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Country Discussion Topics
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A welding question: galvanized sheet steel
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Tom A    Posted 10-31-2002 at 08:11:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Found an old store's kerosene dispenser and am trying to decide whether to buy it. It holds about 10 gallons and is in a frame that acts as both a handle and a stand. The can pivots in the frame so you can tilt it into a lamp or heater with no effort. Really beautiful idea that I'd never seen before and I need more kero holding capacity.

The problem for me is that the bottom is rusted through. The whole thing is galvanized sheet metal, and the top, sides, and frame are sound. I don't want it if I can't use it. So (finally) my question is: can a good welder replace the sheet metal at the bottom and make it leak free?

I'm an amateur welder and know that I couldn't do it. My son is a little bit better than me, and he says no. I just can't believe it can't be done...any ideas?


Tom A -- Thanks to all    Posted 11-01-2002 at 04:51:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I will probably go buy the thing now, and figure out the best way to fix it based on all your help.
I will post a pic if I do buy it, as it is a really neat item and I've never seen anything like it before.

On the philosophical side, I don't buy antiques that are just to set on a shelf and collect dust. We do buy a lot of "antiques" and old stuff, but probably for a different reason than most folks do (at least city folk).

In my book, if I can't use the item to do a job I need doing, then I don't buy it. But I've discovered that a lot of the old stuff works much better for the jobs they were intended to do than most new stuff.

So I use an old Horn seeder (cuz it works really well, and only cost me a buck), a horse-drawn potato plow (hooked to my 54 year old tractor), and use 50-70 year old kerosene space heaters (even though "the gov'mnt" thinks little kids might burn themselves on them without lots of guards and stuff).

Nathan(GA)    Posted 10-31-2002 at 19:41:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tom, We used to weld alot of galvanized metal where I used to work. Most of it heavy stuff. The thinner pieces we hired out to a sheet metal place that did duct work, called "Air Control".

You might want to check with an air conditioning place.

Can you post a picture of the item? I'd like to see it.

Hogman    Posted 10-31-2002 at 13:44:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
A usable antique is always a great thing for some of Us. But Your talkin about a major repair which would lop off a lot of value so I'd base it on what it's worth to You only.
I'M a passable welder,certfied,was part of My business. Welded quit a bit of tha galvakillya stuff. Had a lot of riproarin head thumpers ta show for it! I'd look at mabe cut'n out a piece of thin sheet ,metal that would fit tha bottom fairly close,cleanin up tha rust,smearin tha sheetmetal with epoxy and settin tha container down on it so as ta get good contact after which I'd take it some place that uses tha liquid liner stuff as was mentioned befor. Should cost less'n a new one assumin there was such.

But, without seein tha thing all any of Us can do is make an outhouse guess.

Hal/WA    Posted 10-31-2002 at 18:52:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
That's how I would do it. The only thing I would add is really cleaning the bottom with acid, water and then alcohol before applying the epoxy. Will this ruin its value as an "antique"? Maybe, but I bet it could be used for the original purpose for a long time and if you can get the unit for a decent price, the whole project shouldn't cost all that much.

Hogman*** Your right about cleanin    Posted 11-01-2002 at 04:58:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
I forgot ta mention it,glad You did.

Red Dave    Posted 10-31-2002 at 12:39:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Galvanizing must be handled with caution because it will give off poisonous fumes when it is heated to welding temperatures. I think it can be done safely by someone who knows what they are doing and has the proper equipment, but it is definitly not for amateurs. It may be cost prohibitive though.
I suggest that you go over to the Tool Talk Board on and ask there. There are some very knowlegable folks there, such as T-Bone who can give you some solid guidance.

ol Henry    Posted 10-31-2002 at 10:02:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
My experience has been that you can only see half of the bad spots, you don't find the rest untill you are commited to working on it.
A good welder could probably put a new bottom in it for you but if he charges for his time it would be expensive. I like the idea tho, why couldn't you build your own frame and set a GI can in it?

DeadCarp - galvanized? Run like the wind!    Posted 10-31-2002 at 09:55:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
I wouldn't weld galvanized anything, nor pay anybody else to. Look around you - every community has an oldtimer who drives slow and keeps an oxygren bottle handy. Chances are, he's on his way out cuz he ruined his lungs trying to do welding favors on galvanized steel. "Just work outside and avoid breathing the fumes" is NEVER good enough. That stuff will shorten your life if you try to weld it, just as surely as you'll lose a lip to cancer if you hold galv roofing nails in your mouth.

glen sw wi    Posted 10-31-2002 at 08:22:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If it is galvanized, you would better off soldering it.

TB    Posted 10-31-2002 at 08:18:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
It may be possible but it may be easer to epoxy coat it with one of those tank repair kits.

Ludwig    Posted 11-01-2002 at 13:13:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good thinking!
The POR15 kit comes with some fiberglass like material just for this very purpose. I used their kit on my snowmobile and can't say enough good about it.

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