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I Forge Iron

Welding Flux video (Hydrous to anhydrous)

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This is a fast video on how i make up welding flux..   I started doing it this way back in the 80's and the main advantage is " it is a condensed product).. IE : Denser product..

First off it's a : To each there own video"..    Wanna discuss fluxes or likes vs dislikes go for it..  This particular subject as to which is better. has and is beaten to death.. This is simple a video for the curious at heart.. .  

It takes 3-4 pints of hydrous borax to make 1 pint of anhydrous borax..    This means it weighs a lot more per volume and it has a higher coverage ratio vs 20 Mule team or oven made Anhydrous which never gets to the melting point.. 

Of note:    The pan is carbon steel and the flux eats it as it's heated thereby introducing iron into the mix..  Years ago when I was experimenting  after seeing a box of Climax and then again with EZ weld. I noticed they have little pieces of metal swarth in them..  so I grabbed a bunch from the band saw and threw them in the cold mix..  

I eventually disliked it enough that I melted it down as in this video.. When I did this the little chips completely disappeared into the borax.. 




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  • 1 month later...
2 hours ago, JHCC said:

@jlpservicesinc, do you ever find any issues with the cooked anhydrous borax rehydrating from moisture from the atmosphere? Or does keeping it in a reasonably airtight container take care of that issue?

The old batch I produced before closing shop stayed 100% in a solid (crushed but not expanded) form.. It lived inside a moist cellar for 5 years then lived inside the the completely open old blacksmith trailer which would get rain and snow in it..  It remained in perfect shape.. Now flowering of absorbed water and a few times the container actually got flooded and I'd dump the water out and it would eventually dry.. 

The newer batches which as of this writing there has been 3 batches produced in roughly 3 years seems to have a tendency to reabsorb some moisture out of the air.. With this said the trailer being a steel building with very little ventilation might have something to do with it.. I also store it in one of those old fashioned modern produced round cookie tins.. The stuff inside the tin will show a little flowering from water absorbed on the top layer but it's not much considering the moisture level in the trailer.. 

in the trailer I have to spray the anvil with WD40 as well as any other metal surface that I don't want to get rust on.. 

I'm not sure why the really old batch I made didn't absorb or seem to absorb water vs the newer stuff..  I used to use a cast iron skillet for melting it in the old days verses the cooking sheet I use now..  I also crush it a little finer.. 

Simple answer is" Yes it will absorb some water" and storing it in an air tight container would help.. 

I'll take some pictures of the container tomorrow.. Last time I was in there, there was enough moisture condensed on the roof that it would rain a little while moving around.. You might be able to see a little white mixed in with the gray on the top layer.. :) 

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sure is..  I had an 80lbs bag of hydrous bought for me as an incentive to forge weld more from back in the late 80's..  I still have maybe 50lbs left..  So, for the few minutes of time to make flux it's simply a time for introspection.. 

Another 3 or more years and the next batch will be anhydrous..   Funny thing is I stopped at the Chemical supply house years back wanting to buy a new bag vs processing the old stuff and the guy looked at me and asked was I insane..    Turns out they ordered a pallet of the stuff like 20 years earlier and they sold all but 5 bags..  These 5 bags were so hard they threw them into the trash.. LOL.. 

He said it took about 5 years for the to harden up like that.. And that when they finally did throw it away that a sledge wouldn't even take a corner off..

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Huh? Very interesting..  The rods would be pretty brittle if poured when fully molten and homogenous. ..  if you look at the video there is a mass that forms around the side rake as I stir it. This is pretty hard and sturdy.. I have to break them up with a full hammer blow or 2..

Very interesting in deed..  Maybe a tube pour with a powder inside???

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What would be the advantage of such a flux crayon, other than the convenience of not having to store or apply a powder? Would there be any difference (beneficial or not) in ease of application or completeness of coverage?

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21 minutes ago, JHCC said:

What would be the advantage of such a flux crayon, other than the convenience of not having to store or apply a powder? Would there be any difference (beneficial or not) in ease of application or completeness of coverage?

Just because maybe...    

Even in it's powdered form it covers very well..  I can see spot applications but with a coal forge i can only see it helping to keep the hands away from the heat...

I don't wear gloves or like a spoon so usually just gets dropped from above..  it can get pretty hot on some of the larger pieces...

I find because the product is more condensed with a spoon it gets over applied and wasteful..

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