Welding Tool Steel
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Carolina / Maine
    Posts
    74

    Welding Tool Steel

    I have a 6" wood chipper and somehow a rock got processed through the thing. One of the 4 blades has quite a large chunk out of it. The blades are A10 air hardening tool steel. I wonder if it's possible to fill in the divot with hard surface rod and then re-grind the blade. If I try to grind the edge back far enough to clear the divot, I'll have to remove a lot of material and this will put the machine pretty far out of balance unless I do the same with the opposing blade.

    I suppose I could just buy a new blade for it but they are hideously expensive so a repair of this one would be attractive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Aynor SC
    Posts
    3,953

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    Chipper blades are spendy. My Bandit 65 were $75 ea. Just buy one and move on. You'll play hell getting it right "by hand"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,352

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    Quote Originally Posted by Dobermann View Post
    I have a 6" wood chipper and somehow a rock got processed through the thing. One of the 4 blades has quite a large chunk out of it. The blades are A10 air hardening tool steel. I wonder if it's possible to fill in the divot with hard surface rod and then re-grind the blade. If I try to grind the edge back far enough to clear the divot, I'll have to remove a lot of material and this will put the machine pretty far out of balance unless I do the same with the opposing blade.

    I suppose I could just buy a new blade for it but they are hideously expensive so a repair of this one would be attractive.
    not attractive enough , buy the new blade

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Carolina / Maine
    Posts
    74

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    Actually, for this chipper (Patu DC 65) you don't "buy" blades any longer, you make them...or cause them to be made. Making one isn't all that difficult, but heat treating is fussy and grinding the edge is time consuming. However, if it's not weldable, then that's what we do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,352

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    I would not say it is not weldable . I would say it will involve as much time and money as a new blade will. The edge will need grinding anyway after it is repaired. If it cost a $1000 then maybe welding it would be an option to consider.

    PS; I would search ebay for a blade before I got one made. I think you will be surprised what you can find.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2,815

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    maybe try welding it, and meantime, start on a game plan for two replacements like you mentioned youll prorbally have to do the same to the other (180 off). i got a vermeer 1250 (one of the first 150 ever made), w/ a ford 300, a bolt came out of one of the baldes once, and it almost appeared, the machine was gonna walk off

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    201

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    I have a project where I'm looking to weld some A-2 tool steel and called the folks at Crown Alloys here in Michigan...they've always been happy to talk me through my oddball projects. They recommended their AH-10 filler rod (Tig) and I bought some but haven't gotten to the project yet. Since it's an air hardening rod is you might not have to do any heat treat/quench after welding and grinding back to the correct profile...just a thought.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Posts
    162

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    L.S.Starrett makes oil and air hardening tool steel in various thicknesses/lengths, machines like butter until hardened, buy a chunk, have a sharpening shop grind to match a good blade, you can probably make a set of blades for the price of one new blade, might be worth looking into. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Delavan WI
    Posts
    443

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    Get a new knife . It is not worth it blowing up in the machine while running and costing you many times the cost of a new knife or your life.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    2,069

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    The guys that say "leave it alone" are pretty much right on the money. Some steels simply aren't amenable to welding.

    For y'all that are really interested in finding out which steels are good to weld...…..simply go to some of the online sites listing steels mechanical properties, machinability, and weldability.

    Even the low carbon steels can have additives which preclude welding. Check your material.

    Tool steel is about the worst to weld.

    I truly suggest that you get a used copy of the ASM Steel Reference Book, or the ASM Steel Handbook. Other than that...…...take a look online for the particular properties of the steel you're working with.

    http://www.astmsteel.com/product/a2-tool-steel/ You could have avoided the question ya posed, and avoided the answers given. It's all out there for the taking......let your mouse do the walking.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    2,069

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    I don't mean to be harsh, but you aren't a welder/fabricator if you don't know your materials. Same goes for machining...….research the stuff you're gonna work with prior to messing it up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Carolina / Maine
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    74

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    Gosh! I didn't mean to offend. Sometimes I like to get some opinions before I dash off and do something. You could have avoided wasting your obviously valuable time by not reading the replies if that's what's got your undies in a knot!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,017

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    Buy a new one. Balancing could be a issue and then you'll be destroying bearings.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    60

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    The replies suggesting new blades are in my opinion the correct choice. I worked in the rebuild section of one of the major chipper manufactures for around 8 years and have seen some real damage from poor knives and short cuts. We used to weld small sections of knives to mild steel handles and use them for bee bee scrapers and yes if used very hard they broke sooner or later. One of my jobs in the last 4 or 5 years at Morbark was to build and test different chipper designs. AKA build and test to destruction. So save your self some money and buy the new expensive blades and keep them balanced.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    central Wis.
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    4,321

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    Quote Originally Posted by J. D. View Post
    The replies suggesting new blades are in my opinion the correct choice. I worked in the rebuild section of one of the major chipper manufactures for around 8 years and have seen some real damage from poor knives and short cuts. We used to weld small sections of knives to mild steel handles and use them for bee bee scrapers and yes if used very hard they broke sooner or later. One of my jobs in the last 4 or 5 years at Morbark was to build and test different chipper designs. AKA build and test to destruction. So save your self some money and buy the new expensive blades and keep them balanced.
    I've been around the morbark and other chippers in the past, and foreign metal causes an intense amount of damage to the anvils and everything in it's path. Obviously precautions are made to prevent foreign material from getting in there, so why take a chance with a knife that could self destruct.
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Carolina / Maine
    Posts
    74

    Re: Welding Tool Steel

    After much digging around and reading, it turns out that chipper blades, being made of tool steels, can be welded. HOWEVER the requirements for a successful weld are beyond the capabilities of a "hobby weldor" (or homeowner tree surgeon) so that it's just not practical. Annealing the material, accurately pre-heating the piece, obtaining the correct filler material, and then re-hardening and tempering require equipment and processes that are critical for a successful repair and which most weldors and welding shops just don't have. A heat treating oven capable of dealing with a chunk of material as big as these blades costs upwards of $3000. (1/2 X 5 X 8)

    So....the "takeaway" (I hate that term) is that it's probably best to find a source for new blades even though they will cost a small fortune. Alternatively, I think I could probably make a set out of D2 tool steel and leave them unhardened. D2 is pretty tough in its native state and would work although require more frequent sharpening. The downside of this approach is that the material for a set of 4 would cost almost $500. Yikes!!

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

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