How To Remove Welding? Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever created something that ended up looking so bad making you want to undo it completely? But don’t know how to remove welding? The feeling is mutual. 

While I have encountered several similar instances with lots of crafts I continually learn to do, the bad welding I have done almost a year ago stands differently. The problem I had was not only the bad turn-out of the welding but also the lack of knowledge to undo it.

I experienced it the hard way and I do not want anything similar to happen to you. Stick with me for a few minutes and learn the best ways of removing welding. 

How to Remove Welding: An Overview

Mistakes are unavoidable when welding. With this, it only gets to show that once you learn how to weld, it might also be necessary to learn a few procedures on how to undo it.

Welding usually creates a stronger bond between two metals than the metals themselves. In most cases, applying force with the use of a hammer or other tools is not the solution to your problem. Mechanical or thermal methods should intervene.

Since welding can be done in various possible ways, removing and undoing welding typically depends on it. Common methods are done through plasma cutting, torch cutting, grinding or circular saws, drills, or oxy-acetylene torches.

Thermal Methods

As the name suggests, this procedure involves heat. To undo welds, a high temperature is necessary, so this is usually done with oxy-acetylene torches or plasma cutters.

Oxy-acetylene Torches

The use of oxy-acetylene torches in removing welds is often called flame or torch gouging. Such a method is known to be quieter than a grinder and quicker than cold chipping.

When using an oxy-acetylene torch to cut metal, the acetylene flame heats the metal to its kindling point. At this point, the oxygen valve on the torch opens, giving off a stream of oxygen onto the hot metal which oxidizes and blows through the cut as slag.

Although using an oxy-acetylene cutting torch to break welds can be efficient and effective, the process can be destructive due to the induced internal stresses. Furthermore, additional work should be done to clean the edges before making use of the metal.

Remember that flame gouging with an oxy-acetylene torch technique requires time and practice to master because it needs the torch to be properly adjusted. Moreover, the speed and angle of the torch are crucial to producing a clean gouge.

Take precautionary measures when trying this method out because when heating the metal, internal stresses are induced which can cause it to buckle and distort. Also, splatters might occur so you have to equip yourself first with protective gear.

Just a note that undoing the weld with the use of this technique creates a missing property on the piece, therefore, affecting its usability.

You can also try Propane Torch and Butane Torch.

Plasma Cutters

With the use of electrical conductors and with the help of an accelerated jet of hot plasma, plasma cutting makes a good process for removing welding.

An arc that can reach a temperature of 20,000 degrees Celsius is created by the direct current. Then, heat is generated from the high-pressure airflow. 

What makes this process more remarkable than the rest is its speed which does the job five times faster than manual torches. It is also recognized as a process good for a wide range of materials of various thicknesses. In addition, this technique is easy to maneuver, and safer due to no use of any gasses.

Mechanical Methods

how to remove welding

With thermal methods, heat is involved to be able to undergo the cutting process, with mechanical methods, the processes are performed manually.

Such methods typically require cutting, grinding, or drilling. It is advisable to choose the technique depending on the kind you are dealing with.

Method Without The Use of Grinder

Apart from the two thermal methods mentioned above, a process that does not involve a grinder is still possible with the involvement of a band saw or a hacksaw. The basic steps are as follows: 

  1. With the use of a pencil or any marker, mark where you want to cut the metal.
  2. Hold the metal pieces in place and secure them. You may use any tool available such as clamps or vices.
  3. Start moving your tool slowly along the line of the marker you made. Make sure you do not linger on a particular spot for too long. Continue doing it until you successfully create a cut. 
  4. Turn off your tool, or place them in a secure area right after the procedure. 
  5. Leave the metal pieces to cool down before handling them so you don’t harm yourself.

Method With A Grinder or Circular Saw

An angle grinder is often used to create beveled edges or cut metal surfaces. Although they are not known to be as precise as plasma cutting, this method is technically cheaper and does not alter too much of the metal’s properties. Recommended steps are the following:

  1. Mark the area where you want to cut the piece with the use of any available pen or marker.
  2. Secure the piece with a clamp or vice.
  3. Wear all the protective gear necessary and make sure your area is safe.
  4. Connect your tool to the outlet and turn the power on.
  5. Carefully allow your tool to slowly cut the metal. Make sure you do not put too much force on the base metals since the tool may cause damage to the piece or the cutting disc. 
  6. Turn the power off and let your machine cool down.
  7. Since your piece still got some heat due to friction, allow it to cool down for a while. 
Ways to remove welding

Factors to Consider

By now, with the information provided, you may be a little hesitant about which process to choose.

Firstly, determine the type of metal you will use. With strong welds, the best technique to undo it is by the use of a drill. Then also take into consideration the available materials you have and make sure you don’t go beyond your budget. Resort to the easiest process when you’re a novice but if you’re an expert, go after the choice that is most convenient for you.

Remember that when undoing welds, a piece might be left damaged. But, with the help of a grinder or a metal file, you may fix this issue.

Final Thoughts

When a project goes bad, do not be tempted to throw it completely away. Mistakes are unavoidable in everything that we do, and surely, it’s true even with welding. 

Out of all the possible procedures to do, the easiest and most efficient method is the use of a grinder. However, it’s all my opinion. For you, it helps to practice the best method that you find economical and convenient so you see satisfactory results yourself. 

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