Re-finishing a snow plow blade

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  #1  
Old 09-14-05, 09:00 PM
danno 1
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Re-finishing a snow plow blade

Hi everyone. Hope some have good answers for my project. I have a snow plow that has still a fairly decent finish of paint. But some areas, the paint is either starting to peel, or I have pitted areas under it.

I had a thought to remove the loose areas with a grinder or disc sander, but as far as the pitted areas, I wanted to make it smooth again.

Would some type of "filler" be used there, like an epoxy, using a putty knife, then painting over ?
 
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Old 09-14-05, 09:21 PM
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danno 1,

I am unsure what you mean by "snowplow".
Is this a grader, a blade for the front of a pick up or tandem axle truck or maybe one you push by hand?
And, exactly what part is rusted and how deep are the pits?
 
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Old 09-15-05, 04:37 AM
danno 1
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It`s a snow plow for a pickup truck. The pitted areas are maybe 1/4 inch deep. It`s in the front and back of the blade.Areas roughly the size of a baseball,(3-4 places). I was thinking about some type of epoxy "fIller", that I could then paint over. What do think ?
 
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Old 09-15-05, 06:19 AM
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danno,

Must be a fairly heavy duty blade to have 1/4" pits!

If the pits are as deep as you say then I would suggest you use a autobody filler that is comprised of chopped fibreglass.
One brand name that is known to a lot of people is "Kitty Hair" but there are others.
It uses a hardner that would be similar to epoxy in strength but the fibreglass component would make the repair not as brittle.

Being a snow plow blade I don't think you want a showroom finish and it wouldn't be a tragedy if some rust peeked through in a couple of years.
People would be happier if they would realize that unless you cut out the affected metal, rust will eventually return.

Here is what I would suggest:
I would first try to remove as much of the visible rust as you can.
A wire wheel on an angle grinder along with a sanding disk on the same tool will remove the bulk of the loose rust.
If the rust is fairly deep a hand wire brush will also help.
Once you have as much rust out as you can get, a pressure washer would further remove loose material from the bottom of the pits.
Next, a rust remover such as "Naval Jelly" will disolve remaing rust and convert it into a material that putty and paint will stick to.
Make sure you follow the instructions on the label and be sure to wear eye protection and protective gloves.
Where the fibreglass filler will be deepest, it would help if you drilled a few 1/8" holes right through the blade to give the filler more grip to the surface.
Make sure you follow the instructions carefull when you mix the hardner into the filler.
Too much and it will harden to quickly and you will not have time to work it and not enough and it will take too long to cure.
If your package doesn't say this, it normally takes a pea sized drop of hardner to a golf ball sized piece of filler.
You can then sand it smooth and if you want to fill the imperfections which I'm sure you will have you could then use a polyester type autobody filler.

There are a few more things you can do depending on what you want the final result to look like.
If what I have described so far is something like you would want to try or is not clear just ask.
 
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Old 09-15-05, 08:15 AM
danno 1
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Thanks GregH, yeah, its an 8 footer. The thickness is 11 gauge. Just another question. Would a "metal" filler epoxy work better, since the blade will be getting more "surface contact" than say body work similar to autos ?
 
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Old 09-15-05, 09:55 AM
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danno,

The epoxy would likely be stronger but I am unsure of it's ability to stick to the treated rust.
Also, it would be a bear to smooth after to not looked patched up, which would defeat the purpose of going to all this trouble.
I also have not used epoxy for this purpose so I honestly don't know if it will stick to the prepared rusty surface like Kitty Hair would.
There really isn't a lot of difference in hardness between reinforced fibreglass filler and epoxy anyhow.

Where I come from the blade surface, other than the scraper would not see too much abuse. Unless you don't have a slider bar on the bottom and wind up moving a lot of gravel.
The molboard is just for rolling the snow.

Really, if you get into moving debris along with the snow then either filler will fail. If you want it to stay put I would grind to clean metal and fill with a mig welder.

Me personally, I have a quart of reinforced fibreglass filler sitting on my bench and I wouldn't hesitate using it for this purpose.

Let us know how you make out with this.
 
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Old 09-15-05, 10:00 AM
danno 1
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Thanks GREG, Will Do!
 
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Old 09-15-05, 12:50 PM
danno 1
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GregH, I was looking through EASTWOOD products and they have a filler that might be even better than just fiberglass and resin. Check this http://www.eastwood.com/shopping/pro...t=518&iProduct. They also have a product called RUST ENCAPSULATOR that neutralizes the rust, and primes too. How does after wire wheeling, use NAVAL JELLY, then these products, sound ?
 
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Old 09-15-05, 01:41 PM
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danno,

I checked and it is a waterproof filler so should work.
It is very simiar to "Kitty Hair" but serves a slightly different purpose.
The Kitty Hair is good where you have a wide and deep space to fill so thet the fibreglass can add to the strength.
The stuff you are looking at is good where there is much pitting but not much thickness to it.
A comment I saw in what I read was that it is quite hard to sand so you would do well to not build too high and then feather the imperfections with a waterproof polyster body filler.


Still drill the holes no matter which you use.

As far as the rust remover all that is really used is phosphoric acid.
It doesn't matter if you buy it as Naval Jelly which is just a brand name, what you are looking at, or in a ten gallon pail.
Any phosphoric acid does what is advertised as your "Rust Ecapsulator".
Buy whichever is cheaper.

You will notice that when you apply phosphoric it will only change the color of the rust.
The clean shiny metal is not affected.
This is what makes phosphoric so good to use on steel.
 
  #10  
Old 09-15-05, 02:53 PM
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Depending on how many pits and access to a welder, did you consider filling them with weld and grinding it smooth?
 
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Old 09-15-05, 03:21 PM
danno 1
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Thats a good point. I don`t know what the hourly rate is, though. I would have to bring it there for an estimate.
 
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Old 09-15-05, 06:05 PM
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The thickness is 11 gauge (0.120")

The undamaged sections of this blade are only 0.120 inches thick. 1/8" is 0.125. This is not very thick to begin with and could be 1/16" in deep pits. We're dealing with auto body panels here. Using a MIG will require some type of heat-sink on the back side to soak up the heat - otherwise holes will be burned in the material. If there are sections where pits make an entire area thin, it may be preferable to cut out the damaged area and weld in a patch of new material in place.
It might be advisable to consult a body shop and ask them what materials and process would be best practice.
 
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Old 09-16-05, 05:23 AM
danno 1
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I think a commercial snow plow is a little "thicker" than a car panel.
 
  #14  
Old 09-16-05, 06:14 PM
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What name brand is the blade? If its a Fisher or other heavy duty plow i wouldn't hesitate 1 second to weld it. Some of the regular duty ones are a bit thinner, but not overly thin.
 
  #15  
Old 09-17-05, 05:12 AM
danno 1
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Yep, it`s a Fisher. A HD blade.
 
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