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How to Fix Welding Heat Distortion



Kevin has created a test piece by welding together two pieces of 16 gauge mild steel without clamping them down to get a nice warp going.

The first way he counteracts the warping is by welding a bead on the other side of the weld. He's using heat to combat heat! Kevin is able to pull a lot of the warp out by simply welding side-to-side on the opposite face of the metal.

Kevin created an entire 7-foot-tall kinetic sculpture, Genome Project by using heat and warping.

Rather than continue that process to take out the warp, however, Kevin turns to another way to deal with weld heat distortion by stepping up to his anvil.

He grabs what he calls a flattening hammer (some people say it's really a shoeing hammer, which is likely because Kevin bought it from an old horseshoeing school), turns the warp upward so there's a gap under the metal, and begins pounding the metal on the anvil. You can hear the sound change as the metal comes in full contact with the anvil itself.

Finally, there are times when your work is so warped, there is only one solution: toss this part into the scrap bin and start over.

Kevin is ready to go back to work, but you might want to hang around for another moment and see him work with his most difficult student yet ....


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