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  1. #1
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    Default Tiller tines - any experience in welding up gouged edges

    I have a new Del Morino 48" tiller. Due to new owner mishaps, I have gouged the edge of a couple of tiller blades. Thinking of welding up the gouged edges - using a stick welder (smaw) - and grinding it to original condition using a flappy disc on a small angle grinder. I'll use a backing plate to weld on, and then grind off the backing plate after I have laid the weld beads.

    I know it's less trouble to just replace the blades - but I just want to gain the satisfaction of doing a good repair job.

    My questions are - 1) is it possible, 2) if so, what is the best electrode classification should I use for what I guess is spring steel, and 3) is a 6013 electrode ok to use for this type of work.

    Thank you.

    John

  2. #2
    Super Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiller tines - any experience in welding up gouged edges

    You'll never know until you try. If it was a lawn mower blade, or something like that I'd say get a new one.
    6013 is the last rod I would use. 9018 is a lot better suited for spring steel, if it's truly spring steel?
    Pre-heat and post heat will make or break this project. I'd pre-heat to 300-degrees, pein the welds, and post heat in an oven for a very slow cool down over a 24-hour period.

    So now, is it really worth all this?


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  3. #3
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    Default

    This is a good job for those eutectic 680's ive talked about in the past. Check there website. I'm on my phone right now so I can't foward the link.

  4. #4
    Elite Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiller tines - any experience in welding up gouged edges

    Ah, these professionals that just want to do the job right. So tiring.

    I've done it two ways. One was to use 7018 to fill in the gaps in the blade as well as the taper that happens on the end edge. Then use hardfacing (Stoody 31) to coat the edge. A couple of beads does it. No more chipping or edge wear and I have rocky soil.

    The other is to cut 3" x 1/4" flat stock to about 4" lengths. weld these to the back of very worn blades with 7018 to give them a new surface. Then hardface the edge of the flat stock. 15 years later the tines are running strong. One problem with this method...it makes a large surface area for the tiller to turn in the soil. It requires more power. It also causes enough resistance that the center mount on the tine can twist right out. Easy enough to fix.

    Don't mind the welds. That was when I couldn't weld. Nowadays I just can't weld.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tiller tines - any experience in welding up gouged edges

    Thank you - I think I realised within a nano second of sending my post that a 6013 would probably last as long as the time spent welding it.

    I decided that I'll replace the blades and practice my handiwork on the damaged ones to expand my welding experience. I thinking about doing the following in line with keeping it fairly simple while trying somewhat to keep within good welding practice.

    1) preheat the blade simply by leaving it in the hot sun, heating it further using a magnifying glass - sounds easy and cost free - the blades are fairly small.

    2) use a 7018 rod to fill - is there any way to store unused low hydrogen rods without resorting to heating them in an oven before welding? Is sealing the packet of electrodes and storing them in the house good enough?

    3) maybe run a hardfacing electrode bead over the 7018 - I've never used hardfacing electrodes before. Are they easy to use? Can you grind the hardface weld bead to a fairly keen edge? I am wondering if tapering a hardface weld bead will result in chipped edges. If so then I guess I'll have to use a higher grade electrode than a 7018 and use that as the metal deposit for the blade edge.

    4) I suppose for post heat, I can simply cover the blades with dry sand immediately after welding and leave it for a few hours.

    Thank you for your replies.

    John
    Last edited by jbwilson; 10-03-2013 at 12:34 AM. Reason: Fix typos

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tiller tines - any experience in welding up gouged edges

    Howard used to have hardfaced tiller blades for extreme conditions. I would try like Shield Arc said and preheat them to about 300 deg., hard face them and then slow cool them. Get a 300 deg. Tempil stick and use a BBQ or a propane torch to preheat them. You could get a piece of 3/8" thick or so copper to use as a backing strip and then hard face the top edge of them using a slight weave. The weld won't stick to the copper and the copper will help prevent burning the edge away. Hardfacing the bottom might cause the top to wear and then cause the hardfacing to spall off. Don't bother grinding them sharp. They will self sharpen. Another good idea would be to spray weld them with hard facing but you'd have to find someone who did that. I think Yomax 4 has done spray welding.

  7. #7
    Elite Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiller tines - any experience in welding up gouged edges

    Hardfacing rod really needs to be run flat. It can get runny.

    There is not much flux to deal with. The flux usually pops off as the piece cools. Using the piece in the ground will take care of the flux anyway.

    Grinding hardfacing is possible but generally unnecessary as Arc weld mentioned. An exception may be if the tiller is low-powered, light weight, and the hardfacing build-up is especially thick on the leading edge. This applies more to walk-behind tillers. The tiller may have difficulty driving the thick edge through hard ground. The tiller will bounce and hop.

    Grinding hardfacing will take extra time compared to mild steel (duh) and will wear a grinding wheel quite quickly. Some of the hardfacing materials will not even give off sparks when ground.

    Hardfacing rods are fairly expensive. For your use, 3/32" rod would probably work best. I have a bunch of 5/32" rod and have to run it at 200 amps to keep a consistent arc. Plus, it is a nightmare to use on a small project. High heat and thin metal make for a challenge. (as you can see in the photos)

    Are you sure the tines need to be replaced? Sometimes a new implement makes one want to keep it like new. But tines are going to be dinged, worn, and maybe even slightly bent and still work just fine. It is your choice, of course, but posting a photo or two might make it easier for the pro weldors on here to give specific advice.

    EDIT: Forgot the question about storing 7018. Don't worry about it for farm work. Storing in a dry place or heated shop should be good enough unless you live in the tropics. Don't know much about Australia except that most of the country is fairly dry.
    Last edited by gwdixon; 10-03-2013 at 10:12 AM. Reason: forgot

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tiller tines - any experience in welding up gouged edges

    I ended up with a nice older JD tiller and the tines were chopped up too. I built them back to good enough with 7018 and sharpened. Then to try something odd, I heated to burgandy color on the edges and sprinkled case hardening compound on them and have had no troubles since. Not perfect but fairly hard and no grinding or shaping of a hard surface rod material. Case hardening compound is available from Harris, Kas-Nit or a few other outfits. I did this just to try something different and it did a good job. It's just a tiller. Other processes like Spray Powder are very cool but cost prohibitive on a full sized tiller.

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