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Discussion Starter #1
I set 4 heavy gauge 1" posts in 10"x10"x18" deep concrete footings today. Later this weekend I'd like to weld a couple 2" wide x 1/2" thick handrails on them with curled ends using a Lincoln HD180 but seeing as to how I've already mixed the concrete how long should I wait before welding?

The other question I have is about how to weld the curled ends onto the straight handrail without having a big weld ruin the contoured profile.

Thanks!
 

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retired painter
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I'm not a pro welder but I'd grind a groove between the 2 pieces [at least on the bottom side] to give you more area to weld, then grind smooth when done. How close to the concrete do you need to weld?
 

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Retired Handyman/Painter
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practice practice practice your welding skills and finishing techniques before moving onto the real project.
as mentioned, grinding a slight taper (bevel/chamfer) on all the mating edges will provide the best connection.
if you have any of the handrail left, you can cut small pieces and practice welding them together and dressing up the welds.
using great care, grind off the imperfections, splatter and excess material BEFORE welding the handrail to the stanchions.
I would wait at least one day before messing with the stanchions so you don't loosen them from the concrete.
it is not the heat from the welder that is the issue - it is the handling and movement that will break the bond between the post and concrete footing.
looking forward to seeing how this turns out - please show some photos of the project.
do you have an angle grinder? a metal "grinding" disk will do the job quickly and neatly.
not the metal "cut-off" disk as it is too thin and will cut into the metal like a knife into a ham.
when you get the metal free of all contaminants, Bondo can be used to fill in any defects.
632504
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what those guys said. also, be careful of those magnets, they "will" pull the molten metal as you are welding.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All good tips. I'm thinking that if I create a bevel underneath and run a nice penetrating bead down the center it will be plenty strong enough to secure the 3 handrail pieces together. Especially considering that the curled ends will be resting on the sanctions and the handrail just bridges them.

I'll build the handrails to the correct lengths first and weld them on after all neat and tidy. That gives the concrete the benefit of curing an extra 24/48 hrs before handling.

Bondo makes sense to me. Can it be used to take care of the top crack without welding/grinding.

I'll grab a new metal disk and flap wheel and clean up the welds with the grinder before and after instalation.
 

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Retired Handyman/Painter
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it's a handrail - if a crack does occur, chances are, you are probably the only one that will notice it.
as long as it is structurally sound and safe, paint it and call it a day.
but - if you want to exhibit your welding skills, you can stand back and say: "look at that invisible joint".

.
 

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"top crack" = what are you talking about ? weld the top, with good penetration. then dress the weld.
you do "know" what a good weld looks like, right ? i have seen a lot of people that had no idea, so no offence.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
"top crack" = what are you talking about ? weld the top, with good penetration. then dress the weld.
you do "know" what a good weld looks like, right ? i have seen a lot of people that had no idea, so no offence.
That's okay. I guess I do know what a good weld looks like, and according to my old instructor, at one time I could even create them.

But I have zero faith in my ability to grind anything that's not flat and square.

I'll try welding and dressing a couple of scraps and then we'll see what I decide to do after that.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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For the top crack, it is advised to use a gas welding set to fill it in, and affix it to the railing.

Do you have an acetylene welding torch?

That way it is easier to make it seamless.

You mentioned a welding instructor, so you must have passed long ago.

Arc weld the bottom side well, then gas weld the topside, and be gentle with that disc grinder.


ED
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmm, I could gas weld it given a torch and oxy bottle. Acetylene I have and I was already considering getting a cut off torch so your advice is further tipping my hand to make that happen.

Ya, I could see doing it that way.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Hmm, I could gas weld it given a torch and oxy bottle. Acetylene I have and I was already considering getting a cut off torch so your advice is further tipping my hand to make that happen.

Ya, I could see doing it that way.
Long ago, in my high school days, I worked part time in an ornamental iron shop.

As well as had a shop welding semester.

And I learned to gas weld first, then on to a basic Lincoln Arc welder.

A person can buy a great combo cutoff / welding torch , with many inter-changeable tips for it.

That is what I recommend that you do.

And it will give you many years of pleasure creating and building things.


ED
 

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Z-Rider - how did your handrail project go ??
any photos of the completed project ?

.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, it's almost complete. I ran into an issue after initially building it. In brief the posts weren't sturdy enough with the 1" tubing so I put some 1.5" over the top and then sank a 5/8" solid bar to the bottom at 1 foot below and above concrete level. Nice and sturdy now.

It's primed and awaiting the final coat of paint. I'll post pics when that's done.
 
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