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Old 02-28-2018, 03:11 PM
Gabriel G Gabriel G is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Polkton NC
Posts: 32
Weld problem

So real quick im having difficulty with my handle rod staying on. Im using a mild steel rod for a handle welded with a flux 125 welder. Working piece is leaf spring. Welds hold until heat from forge gets to it. Both were ground clean immediately before welding

Please help.

Do not go gentle into that good night, 
Old age should burn and rave at close of day; 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. -Dylan thomas
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Old 02-28-2018, 03:47 PM
epicfail48 epicfail48 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Springfield Mo
Posts: 95
Don't high-carbon steels require a pre- and post-heat when welding to prevent cracks? Might start there
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:05 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 554
How big is your rod? In my experience a small rod is more likely to come loose. Also, once the billet is hot the weld zone sees wild grain growth weakening it. For best results, use a larger rod (at least 1/2"). Bevel your rod somewhat and make sure your weld zone is cleaned up. Build up a good bead by weaving, but don't do it all at once, let the weld zone cool back down to mitigate the grain growth. Even then you can't expect the welds to always hold, but if you play it right they will hold pretty well. When doing Damascus I expect to have to reweld the handle several times due to the weld zone thinning. On a ball bearing it's a good day when I can forge the entire billet without it coming off.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:28 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
Posts: 1,270
I am a Journeyman TIG welder and I have welded plenty of high carbon steels and tool steels including D2. You need to heat the billet to 400 degrees or better to weld and it must cool down slowly like put it in an oven and turn it off after preheating it to max temperature of the oven before welding the handle on. I've had to pre-heat 2% carbon cast steel to 800 degrees with rosebud tips on my acetylene torch. It also helps if you use nickel rod instead of mild steel.

In my experience a MIG isn't the best option for welding handles onto billets. I had the luxury of access to a TIG and used the same material as the billet often times as I worked in a machine shop and l had hi-carbon filler rod as well. The difference in carbon content is what causes the cracking, hence why I said to use ni-rod if you have an arc stick welder.
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