Have you got yourself some worn-down and broken bike chains? Do you not want to throw them out? Well, you will be glad to know that you can easily use them for decorative welding projects due to how versatile bike chains are. However, you should not weld the chain to reuse them on your bike or to lift and pull anything.
Nonetheless, if you want to use them for a decorative project, you must first learn how to weld a bike chain neatly. Without knowing the correct process, you will end up with messy, crooked, and out-of-shape weld on the chain. But the good news is that the steps are not that hard! Can you not believe that? Read to find it out yourself!
How To Weld A Bike Chain
So, there are two different methods for welding a chain. And you will need to choose one depending on the project you are carrying out. Here is a brief description and steps for each of those methods:
For Low Load Bearing Decorative Chain Projects
In this case, you would need an oxyfuel torch setup to get a nice weld on the chain bits. And the steps that you would need to follow are:
Step 1: Attach pressure-reducing regulators
First and foremost, you should work with pressure-reducing regulators. And here, you would have to first fasten the acetylene and oxygen cylinders, clean out the valve outlet, and connect the regulators to the cylinders. Then, tighten the nuts and rotate the pressure-adjusting screw properly.
After that, open the acetylene and oxygen valve slowly and leave the wrench on the valve while it is open.
Step 2: Connect the gas supplies to the torch
After attaching the pressure-reducing regulators, you must work on connecting the gas supplies. For this, you need hose and hose connectors, which will be specific to the welding project. Also, you must attach an oxygen hose to the oxygen regulator. And attach an acetylene hose to the acetylene regulator.
Step 3: Test out for leaks
Now that you have all the things installed, test out the connection for leaks. If you find a leak in the setup, you will need to use the wrench to tighten the connection. Also, if there are leaks on the pipes, you must replace them.
Step 4: Work on the chain
Obtain the correct operating pressure and light the flame. Then, all that is left for you is to work on the chain. Weld the links according to your project plan. Do not rush because that will make you end up with messy chain-link welds.
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For A Chrome Finish On The Weld
If you want to bring out the depth of your chain welding project, you must rely on a TIG setup. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Put on the safety gear and set up the welding machine
Before anything else, you should put on the safety gear. Then, work on connecting the TIG torch, plugging the foot pedal into the machine, and selecting the right polarity.
Step 2: Grind the tungsten
To select the right size of the tungsten rod, you will need to consider the thickness of the chain. And after you select the right tungsten rod, you should grind the rod in the radial direction. The tungsten rods will not offer a proper welding outcome if you grind them straight toward the ends.
Step 3: Set the gas and amperage
Next, you should get yourself pure Argon gas. The mixed Argon gas will also work, but for getting the best out of the welding project, we recommend using pure Argon. Remove the plastic protective cap off the cylinder and connect it to the welding machine.
Then, work on setting the right amperage. If you are working with a thick chain, you must set the amperage high. And for thin chains, set the amperage to a relatively low level.
Step 4: Work on the chain
Now that the TIG setup is ready, all that is left for you is to work with the chain. But before that, we recommend getting a little practice with the foot pedals. That will let you gain total control over the heat and allow you to get neat welding results on the chain.
See? Learning how to weld a bike chain neatly is pretty straightforward. You just need to know the correct steps and go through them accordingly.
That said, you should not reuse the chain for pulling and pushing anything or back in the bike because the welds will not be capable of keeping the links together correctly. So, weld the chain only for decorative purposes.
Watch this video for the full process