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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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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