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I know you guys say that I-Beam is useless as an anvil... but I can't help but wonder if a chunk of this beast would be acceptable. That's a ten dollar bill held to it by small magnets to give a scale reference. My estimate is that a 12" length of it should weigh around 1200 lbs. The sides and web are 6" thick. The sides are 24" wide and the web between the sides is about 18"

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Definitely an H beam/ wide flange and not an "i" beam or S shape.

 

That's some big steel there. Biggest wide flange I have listed in my book is a W36 x300  Flange and web thickness though are only about 1" with those. Bigger units I've seen like that are often fabricated vs rolled like smaller members. On another site I was looking at some structural pieces one member was working on for the new World Trade Center complex. You know things are heavy when you measure the amount of weld in a piece in multiple tons.

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Your guess was really close, a 1' section of that column weights 1,320 lbs. If anyone is interested in how to figure weight of heavy steel like that, its really simple. Structural members are accepted to weigh 40 lbs per square foot. That is a 1'x1'x1" piece. Then all you gotta do is figure out the square feet of the chunk in question and add it up. 

-Crazy Ivan

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The problem with light structural members made of low carbon steel (A36) is that they are *meant* to spread the stress, so hammering on them will either produce a lot of ringing, or they will spring and return under the work.

 

Heavy gauge RR track solves part of this problem by being more sectionally dense under the hammer, and a higher carbon/higher alloy steel. Not ideal, but better than light H beam per foot. Which is why turning it on end makes it more efficient for anything more than sheet metal work.

 

This stuff can be thought of as individual sections of heavy plate that just happen to be joined together, which is how a lot of this type of work is actually produced. Now we can begin to think in terms of hammer to anvil weight ratios if we score a chunk of this.

 

Mo' mass (under the hammer) = mo' better.

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John M. I'm not sure you paid a lot of attention to the OP... the H-beam being referenced is two foot  by two and a half feet... the side panels and web are six inches thick, the bill in the picture is on the edge of one of the side panels... a one foot section would weigh in over one thousand three hundred pounds. I don't think that qualifies as 'light'. -grin- ;)

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I paid attention: did you read MY post?

 

"This stuff can be thought of as individual sections of heavy plate that just happen to be joined together, which is how a lot of this type of work is actually produced."

 

I have worked in the big fab shops where this very type of structural steel is put together with submerged arc welders running *4* 3/16" wires at once with *4* 1000 amp power supplies! Human beings just tack the plates together for the big boy toys to work on.

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Human beings just tack the plates together for the big boy toys to work on.

That must be a beastly tack! Out of curiosity, do you recall the process and size a tack would be used on something like the pictured column? My guess is 11018 3/16 stick with a pre-heat? 

-Crazy Ivan

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11018 and 12018 SMAW rods are used for HSLA (High Strength Low Alloy) steels like over the road cranes and cement pumper trucks. Where weight savings during manufacture means years of fuel savings and higher payloads. (Pay me now or pay me later.)

 

Structural members for use in buildings do not move once installed: you just go bigger and thicker, not more expensive metal choices unless the application is going to be seen. (Who looks at this junk in basements and parking garages anyway? Weirdos like us!) Flux core or spray arc for the tacks, actually a continuous root pass in most cases. For thinner wall applications, say under an inch like the casings of heat exchangers and wind towers, autogenous GTAW is used to make small widely spaced tacks. Either way the SAW head does not have to go over humps, which cause problems.

 

Say, weren't we talking about blacksmithing, or anvils, or some such somewhere back there?

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John M, you are certainly correct with the densities of the different materials and such (I/H-beam vs RR rail) for use as an anvil but I have to question something as I am curious and love an intellectual debate of materials science :D

 

1) Far as material choices go: think about back in the day when anvils were manufactured as an entire wrought iron body with a heat treatable alloy (tool steel) affixed to the face to be more impact resistant and keep from chipping. If the typical structural material of an I/H-beam (A36) is too soft, what about the wrought iron from the olden days?? Other than the fact the wrought iron was solid with no spaces under the face like a beam would be with just a plate welded to it.

 

2) You made the comment about the composition of the material was designed to spread the stress. To my knowledge, the overall surface area of the load-bearing structure is what spreads the stress and the type of material being used is softer making it more ductile to keep from failing whilst moving from mother nature and any causes of vibration or impact.

 

I'm not arguing with what you're saying because I believe it to be valid but I'd like you to clarify if I'm incorrect or if I'm just going further in depth. I, too, work in the manufacturing field as a welder/fabricator.

 

-Hillbilly

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