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A36 forge welding


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Hi everyone new to this forum and new to forge welding. I have successfully forge welded 1018 but have had zero success with a36. My big question is what do I look for as an indicator that the metal is ready to come out of the forge? (Propane) forge temp is 2300 to 2500 depending on location in the forge. I don't think I am having a problem with technique just judging when it's ready to weld.

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heres how i did it when i was learning forge welding, and it works for most steels. Im using a coal forge, so modify as needed. bring it up on a slow rising heat. rotate your steel to get an even heat throughout. Flux it at a good orange. Watch it close and when you first see any sparks, give it a little soak and you are there. This pushes the limits because the sparks are bad, but not that bad with a few sparks. its a good enough swop-off to gain the needed experience to easily forge weld A36, or anything.

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I may be doing it wrong, but even with a coal forge, I look for it to become the same color as the hot spot.  When I pull it out, it's steaming (even with no flux), and a spark or two is being emitted.   I usually heat it slow, and allow it to soak real good. I want everything to be the same temp. through and through.  Even then, it may not work on the first go.

  I remember one time, everything looked good, and I smacked it too hard. All my work vanished in a shower of sparks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ive had pretty good luck in when the surface starts looking greasy like you dipped it in the deep fryer.  Thats for new or clean a36 in a clean fire.  I dont use flux for those.  If its a large piece or complicated intersection, or uneven surfaces at the contact area I use some borax.  the real secret is practice.

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