Step 5: Prep chain for welding

If you have ever tried to weld a chain before, you probably have noticed they tend to be coated in grease or oil. This makes the MIG welding process tad bit difficult. An easy way around it its to burn off the oil before welding.

Coil up the chain on your heavy duty work surface.

Use your torch to heat up the chain and burn off the oil. You will be left with a light grey coating of ash and a chain ready to weld.
What does "�" mean? No one else asked about it. Anyway, would you sell me one of these guys? I sort of have ended up collecting big iron bugs.
is that pneumatic grinder from Harbor Freight Tools
Hey Mikey, You seem like a good welder, so if you could please give me your opinion on these welds. They were done on a GPS 1/4" steel plate, with a MIG welder at 17 volts, and 200 in/min wire speed. I think the Argon pressure was at 16 PSI. What do you think? (First time welding ever!)
Strange place for a welding seminar... ...but why not. I assume you are just running a bead, slow your wire feed down a tad and spread the bead out a bit as well. You are building up too high a weld. Travel a bit more slowly and weave back and forth with a small pause at the end of each weave and let the puddle burn into the base metal. Hope it helps! Mikey
is it possible to use low heat stick welding for this? aside from changing sticks in-between, but if you moved fast enough, as you would have to, I don't see how you'd run out of stick THAT fast... the trick would be just finding a stick that wouldn't burn right through the entire thing. I also had the idea of using a spot welder on the pins of the bike chain to freeze it in place, I will test this theory soon.
With a small enough rod and low enough current you should be able to stick weld the chain. I do like the spot welding idea but it may be tedious to position each link correctly as you weld them. Great comments! Thanks! Mikey
Oh! Awesome!!! These would look so great climbing up a trellis or post in a garden ... (make em' real big, keep scavengers out too maybe!) ;) I want one......or many! (shuffles off to the dump...) Thanks - A+ job! Janice (ah...snails?...hmmm)
Thanks Bone! My mother in law wants a frog now. (hmmm... as well) :-)
Dude, awesome. And congrates, I think you just came up with the name of my band: 'Steel Centipede'. It's gotta good ring to it.
Excellent! Use it! I want Video! Mikey
awesome im gonna make one as soon as i get a welder
Thanks TW! It's a very relaxing, rewarding, stress relieving hobby.
yah i bet, im building a welder and i hope to have it done soon
Thanks Linux!
Your welcome! I want to make these as soon as I get a welder (hopefully within a year)
I am a police officer in canada. Stealing centipedes is illegal. If you steal a centipede you will be put in jail immediately. I hope this instructable is for educational purposes only.
LOL Yes this is for ed purposes only! Here in good 'ol sunny AZ they're pestilence. And aren't you a tad bit out of your jurisdiction?
Great instructable, and your centipedes while not exactly entomologically correct are exciting, alien and spiky vicious! Great stuff! Really cool... I'm going to use electrical conduit and form that tubing to the desired crawling centipede body shape, tack weld the tubing rings in place (if necessary), then cut the tubing in half lengthwise, forming two mirror image bodies. Then, doubling the number of legs, I'll connect them in matched pairs. That is the way real centipedes are. I could make the head from several pieces of the body tubing rotated and tack welded to form a ball of sorts. Centipedes are shiny and dark so maybe buff the back and legs to get shiny highlights, spray it with the lacquer color I want, and quickly wipe the paint off the highlighted areas. Then buff again a bit more to bring the shine back up. Then I think I will coat it with several coats of clear lacquer to stop the rust and keep the shine. Thanks for the perfect idea!
Thanks Cojon! I do take a certain bit of artistic license. Be careful with the conduit, it is galvanized and the fumes are poisonous! do it outside or with a fan behind you. Thanks again! Mikey
Really cool. +4.5.
Thanks Llama! Llama, llama, duck! Mikey
Do you know me, because I hear that on a daily basis lol. Due to the fact of me living on a llama ranch I have been known as "Llama" since the 6th grade, and that song as without my consent become my themesong lol.
I don't, but I have teenage children and I hear that and the badger song every so often. Mikey
LOL gotta love us teenagers to bring the hipness/annoying songs to a houshold.
Actually... ...I was the one that showed them! LOL! They just keep playing 'em!
Lol good stuff, gotta love the internet age!
did somebody say duck!
This, sir, is amazing. I really enjoyed this entire instructable and I'm not at all surprised to hear that you're a teacher -- I was going to complement you on the pleasant tone of the whole thing and thank you for the extra details you provided that really flesh out the project as a learning exercise, and now I'll add to that that you are a credit to your field.<br/><br/>I'm also excited to see a &quot;man in a helmet&quot; here -- I just picked up some old Willson screw-in style welding goggles from E-Bay for the dual purposes of a costume piece and making a pair of IR-pass goggles. The seller shipped with them two very old books on arc-welding. One is the second edition of <em>Welding Processes and Power Sources</em> from the 70's and the other is <em>Modern arc Welding procedure and practice</em> from Hobart Trade School. I can't find a date on it, but I'd guess it's from the early 50's.<br/><br/>I've been reading through that one and it's completely fascinating (like any subject, you learn a little and think &quot;That might be fun&quot; then you learn more and realize how many factors go into doing it properly and you emerge with a heightened respect for those who have mastered the craft). It's very outdated, I'm sure , but it talks about the basics of welding and is really an interesting read. It discusses the carbon arc and metallic arc using bare and coated electrodes and there's a section in the back that introduces this new-fangled method called TIG that shows a lot of promise...kinda makes me want to learn to weld. I'll have to see if I can convince my school's shop guru to teach me some.<br/><br/>As for the centipedes...I don't have my bike with me over the summer, but would it be feasible to leave some of the links unwelded to let your centipede be reconfigurable?<br/>
Thank you Kyle. I also teach welding in the community college and we use the updated verson of those books. Most of the info in your books is still good and some of the illustrations in ours are from the 50's! I love welding and metal fab, we just finished the steel work on a 30 year old chipper shredder for my father in law. As for the reconfigurable centipede... ...great idea. You would have to make sure you only welded the legs to the side plates or the rollers and you'd have it. Thanks again for the positive comments! Mikey
You deserve them. I'm a computer science student at a tech college right now, but sometimes I really think I should have been an enigneer -- I really need to get myself into the shop. Actually, I came across something that interested me in the Hobart book that I was wondering if you could explain. I just got to a section that explains how the polarity of DC welding current affects the procedure and it said that up to 75% of the heat is produced at the positive side of the arc. Do you know why this is? I never knew that and never thought about the temperature gradient across an arc before. Thanks! ~Kyle
Between <a rel="nofollow" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AutoCAD">AutoCAD</a> and modeling software, engineering is mostly computer science these days, right? See if you can work in AutoCAD classes, while programming can be done for it (see link), barring the industry radically changing their de-facto standard just being able to use AutoCAD will keep you well fed.<br/><br/>As to the arc, well, on the negative end the electrons are leaving the metal with their energy, on the positive end they're slamming into the metal with that energy. As a quick and dirty visualization glossing over the science and not completely accurate, It's like a full-auto machine gun firing on the same spot of a solid steel target. The gun barrel will get warm, even hot, but that spot on the target is soaking up the kinetic energy of each and every bullet thus it'll get hotter faster.<br/><br/>I hope that gives you a good enough rough idea of what's happening, as the full science version is of course longer, and likely to be considered weirder as well. And if anybody here has an equally simple yet more realistic explanation, go for it.<br/>
Hah! That's almost excatly the same quick and dirty visualization that I came up with before I asked. Good to know school worked :-). Thanks for the advice, too! ~Kyle
I think you nailed it! That's why some rods work better electrode positive and some electrode negative. With electrode negative most of the heat will be in the work and you will penetrate better. For thinner material, electrode negative will work better as you will not burn through as easily. And yes, a good abckground in AutoCAD will do you well. You have to learn to draft with a software program (they all do mostly the same thing, some have different features) and you besetting up a good foundation. If you are interested in computer machining, MasterCAM is a good way to go.
Umm, psst, you used "electrode negative" for both thick and thin cases, think you meant electrode positive for thin.
Yup, you're correct. My mistake; electrode positive for thin. Thanks for the catch! Mikey
way cool
Thanks KYAu! Mikey
STOP!.........................................................................................................HAMMER TIME! LOL excellent little set-up you got there buddy
Thanks Chalky!
I like this! <br/><br/>Oh, and for me, Hammer = Universal Adjuster :D<br/>
We also refer to them as the "suitable tool" Whenever you read a manual and it tells you to use a suitable tool, that's it! Thanks! Mikey
Yes, it's strange how hammers strike that amusing chord the world over (hehe I make a pun). I think it must be our evolutionary predeliction to use blunt objects to solve Problems. Also: "The Implement" in thick German/Russian accent :D
Auto dark is a must.
What is auto dark?
Auto-darkening masks are like transition glasses. You see right through them most of the time, but when you look at the blinding light of the welding spot, they turn dark. Regular welding masks are dark all the time, but you can't see what you're working on until you start welding.
Yeah, if transition glasses could go dark in 0.0001 sec! Mikey D, you can get them as replacement helmet lenses or a new helmet w/ one. Basically they're a LCD you look thru. Some are battery powered (often AA), those are theoretically fastest, others have a solar cell, some go to a fixed shade, some are adjustable and can go darker than 10. They take up viewing space, can fit in a modern helmet like yours and give you an old-school 3-1/2" x 1-2/3" view, but no helmet or lid flipping, line it up and get arcing. I've been considering one for awhile, but even the most basic ones in the stores and catalogs are $100 and up last I looked. Not that long ago I saw a replacement fixed-shade solar version at a welding store for over $140. And if you want "a name" and a fancy flame paint job, heh, you can go over $300. For research I checked eBay for "welding helmet." You should too. I just won a brand new one. Plain and smells import but complete, solar cell w/ rechargeable "internal lithium backup battery," clear at 4, adjusts from 9 to 13. Even has twist-knob headband adjustment and sweat pad. Just $25 w/ $11 S&H. Can't wait for it to get here, looks loads better than the old one I've been trying to learn with. I can always put flames on it later, guess I saved enough to buy some paint.
OK I feel like a goof ball, I thought you were referring to either a coating for steel or a filter for the camera. My hood is Auto Dark, we just call them electronic. My wife got it for me about 4 years ago and I love it. She spent way too much money on it - somewhere in the $360 range! It truly is awesome, especially for this fine work where the initial position of the electrode (wire) is critical. I have seen the cheap ones at stores like Harbor Freight for around $60. However I am leery of trusting my eyes to something like that.
...which I would have noticed if I had actually looked at the step 1 pic besides it being a 'roll over' comment... ...never mind, nice work, got a welding manual to review, see you later...
I was close enough...

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Bio: I teach High School Welding and Video Game Development (currently) and have taught everything in the Industrial Technology area. I also currently teach Welding at ... More »
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