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"I like welding razor blades, puppies, and long walks on the beach"
Whats up with welding razor blades and coke cans?
Is it just showing off? Or is there something to be learned?
I will say emphatically …”Hell yes.. there is something to be learned!”.
Pushing the envelope just for practice on razor blades or coke cans trains your eyes, your hands, your foot, and your brain..and if you need glasses or a magnifier, it will let you know that too. ( I already know I need glasses)
I shot a video a few weeks ago running beads on the bottom of coke cans using an Everlast powertig 250ex tig machine and got quite a few comments on youtube asking for a video of welding razor blades next.
So...I figure...what the heck?
I wasnt sure I could film it, but it turned out ok.
I thought I would take it up a notch just to be different and weld a razor blade Tee joint.
Turns out I can still pull a rabbit out of a hat on a good day.
Oh Sure I had to use a 2.5 cheater lens...along with my glasses...and a #9 setting on my auto dark helmet.
... but hey, using a cheater lens is not really cheating …is it?
Its just welding.
Razor blades are a pretty good challenge for any welder...but also for the welding machine.
A tig welding machine that starts at a low enough amperage to weld razor blades or coke cans without blowing holes is usually going to be a pretty good machine.
And a welder that has enough finesse to weld razor blades and coke cans will usually be able to handle other common ordinary welds.
If you haven’t tried tig welding razor blades, here are some tips that might help…
• Sharpen your electrode like a freakin needle and then sharpen it some more with a very fine stone or sanding disc. It even helps to polish it after sharpening…why? Because polishing gets rid of scratches that tend to cause erratic low amp arc starts.
• In this video, I show how not having a sharp enough electrode effects being able to pinpoint the arc at low amperage…its really a big deal for welding razor blades.
• I used an oversize tig welding cup and extended the electrode way out there …mainly so that the camera could shoot the arc without being blocked by the tig cup…but it made for a weld that turned out shiny silver with no discoloration. ( I will be selling these big cups here pretty soon…they work great).
• I used a third hand
to hold the razor blades still while I tack welded them and while I ran the tee joint weld.
• For getting that first tack weld done without blowing the ends away, hang a little bit of rod over the end of the joint so it will wrap around the fuse the corner.
• Use a stainless rod…308 or 309 stainless steel melts at slightly lower temp than the high chromium high carbon steel the razor blades are made from. Razor blade steel is made from a composition of chromium between 12 and 14.5%, a carbon content of approximately 0.6%, and the remainder iron and trace elements. ( very similar to 410 stainless except with a lot more carbon.)
Since 300 series stainless steel melts at a slightly lower temp than the razor blade steel, it flows better then a carbon steel rod and just plain works better.
Welding a metal with a filler rod that is very different from the base metal is very common…
• Using er70s-2 for welding 4130 chromoly
• Welding 6061 aluminum with 4043 filler rod
• Welding 6al4v titanium using commercially pure titanium rod
• Welding stainless to carbon steel using a er309 filler rod
So here are some more of the details for welding razor blades:
1. Amperage set to about 15 and use a foot pedal control
2. I was using a 15/16” big cup with the tungsten sticking out about an inch so it took about 40 cfh of argon
3. 1/16” 2% lanthanated electrode sharpened like a needle.
4. Kept a close arc length and left the rod in the puddle