Lawn roller repair...is it possible


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Old 04-12-20, 03:54 PM
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Lawn roller repair...is it possible

Little bit of brain teaser this one.
How to plug this hole in the lawn roller.
Constraints: no welding options available.
This thing is at least 50 years old. It owes me nothing and I'm ready to throw it out. But maybe I can get a little more life out of it.
Things I tried...JB Weld, Inserting a screw.
Problem on hand. It must clear the sweep bar. About less than a 1/4 inch. I drilled out the hole to a clean round shape, about 1/2 dia
Who can come up with an idea?
I just realized I can raise the sweep bar up just little for more clearance.






 
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Old 04-13-20, 01:51 PM
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If you need to glue steel just this project I might consider a low temperature brazing/soldering rod that can work with a propane or mapp gas torch. It could be a really good option over that roller of thin, rusty steel.

----
Welding thin, rusted out metal is not easy and it's much harder if you want to make it waterproof. With thin metal you often can't pull the trigger on a MIG and squirt out magic glue. Even on a low setting there is a good chance you'll burn through your base material. You might have to use a series of very short (1/2 second) bursts to weld without burning through. That kind of welding is quite hard to make waterproof so you might have to settle on a slow enough leak that you can roll the lawn before it looses too much water.

Those short little welding bursts also tend to produce pretty crappy welds. Flux core wire or shielding gas don't have enough time to form a protective bubble (not to mention welding over rust) so either method is going to look like a 3 year old welded it though the flux core will probably look worse. So, don't feel too bad if you want to forgo the expense of a bottle of compressed gas and regulator, your welds won't look great either way. And, a cylinder of gas and a regulator will kill your budget.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 03:54 AM
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You could use a square patch out of a piece of thin sheet matal.
Carefully bend it over something round to mostly lay flat on the curved surface of the roller.
Clean and lightly sand the surface of the roller then fasten it with fast dry epoxy glue.
You could snip the corners of the tin patch to make it a bit more secure.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 04:21 AM
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Question why is welding not a option? A patch could be welded over the whole area. Looks like you are soon to have a new hole a few inches down from hole.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 05:42 AM
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Greg, I might try that, but I doubt that kind of patch will hold up.

Pugsi, those are just dirt fragments.

I don't have welding know-how, and I know of nobody who does or any welder that can be bothered to do it. There are several welders nearby and I've been told several times in the past not bring small jobs to them. Even lawn mower repair for a deck is too small.

Hmmm...Suppose I was to fill with water, and with the hole at the top use some Great Stuff spray insulation to kind of form a bubble from the inside? But I suppose the rust on the inside surface won't allow the stuff to stick.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 06:07 AM
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Being on the outside any type of plug, patch, glue is simply going to get beat off in short order.

Id say this is a perfect excuse to pick up that pocket mig welder. Invaluable tool to have around, always finding something that can be fixed!
 
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Old 04-13-20, 06:12 AM
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Flex tape. Supper sticky may not last to long but at least a season. Look for a muffler shop near you they usually will do small jobs. f you use the flex tape wire brush area well.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 06:14 AM
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Toggle bolt anchor, flat head screw, countersunk washer.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 06:29 AM
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Id say this is a perfect excuse to pick up that pocket mig welder. Invaluable tool to have around, always finding something that can be fixed!
Marq, can you expand on this? Are they easy to use, does a place like Harbor Freight carry them, cost, what know how is required? The last time I welded was in high school. I've always wanted to get into welding but life and family got in the way. If it can fix this type of thing, then yes I'd be willing to get. Like you said, there is always something that could be welded.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 06:34 AM
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What do you think about this as an entry level, small job unit?

https://www.harborfreight.com/flux-1...der-63582.html
 
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Old 04-13-20, 06:56 AM
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Old and the metal is probably thin elsewhere. I would rotate it so the hole is at the top and fill the roller with concrete. Then you don't have to worry about keeping it water tight.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 07:11 AM
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PD, I considered that, but that would make it very heavy and not conducive for storage at the present situation.
Marq, peeked my interest in a welder. This is a good excuse to get one. Did some Googling. Wow, lots of choices! Will need to do some investigation.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 09:57 AM
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Well you probably know my opinion on HF tools so lets just start with the basics.

If your going to do MIG then forget the flux core, it defeats the entire purpose of having a mig welder. Shield gas is the only way to go!

My first 110V Italian made (they make excellent equipment by the way) lasted 30 years with various upgrades and repairs and saw me through many car projects, that thing was bullet proof and I could weld thin sheet metal all the way up to 1/2 steel.

The key is getting a unit that is easy to repair and accepts standard parts, get something odd and replacement parts are iffy!

USA weld makes some great products, Miller and Lincoln are good but they dont make their cheap units so I'd go with USA .

https://www.usaweld.com/
 
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Old 04-13-20, 10:44 AM
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Thanks Marq.
I've got two limitations. Price and 120v availability. No 240v. I can spend maybe up to $200 ~250
I found this EASTWOOD model 135A that would fit my application and use perfectly, but the price is just out of reach at $329 (might be able to convince wife that I need to spend that much). They also have a $183. EASTWOOD 90 AMP FLUX CORE WELDER that says without gloves or helmet. Which is strange to state that since the others don't come with gloves or helmet.
I understand your advice about using shield gas, but I really don't want to get that far into it that I need a gas tank. Most manufacturers offer a flux core unit. What's not good about it? Do I really need gas shielding for small minor jobs?
 
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Old 04-13-20, 11:14 AM
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While I've been around MIG welders and seen them used, I've never personally used one. I have a son that uses a MIG with gas everyday. It's my understanding that the gas shield makes welding easier but I know several diy welders that use a flux mig and get decent results. Also pros tend to prefer the flux if/when they are welding outside [wind can't blow away the argon]
 
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Old 04-13-20, 11:46 AM
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Flux welding is like stick welding, it's going to be messy and the thinner the metal the harder it is to get a clean weld.

Honestly, your around the house welding will always be thinner material so it's worth the cost for the bottle! Nothing more frustrating than a shippy weld!

And welding outside is easy., if it's windy enough to mess with the gas you won't be welding anyway!
 
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Old 04-13-20, 02:03 PM
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If you have a map gas torch I would try soldering a patch on it. A copper patch should work. Polish the steel really well, same for the copper, use lots of flux. Tin the steel first.
I just did this on a back flow preventer that froze and failed. Admittedly a lot smaller part.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 02:37 PM
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Will MAP gas get that hot enough? That's an awful lot of steel.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 02:41 PM
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I had an old roller that was getting thin with small holes. I filled it with small rocks.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 03:15 PM
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I don't know but if you have a torch it is worth the try.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 03:34 PM
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Flux core wire or shielding gas don't have enough time to form a protective bubble
Sorry, there is a huge difference between flux core and inert gas MIG welding.

While the flux has to burn to form a shield, if you want to call it that, the gas flows before the weld starts so it is fully shielded.

That hole is not a rust hole, would take 5 minutes to weld, would be water tight, and with a little grinding would be invisible!
 
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Old 04-14-20, 05:33 AM
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Exclamation

Considering you said "Constraints: no welding options available." , take a piece of light sheet metal about 3" x 3" and gently bend it to conform to the curve of the surface.
Sand and clean the repair area well and then use a quality 2 part fast dry epoxy like JB or similar to coat the sheet metal and then stick it firmly to the roller surface.
Considering that it would be difficult to weld the still rusted drum this would get you rolling again for little effort and would likely last a long time
.
 
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Old 04-14-20, 06:38 AM
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Greg, I tried that and it didn't really work too well. No epoxy or glue will be able to withstand the scraping from the ground and the sweeping bar to remove dirt that might stick.
 
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Old 04-15-20, 09:40 AM
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crazy idea here. How about filling it with 2 part expandable foam.
 
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Old 04-15-20, 04:27 PM
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I had thought about using something like Great Stuff. But I doubt ot would adhere to the inside surface. But I might try it.


Edit...This got me thinking. If I hang the unit and have the hole facing down, The inject an epoxy, that will flow along the inside surface all around the hole. And Ill make sure a small amount protrudes on the outside surface. Now it will be like a plug on both sides,
Something like this


 

Last edited by Norm201; 04-15-20 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 04-16-20, 04:46 AM
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How thin is medal around hole. Does it push in put pressure on ti. If medal is to thin around hole than nothing will help til you get to good medal.
 
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Old 04-16-20, 06:38 AM
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Surprisingly the metal around the hole is solid. Can't push it in along the sides. And that seems to be the only place that appears to have a hole or weak spot. It looks like about a 1/2 mm thick.
 
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Old 04-16-20, 09:10 AM
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Too bad the hole is so big.
Perhaps the following will work.
Find a short bolt that will screw in.
Goop the livin out of it screw it in tight.
I would do this with the hole facing down and with some luck the goop or whatever you use will drip down and also seal it on the inside.
Let it cure and then grind down the bolt head till it clears the sweep bar.
This will take some time as you do not want to cook your sealant.

A thin rubber seal or Oring would also be a good idea but you may not have room for it.
Also flattening the area around the hole would be a good idea as the drums curvature is also problematic
 
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Old 04-16-20, 11:07 AM
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Manden, That's exactly what I tried the first time. But at that point I never thought about raising the sweep bar. So I intend to do it again. Once all this snow melts and it gets warmer.
 
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Old 04-16-20, 11:20 AM
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Yes I noticed that but thought perhaps it failed because it was rusted out around the small hole.
 
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Old 04-17-20, 06:07 PM
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Roller Repair

It would be easy for me to spend YOUR money, but this repair would be snap with a MIG in hand, as well as an exponential amount of other projects that will come your way. Not to mention that the guys around here that I take an occasional TIG job to, won't even open the shop door to talk to me for less than a hundred bucks, I have had a Century 200 for 20 years, (now owned by Lincoln) It was 700 dollars with the gas bottle and the helmet. Paid for itself many times over. With a spare teflon liner, aluminum wire and a separate bottle of straight argon, you can even weld aluminum.
 
 

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