If you have been doing any type of metal working like welding spring steel for any length of time, you have undoubtedly had to deal with rust. Maybe it was while you were building a garden shed and the rain came in sideways and gave it a good soaking that left the steel wet and ripe for the taking. Or maybe it was after your trusty old car got parked outside in the elements and developed a serious case of the green nose.
Either way, sooner or later, you will end up needing to deal with rust on your project. The good news is that there are several different tricks and techniques you can use to keep your project from developing a bad case of iron-clad affection. The bad news is that metallurgy has not made life easy on us tinkerers.
What is Welding Spring Steel?
Welding spring steel is any type of mild steel that has a high content of nickel. If you have ever seen used car parts or other industrial products that use a certain type of spring steel, than you have noticed that they look very different than other steels. This is because welding with spring steel requires a special technique that alters the chemical makeup of the metal enough to make it resistant to rust. And because this type of welding involves the use of nickel, welders call the process nickel springing.
Why is Welding Spring Steel Important?
The reason that welding spring steel is important is that it helps you create a finish in your project that is rust-free. When you weld a piece of steel, you are altering the chemical makeup of the metal in a way that makes it more resistant to rust. When you finish a project with welding spring steel in it, you have finished the structural integrity of the piece and you can be certain that there will be no rust in it. This is especially important if you are working with a type of steel that is prone to rust, or if you are creating something that will be left outside in the elements.
Welding spring steel will give you a finish that is rust-free and immune to corrosion, which is why it is a good choice when working in these environments.
How to welding spring steel for a rustless finish
These are the steps to follow when welding spring steel for a rustless finish. You will need the following materials:
Mild steel – The specific type of steel will depend on what type of finish you want – Galvanized steel is another type of mild steel that is nickel-plated. It is not as durable but still rust-resistant.
Galvanized steel – Welding wire – You can use a specific type of welding wire if you have a gas weld station, but you can also use an electrode and a propane torch if you do not have a gas welder.
Gas – Propane – Propane is the most common type of gas used for welding and it has a low enough reading of carbon to not affect the metal.
Gas mask – Welding can be a very harmful type of metal working, which is why it is important to wear a gas mask and a welding helmet when you are welding.
Gloves – Welding can be a very harmful type of metal working, which is why it is important to wear a gas mask and a welding helmet when you are welding.
Shield – A welding shield is used to shield your work from the welding arc, which can cause severe burns if you are not careful.
Shield clamp – A shield clamp is used to hold your shield safely while you weld. They come in various styles and sizes.
Torch – You can use a propane torch or an oxy/acetylene torch if you have one.
Oxy/acetylene – Welding oxy/acetylene is a more traditional way of welding than with propane, and has a more traditional look.
Oxy/acetylene torch – You can use an oxy/acetylene torch if you have one, but remember that it is more expensive.
Oxy/acetylene torch hose – You can also buy a hose that has an end that allows you to connect your oxy/acetylene torch to your propane torch.
Oxy/acetylene welding manual – An oxy/acetylene welding manual is a welding reference that will help you navigate your way through the welding process.
Tips and Warnings
Before starting any welding project, you should always consult your local welding regulations to make sure that you are allowed to weld in your area. This is especially important if you are working with a type of steel that is prone to rust, like mild steel that is used in construction. Always wear welding gloves when welding and make sure to protect yourself as much as possible with a welding helmet and shield.
You should also wear proper safety gear while welding and make sure that the work area is as safe as possible. Never weld while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as the chance of causing a serious accident is much higher. Always remember to always follow all local, state, and federal laws while you are working.
Last Word about Welding spring steel
Welding spring steel is a way to create a rust-free finish on metal. You will need the right type of steel for this and the techniques for welding are also slightly different than for other types of steel. If you want a finish that is immune to rust, you will need to weld with a high percentage of nickel in the steel. Spring steels are not the only type of steel that can be nickel-plated for rust resistance.
Any type of carbon steel can be nickel-plated for the same reason that galvanized steel is also resistant to rust. The percentage of nickel in mild steel varies with the type of steel and the amount used. The higher the percentage of nickel, the more rust resistant the steel will be.