Rules on How to Weld Two Different Thicknesses of Steel

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Welding two different thicknesses of steel is a tricky issue. You need to avoid overwelding one of the pieces and causing it to warp or burn and at the same time, you must create enough heat that the thicker piece melts and joins to the thinner piece. You can take several precautions to maximize the strength of the weld while minimizing the negative effects of heat treatment.

Things You'll Need

  • Backing bars
  • Welding tool
  • Clamps
  • Clamp a backing bar, made of copper or aluminum, to the thinner side of the steel. The backing bar will absorb extra heat incurred by the steel, reducing the heat-affected zone of the steel.

  • Set the welding current to a level suitable to melt the thicker layer of steel. The welding tool will often have a brochure with recommended current levels; if not, consult the tool manufacturer.

  • Strike the welding electrode on the steel, to open an arc. Move the tool quickly over the thinner part of the steel and more slowly over the thicker part. Use a winding motion, instead of traveling in a straight line. A winding motion will help ensure the thin metal is not penetrated too deeply, while the thicker metal, due to the current, is sufficiently penetrated.

  • Allow the metal to cool, slowly, for the next few hours.

  • Use a grinder to remove any excess steel from the surface.

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