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"Built Dam Strong!"

03 January 2012

Some previous projects.

I figure I would post up some of the more interesting things I've done whilst in the Army. I had some fun projects, for sure. Some where just difficult. Many I can't even talk about. Oh well. LOL!

Project #1: Custom deepwell crow's foot.

When you are stuck in Iraq, you can't just run down to the local tool store or call the SnapOn truck to come and bail you out. When someone comes to you with a problem, you make your own solution. 

Problem: A deep socket needed to get into a really tight space between a newly installed additional armor plate and the body of a vehicle. 

Solution: Make your own dang tool!

First, we cut a deepwell impact socket, since it was a spare. This took a while since it is hardened, impact resistant steel, and not made in China. 

While I was dorking around with the socket, one of the machinists whipped up a proper base to weld the socket onto:

If you look closely, you will see a crack in the weld. This is because of the stress induced from not being able to weld the assembly correctly, stress relieve it and not having the correct filler metal.

The issue stems from the fact that I was welding high carbon tool steel to plain jane mild steel. The differing amounts of carbon and alloying elements in the two steels mix when you weld (properly). If the filler metal doesn't have enough of the correct alloying elements, the differing expansion and contraction rates of the materials will cause the weld to crack. I used a standard stainless filler, since the stainless filler would provide some of the proper alloying elements to buffer the welded area. Ideally, I would have used a 309 or maybe even 312 series filler. Oh well. The socket worked and I never heard of it breaking the rest of the deployment, so it did it's job despite the obvious flaws.