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  • HSS tool bit welding?

    I need to make a quick punch and die for a one-off rectangular hole. (actually a pair) I thought about using some old HSS tool bits and weld up the die and tack-weld a another bit sideways to round stock for the punch. If I heat the tool bits up to cherry red then weld, do you think they'll stay together?

    The hole needs to be 3/8 x 1".

    Thanks, Ken

    Update: Corrected hole measurement
    Last edited by CCWKen; 11-05-2007, 03:22 PM.

  • #2
    HSS tool bits

    It has been accepted practice to 'silver solder' - you call it 'silver braze' HSS bits to parent ordinary steels. Looking back, I recall that there was silver solder foil made expressly for that purpose.

    Welding- if that is what you mean- I would doubt. You would be mixing the two alloys and probably losing the properties of both. Oxy acety??? You makker der joke, eh?

    I would add that moving onto to car body welding of high strength low alloy steels, you would be sticking you neck out with oxy- and with a MigMag set have to know exactly what you were doing.

    Cheers

    Norman

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    • #3
      I've welded HSS toolbits to mild steel and EN8 (1040 in US-speak?) to make up slotting tools, more than once, using 316 stainless electrodes with no preheating. I don't know how they would stand up to many hours of continuous work, but they've survived the jobs I've made them for with no sign of any cracking.

      Tim

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      • #4
        Originally posted by aviemoron
        I recall that there was silver solder foil made expressly for that purpose.
        I'm likely telling you something you already know Ken but don't forget you can clean off the anvil of your vice and the face of a hammer and make your own sheet from the round braze wire you have by annealing it first. Just whomp it to whatever shape you want
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        • #5
          Grinding

          Originally posted by Your Old Dog
          I'm likely telling you something you already know Ken but don't forget you can clean off the anvil of your vice and the face of a hammer and make your own sheet from the round braze wire you have by annealing it first. Just whomp it to whatever shape you want
          Seems reasonable to me YOD.

          Silver-soldering/brazing is more than good enough to hold TC tips to steel tool bodies.

          I can also see SS electrodes as advised by Timleech working as well. I've had some goods success with MIG.

          The "male/punch" will be OK for later forming or grinding.

          I'd suspect/expect that the "female/die" parts would need to be surface ground for the edges and reliefs before welding/fastening and finished after welding.

          I hope some more with punch and die experience will take up this thread as well.

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          • #6
            I've welded a number of HSS tool bits for special lathe applications. TIG with no filler, just a fusion weld. No preheat, but some of the welds crack, then I re-weld, the welding heat acts as preheat.

            For only punching a couple holes the punch/die material isn't critical. In an extreme case an old socket and extension would work to do a 3/8" square, punch another hole next to it and you've got 3/8 x 3/4".

            Even mild steel with a light case works well.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CCWKen
              I thought about using some old HSS tool bits and weld up the die and tack-weld a another bit sideways to round stock for the punch.
              HSS tool bits are heat treated. If you weld it, you run the risk of losing the temper on the tool, especially if it's a small bit.

              Basically, if the HSS tool bit gets discolored (rainbow colors) from the weld, it's lost its temper...
              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lazlo
                HSS tool bits are heat treated. If you weld it, you run the risk of losing the temper on the tool, especially if it's a small bit.

                Basically, if the HSS tool bit gets discolored (rainbow colors) from the weld, it's lost its temper...
                I think that you have that exactly backwards. A high carbon steel will likely have lost its hardness when you have surface colors (the temper will certainly have changed) but a HSS will not change much at all. I've welded HSS toolbits together and used them as-in afterwards with no effects from the welding.

                To anneal HSS you usually have to take it up to something like 2200 degF + and cool it at some really slow rate, 50 degF/hr or so. It's made to cut at a dull red without too much loss in hardness, and that loss is regained on cooling. For the most part a HSS isn't really quenched as much as "allowed/encouraged to cool rapidly", using in what we would normally consider a hot oil.

                The one thing you want to be careful about with HSS is in grinding. If you get the edge really hot and dunk it in water the rapid quench can cause microcracking. You won't notice it until using the tool and you get some cratering behind and on the edge.

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                • #9
                  Hi Russ,

                  Originally posted by rkepler
                  I think that you have that exactly backwards.

                  I've welded HSS toolbits together and used them as-in afterwards with no effects from the welding.

                  To anneal HSS you usually have to take it up to something like 2200 degF + and cool it at some really slow rate, 50 degF/hr or so.
                  If you look at the M2 datasheets, the critical temperature (when the steel changes its structure to austenite) is 1500°F, and the annealing temperature is 1600°F:

                  http://www.crucibleservice.com/esele...d/rexm2sh.html

                  Steel melts between 1350 and 1500° F, and the TIG tip temperature is considerably higher than that, so the HSS in the heat affected zone should be well within the annealing temperature.

                  Cheers,

                  Robert
                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                  • #10
                    OK - but what WORKS?

                    I'd like some advice on what works for people in the situations that they have used it - perhaps similar to the situation described in the original post on this thread?

                    I do not envisage a "production" environment where work speed, coolant, and tool life etc. are critical - just enough to get a small job done.

                    It should be just something that "worked for you" and "got the job done" in a small jobbing shop or HSM shop.

                    What did you need done?

                    What did you do?

                    Why did you do it as you did?

                    Was it a sucess?

                    If so - why?

                    If not - why?

                    Were there "other ways"?

                    etc. etc.

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                    • #11
                      Been welding tool bits for years. HSS to CRS are what ever make fly cutters boring bars any kind of tool I need . USE stainless steel or nickle welding rods Will not take temper out of. tool bit Some people on this site read too many books and wont try things because of it . Their are No books in the machine shop on the Job. Just get the D-M job done.
                      Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self
                      http://sites.google.com/site/machinistsite/TWO-BUDDIES
                      http://s178.photobucket.com/user/lan...?sort=3&page=1

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                      • #12
                        Been welding tool bits for years. HSS to CRS are what ever make fly cutters boring bars any kind of tool I need . USE stainless steel or nickel welding rods Will not take temper out of. tool bit Some people on this site read too many books and wont try things because of it . Their are No books in the machine shop on the Job. Just get the D-M job done.High speed tool bits will hold their hardness at a RED heat. Sorry messed up Double post.
                        Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self
                        http://sites.google.com/site/machinistsite/TWO-BUDDIES
                        http://s178.photobucket.com/user/lan...?sort=3&page=1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Practicality

                          Thanks Lane.

                          That - as usual - is exactly what I asked for.

                          I either MIG weld or silver solder or braze tool bits onto fly-cutters and boring bars and "other stuff" as required and just sharpen or replace as required.

                          I've had no trouble bending, forming or forging HSS to the the extent that it won't work if I'm careful and take my time.

                          May not suit a "full on" production shop but that is not what I've got nor is it what I need or want either.

                          I am in a HSM environment where I take my time. HSS is the norm here and TC is the method of last resort.

                          If my machines are groaning or complaining and if I've got "stinking hot blue chips" coming off, I've got it wrong and need to stop, take stock and do things better.

                          This is my "hobby" shop that I use for "hobby" stuff - no more - no less.

                          I work on the basis of "I fu*k it - I fix it". And the less "F-n-F" the better!!

                          I suspect that I am not alone.

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                          • #14
                            LOL... Yeah, them books and rules sure can put the kabosh on a good idea. Sorry not to get back sooner but I was making the forming dies for the part that will have the rectangle hole. It's a simple part to a 1926 Closed Cab TT but no one in the World makes the sheet metal part(s). I only need two and it's holding me up. I'd either have to go without or put the old rusted out pieces back onto new panels. (Also which no one makes.)

                            If I were to make a slew of these, I'd make a progressive die to stamp the shape, the hole and cut to final size in one cycle. As it were, I had to experiment with the stamping (press) die to get the correct size and shape. I got the two pieces made and started on the punch die today. I'll try and post some pictures tomorrow.

                            Thanks for all the ideas and encouragement.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lazlo
                              If you look at the M2 datasheets, the critical temperature (when the steel changes its structure to austenite) is 1500°F, and the annealing temperature is 1600°F:

                              http://www.crucibleservice.com/esele...d/rexm2sh.html

                              Steel melts between 1350 and 1500° F, and the TIG tip temperature is considerably higher than that, so the HSS in the heat affected zone should be well within the annealing temperature.

                              Cheers,

                              Robert
                              Steel does not melt at 1350 to 1500, you're confusing the melting point with the critical point. I managed to confuse the hardening temp with the annealing temp (which are generally the same in a high carbon steel) but the hardening temp listed for M2 on your reference is 2200 degF.

                              The point remains - what hardens a steel (that can be hardened) is the rate of cooling. Some simple steels can be heated and left in still air and they will be annealed, more complex alloys will harden in the same conditions. HSS, unless cooled *very* slowly, will harden. You can heat that HSS to a nice orange and let it cool on a rack and it'll be almost as hard as it was when you got it even though it went above the annealing temperature and passed through it on the way back down. Heat the same piece of steel the th4e same temperature and let it down slowly in an oven and you'll have a nicely annealed piece of HSS when you're done.

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