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  1. I've made a habit over the last two years to attempt a mild steel faggot weld every time I do some work. My literature gives an example of this as a way to building up material for a ball end of a doorlatch. (And yes, the example is with mild, not wrought) And if you could forge a ball from it, it should have to be a rather good weld. But I've never managed more than sticking it together so that when I put it in the vice and bend, it pops open showing the matte and clean surfaces I've tried a range of temperatures, all the way up to burning the corners. I've tried a range of mild steel origins of different dimensions. I've tried sand and glass flux, but even when mixed with borax I haven't been able to find a sand or glass that flows, it's rather like cold syrup. I've tried from scaly with lots of flux rinsing, and I've tried from laboriously clean ground surfaces coated with wax and borax before heating. I've tried Coal, Coke, Charcoal and Gas. No luck. My own hearth material -which is made from mild steel scrap- welds beautifully and strongly. But it sparks higher and higher every time I fold it, I'm beginning to suspect I've been carburizing it since I have a tendency to be more cautious of air blast than most (because I use mainly charcoal), and that this carburization is making it easier to weld. This winter I got hold of a Wrought wagon axle, and this wonderful experience is what has lead me to think that there is something awfully wrong with the mild steel I've been working with. Also, the wrought and my hearth recycled material welds beautifully to the steels I use, UHB-15, UHB-20 and 1095. If I weld a three-layered billet and go to work the edge, it feels like solid material. The mild does not. That is, it welds, but there's always some point I have to go over a few more times, and working edgewise is seldom safe until I've drawn out the billet quite a bit, at least not at anything less than high-orange to yellow heat. Also I tried welding 15n20 to mild, and that didn't take very well at all. Could all this trouble be down to Copper in the presumably recycled mild steel, or is there some measures I could take to improve?
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