Keeping a tube straight while welding - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old May 30th, 2013, 03:44 PM
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Keeping a tube straight while welding

OK I have to butt weld the new 3/4-48 steering shaft to the old Series 3/4 steering shaft that has been cut. The total length of the shaft has to be 31 5/8. I have the section of 3/4-48 that has a perfectly straight cut on the non splined end where it will join the series shaft. I have to cut the Series shaft to match the overall length. I hope to get a pretty square cut using the chop box with an abrasive wheel. With both ends square and true, how can I weld them together and keep the shaft perfectly straight? Keep in mind I have an old wire welder that makes pretty nice boogers.
My thinking is to clamp both pieces into the V of a length of angle, tack it in a couple spots. Then reposition it with the tacks (ground off flush) turned around and tack it again. Then recheck the true and just repeat that until it is welded all around.
Does that sound right or is there another technique? The inner diameters are different so using a length of rod on the inside would require one side to be machined down.
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  #2  
Old May 30th, 2013, 04:07 PM
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Mack Crouch
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Sleeve it with a larger tube over the two 3/4 shafts. Use a thick wall DOM tube. I did this on my steering shaft that I had to extend an inch. Think I even have some of the tubing left.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macker View Post
Sleeve it with a larger tube over the two 3/4 shafts. Use a thick wall DOM tube. I did this on my steering shaft that I had to extend an inch. Think I even have some of the tubing left.
This.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 04:17 PM
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Pay someone who is a really good welder. I would not mess with a steering shaft myself.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Pay someone who is a really good welder. I would not mess with a steering shaft myself.
He could pin it on both ends if nervous
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Old May 30th, 2013, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Clamp them in a piece of angle iron.
This. You should be clamping along the entire length of the shaft to prevent warping of the shaft due to weld pool shrinkage. The sleeving method also works, but that is contingent on a sleeve on the shaft being alright.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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Yah the sleeve would have to be an interference fit to be able to keep the shaft dead straigh. that might be a challenge
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Old May 30th, 2013, 07:48 PM
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When I sleeved mine, the inner diameter of the sleeve matched exactly the outer diameter of the shaft. A light sanding and it fit in perfectly so that there would be no way of coming out crooked. However, there are many ways to do it. Just do what's easiest for you.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 09:50 AM
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Sleeve or a pipe welding vice.
Heavy angle iron will work in a pinch. Too light weight and the angle iron can bend with the shaft.
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  #10  
Old May 31st, 2013, 09:59 AM
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I'm no expert but I would think that you could be off by a little bit and not cause a huge problem. As has been pointed out to me before, the shaft is not under alot of stress due to the power assist. So even the weld is not a huge deal if it is not perfect.
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  #11  
Old May 31st, 2013, 01:46 PM
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J. Michael McCaig
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Bill your idea of clamping the shaft into the "V" of a section of angle iron is spot on. I would take the ends of the pieces to be welded and grind them so you have a V in them when put together. That way you will get good penetration with the weld. You can sleeve over the shaft after you do the initial joining weld for strength if you want but you may not be able to do it depending how the steering shaft goes into the housing with your bearing set-up.
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  #12  
Old May 31st, 2013, 02:27 PM
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Thanks all. I will give it a try tomorrow.

Quote:
So even the weld is not a huge deal if it is not perfect.
Oh, no worries there. It won't be.
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  #13  
Old May 31st, 2013, 04:27 PM
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I would not weld this. The original shaft is hardened and will want to reject the weld. Sleeve it and pin it is my suggestion. You can weld the pin to the sleeve. Or use a couple of circlips. One tight fitted and another inside that clip.
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  #14  
Old June 1st, 2013, 10:40 PM
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Results on the build thread.
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1994 RRC LeWiB "ruining the air behind me"
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  #15  
Old June 1st, 2013, 10:56 PM
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How big of a welder are you using? I think pendy is right. If you feel like you really burned it in good, maybe lay it across a gap and give it a real good whack with a BFH, this part in particular you do not want to find out later if your weld didn't penetrate.
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