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MPH

Cutting cast iron

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MPH
My brain cell is a little fogged on highschool shop class, is it safe to cut cast iron with a torch? What I'm needing to do is trim these wts about half an inch on the large end. For the right side I also need to enlarge the hole in the center and make room for the 2 anti-slip adjustment bolts. As is they weigh 61 lbs so I think they were a good freebie. Thanks

Whoops, too much iron in that shot, to save confusion....

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MPH
There is a guy here in Tok who has a sortta machine shop. Think I'll pay him a visist in the morning. Got two half inch holes for bolts drilled through one, guess I should have taken the camera out and give you all a laugh. My drill press is one of these 89 dollar ones with the table long broken off, so it was a series of 2x6's to lift the 60lbs enough to drill through 4 inches of iron with a 2 inch throw on the press.

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Leroy
Aluminum and copper are the only two metals that cannot be cut using a torch. The preheating of the cast iron prior to torch cutting is pretty intense 1800 degrees or more That said, If you can weld it, you can cut it. If you can get a gas rod to weld the material the coating on that rod is the oxdizing agent that permits the weld to take place, it is also a cheat to start a cut. But without the preheat it is a waste of time and energy. So if you can provide a fixed positon along the axis your going to cut for a rosebud (preheater) and a carborizing flame for the torch You may be able to get the cutting done. Makeing the hole bigger would require a oven and a heat of 2000 to 2400 degrees. that heat is a light yellow or white. From the pictures your sharing from up there Marty, getting heat to stay put is a problem. :) If you can do it then you can work the iron on an anvil useing a piece of stainless round stock and put it through the hole and roll it like a rolling pin. TIP watch your belly. The rolling pin would also have to be hot, but not as hot, because it would be cooling the iron if it wasn't. You have only 400 degrees to work with and oven mitts prolly won't be the glove of choice. At that temp nearly anything within 2 feet that can ignite, will. Prolly to much excitement for a guy who doesn't do much of it. But it can be done. Good luck at the machine shop. Take care of the Arctic Fleet Caretaker.

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HubbardRA
Cutting is an oxidation reaction. Cast iron will not sustain the reaction, because of the impurities, porosity, etc. Steel is much more uniform and will sustain the oxidation reaction. If you try cutting cast iron with a torch you will find that it heats up like steel, but when you hit the oxygen lever, the flave will just spread out on the surface, and not penetrate like steel. Cast iron can, however, be cut with an arc welder. Done it many times. If you have a stick welder (AC buzz box works great) you can take a 6013 rod 1/8 in. dia.(shallow to medium penetration rod so that it blows the puddle at high power), crank the power up to at least 200 amp. Start at an edge like you were beginning a weld, and move the rod in and out slowly like you are sawing the metal to blow out the molten metal. Believe me it works. I've been cutting cast iron and steel with arc for years.

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Leroy
Plasma will cut anything metal. Carbon Arc will blow cast iron away as well. I have seen the carbon arc used to bevel cut a cast iron pipe. But for what Marty wants to do the machine shop is the way to go.

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Leroy
quote:
Originally posted by HubbardRA
Cutting is an oxidation reaction. Cast iron will not sustain the reaction, because of the impurities, porosity, etc. Steel is much more uniform and will sustain the oxidation reaction. If you try cutting cast iron with a torch you will find that it heats up like steel, but when you hit the oxygen lever, the flave will just spread out on the surface, and not penetrate like steel. Cast iron can, however, be cut with an arc welder. Done it many times. If you have a stick welder (AC buzz box works great) you can take a 6013 rod 1/8 in. dia.(shallow to medium penetration rod so that it blows the puddle at high power), crank the power up to at least 200 amp. Start at an edge like you were beginning a weld, and move the rod in and out slowly like you are sawing the metal to blow out the molten metal. Believe me it works. I've been cutting cast iron and steel with arc for years.
Need is the mother of invention. If we need it done, we will find a way to get it done. Marty was wanting to slab it off and open it up for a larger shaft. It was a good question and it keeps our minds thinking.

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MPH
Finally got the OEM wt off the left side last nite. Been running the Landlord with no bolts in the wts hoping they'd shake lose. Took a couple days of AreoKroil and crow bar to convince the rust I was gonna win. Well, I figured out for the 8inch rims, these wts will only go in as deep as the lip of the rim center, which will leave them about flush with the outside of the tire instead of inside the surface of the OEM wt like my stanley figured they'd fit. The 'mother of invention' better wake up on this one. Thanks for all the good feedback guys, even though your out techin' my shop, lest I know how it should be done..

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toad270
send it to the machine shop its your best option and it will look the best. trust me i have been a machinist for 16yrs and have cut plenty of cast iron on the lathe it cuts like butter unless you hit a sand pocket then its a hole different pain in the butt!!! But you will be very satisfied with the finished product.

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