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 Post subject: Bed Rails
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:54 pm 
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Apprentice

Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:17 am
Posts: 37
Location: carleton, MI
Curious what others experience is with using old bed rails for welding projects? I'm new to welding and I tried to make a roller base out of some but they seem difficult to work with. Hard to cut, hard to drill, welding seems to be a challenge too but that may be me as I have very little practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Bed Rails
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:45 am 
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Elite

Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:51 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Warren MI.
Aaron Nunn wrote:
they seem difficult to work with. Hard to cut, hard to drill

They are usually made with melted down scrap steel & can have anything from cast-iron to harden tool steel in their composition. Best bet for drilling is to use a good quality cobalt drill bit running slow with some type of cutting oil. Cutting is best done using an abrasive wheel in a angle grinder or chop-saw.
As for welding you want to use a high carbon wire or electrode. I have a old arc-welder & use Blue Max 2100 electrodes made by Lincoln for dissimilar metals like bed frames.

Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Bed Rails
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:41 am 
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Elite
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:17 pm
Posts: 944
Location: Farmington Hills
I have made a few projects out of bed rails, they cut fine with a portable band saw. I used a flux welder to weld them together it works good, make sure you clean your metal good, a lot of frames are power coated. What kind of welder are you using, stick,mig, tig?


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 Post subject: Re: Bed Rails
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:28 pm 
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Apprentice

Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:17 am
Posts: 37
Location: carleton, MI
I am using a Mig with 75/25 shielding gas with the wire that came in the welder. I appreciate the tips. I doubt I could justify special wire for just a few rails. I would be better off to invest that money in regular steel.


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 Post subject: Re: Bed Rails
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:46 pm 
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Elite

Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:51 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Warren MI.
Aaron Nunn wrote:
I doubt I could justify special wire for just a few rails.
Yeah probably better to practice on scrap stock if you have some.

That's one of the reasons I like arc-welders, You can have a larger assortment of electrodes without having the expense of buying a whole spool of wire. With my arc-welder I try to set the heat level to a point just before it will burn through the metal.

As Jacob mentioned, Cleaning the metal good will help out! You could also try preheating the weld joint area just before welding.
Even though the bed frame material is usually pretty thin, It will generally take more heat than normal steel to get a good weld.

Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Bed Rails
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:07 am 
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Elite
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:17 pm
Posts: 944
Location: Farmington Hills
I don't think you will need any special wire for the bed rail. Just good name brand wire, if you have a HF welder there wire and tips are junk. The first thing I did with the flux welder I had from them was upgrade to Lincoln wire and tips and it made a big different. You might want to post a photo of your weld someone would be able to tell you what is happening.

If you are looking for metal check out Wright Steel in Redford a little bit of a drive for you, but good prices. They will also cut to length if you call before you go. (313) 532-4210

Here is one of my bed rails projects.


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