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Using a blade welder?

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  • Using a blade welder?

    I went to another auction this morning, and while I missed out on a monster, low-miles, all-options, full-hydraulic K.O. Lee surface grinder for $3,000 (I had a budget of about $2,500, and the buyer had what amounted to a blank check from their company) I did manage to pick up this West-German made "Ideal" blade welder for $100:

    It goes up to 1", which is what my Wellsaw takes, and appears to have an annealing function. It also has a blade shear (the long lever on the right) and the usual grinding wheel.

    I got no instructions or manuals, and a few minutes' Googling brings up little on the brand. I have some generic "how to use a blade welder" info, and I generally know how one works, but I'd definitely appreciate any help, resources or hints anyone could provide.

    Here's a little closer shot of the front- sorry about the slightly fuzzy photo:

    The lower-left lever moves the left-hand blade vise. I believe the lower-right knob is a power setting, with the dial currently pointing to the "anneal" setting. I'm not 100% sure on the top two.

    I've got some 300 feet of blade- which cost me a whopping $30- so I've got plenty to experiment with.

    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

  • #2
    Very similar to one I sold last year and that was Italian.

    Top left is rough power setting, top right is weld / anneal knob
    bottom left is tension setting and bottom right is timer.

    What seems to be missing is the tension chart, can't read the drawing under the rough power knob.

    To use you set power to blade width, open the jaws with tension lever to setting to suit blade [ that's the bit I can't see ] clamp blade to anvils / shoes / vises or whatever and move tension lever to right to put tension on the vises. Set timer setting.
    Hold top right switch over probably to position 1 and it will heat the blade up, melt it and the vises will jump together to form the weld.

    Let cool then open vises and open tension lever fully, reclamp vises but leave tension lever fully open, set timer to anneal and hold top right switch over to anneal, probably position 2 until the blade gloes red then allow to cool.
    I used to do this twice as I found that sometimes it was still brittle after one go.

    This is slightly different from mine and it's all from memory but i don't think I'm far out.


    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


    • #3
      When I experimented with a blade welder I made one mistake that took me awhile to figure out. Wanting to "practice" and not waste material I cut several short pieces to work with. I then commenced to master this machine. All I seemed to acomplish was burning up the short parts of blade I cut to learn on. I then concluded the welder was broken. Not on set was welded. A few days went by and the light bulb lit up. I realized with the short pieces the current only had one path to follow, between the two seperate parts. When I tried a complete loop like a bandsaw blade is suppose to be it worked very well. I figured the current had two paths to follow, one between the two clamps, and one around the rest of the blade that didn't need to be welded. so the current for the weld was abouth half and did not burn the blade to ashes. Just thought I'd share that.


      • #4
        Excellent point, and one I didn't consider. I was indeed thinking of cutting a few short sections of blade to make a sort of 'weld coupon' for practice. Didn't even occur to me to consider the rest of the loop.

        And John, thanks very much for that description! Continued Googling brings up very little relevant to this machine, so I imagine I'm essentially going to have to write my own manual.


        Any other tips, help or suggestions welcomed.

        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


        • #5
          It sounds like John has it pretty well nailed. The only thing different I found when annealing was to slow cooling by blipping the anneal button several times after h the initial heat was achieved. This prolonged the cooling cycle for several seconds, maybe as long as 10-15 and seemed to result in fewer failures. Nothing scientific here, John's heating twice could serve the same purpose.
          Jim H.


          • #6
            Yeah, pretty much everything I've read, including an earlier thread I made a month or two ago about using a TIG for blade welding, emphasized the annealing.

            Which I can easily understand- high, or at least medium-carbon steel, forced to bend somewhat as it passes over the wheel, a pretty fair amount of tension...

            I'll do some experimenting later this week.

            I've already found that one of the knobs is broken (both lower controls should have a lever- I'll have to make a new one) and somebody, for some reason lost in the mists of history, had unscrewed and/or stripped the mounting threads of the grinder motor.

            Easy fix, I just retapped the 4mm holes to 8-32, though I may later go as far as redrilling the motor endcap for 10-32, but I'd also have to adjust the countersunk holes in the faceplate, so that's gonna go on the Roundtuit list.

            Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


            • #7
              The DoALL Saw with built in Welder I used in School was very similar..

              Might look there for more info.

              The Basic controls seem well enough explained...

              Annealing is Critical, try the 2 hit, or the lot of little hits systems as above..

              I seem to remember it only taking a couple tries to get a good weld...

              Info on page 107
              Last edited by Bguns; 04-26-2009, 03:36 AM.