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How to guide to repairing cast iron products

How easy is it to repair cast iron products with Castaloy?

I addressed a question on the aluminum repair forum about repairing with alumaloy with my How to guide to repairing aluminum products and I thought I would cover repairing cast iron with castaloy.  It is a very similar process and is really quite easy to do.   When performing this repair keep in mind that cleaning cast iron is a little more difficult.  However, you can do it with just a few tools and it can be done with little formal training in the subject.  Once you have done it a few times there will be little reason to throw things out that seem hopeless.

Tools you may need:

  • Cast iron Repair Rod(s) “Castaloy rod(s)
  • Wire brush for cleaning cast iron
  • Wheel for cleaning cast iron
  • Sand paper for cleaning cast iron
  • Pliers to hold Castaloy rod
  • Propane torch to heat cast iron
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Safety glasses or face shield to protect your eyes and face
  • Stable work surface or vice to support the cast iron product needing repair
  • Rags for cleaning
  • Draft free work area

How to repair cast iron products with Castaloy:

  1. Be sure to use appropriate safety gear to protect eyes and hands.
  2. First identify the break. Then situate the cast iron product in a stable position on a flat surface or with a vice. This will keep it from moving while you work and keep you safe.  This area should be open but draft free.
  3. Once the cast iron in need of repair is secure, clean the break of debris. Unlike Aluminum this almost always requires a vigorous brushing with a metal brush or sand paper.  DO NOT FORGET, flux is an acid and should be treated with respect.    I have written an article on the proper way to clean and prep the cast iron for repairDO NOT USE DEGREASERS OR CLEANERS THAT MAY BE FLAMABLE!
  4. Now that the cast iron break is clean and ready, you will use your torch to heat it.  Do not heat the Castaloy rod. You want the heat of the broken cast iron to melt the Castaloy.  Keep the heat in motion over the area you are working with. Test the surface for temperature by pulling the torch away and touching with the Castaloy rod to it. When the Castaloy melts and starts to flow freely you are at the optimal working temperature. You will need to reheat that location from time to time to keep the Castaloy flowing. Work the Castaloy into the broken area, letting it fill in the hole or crack, switching from heat to Castaloy.
  5. Once the break is covered thoroughly, allow to air cool. After the cast iron product is cool you may need to sand or grind it to smooth the surface or reshape it. This step all depends on the use or needs of the repaired cast iron product.

It is just that simple. Castaloy was designed so anyone can use it to make repairs on everyday products. You don’t have to have special skills or be a welder to use it. Common sense, patience, Castaloy, and a few tools will see you repairing all sorts of cast iron products. Never again will you have to throw something out because you do have the skills to restore them.

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