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Welding Galvanized Pipe

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  • #16
    Originally posted by madman
    Well those galvanized tips sure helped out. Thanx Everyone. Now to build a galvanized fence with 6 4 inch tubes and all the rest 1.5 inch dia. I wondered if fish mouthing the ends to butt up against the other tubes is recommended or just flatten the tube end and weld it against the larger round section ?? Ideas??? Thanx Mike
    I/ WE try to use black pipe as much as possible, but every now and then galv. is required. WE use a notcher in the ironworker on every piece practical, all the odd stuff gets fitted by hand with a portaband or 4'' grinder, it realy makes the finished product stand out from all the other hackers .
    As far as the fumes just hold your breath it keeps the lungs clear and helps teach you to weld faster .
    If you want to try the milk trick afterwards cut the milk 50% with whisky it will go down better. ( outside up wind, or resp. a must!)


    P S if you use a holesaw in a mill or drill press that works ok iif you don't have awhole truckload to notch.


    • #17
      I haven't tried it, but I've heard that if you use a vinegar soaked rag, you can actually dissolve the zinc off the steel prior to welding


      • #18
        I've been welding for 32 years on the job, plan to retire next year, no health issues to speak of.
        For future reference:

        Galvanizing can be taken off with a grinder and a bit of of hand soap with the grit in it,, JoJo or whatever its called. The liquid hand soap that has some grit, just splash a bit on the surface to be welded, then use your angle grinder ,, it is amazing ( I didn't believe it either) it cuts the galvanizing better than anything I've ever tried.

        I've welded galvanized pipe, plate, angle etc. over the years, avoid the fumes as best you can.



        • #19
          Originally posted by knucklehead
          like the others said, remove the zinc before you weld.
          an option to grinding is muriatic acid. stand the pipes up
          and soak the last 1" or so -- it comes off relatively fast..
          just to be safe leave it outside overnight (fumes).
          you'll have to spray it again once you're done or it'll rust of course.-Tony
          Agreed. I have a container of old battery acid (sulphuric) specifically for that purpose. Clean metal makes the job easy.
          When I was younger, I had a Summer job mig welding galvanised trampoline frames for Mr Slack. Dozens of the buggers every day . No ventilation eccept for the open rollerdoor; I can still remember(?) the taste now.

          If you want to try the milk trick afterwards cut the milk 50% with whisky it will go down better.
          A2 milk though and good quality whiskey, not that bourbon stuff
          Last edited by speedy; 05-23-2008, 08:40 PM.


          • #20
            I remember my Dad welding up a bunch of galvanized. Since there was so much, grinding it off was too much work.

            Well, the symptom I remember the most was the trap door trots that Dad got. For about 2 days he was one sick puppy.

            I don't think he has ever welded galvanized since without grinding it off.

            Don't breathe the fumes!



            • #21
              Whilst I agree with the above posts re acid (I do the same myself) just remember that the gas evolved is hydrogen.
              Further to that, when the acid is no longer active, you have ZnCl, or killed spirits, AKA soft soldering flux
              Last edited by Swarf&Sparks; 05-24-2008, 01:20 AM.
              Just got my head together
              now my body's falling apart


              • #22
                Originally posted by madman
                I wondered if fish mouthing the ends to butt up against the other tubes is recommended
                That's where an abrasive chopsaw comes in handy. Make a "point" on the ends of the pipe (two cuts) @30 degrees each and you have a perfect notch.
                I have tools I don't even know I own...


                • #23
                  Zinc fumes are BAD stuff... although not as bad as cadmium fumes.

                  An old bud of mine, now about 70, who welded a LOT of galvanized in his younger days, is pretty nearly totally disabled from chronic respiratory disease (I guess that's what they call it when you can barely breathe, but there's no clear cause).

                  Guys who cast brass used to get what they called "bell-founder's ague" - symptoms just like 'flu, plus the "Hershey Squirts", for a day or two. I found that out AFTER I did the same to myself, burning "decorative colors" onto a braze-coated sculpture. Needless to say, that was the last time I did that.

                  Back to cadmium... it's why you need to be so careful with silver solder (a lot of which contains significant amounts of cadmium). While it's rare for zinc fume to kill you after only one exposure, cadmium oxide is known to do that. So by extension, working with cad-plate takes extra caution too.

                  Maybe nowadays, with anti-inflammatory drugs and oxygen, they could keep you going long enough to heal, but I sure wouldn't want to live through that.
                  Pete in NJ