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Old 07-03-2018, 12:38 PM
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Anyone weld stainless?

I have the center windshield moulding on my truck that I need to shorten. It's stainless, with a metal reinforcement on the back held by the moulding hemmed over like a door skin.

The last time I did this 44 years ago I cut the moulding in half through the stainless and the metal and then welded the two pieces together on the metal backing. Then with the two pieces like that I simply brought it to an "Expert" who TIGed it on the stainless to which I cut and polished. I say "expert" because he welded it in about a second and half and handed it back to me and it was pretty funky, had a bad lump there when finished. But it also rusted VERY fast, so he didn't use stainless rod, or at least one with a lot of tin in it.

So I am wondering, I have an extra moulding that is actually pretty screwed up., I am wondering if I could slice a strip off that other moulding and use that for a filler rod to gas weld the moulding together.

What do you think?

Brian

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Old 07-03-2018, 12:42 PM
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Using a piece of the base metal like you propose is an old welders trick. Just cut the "rod piece" very narrow so it is like a rod or narrow strip. Assume you are gas welding..

Sam
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:41 PM
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Stainless

I just did the one on my '39. The center bar was actually in three pieces, outer chrome, weld-in center and a stainless strip on the inside. Screws pass thru the stainless, thru the center piece that is welded top and bottom and into the outer chrome. Yours must be lots different.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39 master View Post
I just did the one on my '39. The center bar was actually in three pieces, outer chrome, weld-in center and a stainless strip on the inside. Screws pass thru the stainless, thru the center piece that is welded top and bottom and into the outer chrome. Yours must be lots different.
No, it's exactly the same only the stainless piece is on the outside and the inside piece is painted metal.

Brian
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
I say "expert" because he welded it in about a second and half and handed it back to me and it was pretty funky, had a bad lump there when finished. But it also rusted VERY fast, so he didn't use stainless rod, or at least one with a lot of tin in it.

What do you think?

Brian
Find a better expert.

I've worked with tig welders in the aerospace industry that routinely welded components that I previously thought were too thin to be welded.

And they made it look like child's play.... sometimes welding in locations that were thought to be not accessible, by utilizing mirrors.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
But it also rusted VERY fast, so he didn't use stainless rod, or at least one with a lot of tin in it.
He used a stainless rod, but too much heat. Overheating a stainless weld reduces the materials corrosion resistance.

Bob
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:07 PM
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Interesting Bob, can you gas weld it without that happening?

Brian
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
Interesting Bob, can you gas weld it without that happening?

Brian

I don't think it's really practical to try to gas weld stainless. The oxides that form on the surface will give you trouble, thus a shielded process, such as TIG, is needed.

Bob
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:45 PM
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NOT an expert

I took a night tig class at the college about a dozen years ago. Tigged some stainless for the class. the important thing was shielding gas on the back side. A friend used the foil tape used for house heating ducts, Made a back up with about 3/4 inch space to hold some argon and keep the air away. And don't be too hot. I usually have one of my expert friends that weld for a living do my critical work, I haven't done any SS since the class BUT I bought a used Lincoln 255 square wave with a water cooled torch, It has a pulse setting. so you can automatically go from High to low and not overheat your metal. Jody on welding tips and tricks has a lot of good tig and ss info, one friend studied all of jody's tig videos and practiced. took the test and now welds for nuclear stuff.

here is a long copy from jody
Discoloration is oxidation. It is just a matter of the argon shielding envelope leaving the hot metal before it has a chance to cool enough to not oxidize.
That is why gas welding steel with an oxyfuel torch looks so gray all over. If you were to use a really large tig nozzle, things would improve. ( I use a 15/16" nozzle/cup routinely but when I dont need it I use a small one to save argon)
There are also other ways to accomplish the same thing, watch your heat input, use a large nozzle, use chill bars to suck the heat out quickly, or stop often to let cool.Also you may be a little too concerned about penetration. Most of your welds on headers are fillet welds with maybe a few laps and butts. Stainless has a tendency to bond really well with low heat as long as it is clean.
Unless your beads look really cold and ropey, you are probably ok.Since you mentioned that sometimes you get good luster on your stainless welds, I think we can assume that everything is working ok. but just to make sure.....

Try this simple test...use a sharp electrode and set everything for steel... and hold the torch just like you were going to run a bead.
Get a piece of scrap steel and grind a small clean spot to shiny bright metal. Next just Puddle a small 1/4" puddle for about 10 seconds. let off the pedal and don't move the torch. hold it completely still until everything cools. Metal, tungsten etc. probably another 10 seconds.

Now look at the steel and also your electrode.
If your electrode is not completely shiny, you have some argon contamination.
It could be from a faulty collet body, a leak, or....
it could be a bad bottle of argon.

Look at the steel where you welded also, you should have a symmetrical shiny circle with no heat tint.
If you dont , or you have a odd shaped shiny area with heat tin t bleeding in, its probably a bad collet body, or could be the collet in backwards.
let me know the results. I had the same problem once when I was out of town training some welders on a dynasty 200dx.
It was a bad gas lens collet body...right out of the box it was bad.
I also had a bad bottle of argon once when I first got my dynasty.
Good luck
Best regards,J COLLIER
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:41 AM
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Brian, I agree with Bob also. Even if you get the stainless welded with O/A it will destroy it's corrosion resistance. It is going to need to be welded with the argon shield TIG welding provides.

When I chopped the Merc, I had the super thin windshield stainless trim welded by a real artist with a TIG. There are guys that can do it for you.

John
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
I have the center windshield moulding on my truck that I need to shorten. It's stainless, with a metal reinforcement on the back held by the moulding hemmed over like a door skin.

The last time I did this 44 years ago I cut the moulding in half through the stainless and the metal and then welded the two pieces together on the metal backing. Then with the two pieces like that I simply brought it to an "Expert" who TIGed it on the stainless to which I cut and polished. I say "expert" because he welded it in about a second and half and handed it back to me and it was pretty funky, had a bad lump there when finished. But it also rusted VERY fast, so he didn't use stainless rod, or at least one with a lot of tin in it.

So I am wondering, I have an extra moulding that is actually pretty screwed up., I am wondering if I could slice a strip off that other moulding and use that for a filler rod to gas weld the moulding together.

What do you think?

Brian
One of your problems , when you cut through both metals at the same time you contaminated the ss with the steel backing .
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:51 AM
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Wow am I learning a bunch here! HOLY CRAP, I am off the mark for sure. Ok, I will try to find someone who can do it and figure out a plan.

Brian
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
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One of your problems , when you cut through both metals at the same time you contaminated the ss with the steel backing .
(expanding on this)
i use to run a lot of pharmaceutical 304ss piping, we had specific grinders, flap wheels, wire brushes and files for stainless
cutting both metals may be unavoidable, just clean and deburr with ss dedicated tools
we'd also use purge gas on the back side, i don't think you need to go to that level

in my current position we weld 304 ss exhaust systems
90% mig, 10% tig. no purge, argon mix
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Old 07-05-2018, 03:04 AM
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When welding stainless, if you don't purge, the back side of the weld will be all crystallized because lack of a shielding gas.
I weld stainless every day. At our shop we build filling machines for the food industry which has to be sanitary.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:25 AM
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ofshore sandpaper

one of my Pro welder friends says that some of the offshore sandpaper uses a hotmelt glue adhesive and that the glue contaminates the metal He uses a lot of acetone cleaning if he has sanded the parts
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