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First canister/canoe almost successful.

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I decided to try my hand at doing a canoe with some chainsaw chains.  Since I'm doing it by hand, I started by making a quick canoe at work out of 304 SS.  Measures 1"x5"x3/8" deep on the inside.


I cleaned up the chain with  acetone and packed everything with fine 1084 powder.  Welding up the canoe was a bit of a cluster.  I ran out of argon for the TIG welder and tried to finish it using the wrong rods for the stick welder. 


Obviously this didnt work the greatest and caused me some problems later.  After 5-6 passeshammering at welding heat I cut the end of and was pleasantly by the result.


An apparently solid billet, with separation from the canoe.  After cutting a corner off everything started peeling great, until it didnt.  This is where the bad welds came back to bite me.  After way too much time grinding I finally got the can off and did a quick etch too see if I could see the chainsaw chains.


It doesn't show up very well, but there was a bit poking through here and there, and i didn't see any cracks or delams.  I was pretty eager to forge a blade out of the billet, so I welded a new handle to it and started hammering away.  I had one small crack show up, so I decided to put it in the tang.  You can see it right near where I started the shoulder on the bottom side.


After that, two more cracks showed up a few heats later along one edge.


At this point I'm going to call this one a learning experience and throw it up on the shelf. 


Out of curiosity though, what do you guys think went wrong?  Not enough passes or too short of a soak during the forge welding?  Forging at too low of a heat?  Contamination from welding the top on the canoe?  Apparently the local Tractor Supply doesn't carry straight argon anymore, so I grabbed some 308L rods to use on the next one.  Maybe that will be enough.

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I'll defer to those with more experience, but I've now done 4 cans successfully and the first thing that comes to my mind is that you didn't have a big enough can to start with if it was only 3/8" deep.   In my limited experience, you need to forge the volume down to at least 1/2 of the original can size at welding heats in order for everything to weld up solid.

Edited by billyO
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Much appreciated Billy.  I'm already realizing the need to go a bit larger with the can, even if it's just to be able to fit more saw chain in to it.  The billet came out at roughly 3/16" thick, maybe a touch over, so it may be as simple as having to take a few more passes at welding heat before peeling the canoe.

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