Farm Blacksmithing

by J.M.Drew St. Paul Publishing Company 1918


Let us now try our hand at welding two irons together. So far, all our welding has been done with irons that would naturally stay together. Welding separate irons will be found to be quite a different matter.

Welding on Anvil Figure 19

Take two pieces of one-half inch iron; upset and scarf one end of each in exactly the same manner as in the case of the ring already described. Now see that you have a clean fire; that is, a fire with no clinkers or old burned out ashes at the bottom. Have a good bed of coke burning nicely and a supply of coal closely banked about it. Do not allow any fresh coal to come in contact with your irons. Put the irons in the fire face side down; that is, the scarf side down. Have burning coke both above and below the irons. Have your hammer lying at the right-hand end of the anvil, with the face side away from you, and be sure that you know exactly where it is, so that you can pick it up without having to look for it. To get the irons on the anvil in the right position without loss of time, take hold of the right hand one so that the back of your hand will be upward and the little finger toward the fire. This will naturally bring the scarfed side up when placed on the anvil. See Fig. 19. Practice this a few times before heating the irons. By steadying the left hand iron on the edge of the anvil Fig. 19, you can bring it down upon the other one in just the right position without any uncertainty. Irons at welding heat are very sticky, and if they happen to touch each other when in a wrong position will cause trouble.

Welding Steel Figure 20

Now heat to welding heat. Do not let one iron heat faster than the other. If one is inclined to do this, pull it back a little. When you get a nice welding heat on both irons take them out quickly remembering to take hold with the right hand so as to bring the iron face side up on the anvil; strike them a sharp blow on the edge of the anvil, to shake off any dirt or scale that may be on them; then place the right hand iron as in Fig. 19, and bring the other down upon it by guiding it from the edge of the anvil. If they are at the proper heat they will now stick together so that you can let go with the right hand and pick up the hammer. Strike a light blow first, then a heavy one, at the place indicated by the arrow in Fig. 20. Turn the iron over quickly and strike in the same way on the other side. If the iron has cooled below the welding heat, put it back in the fire and heat again until the surface is in a melted condition; then go all around the weld, pounding it down to the original size of the iron. With large irons it is generally possible to make a perfect weld with one heat; but small irons lose their heat so quickly that it is generally necessary to heat two or three times before finishing. After practicing with half-inch irons until you can make a good weld, try a smaller size. Also try welding a short piece to a long one by using bolt tongs for holding the shorter piece. Finally weld two short pieces, using two pairs of tongs. Where one pair of tongs is used, take the tongs in the right hand, and, after placing the left-hand iron on the right one, let the tongs drop to the floor while picking up the hammer.

Welding Steel Figure 21

Flat iron is welded in the same way as round, but is somewhat harder to make a good job with, as it is not easy to get all the corners and edges welded down so they will not show. To weld :Hat iron at a right angle, upset slightly and draw out the side of each piece as shown in Fig. 21, and place together as shown. Never try to make a sharp inside corner in a weld of this kind, for if you do, a crack is almost sure to start there. Leave the inside rounding unless a square corner is absolutely required, in which case, file it square rather than try to forge it. To weld :Hat irons in the form of a T, upset and scarf both the end, Fig 22, and the place where it is to be welded on. Great care must be taken to have no scale or cinder in the hollow scarf at the time of welding.