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Depth of Strike Anchor for Corner Brace for Railing

Depth of Strike Anchor for Corner Brace for Railing

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  #1  
Old 05-27-18, 02:17 PM
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Depth of Strike Anchor for Corner Brace for Railing

I have a railing that has gotten loose and I want to steady it with corner braces. My plan is to add a 2 1/2" corner brace to the right of the bottom right loose base and a 4 inch corner brace on the back side of this loose base.
I will hammer drill the holes and drill through the railing to attach bolts. This seems like a fairly solid plan. If this is attempt is unsuccessful, it will be no great loss and I will simply escalate my efforts. The 4 inch brace that I have is extremely sturdy and it appears that it will support a great deal of force. The force on this railing is almost all rightward so the corner brace to the right of the stair should be very helpful. It appears that a strike anchor (or possibly just a concrete screw) would be a good choice for the fastener, though I am not sure how deep to go.
Any suggestions for the depth?
 
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Old 05-28-18, 05:42 AM
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though I am not sure how deep to go.
Go into what? Give use more meaningful details or add a photo.
 
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Old 05-28-18, 07:48 AM
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Great idea Wirepuller38!

I am not completely sure, though the material under the tiles appear to be concrete.
What I want to do is install a 2 1/2 inch corner brace to the right by drilling down with a drill
or hammer drill 2 inches and install 2 x 1 3/4 inch concrete screws and 2 x 1 1/2 inch bolts.

This seems like a surprisingly easy fix for my problem. It is too easy not to at least try. If this
does not work out I will try a more aggressive and complex approach. The technical specs
report that these 2 screws should withstand nearly 4000 pounds of shear force which is more than
adequate.

One of the only remaining questions that I have is extending the metal faceplate to the right.
I want a nice level surface to work with. The metal faceplate only extends 1 inch to the right.
I want to add another piece of metal of the same height to even it out. The only problem is that
I am not sure what height the piece of metal is. It appears to be about 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch.
 
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Old 05-28-18, 01:32 PM
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The corner brace idea seems to me to be a very strong option to repair this problem.
Yet, I have now thought of another possible approach that I could add on: drill into the
hollow railing and inject a liquid strengthening agent. I could drill perhaps 4 inches from
the base and then inject liquid adhesive or a thin liquid concrete. Would hydraulic concrete
flow through a 1/4 inch drill hole?
 
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Old 05-28-18, 01:42 PM
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It looks like the railing has broken off at the base. Is there enough there to weld the two back together?
 
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Old 05-28-18, 01:54 PM
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Thank you for replying Tolyn!

I was not sure about welding it.
The railing is 1 1/4 inch wide and as can be seen there is almost two sides that have detached.
Could you give any guidance on how much metal would be needed for a weld job?
Would a weld be strong enough?

I think my basic plan would be to install the corner brace, inject a liquid bonding agent and then top it off with a weld. With all those elements, there should be a nice tight attachment.

One thing that I did notice was that the cut looks quite straight. The only way I could imagine such a clean detachment is if someone were to use a hack saw on it. Comments please!
 
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Old 05-28-18, 04:17 PM
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Welding for sure would be strong enough if the steel is sound, the key would be to be able to clean it well with a grinder to get a good weld. You would need about 1/4" either side of the break to put a weld there. Of course you might have to remove the tile around the railing.
 
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Old 05-28-18, 04:30 PM
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Thank you for your reply!

I was reading online that MIG welding should not be used with galvanized steel because it can give off dangerous fumes (zinc coating is carcinogenic and can lead to welding shivers).
Not sure if I got that completely correct. Is there an easy way for me to determine what type of metal is used with my railing? Do they usually stick with only particular types of metals with most exterior railings?
Thank you again for your helpful advice!
 
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Old 05-28-18, 05:15 PM
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That was very weird!

I just went out for a double check to see what the hidden side of the base looks like.
It seems that the entire perimeter of the base is not connected to the metal railing.
I do not understand how that would even be possible. As a guess, they might have installed a railing that was known to be defective and they just patched it up to save money. There does seem to be another piece of metal that they might have tried to mount our railing onto.
 
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Old 05-28-18, 06:34 PM
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I was reading online that MIG welding should not be used with galvanized steel because it can give off dangerous fumes
Yes, but you are welding outside and you can wear a mask. Plus with as much rust I see I doubt it is galvanized.
 
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Old 05-29-18, 07:44 AM
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Thank you!

I measured the depth of the metal from the break to the base. On the far right hand side of the base, there is about 0.31 inches of metal to the base and on the left about 0.24 inches. The railing metal has a depth of 0.088 inches. I suppose that I could let the weld extend about 0.20 inches along the metal faceplate to the left in order to fit the 0.25" minimum that you suggested. I had a png of this, though the maximum upload file size allowed is only 19.5 kb.

Perhaps a butt joint along the bottom would be enough. Yet, adding in welded columns might also be helpful.
First I will see what type of welding gear might be available for rental nearby. It would be greatly appreciated if you might give me a basic game plan of how to do this weld.
 
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Old 05-29-18, 11:46 AM
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Brazing?
I could first blaze the joint, put a plate on each side of the base and then blaze it.
All I need is perhaps 300 pounds of strength through the joint.
Brazing appears to need less skill, and less heat than welding.

Comments please!
 
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Old 05-29-18, 01:15 PM
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Wow!!!!!
This is super awesome!

I looked online for propane torches. They cost ~$25!!!
Are they kidding? $25?
They heat up to about 3400 F. I could melt almost any metal with 3400 F.
Might even be better if I could regulate the temperature so that I would only heat the filler metal to the melting point. With something like that I could braze, melt or sauté anything I wanted.

I had been so worried that this would be complex and expensive.
I don't even want to think how much I could be charged if I called up a professional welder for a quote.
Welding looked dangerous and complicated. Using a high power electric charge to heat up the metal
had me very worried. With a propane torch, I have a good idea what it is and how I could go about joining the metals.

Only question left now is what metal to use for the joint.
 
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Old 05-29-18, 02:45 PM
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I was worried about what I was reading online about Metal Fume Fever. I found my NIOSH approved half mask and this should protect me (I think I will add a fan as well). It is surprising how many people out there are exposed to Metal Fume risk and appear not to take any proper steps to minimize the risks. My respirator only cost $40. I suppose, though that if one were to be working for a prolonged period that the respirator might become uncomfortable.

I know that zinc is not a particularly good choice considering the dangers involved, though bracing/welding the joint and then adding 4 x 1 inch zinc corner braces could get this job done. It is hard to believe, but this job could cost less than $30. With that I am left with a $25 propane torch.
It would be great though if there were a corner brace product that had a bimetal surface. On the torch side perhaps it could be steel and on the other side (facing railing) it could be zinc. With that setup, I could just torch the outside and the heat would flow through and melt the metal with a lower melting temperature without melting the outside. Perhaps such an approach would reduce the production of dangerous metal fumes.
 
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Old 05-29-18, 04:10 PM
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Yes, you can melt steel with propane, but it will take a long time.

If you choose to braze the steel you might want to look into MAPP gas. It gets hotter then propane. You must heat the parent metal in order for brazing to work. I recommend you watch some videos on brazing before you tackle the railing.

FYI - Welding melts a small area of the steel while adding/melting the filler at the same time. MIG welding if one of the fastest and easiest methods of joining two pieces of steel. Even I can do it.
 
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Old 05-29-18, 09:35 PM
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This is great! I had no idea what I was going to do with the railings. If it had to be done in a rush I would probably had to pay $1,000 to fix this.

As it is now, it looks like I will be under $50.

1. Propane Torch
Propane torches can give me up to 3400 F. That seems to be plenty of heat for my purposes.
I could bump it up to MAP for only $10-$20 more though I am not sure if this would really be needed.
From my online sources MAP only gives you 2010 C versus 1970 C for propane (This is without oxygen). The difference of 40 C does not seem worth it.

The Bronze flux coated brazing/welding rods that I want to buy only have a working temperature of
1620F. I will be almost 2000 F above the temperature needed.

2.Bernzomatic WB5 Bronze Flux Coated Brazing/Welding Rod, 4-Piece
I see that these are Flux coated, though I think I should buy some flux to have some more on hand.
The first part of the plan is to go around the perimeter of the joint and braze the Rod in.

3. Forney 37250 Brazing Flux, 8-Ounce Tub
I am not totally sure if this is the specific flux that I need; it looks ok.

4. 1 inch zinc Corner Brace
The second part of the plan is to heat up the right side of the railing and then braze a corner brace to make the join massively strong. Zinc is not a good metal to work with because of the fumes it gives off, though I have a good respirator. After the corner brace is in place I'll add flux and then fry it until it melts. Zinc melts at a fairly low temperature 787F so this is actually technically soldering and not brazing. With 3400 F I should be able to have some great metal melting.

The great part with this plan is that I do not have to worry about the railing melting. From what I can guess the railing is either steel or iron. Both of these metals have melting points of over 2000F. So, with brazing I will not have to worry about melting the base metal. I can heat them up and then apply the filler metal to them and the filler will melt. This seems like a very solid plan.

Only question is how much heat would be needed to liquify or at least soften up in order to braze a 1 inch corner brace?
 
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Old 05-30-18, 08:35 AM
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I just discovered that the corner brace is made of steel but zinc plated. The new plan is to torch the railing and the metal plate to the right of the railing to a high heat (perhaps near 2000), put on a rod or two of the metal filler that I will buy, put the corner brace on top of this and apply heat to the corner brace. What I have now is a sandwich with a low heat filler metal (1600 F) and two higher melting point metals on the outside (2800). This would be an extremely strong join. The simple brazing joint along the perimeter of the fracture might no longer be necessary.
 
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Old 05-30-18, 06:32 PM
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Only question is how much heat would be needed to liquify or at least soften up in order to braze a 1 inch corner brace?
You just need to get the metal hot enough to melt the brazing rod (similar to soldering copper pipes) which has a much lower melting point then the steel. Again, be sure to watch some videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEx89N3f9u4
 
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Old 06-09-18, 03:28 PM
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Tolyn, I started out putting on some corner braces. This was not successful, though I wanted to start out with the simplest and cheapest approach first.

I think that I am now ready to step up to welding. Would aluminum brazing rods with a propane torch be effective?
There is not much of a surface area to work with to create the join. So there will be quite a large amount of force that will be placed on the bottom left of the base of the railing. Is there a good chance that an aluminum weld would do the trick? I thought that using a corner brace would be OK, though there was just a little bit of a wiggle.
 
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Old 06-09-18, 05:13 PM
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Would aluminum brazing rods with a propane torch be effective?
I would say no. Aluminum rods are only for welding/brazing aluminum. You need to either use brazing rods designed for steel, or straight up welding (stick or Mig) Just remember, the hotter you can get the railing steel the better, also the cleaner you can get the two parts (down to bare metal) the better.

Can you post a picture of what you got so far?
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 06-09-18 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-14-18, 05:12 AM
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Tolyn, sorry for not responding sooner. I have still been trying to figure out how best to go about this.

Your video showing brazing of steel and other metals using a propane/MAP torch was very helpful. I had thought this would be the way to accomplish the job. However, I was concerned when it was mentioned in the video that heat should not be applied to concrete as this can cause the concrete to fracture. The base plate is broken right at the level of the concrete and heat would need to be applied for quite some time for the brazing join to form.

I then watched a video about MIG welding and I was surprised how much easier this form of welding was over the torch approach. It seems that the torches are just somewhat below the power needed to effectively and quickly accomplish the task.Yet, with MIG welds happened within 2 seconds! I might only need 5 spot welds which would take only 10 seconds and I would be done. The MIG welds that I saw looked extremely strong. The only other thing I might then consider is spot weld on a mending plate over the join, though this would not be necessary.

My local rental store has Lincoln Electric Welder 225/180/100 amp welding equipment. This is not MIG welding, though if it is anything near as easy as MIG then it could be an easy job.

Would this really be as easy as sticking the electrode into the join for 2 seconds and I am done with one spot weld? With MIG it appeared to be that simple. Electric arc welding does seem somewhat more complicated than that. One concern that I have is the grounding of the electric charge. If I applied the electric charge to the railing would the electric charge dissipate? The railing is attached to a concrete base. I am not sure whether adding in
a charge would result in my railings being charged up and then if I touched the railing I could receive a shock.

Spot welding the railing with the electric arc equipment would appear to be a very effective solution to my problem.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 06:17 AM
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Wow!
I can hardly believe this!
It looks like MIG welders are available for rent!

MIG welding looks to be extremely easy.
Is it legal to rent this equipment without any qualifications?
Might an undergraduate degree in welding be required?

The MIG welding video showed that it was not much more than point and click!
The only thing I am not sure about is the grounding issue. Would there be a shock risk if I threw all this current
into my railing? It looks like I would have to hook up one of the electrodes to the railing.

Only other question I have is where I could find all the other equipment that I would need such as welding helmet, safety gloves etc. . With all the right gear this could be a fun and fast job.
 
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