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Welding old marine swim platform brackets made of bronze


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  #1  
Old 07-23-2014, 12:27:56 PM
sdowney717 sdowney717 is offline
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Default Welding old marine swim platform brackets made of bronze

I extended the platform and always wanted to extend the brackets for more support, so adding in 5.5 inches.

These are from the late 1960's and have been on a boat in salt water.
They are still strong.

I am welding with white bronze fluxed 1/8 rods.
I have to put a lot of heat into these parts.

I wire brushed them bright.
There seems to be flow issues.
I find them not easy to weld like I thought.
But they do weld. I notice the base metal when heated with the torch seems to have an impurity inside. it will form a crater which look somewhat dirty and sometimes I see sparks and slaggy elements float up.

example here is a matched up part


welded




ground
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:32:12 PM
sdowney717 sdowney717 is offline
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Default Re: Weldin old marine swim platform brackets made of bronze

Second one was harder.
Had to do in 2 steps.
And also uglier, just as difficult, not ground yet.

First part done, fitting in a piece.







Is there a flux that I should add first that would help?
A lot of times, the rod will puddle on top of the base, i have to get the base real hot then it wants to melt through to the other side, so I have to build up the holes and flip it over and remelt the other side. It does not want to flow together although it will flow together. I have to get it very hot to make it flow. So it seems like it is extra hard.

I have 3 more to do. I have finished 2 brackets.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:28:01 AM
sdowney717 sdowney717 is offline
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Default Re: Weldin old marine swim platform brackets made of bronze

Thanks for that.
Years ago at the marina, a boat was crushed and binned and I salvaged 2 brackets that were identical to my 5 brackets.
I had widened the platform 3 inches so it needed a little extra support out at the end. The platform is teak and well designed. A long 2 foot hole drilled through the platform exists above the brackets and the hold the platform tight against the boat stern. These brackets provide support. It is so strong you stand on it and you have zero give. The teak platform is 2 inch thick wood.

I was thinking of lightly smoothing the underside of the bracket and fairing with some bondo and then spray paint the bracket. The top of the bracket will be ground flat so it sits flush with the teak.

Here you can see after boat was hauled how they attach. They were always a little short with original OEM width. My extensions bring them all the way to the outer edge of the platform.

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Old 07-24-2014, 01:52:45 PM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Weldin old marine swim platform brackets made of bronze

I've dealt with similar concerns on teak platforms, but with stainless brackets... which is much less of a metalurgical bonding challenge in contrast to what you face. I had one platform that was factory braced to a little over half it's reach, and the owner wanted to put a set of swing-up dinghy brackets on (the type that affix under the platform, and have hinged arms that lock to brackets on the inside of the dinghy's gunwale). Rather than having a 6hp ripcord Mariner two-stroke on a 10' Avon, he had a Whaler Sport 13 with a Honda 4-stroke, and he'd swing it up using his anchor windlass pulling from a sheave on the underside of the flying bridge. We had to increase the metal quantity and add some cantelever bracing... I didn't feel especially satisfied with it, but I haven't heard reports of it breaking. I'm pretty sure the Honda smoked a bit when they fired it up...
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:28:11 PM
sdowney717 sdowney717 is offline
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Default Re: Weldin old marine swim platform brackets made of bronze

Salt water.
I think bondo then paint rustoleum spray paint.
I had coated with devcon wal mart epoxy on top of the bronze, but it is cracking off after 4 years.
The submerged part is not getting welded, about 5 inches of the bracket is in the water all the time.
Underway the whole thing does get wet.

5 years ago I repaired one bracket using silver braze, Harris 15.
It was slightly corroded at the water line.
That held up well, there is no visible change to the repair.

I would have silver brazed all of it, but I think that would cost me more money.

I have brazed silicon bronze bolts together with Harris 15, works great to repair bronze parts.
One small flat rod is $4.
For a bronze bolt, I wire brush the ends.
Then put some silver braze on both ends, like tinning.

I have a railroad plate, that goes under a train's rail.
Lay the bolt on the plate up against this part that curves up to help hold the rail.
The heat and smush them together, adding braze to make the bolt entire all around the same thickness.
If very slightly bent, bronze is cold worked straight with a hammer.

Welding together a bronze bolt is a whole lot cheaper than buying new silicon bronze bolt. All my bolt and other bronze repairs - fabrications have survived great in the hull of the boat. The price of a new bronze bolt is outrageous.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:15:38 PM
sdowney717 sdowney717 is offline
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Default Re: Welding old marine swim platform brackets made of bronze

I did number 3, but ran out of white rods.

rough matched up



welded some and put bits and pieces together


rough weld, yet to be ground down some



topside, I need to weld some here.

There is a crater in the middle, kinda hard to see. This is what happens, the torch blows a crater in the base, the base does not desire to wet with the bronze rod. I have to force fill mix the base and rod together.




I think the base metal does not want to wet out with the white bronze rods. The way I do this is I melt the base and force the rod into the melted base joining the two.
I use the rod scratching at the base metal forcing a fusion, they just do not want to melt together. The base would rather have the flame blow craters into itself.
Then I run the torch over the weld, puddling the metals.

When I get some more rods next week, I will ask the weld shop. I think they will say buy some expensive blue fluxed nickel rods. Or maybe they have a better flux.

any ideas?
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:31:10 AM
sdowney717 sdowney717 is offline
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Default Re: Welding old marine swim platform brackets made of bronze

Got some new rods and used the staysilv flux and it went a little better on the welding.

Here is a finished project, it has added the support I wanted, feels solid right to the edge.



I primered then coated with black PL roof polyurethane.
Even bronze will corrode. This will help make them last another 50 years.







After welding, I had to straighten them out flat, they had warped. So heat it up real hot then whack flat using the cast iron table saw to form them straight again.
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