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Cutting cast iron damper

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Sundeep Arole, Jan 27, 2006.

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  1. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    In trying to figure out the best way to instal my insert, after trying out various elbows, offset adapter, etc. I think the best way for me would be to cut out even more of my damper frame than I have so the liner can come in at the right angle. This is a bit cut, heck, I'd even consider removing the damper frame alltogether, except that it seems partially embedded in the masonry.

    I made my original cut with a sawzall, and that was seriously hard work. This is going to be a bigger cut and I dread the idea of the sawzall again. Someone mentioned it is much easier cutting with a torch. Has anyone used a oxy torch to cut cast iron? What are your thoughts on this? Is this a manageable task for someone like me who hasn't cut with a torch before?

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  2. zogboy

    zogboy New Member

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    Sawzall is the right tool but this time get the right blades, that would be the ons embeded with carbide bits. They will cut like butter but wear down quick so get a few of them.
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    gone ice fishing
  4. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Backing up elk here.

    Iron
    Iron + little carbon = steel
    Iron + LOTS of carbon = cast iron

    More carbon you add to steel, harder and more brittle it becomes.

    Cast iron can sharpen a carbon steel knife blade (not very fast, use the bottom of a saucer for better results)
    BUT it is also Very brittle. Very sharp shards. Be careful.
  5. zogboy

    zogboy New Member

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    I use the sawzall blades all the time in my line of work. You can also score the iron with a cut off wheel on your side grinder , then use vise grips to break the iron but you will need to file the edge as it will be sharp. You can also ping the edge with a hammer to take the edge off.
    Go slow and you will see the blades work and you have control as opposed to bashing in your wall with a hammer.
  6. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    My preferences with cast iron - break it or grind it. Torch cutting and sawing usually don't work too well.

    Corey
  7. hh3f

    hh3f Member

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  8. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Great info thanks
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's funny--I just drilled a hole into a cast iron radiator with a 1/4-inch el cheapo drill bit. Then I tapped the hole. I thought it cut pretty easy.

    I used to work for a slurry pump manufacturer and the impellers and volutes were made of what they called ni-hard or chrome. The chrome ones were really expensive, but the ni-hard was nothing to sneeze at, either. I gather from the name that ni-hard had lots of nickel mixed in. They used to cut it on fancy lathes and milling machines. Before they got the lathes, they used big grinders. The guys who assembled the pumps used carbide bits to grind off the burrs.
  10. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Why not cut it with a torch? 10 min. and your done. I know cast doesn't cut the best but it's a piece you're removing anyway the cut doesn't have to look pretty.
  11. damien

    damien Woodlove

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    I agree w/Shane, cut it with a torch and be done with it quick. Have someone hold a thick tarp or something behind you so molten droplets dont land on the carpet.
  12. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    Great input, all. Thank you so much - as always this forum has been incredibly helpful.
  13. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    Try the 4inch angle grinder with a metal cutoff wheel. Dewalt makes one. If you don't own one maybe you can barrow one. I might have to do the same thing if I cant get the damper frame out. Just be careful with that thing its like spinning death!
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