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how do you tell how good a weld is?
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castrovillecowboy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15 15 8:18 pm    Post subject: how do you tell how good a weld is? Reply with quote

I am shrinking a set of axles and after I cut them and lined the pieces back up, I welded them back. Now I wonder how strong a joint I created. I am pretty much self taught on this. My welds on my cooker aren't the prettiest but they hold. Those I can see, and if they need adjustment thats not as serious as an axle. I don't plan on putting this on the highway, but I might pull it around the property. Right now I have them welded about half way around, but thought I might check in with the pros before doing in the other side.
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15 15 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only real way is a destruction test.
When I was in welding school I have seen some welds pass an X-ray test and still fail the destruction test.

Can yo see the inside? does it have penetration?

Can you get it sealed up and pressure check it?

post some pix
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15 15 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The welds on your cooker are for the most part fixed and not under any stress. An axle flexes and moves with the weight of the trailer.
Did you bevel the ends of the axle pieces for maximum penetration or just butt weld them?
Are these straight axles or arched?
While an x ray will show porosity in the weld that could cause failure gandrfab is correct in that the only true test is a destruction test. Then again I have seen metal fail right beside the weld it happens.
Pics of your project will give us an idea of what you're up against and help us to decide on what to do or not to do.
Knowing what to look for when welding up pieces is half the battle of being a welder. We can look at pics all day but that still wont let me say yes that will hold because I did not make the weld.
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TrailerBuilder
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15 15 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely could use a pic or two to see what your up against. Just as k.a.m. mentioned, your cooker is fixed, so so welds on it are okay because there really is no stress or pressure on it. Axles, well that's different. Hopefully you at least beveled the edges of the axle before welding? That will help get a better weld with more penetration. If...and only if its going to just be pulled around the property, you could always lay a couple pieces of flat bar over the weld joint and 6 to 8 inches on each side of the tube and weld them in place. That will give you some strength and help support the welded seam. If its a curved axle you will lose the flex of the axle by doing this, but if its just around the property, that's not a big deal. BUT, most who say that is just around the property, or just around the yard, usually end up pulling it just a few blocks to a buddies house, and then across town for a friends gathering, and then finally across the state or country for a family gathering. If there is even the slightest chance of any of those, and you are unsure of your welding abilities, which you say you are, then trash that axle and get yourself a new one that fits like its supposed to.

JM2CW
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15 15 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a welding hobbyist, I know my limitations. It's one thing to be welding something that you may tote around on the property and an entirely different thing when that trailer goes on a public road. If your case is the latter, perhaps you'd consider taking the axle to a specialist that can get it done right. Think about safety and liability. Get it done right and you won't have to worry about those things.
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16 15 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Then again I have seen metal fail right beside the weld it happens.


Yes it does happen.
More often then not that kind of fail is someone got in a hurry and welded it to hot.

structure welding is not a race.
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castrovillecowboy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16 15 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the feedback. Guess I could have given a few more details.

I did bevel the edges slightly
I did leave about a 1/16" gap between the pieces (just a hair)
I used a 6018 1/8" rod set to 85 on my Hobart stickmate 220 amp service. Set to dc refers polarity ( thanks KAM researched that one on the forum, I had it on the other DC setting)

Can't post pics anytime soon, I am in TX this week for work leaving tomorrow for North Carolina and won't be home.until Friday. Will post when I get back.

I did grind one down and it looked good but I didn't cut all the way through. I also burnt through once, small hole, (lost my balance for a second and couldn't keep my rod moving) I ground that area down and went back over again to clean it up

Axles are off an aluminium 20ft boat trailer. They cut a bunch off and left just the axles,leaf springs and a piece of the old frame boxed around just them. But it was too wide to fit on my utility trailer so I wanted to cut it down so the platform was only 4 ft wide. My smoker is only 28" deep at the deepest point. I plan on building a metal frame around the base that I can bolt to the aluminium frame.

As far as towing. Va seems strict as all get out so I won't tow here, safer to throw it up on my utility trailer and roll it off where I am going.
But I still want to do the best job I can. I don't mind doing things a few times if it means I get right. I keep being told its all about practice.

Thanks again for all the help, I appreciate everyone's patience with me. Especially KAM.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16 15 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like a good process you followed. I would continue as you are doing then clean them up and run a cap with 7018's
You can drop down a notch on your rod size to a 3/32" and set your machine to about 75. Run a test pass on some like thickness metal and adjust your amps up or down from there. Very Happy
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16 15 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The long story sounds very promising.
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17 15 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have any question of it failing.
You can band-aid across the joint with flat bar or angle.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17 15 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrailerBuilder wrote:
If...and only if its going to just be pulled around the property, you could always lay a couple pieces of flat bar over the weld joint and 6 to 8 inches on each side of the tube and weld them in place. That will give you some strength and help support the welded seam. If its a curved axle you will lose the flex of the axle by doing this, but if its just around the property, that's not a big deal.

gandrfab wrote:
If you have any question of it failing.
You can band-aid across the joint with flat bar or angle.

Is there an echo in here? Razz Laughing
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17 15 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did I miss that?
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18 15 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either way it doesn't hurt to re-enforce a good concept.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18 15 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gandrfab wrote:
Either way it doesn't hurt to re-enforce a good concept.


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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18 15 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't even want to post pix of the glider (air plane) trailer I welded on for the last 2 days.
It is rusted to the point it's like welding on air, rusted metal just disappears when putting a arc to it.
He doesn't wan't to do a real rebuild.

Saving grace is all this old trailer does now is tote banners to and from the runway behind a 4 wheeler.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18 15 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold em. Wink
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18 15 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Ya gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold em. Wink

trailer still works, and it keeps going.
Wish like this airplane owner to have me build him a new trailer.
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18 15 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Ya gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold em. Wink

My salvage work might be pic worthy for others that have done the same kind of work.
I won't advertise it.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18 15 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gandrfab wrote:
k.a.m. wrote:
Ya gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold em. Wink

My salvage work might be pic worthy for others that have done the same kind of work.
I won't advertise it.

Oh I have done my fare share of it. I once had a cooker back into my driveway with the right side of the axle held on with a 1.5" ratchet strap and some rope. It broke on the way home from a competition and they were told I could repair it. My grinder hit the frame and went plum through it. I ended up plating about 18" in three directions to find solid metal.
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castrovillecowboy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23 15 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

made it back but between cold and rain and catching up on a weeks worth of chores, no time to work on the build.

Sorry for my ignorance - what is a destruction test?
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