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Red Shed, the flashback arrestor is usually incorporated in the torch body or as an add-on, not the hose, so have your welding instructor or a local welding supply store check it out.  That can be done if you purchase your hose at the welding supply.

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Actually there should be one mounted right at the regulator!   Lots of example of where a forklift drove over a gas hose and the pressure spike started a reaction.   The idea is you DON'T want the tank to get involved.

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Perfect. All great info, thanks guys. I have found a local welding supply store so I will make sure to get new hoses and an arrestor soon after I have the tanks in my possession. I also have a close friend in an industry that often requires the use of an oxyacetylene torch. I will see if he can get me some time with someone in his shop for training. 

Also, I finally got a response from the owner of the bell and we are working on a time to get together to discuss the project further. Things are coming together! What an exciting and educational vocation I am pursuing. 

I am very grateful for this forum and all its contributors. Couldn't do it right without you guys!

Red

 

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Here are my two cents on welding cast. I did a few cast iron repairs when I had my shop. I used a couple of different rods over the years but they had one thing in common, they ran around $50 a pound. These rods had an excellent color match, no bright nickel contrast,  and laid down much nicer than E99 nickel rod.  This was a loooong time ago and I cannot remember the brand, nor the number. But, a good welding supply house should be able to guide you.

The problem with cast is that it shrinks at a far slower rate than the weld bead does, thus tearing away at the edges.

Cast has graphite in it. Grind down the preps, but finish with a file or rotary burr in a die grinder as the grinding wheel tends to smear the graphite more.

The following would be how I would do this job.

Start on the top edge and grind down halfway at a 45 degree angle on both pieces.  Then clean the surface with a good coarse file.

Get a good chunk of flat bar that you can clamp under both pieces to hold them in position.

Some rods state to not preheat, but I always did anyway. Heat the whole arm until it is uncomfortable to hold.

Lay a bead down (using the guidelines from the manufacturer for amps and polarity) and while it is still red to just under red (short beads around an inch or so long) peen the weld bead as it cools. The way I found worked best was to use my big industrial pneumatic needle scaler and keep it looped over my shoulder as you need to work quick. Stop welding, drop the stinger over my leg (sitting down) flip up the hood and stuff the needle scaler against the hot bead. Just keep hammering it until it resists any further spreading. The peening spreads the weld sideways and keeps it from tearing away at the edges as it cools.

Wire brush the weld and check for porosity. If there is, grind out , and repeat.

Once you have the top done, remove the clamps and flip over so you can grind down from the backside until you hit the weld. File it up, and do as you did on the topside. Do this while it is hot, do not let the part cool off during this whole process.

When you are done, and it is still hot,  you can dust the weld down until it is flush with the surface. Keep the grinding down to a narrow area. Going wide will be a lot more noticeable. Now, take the needle scaler and blend the welded section with the rest of the yoke. If done correctly it will camouflage the weld nicely. 

If it has cooled down, reheat to a good 300F or so, then bury it in a big pile of fluffed up gray wood ashes. I had mine in a cut down 55 gallon drum.  The next day it should still be warm when you remove it.

No needle scaler? an air chisel with a blunt tip will also do. Just remember you want to spread the weld sideways not lengthwise. And you can go old school with a ballpeen hammer, or a chipping hammer, but they are a lot more work. I don't scrimp on the peening. With the hammer, just be careful to only hit the bead, and don't whack it so hard you end up breaking it....DOH!  My needle scaler is an old one around a foot long minus the needles, and packs a punch.

When done, check for cracks visually, do a ring test by hanging it and tapping with a hammer, then clamp it up and do a stress test by giving it a good whack or two, or a pull double the weight of the bell. Better to have it come apart in your shop than on someone's head.

 

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BIGGUNDOCTOR, 

If for some reason I don't get the opportunity to braze the yoke together, I will do my best to follow your exact process. Thank you for relaying that bit of experience you have; I'm sure I'll be revisiting it here in the near and distant future if I don't get the chance to apply it on this project. I appreciate the detail you give, it makes it makes it that much easier to follow. 

 

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I don't know about illinois- but here & in texas... i just went down to tractor supply, and rented a couple tanks for my setup. They came filled, and I had to sign a transportation slip? of some type.

It was really cheaper than just renting a set of tanks from a welding supply place. Basically, you pay for the gas. Then go back and swap out when empty.

Might be easier to deal with than getting your tanks certified?

Haven't had a need for mine yet here in Ohio, so I haven't picked up tanks in years. Need to soon though!

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32 minutes ago, Welshj said:

Then go back and swap out when empty.

I'm sorry, I am just a little confused. Are you saying that I should be able to just swap the empty tanks like I would a 20lbs propane tank? Or just go rent a set of tanks for the time being?

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Not to sound like I'm being sarcastic-

I went to the store, tankless. Paid for the use of 1 oxygen, 1 acetylene tank. Went home with 1 ea. I used them for a couple weeks, on a bigger job cutting and bending tube steel. Ran out of oxygen, went to the store with oxygen tank, paid for & swapped it out for a fresh full tank... went back to work.

Its been a few years, but they have their own tanks, certified. I don't know if they still do this or if it is just a larger store? But, its a possibility?

I mean to say that until you can get your own tanks set up to use- you could rent a set to use in the mean time, and not have to deal with the certification of yours until such time as you are able.

And their program didn't have a monthly rental fee... you get the bottles and use them. When empty, or done with... you return them. At the time I used it- there was no time limit.

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If I am recalling correctly this is a common practice in the welding community.  This is why it can be a big deal to have a bill of sale or other ownership documentation for tanks.  Because if would be very easy for someone to abscond with a rental/loaner tank and then claim ownership.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."  

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Gotcha gotcha! That's what I thought you meant! Good to know. We don't have many Tractor Supply stores around here, but I found one that's about a half hour from me. I will call tomorrow to see what their policy is. The Google machine shows a few other places near me that fill tanks, maybe they rent too. Thanks for the heads up. 

George, good point. All the more reason to get a bill of sale. 

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1 hour ago, George N. M. said:

If I am recalling correctly this is a common practice in the welding community. 

Exactly George...

I have a neighbor who literally lives a quarter mile from me. He runs a welding/fabrication shop out of his pole barn. I can go to him for oxy/acyt bottles, at a cheaper dealer price for gas. But he also has a bottle rental fee. So even if I'm not using my torches- they're costing me.

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When I lived in Columbus Ohio, inner city, I once had a job where I needed a lot of gas, (Cutting up a wrought iron water tank from the old Ohio Penitentiary). I went to the welding supply dealer that I HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH and told them that for a month or so I needed to use a lot of gas. They just lent me the bottles and charged me for the gas I used.  I did have a security deposit "hold" placed on my credit card; but it was never charged as the bottles were returned.  

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So the welding and gas supply store near me seems pretty great. I called and they confirmed that I do not need to have papers or proof of certification on the tanks that I have; they will still swap them out for me, making me the owner of the tanks they give me. If their condition looks too rough, they send them off to be tested, which I pay for, but I am still given tanks then and there after payment for the oxygen and acetylene. They also do day rentals. 

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I've used a smaller (Q?) size oxy bottle for decades and paid a reasonable yearly demurage charge that covered testing and certification. Then one refill I was told to go to the loading dock and the yard dogs swapped mine for a full one. I asked about ownership, demurage, etc. and he showed the fine print on my invoice. My demurage for the year had been waived and the prorated remainder credited. It's all been exchange since. The tanks are all currently certified and they automatically change the valve if they look old. The old valves are rebuilt for later use or scrapped.

When I asked, the yard dog said it was cheaper to just keep everything up to date and in good repair than do the paperwork to charge it back to the customer. The increase in general gas price came to less than $1 per tank so they ate it. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I bought my tanks from a welding supply store in 1975 in Florida. They gave me a paid invoice and stamped SOLD into the tanks. At that time it was all that was required. Since then I have had them refilled three times (I think) and hydro-static tested once. When we moved up here there was a co in Huntsville that refilled the tanks just with the sold stamp but the place went out of business in the '08 crash.

The welding supply company (Welsco) we use now said that they would swap out the tanks for us and we would still own them (no rental charge). The tanks we now have are about the largest available and last for a long time as we don't use A/O that often any more so when we swap them out a smaller set will be received, easier to move about.

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As long as the shutoff valves are good and don't leak when turned on and hooked up to the regulators (check with a little soap & water like propane) they should be fine to use. I have gone for about ten years without using mine and no problems. Just be sure and clean out the outlets before hooking up the regulators, unless there are plugs critters love to build nests there. Those tanks are pretty good size and should last you for a long time.

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Replacing the O rings on the regulator tank fitting every couple decades is a good way to keep things fresh and leak free. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 1 month later...

Over the weekend I was able to meet up with the owner of the farm bell and the weekend before that I received the oxy/acy tanks. On the tanks I found no dents or corrosion, cleaned up the outlets and used soap and water to pin-point the initial leaks in the regulators. I am still learning about using them, but I did receive instruction and practice on the basics from my FIL when he was in town. I will be meeting with a good friend who works with them daily for further instruction, soon.

I also plan to do extensive research and practice on brazing as that is the plan for the broken yoke. So far, I know that it is important to heat the area around and directly where it will be brazed beforehand. I will also chamfer each piece, on top and on bottom, to create a U-shaped valley which will be filled during the braze.

Thought I should also provide some pictures of the bell and the break. Notice what looks like a seem running around the top portion of the bell. I wonder if that is normal to bell castings. The tether of the clapper looks like it could use some work too. 

20200929_193357.jpg

20200929_193628.jpg

20200929_193504.jpg

20200929_193241.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/24/2020 at 1:19 PM, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

Once you have the top done, remove the clamps and flip over so you can grind down from the backside until you hit the weld.

Thank you again for this detailed explanation. After asking 2 different welding stores, friends and family who weld and braze, and a guy I found online who sells welding rods, I have decided that the best rout to go here is to weld the yoke, not braze it. The only examples and relayed experience I could find for brazing show/say it should be done with either brass or bronze rods. With it being a load-bearing project, I am skeptical of the strength of those two. The most confident advice I received was from a GM of a Praxair store who recommended (without me mentioning that I was already considering it) using E99 Nickel rods for the weld. 

So... that brings me back to the way you would tackle the project. But first, those rods that you cannot remember, does the brand Muggy Weld ring a bell? I only ask because they are expensive like you mentioned and seem to be able to do what I would need. As for the quote I have: do you mean that I should grind all the way from the back side to the weld I just put down on the opposite side? It just seems like I would be grinding pretty deep as it is a half inch thick, I believe. 

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The last cast rod I used was made in Sweden if I remember right. It came in a pile of rod that came with a welder I had bought at an auction. Any good welding supply shop should have a rod chart for applications. When I worked at Jelly Belly I believe we used some rods made by Harris.

E99 will work, but it will leave a shiny silver spot showing the repair. The better rods will color match.

Yes, grind down to the previous weld so when you are done it is 100% welded with no unwelded section inside that can create a weak point.

As I mentioned before, it is a process. To weld my lathe foot, which was around a 7" long broken off piece, took several hours.

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Gotcha. Ok, that makes sense as to why to grind so much. Oh yes, I expect a lengthy process. I did go to 2 shops. At the first one, the entire staff working that day seemed completely baffled and didn't really want to give me a confident answer, even when referring me to the chart. Helpful and concerned, but not completely sure. The 2nd just pointed me right to E99.

If you are up for it, there is a guy on YouTube who has a really good series of videos on welding CI. He tries different rods, processes and strength tests and does a good job explaining himself. So far, based on what he has shown, I am most convinced that, if done correctly, I will achieve the strongest and best-looking weld with the Muggy Weld CI repair process. Google, "Stick Welding Cast Iron Repair With Muggy Weld - YouTube." It shows up on my page as the 2nd one on the list. He does not pre-heat, but in another video's comments he recommends pre-heating much thicker stock, as this project is. Although the finish is a different color, after grinding it looks like it never even happened. Plus, after annealing I should be able to blacken it, right?

 

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