Welding bars together to make them longer

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knezzer97

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Greetings folks

I don’t know if this is crazy or nuts but I’m thinking about welding 2 36” bars together for a saw mill to use on my 076, just wondering if anyone has done it and if it’s safe to do

I can tig weld and do all that good stuff just don’t want the bar to break in half due to stress while milling

Any ideas
 

BobL

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For a start bars are not parallel but have a belly so welding 2 x 36" bars will have no belly and worse end up with a weird saddle in the middle on both sides.
These saddles will be a good opportunity point for the chain to jump the bar.
A 72" bar wlll be somewhat wider belly than any 36" bar which also helps the chain to stay on.
The big bar in this pic is only a 60" bar and look bellied and how wide it is.
gear.jpg

The you have no idea what the welding will do to the metallurgical properties of the bar.
Most likely it will soften the join especially at the groove rails, so chances are it will wear them - fast.
Big bars have considerable sag so softening the join is likely to cause more problems.
Gap.jpg
 

knezzer97

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For a start bars are not parallel but have a belly so welding 2 x 36" bars will have no belly and worse end up with a weird saddle in the middle on both sides.
These saddles will be a good opportunity point for the chain to jump the bar.
A 72" bar wlll be somewhat wider belly than any 36" bar which also helps the chain to stay on.
The big bar in this pic is only a 60" bar and look bellied and how wide it is.
View attachment 962568

The you have no idea what the welding will do to the metallurgical properties of the bar.
Most likely it will soften the join especially at the groove rails, so chances are it will wear them - fast.
Big bars have considerable sag so softening the join is likely to cause more problems.
View attachment 962579
Those will be the bars I’d be welding up they are fairly parallel with no belly, so the belly of a bar is to account for sag in the chain?
 

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BobL

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Those will be the bars I’d be welding up they are fairly parallel with no belly, so the belly of a bar is to account for sag in the chain?

Bar belly doesn't eliminate sag so some sort of anti sagging device is still required.

'Fairly" should be just enough to cause problems.
Keeping the chain on the bar will be less of a problem than messing with the hardness. any welding is likely to cause.
 
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Greetings folks

I don’t know if this is crazy or nuts but I’m thinking about welding 2 36” bars together for a saw mill to use on my 076, just wondering if anyone has done it and if it’s safe to do

I can tig weld and do all that good stuff just don’t want the bar to break in half due to stress while milling

Any ideas
Buy a longer bar = spend money. OR. Cobble up some gizmo that explodes, and takes out your leg like a sharkbite. There is no such thing as making guide bars with a welder.......and if there is, thats a Mad Max 3 sequel.
 
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It seems that many think you are crazy to try it. I do not agree with them. I see no reason why to not try it. It may not work or it might. First I have seen bars that were welded, it is possible to do. If you are a skilled welder you know that the quality of the steel will be important. Starting with goof quality bars is essential. Next as for the belly that is easy to deal with. You said you want to use it for milling so I assume you will be using a oiler/helper handle. You are not going to get 72 inches but cut the bars at equal spots and weld them end to end. Then mount your oiler or handle. As for safety I lost at that...... What do folks think is going to happen??? For gosh sakes if the weld fails the chain will come off and bind up. It will be no different than any chain throw on a long bar. Where would the world be without folks that have ingenuity.

Bill
 
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geeslus crust, its only steel, it can be welded, but its not mild steel, so take some forethought on that first, perhaps a little preheat? Not exactly high carbon steel either, its more tough then hard, at a guess I'm gonna call it some chromemolly alloy, the one I cut up years ago for a home brew "light bar" cut really well, the edges are hard ish... but not really all that hard, if a file can dress them with ease, then its not very ******* hard.

Modern bars are mostly laser/cnc plasma cut, then the rail groove is cut, so I highly doubt that heat input is going to be detrimental. though you may make a soft spot that will bend easy.

Anyway, all that out of the way, finding 2 bars that are parallel and straight enough to match up will be the big issue, besides welding them together and keeping the whole works straight and true, bars have either a taper towards the power head (fat nosed) or an overall belly to em, and it is to keep the chain from flopping about too much. not to mention cutting out the slot so it still works as a guide bar and not a side note with a funny story in your scrap pile.

long run, I'm going to say its cheaper and wiser to just order yourself a long bar from Cannon or whoever is making them now, even get em with slots on both ends for mounting either a stinger handle, or another power head
 
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come to think of it, I"ve welded bars more then a few times, they weld just fine, and hold like any other decent weld, as I said, its good steel, and comes in handy for homebrew tooling and other random projects... besides I have/had a pile of bent or broken bars so they were around to be messed with (learning how to swing trees with little or no instruction... did you know if you stick with the tree too long trying to steer it... it sits on your bar and takes the saw with it?)
 

BIG JAKE

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I had a damaged bar tip where the sprocket nose joins and rivets to the bar on one of my 32’s that I welded. Worked fine never had a problem.
If you have two bars lay them on top of each other and slide them apart to where you think you want to cut them and note the widths at that point whether they match or not. I don’t think it will work due to the bars profiles mentioned earlier. If at that point you think it could work take a junk bar and cut in half, then weld it together and see how it works/test bar strength.
If it were me I would buy a Cannon in the proper length and get to milling.
 

Pudsy

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All the comments on "insurance", problems avoiding warping and just buying a factory issue long bar would seem wise to me, but something tells me you'll give it a shot anyway ;)

So, if you decide to live an adventurous life and go go for it, possibly you could consider cutting the bars lengthwise and opening them up a little toward the center of the "new" bar to create a belly. This will also allow you to use more of the "almost parallel" (but not quite) length of the original bars. You'll need to do a bit of a fancy "T" or "Y" cut toward the tip and base to avoid warping the metal too much there though while bending the bar open, or work with 6 separated parts (base, tip and 4 length of side), but it will give you more flexibility in assembling an optimal line of guidance for the groove. No need to completely fill the "gap" you'll create in the center, just some bridges to keep everything together - plenty of hollowed/drilled light weight bars around.
Also, use material thinner than the bar for the bridges, so you have some "L"-shaped joints to fill on each side of the bar/bridge, without the weld sticking out of the original bar surface. If the bar is say 4-5mm, use 2mm steel sheet for the bridges or some such.

Like ATpro mentioned, the real challenge will be to keep the whole "project" aligned in (mostly) flat plane. Spot welding a limited amount of bridges (as opposed to full length welds), putting in less heat and allowing to cool between welds may also help with that.
 

serdie

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All the comments on "insurance", problems avoiding warping and just buying a factory issue long bar would seem wise to me, but something tells me you'll give it a shot anyway ;)

So, if you decide to live an adventurous life and go go for it, possibly you could consider cutting the bars lengthwise and opening them up a little toward the center of the "new" bar to create a belly. This will also allow you to use more of the "almost parallel" (but not quite) length of the original bars. You'll need to do a bit of a fancy "T" or "Y" cut toward the tip and base to avoid warping the metal too much there though while bending the bar open, or work with 6 separated parts (base, tip and 4 length of side), but it will give you more flexibility in assembling an optimal line of guidance for the groove. No need to completely fill the "gap" you'll create in the center, just some bridges to keep everything together - plenty of hollowed/drilled light weight bars around.
Also, use material thinner than the bar for the bridges, so you have some "L"-shaped joints to fill on each side of the bar/bridge, without the weld sticking out of the original bar surface. If the bar is say 4-5mm, use 2mm steel sheet for the bridges or some such.

Like ATpro mentioned, the real challenge will be to keep the whole "project" aligned in (mostly) flat plane. Spot welding a limited amount of bridges (as opposed to full length welds), putting in less heat and allowing to cool between welds may also help with that.
Hell! Go for it! It’s weird, unsafe, unpractical, but if it works it’s worth it! I firmly believe in innovation and have tried some really weird stuff before that’s worked. Just be careful
 
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