View Full Version : welding drill rod to hot rolled mild steel

07-27-2006, 09:57 AM
My first questions for you guys.:) More of a welding question than an actual machining question-sorry, but I know one of you guys knows the answer. can I weld water hardening drill rod to hot rolled mild steel & what would be the best rod to use? I have 6013's and 6011's already. This is nothing structural or needn't be too sturdy, just for looks on some non-stressed parts. I would like the weld to look "good" though.

edit to add, I'm even more of a novice at welding than I am at machining. (farm ed welding 101-hence my exclusive use of 6011's). My machine is a Lincoln 220v "tombstone" ac welder.

07-27-2006, 10:52 AM
Sure you can weld it. You will change the hardening characteristics but if it's not structural and all you want to do is stick it together - go for it. Depending on the diameter of the rod, concentrate the heat at the plate and creep up on the rod so you don't blow through it. If you're not out of position use whatever rod you get the best bead with. If you don't like the looks, grind it to look nice then feather with a right angle die grinder and course grit sanding disc. Personally I'd heat it then TIG it.

Forrest Addy
07-27-2006, 11:16 AM
Since you're welding high carbon steel to mild steel consider using preheat and stainless rod. The nickel somehow sucks up the carbon cooties preventing cracking that would otherwise occur.

Also heat the area up to 500 degrees or so with a weed burner torch to reduce any glass hard (and therefore brittle) areas to a usable temper.

07-27-2006, 12:35 PM
So, I should just not be so cheap and use a piece of mild steel (don't have)instead of the drill rod (do have). I do want it to look "decent" so I think I'll go that route, like I said I'm a novice welder and don't have preheat capacities or unlimited budget to by specialty rods for this project (low rent hobbist).

I'de love to TIG, but I'de probably need some schooling and/or a TIG welder. It's currently on the list of things too do, though definetly.

The project is my third attempt at making a putter head (golf). The first attempt I used the drill rod but brazed it to the mild steel-it worked and I'm an outright newbie at brazing. The brazing doesn't look very good on my parkerized parts though.

The part I'm working on now is the "stem" where the main body of the putterhead and the hosel (where the shaft connects to the putter head) are connected together. Tig would be optimum (that's how the "big guys" do it) or they make it out of 1 piece of metal. I'm a lttle more low tech right now.

I'll try and post some pictures of my first and second attempts if I get a chance. Thanks for your answers however.:)

07-27-2006, 01:08 PM
Can you drill into the putterhead and hosel a sufficient depth to provide lateral strength, then float silver solder into the joint for rotational and tensile strength; sand with emory or wire brush to blend color?

Edited: I see now you are parkerizing your parts. Can't do that with stainless or the silver solder - but brazing shouldn't take a parkerized finish very well either, so I'm a little confused on what you want your finish to look like. Have you thought about tapping and threading the connecting rod to the parts and using lock-tite to hold in place.

07-27-2006, 04:31 PM
Larry, I thought of using a lefthand thread just for kicks, but I want to weld one. The one I brazed did look a little funny because of the brazing (you can see it), but it's not horrible, unless you set it beside a really expensive one. it was my first more for fun than serious. The second one I did with out the standard hosel, just a drilled hole to epoxy the shaft into, and I bent the shaft for the angles. I found a piece of mild steel at home like I need I just need to get the one I'm working on welded now, maybe tonight. I'll try and post pics so you can see what I'm talking about. Thanks again for the replies.

07-27-2006, 08:45 PM
. . . . . Personally I'd heat it then TIG it.

Larry, how easy it is to become spoiled. I worked as a NASA certified weldor AL, SS, and CrMo, worked on Cu Mg, Ti, etc. All rockets and missiles, everything from SS foil bellows to massive engine frames. Later as a DOD sub, welding small assemblies. Now, I am far more acquainted with matters such as; cleanliness, metal prep, fit-up, fixturing, clamping, positioning, back grinding, purging, heat-sinks, and a dozen other factors. I guess I can attribute this attitude to a personality trait.

Do I take too long on a job? Perhaps. Something about pride in workmanship? Quite likely. Lloyd

07-27-2006, 08:47 PM
You could gas weld it if you have a big enough torch and so long as you draw the heat down slowly the part will have good structural strength.

If you don't know how to gas weld you need to learn anyway;)

07-27-2006, 11:33 PM
Ditto on the preheat. MIG will work too. The grader blade on the Kenbota swings on a W1 rod welded to hot rolled. The first try broke just above the weld on the W1. After preheating the W1 to red, I hit it with the MIG. Been scrap'n dirt ever since.

If it's just for looks, no need to preheat. Just weld it.

07-27-2006, 11:52 PM
We talking golf clubs? The standard practice is to use epoxy, even with metal heads, metal shafts, or metal heads and composite shafts.

07-28-2006, 07:52 AM
Bill, this is the area that you epoxy the shaft into. it depends on the design of the putter as to what the shaft goes into. The particular design I am trying to emulate is a plumbers neck hosel. I beleive it was first used in the 60's on putters made by engineer Karsten Solheim. I'm not 100% sure if his designs or prototypes were welded or cast. His designs eventually became the Ping Anser putter head, (he skipped the "w" because it wouldn't fit when he was doing his stamping). Modern though updated versions of this head are still being cast by Ping today. It is the most copied design in the world of putter heads, check out a fellow named Scotty Cameron/Titleist, most of his more popular designs are pretty much Anser's. It has been manufactured with just about every hosel design that is available. Mine will be a bit different than an actual "anser"-head, but the que's that I took from Karsten's design will be evident.

On a side note his 1st design kind of looks like a tuning fork and apparently made a "ping" sound when you hit the ball with it. The story goes that that is where the companies name came from, I beleive when his wife heard the sound that it made.

Some of the Anser-heads have a sound slot cut behind the face of the putter and it does make a noise that can only be described as a "ping". I cut a sound slot on my 1st one and it makes a different noise than a solid bottom, thus changes the "feel" of the putter head.

The putter is really the only modern club that could be considered realativly easy to recreate. I can't imagine what it would take to make something compairable to todays modern driver heads, the technology is way way beyond a garage set up. One might be able to make thier own irons or wedges but the putter is a natural as the forces involved are obviously much lower (average swing speed for a driver head is ~80-90 mph, for compairison Tiger swings ~140 mph). Sorry for all the golf stuff you probably don't want to know. :)

07-28-2006, 09:10 AM
Well I welded it last night, it actually looks pretty good after some grinding. I used 3/32" 6011 rods at 75 amps. I basically welded a .625" x .5" diameter piece of rod to a 2.25" x .375" diameter rod at an angle, then welded that assembly into the "body", (.375" hole drilled into the body of the putter at 82* to the top line of the putter). It really doesn't look to bad for somebody that welds once every 6-9 months. I had milled a flute into the .625" x .5" dia. piece @ the angle (110* to the topline) I wanted the .375" dia. piece joined at, (it also has a .375" hole drilled into the top end concentrically-that's the hosel-where the shaft will be epoxied into the head). That flute allowed me to clamp the two pieces together pretty much right where I wanted them.

I'm sure you guys are bored to tears hearing about golf clubs, but I will add that supposedly Nike is working a what they are calling a unitized putter. Basically the are doing away with the epoxy connection of the shaft to the head. They are, I suppose, welding the shaft into the head to make the shaft and head "unitized". This will supposedly make the shaft and the head "ring" with the same frequency when the ball is struck. Versus now, the shaft and head, because of the epoxy "cushion" are each allowed to "ring" at different frequences. Never tried one, but it makes sense, weather it makes a noticable difference remains to be seen.

07-28-2006, 09:25 AM
I would MIG it and then anneal and temper the drill rod.

07-28-2006, 10:15 AM
Not sure what this thing might look like. A picture would help. Depending on the shape of the parts being joined, I would think silver solder or brazing would be the best way to do it. By carefully fitting the joint and cleaning after joining you would have a thin silver or bronze line with the darker parkerized finish around it. If you smear the silver over much of the part and don't clean it afterwords you have something that looks very sloppy and amateurish.

If the design of the joint would allow filing notches along the joint, you could have a beaded chain look along the joint that might add more interest.

07-28-2006, 11:03 AM
Here is a picture of what I've been trying to describe:


mine actually looks fairly similar, like I said I believe the Ping's are cast as one piece. The professionally made ones that are welded are usually TIG'ed. My original I brazed, it turned out pretty good, but you can still see the brazing "seam". I really will try to get some pictures so you guys know exactly what I'm talking about. :)

I like that idea ulav8r, the thing about filing little grooves, to at least make an interesting design with the contrast between the parkerized steel and the brass

07-28-2006, 11:37 AM
I applaud your efforts. My first approach to something that interests me is "How can I make it myself", or "How can I make it better". You seem to have that same affliction, but be warned if you havn't found this out already...You'll ruin a lot of good stuff and it will cost you a lot more than if you just bought it.

I confess. I am spoiled, and fortunate to have been exposed to much of the nations leading edge technology too. It does affect how I work also. I'm impressed with your quals; - having the right tools and knowing how to use them can make a difficult problem much much simpler.

But hey.....this is a golf club

07-28-2006, 12:00 PM
Larry, that's absolutely true...I try to make things better or just for fun. Not that I would mind becoming the next Scotty Cameron. Some of the putters that he actually makes (not many per year like 2 or so) sell for really unreasonable ammounts of $. Think nice NEW SUV...so I wouldn't mind taking over for him, but the reality is it's mostly for fun on my part. By the way, none of the putters I have made have made me a better putter, but it's still fun. That and I can expiriment, the putters I've made I've spent <$30 on materials. I reuse shafts, so I don't have to buy them. The last one I made I had more in the grip and the head cover ($15 for both, I think) than the rest of the materials, and it looks fairly professional. Obviously MY time is free...:)

07-28-2006, 01:42 PM
Ok, here are some quick pictures of my putters.

You'll note that my materials are similar from project to project.
I am considering engraving this putter, but my engraving skills at this time are pretty dismal compared to my novice welding skills or my downright infantile machining abilities.

Pics 1 & 2: This is the one I'm working on next to a Mizuno "anser", the Mizuno I assume to be a cast stainless steel, mine is all mild steel, I've only begun working on this one as I was a little unsure how my welding would look. I began profiling the bottom of the putter and I have started creating the topline. I still have a ton to do, but it's starting to look like a putter:


Pic 3: my first attempt. It's small and light, plus I used a lightweight graphite shaft. So it feels really light, but it does hit the ball basically where you are aiming. This is the one that I brazed the stem/hosel in on, the hosel/stem is a piece of .5" dia. w1 drill rod. The body is hot rolled mild steel. The finish is parkerized:


Pics 4, 5, & 6: My second attempt, this one turned out far better than the first one (not just in my opinion). The body is 6061 aluminum, the weight rods are .5" dia. w1 drill rod. There are set screws in the bottom rails so the steel weight rods can be moved, rearranged, or removed completely. The weight rods centerlines are above the centerline of the putter body (HCOG), to reduce the balls bounce as it comes out of the dimple it makes sitting on the green. Most of the weight is back behind the face and it really resists twisting on off center shots. It is pretty heavy (compensation for the 1st one), but has a good feel and rolls the ball very true. The last pic you can see the bend I put in the shaft to give it the proper lie angle. I anodized the body of the putter, and the weight rods were parkerized. I added the circle & the line on the top if the body as an alignment aid. The line I did with a 1/8" ball endmill, the circle I did with a holesaw w/no pilot drill:


07-28-2006, 01:54 PM
There's some good work there.

Have you thought about your own logo. Something simple that you can do with the tools at hand but that represents you. Put it on everything you do - might be as famous as the Nike swoop one day.

07-28-2006, 02:13 PM
My boss suggested that when he saw my 2nd. He had a pretty good suggestion too. I guess if more than one person tells you something maybe a guy ought to listen. I was thinking of engraving this one but a logo could be cool.

07-29-2006, 07:57 AM
Most neophyte golf club builders forget that the aerodynamic characteristics of the putter head must be carefully considered as well. The drag coefficient, Reynolds number and surface turbulation are very hard to get just right.

A REALLY good one makes a much more satisfying SWISH, Swish, swish, swish... sound as you throw the damn thing as hard as you can! ;)