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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2017-12-06, 8:52pm
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Default Mandrel making from welding rod

I need longer then 12 inch mandrels and was told I could buy welding rod from Harbor Freight and cut my own.
No problem, except I know nothing about welding and all the rods I have found are soft wire.
What am I looking for, to cut mandrel from?

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  #2  
Old 2017-12-06, 8:59pm
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You need TIG rod, stainless steel 308, 309 or 316. I usually get mine from a welding shop.

Also make sure to scrub them, since they can be oily & bead release won't stick.

dj
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Last edited by Croft Eeusk; 2017-12-06 at 9:01pm.
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  #3  
Old 2017-12-06, 9:42pm
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Thank you.
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  #4  
Old 2017-12-06, 10:23pm
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Oh and file, grind or otherwise round the cut ends.


Nipping them to length leaves a wonderfully wicked corner that just wants to reach right out and slash the side of your thumb right down to the bone just when you have a monster size blob of hot molten glass on the other end with the master piece of a life time perfectly encased in a wonderful clear without a single air bubble in it.

I use the side of one of those disc cutters in my dremel tool and just rotate the point gently against the flat of the disk to round the end of the mandrel.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2017-12-06 at 10:25pm.
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  #5  
Old 2017-12-07, 7:18am
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All of the above. Don't waste time on Harbor Fright. They have better quality rods at the welding supply and they're all cheap compared to mandrels. You can harden them a little more by heating them to cherry red (not really glowing) an dunking them in water a couple of times in quick succession. I've even gotten the shop guys to cut mine to length and de-bur the ends for me a time or two, if I ask really nice and take them cookies.
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  #6  
Old 2017-12-07, 11:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocake View Post
All of the above. Don't waste time on Harbor Fright. They have better quality rods at the welding supply and they're all cheap compared to mandrels. You can harden them a little more by heating them to cherry red (not really glowing) an dunking them in water a couple of times in quick succession. I've even gotten the shop guys to cut mine to length and de-bur the ends for me a time or two, if I ask really nice and take them cookies.
OOohhh, good tip on the cookies!

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Old 2017-12-09, 6:06pm
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I agree with everything everybody said and what's nice about a welding place is they have so many different sizes
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  #8  
Old 2018-01-17, 9:48pm
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I go to Norco and ask for a pound of stainless steel welding rod in whatever size I'm looking for at the time. Cut them to length with the chop saw or the bolt cutters and then over to the grinder to gussy up the cut ends. You can make a big pile of mandrels for less than you can buy a few... I still have mandrels that I made about 20 years ago!
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  #9  
Old 2018-01-27, 9:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croft Eeusk View Post
You need TIG rod, stainless steel 308, 309 or 316. I usually get mine from a welding shop.

Also make sure to scrub them, since they can be oily & bead release won't stick.

dj
I've been doing this for years, and it's soooo much cheaper than buying mandrels. Also, as you mentioned, you can cut them to any length you want. If I remember correctly, there are 10 rods in a package, and they are 3' long, so I get approx. 30 mandrels per tube of welding rod. I think I paid around $12 last time?? Not sure about that, because it's been a while, and different locations probably have different prices as well.
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  #10  
Old 2018-01-30, 11:15pm
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Glad someone brought this up, I keep forgetting to ask. I always make mine. Last batch are way too weak. I bent one by just cutting it even, I burn through them often when not even in the flame. They only last a couple of times where my others lasted forever.

1/16th, says E308
Does 316 vs 308 make that much of a difference?
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