have a steel shank, and the two will be silver soldered together. And carbide weighs more than HSS. And when Willys said wear goggles....wear goggles and not safety glasses. The slivers will definately go behind safety glasses right to the old eyeball.

Kevin
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:58 AM
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Good point Kevin, Carbide is the one you want. However, my carbide burr is very shiny, not dull gray. The key is the silver solder joint between the shank and cutter. If it has that solder joint, it's carbide. The Harbor Freight burr I listed (same one as in rrmccabe's picture above) is very economical and as I said, has lasted for many, many years and is still as sharp as when I bought it.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:34 AM
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Using a "grinders grease" will help slow down the flying slivers too. A shot of carb cleaner will clean it for painting. I use a face mask, along with safety goggles. I've had 3" cut off wheels expode before. For no reason. New wheels, never bound, seated well on the mandrel. I get one letting loose every 200 or so. But those are H-F's. I went to Nortons a few months ago. No problems. Yet! They seem to last longer. But are more $.

Last edited by Beenaway2long; 09-07-2005 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beenaway2long
Using a "grinders grease" will help slow down the flying slivers too. A shot of carb cleaner will clean it for painting. I use a face mash, along with safety goggles. I've had 3" cut off wheels expode before. For no reason. New wheels, never bound, seated well on the mandrel. I get one letting loose every 200 or so. But those are H-F's. I went to Nortons a few months ago. No problems. Yet! They seem to last longer. But are more $.
Do you have any photo's of your face mash?... Sorry, I had to acknowledge your fat finger...
I have been using Nortons also. I have found them to last much longer then the H/F stuff...
Mark
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Old 09-07-2005, 12:16 PM
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Good point on the grinder's grease. It is a MUST for grinding aluminum w/ the carbide burr. IF not, the aluminum will quickly totally clog the burr teeth, Picks out easily but very irritating.
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:17 PM
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reminder to self......
Spell check Astro....LOL

My bad!
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:05 PM
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when i worked in a machine shop proto-typing fabs and we made alot of aluminum pieces the boss would go to the bee keepers and buy their bees wax from hives, melt it down and poor in in a dead soldier, (coors) perferably for the small diameter, leter cool down and cut it in half-inch puch's, we would carry one around in the apron pocket. when we used the 3"angle grinder w/the sticky paper on it, we'd hit it with the puch and all was done, and besides it smells good LOL
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