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bigb

Ground Rods

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I have a bunch of these ground rod pieces, hate to toss them, any ideas what to make with them? They are 5/8" steel with a very thin copper plating. Varying lengths from 3 to 5 feet.

gr rods.jpg

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My 2 cents - Weather vane Mast/Support pole (?) The copper plating should tarnish to a nice green.

Or use some as a trade item/Iron in the Hat offering at the local BS meeting(s). And just like here, ask those folks for suggestions.

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I made tongs from them but the one I used had almost no copper left on it. It just melted off in the forge

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28 minutes ago, Jasent said:

I made tongs from them but the one I used had almost no copper left on it. It just melted off in the forge

Note that conventional wisdom is that copper residue in the forge will mess with your ability to get a decent forge weld. Be forewarned.

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5 minutes ago, JHCC said:

Note that conventional wisdom is that copper residue in the forge will mess with your ability to get a decent forge weld. Be forewarned.

I've heard that. Why does it do that? 

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9 minutes ago, JHCC said:

Note that conventional wisdom is that copper residue in the forge will mess with your ability to get a decent forge weld. Be forewarned.

I do know that. Df on utube has a video on it that is quite good. Thankfully that forge dosent exist anymore. It was my first forge built  and was pop. 

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1 minute ago, Hotshoein4 (Mark) said:

I've heard that. Why does it do that? 

No clue, and there doesn't appear to be consensus on whether or not this is a real problem or just an old husband's tale. See this thread for further discussion.

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2 minutes ago, JHCC said:

No clue, and there doesn't appear to be consensus on whether or not this is a real problem or just an old husband's tale. See this thread for further discussion.

Thanks. I'll check that out. Never researched it, just heard about it. 

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Ground rods tend to be about equal quality as rebar. 

I've never had copper effect my ability to weld with my forge. Then again the same guys were saying you can't weld with a NA gas forge so maybe I'm imagining things. 

I think in the day before reasonably clean, uniform steel was available welds might maybe could have been poisoned by contaminants in the fire. I don't recall the book I read about copper and zinc poisoning a forge but books of the same era, maybe the same books, talked about forge brazing with copper wire or penny shavings. Maybe . . . non-toxic copper? 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I think I will just cut them up in little pieces on the band saw and tack them to a base plate in a circular pattern for a basket/pot. I'll make them uneven for a more interesting look. Keeping them out of the forge will retain the copper finish too, except for the cut ends .Maybe save one for a weather vane pole as Don suggested.

It's been a long, hot summer here and I didn't do any metal working except some sheet metal, finally cooling a bit and I am getting ready to spend some time in the shop. It's still near 100 but I am getting ready.......

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it cooled down to 90 deg F, 32.2 deg C,  here; but still more humidity than back up at my main place...I felt like I was doing a "Lot's Wife" impression when I finished smithing yesterday.

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On 9/10/2017 at 12:03 PM, JHCC said:

Note that conventional wisdom is that copper residue in the forge will mess with your ability to get a decent forge weld. Be forewarned.

nonsense I forge Bronze with no problems

 

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I had a hammer-in at my place and during the demo (a member was forge welding a bunch of wire cutters / electrical pliers) for a retired lineman / electrician and during the forging a guy walked up and thru a penny in the fire and said " see if you can weld them now"  - I about dropped the guy, but the member doing the demo was irritated but successfully welded the parts together for the billet to make a knife for the retired man.

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On 9/11/2017 at 9:06 PM, Steve Sells said:

nonsense I forge Bronze with no problems 

 

Certainly a demonstration that conventional wisdom can be quite wrong. 

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well I forge bronze in the same forge as I weld never had an issue so I cant see how it could be that copper prevents forge welding.

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SOFA had a demo at a meeting one time where the smith welded using a dirty fire that he had added fly ash, sulfur and copper to and got a weld that passed testing.

Biggest problem with copper in the forge as I recall is that it can get intragranular in steel and weaken it greatly.  Ah yes "Intergranular Attack of Steel by Molten Copper":

files.aws.org/wj/supplement/WJ_1978_01_s9.pdf     Sure feels good when I find out I remember some things right after all...

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Well I finally got around to doing something with the ground rods. It didn't involve forging though. After a lot of thought I thought I should just turn them in to the state. 

GRAZ.jpeg

GRAZ2.jpg

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Pity they would have made great accent pieces for parts of designs that don't require any forging.  Just there they look like a set of pan pipes...

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oh there's more where those came from. I almost made a New Mexico because the shape would have been easier, but being copper it only made sense that it should be Arizona

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10 hours ago, bigb said:

oh there's more where those came from. I almost made a New Mexico because the shape would have been easier, but being copper it only made sense that it should be Arizona

what scares me is that apparantly somewhere there is an electrician that is cutting off the ends of ground robs, rather than installing them correctly,  they are rated only for installations as full pieces.

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Where we live the soil is very rocky. On a service upgrade we sometimes have to abandon a rod when it will not go in all the way. We cut it off and drive a new one. Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 tries to get one in, or a backhoe must be called in. Once they stop going down it is nearly impossible to pull them back out as they are wedged into rock. Using one that has been cut off is a no no and can be verified by the missing numbers that are stamped into the side of the rod near the top.

Thankfully all new construction in the last 20 years or so has been required to have a UFER so no grounding rods needed.

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11 hours ago, bigb said:

Well I finally got around to doing something with the ground rods. It didn't involve forging though. After a lot of thought I thought I should just turn them in to the state. 

Does that make them solid state electronics?

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