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Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Steel

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Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Steel

Postby NF6X » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:24 pm

HI! I'm a real beginner at welding, and I hope that y'all won't mind my very noobish question. I don't have any formal training, and so far I have only done oxy-acetylene torch welding on steel.

I'd like to mount a carport cover between two shipping containers to make a covered area between them. Rather than bolting or welding directly to the containers, I think that I would like to mount the cover to rails attached to the containers with upside-down standard shipping container twistlocks.

I've found a few sources for this style of deck-mounted twistlock:

http://seabox.com/products/detail/SB147 ... -twistlock

They're said to be weldable, though I have also found pictures online of them slipped into dovetail mounts, presumably to make them easier to replace. Here's a picture of a dovetail mount that I found in an Alibaba listing:

Container-dovetail-twistlock.jpg_220x220.jpg
Dovetail mount picture from Alibaba
Container-dovetail-twistlock.jpg_220x220.jpg (27.12 KiB) Viewed 218 times


I think that using dovetail mounts would be overkill for my application, unless they're really needed for weldability.

The spec sheet for the twistlock I linked to above states that the body is ductile iron. So, that leads me to my total noob question: What do I need to know in order to successfully weld mild steel stock to these things, or alternately, should I approach this a different way?

Those twistlocks also appear to be available already welded to bolt-down mounting plates, but I don't know how much those cost, and I presume that they would cost a lot more than random surplus twistlocks.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and advice.
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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby ldbtx » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:03 pm

Hi Mark,

Welcome to our little asylum here. Welding cast iron is not my area of expertise, so I'll leave the answer to your query to others more informed. I just wanted to say "Howdy" to another ham, and one who lives in a town I used to live in, at that. Many moons ago, late 70s/early 80s, I lived in Riverside and out in the Gavilan Hills. I managed the old J&T Surplus on Jurupa. It changed hands after I left and I don't know if it's even still a surplus store now. I haven't been in CA in nigh on 25 years.

Anyway, welcome aboard, and I'll guarantee that with all the talent here you'll get an answer to your question.

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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby NF6X » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:13 pm

Hi, Larry! I'm over on the other side of Lake Mathews from where you used to live, off of El Sobrante. 73 de NF6X
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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby Olivero » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:12 pm

Well....

I would never recommend welding something in transport application if the person is not professional or has at least successfully welded this type of thing before BUT

I Will still tell you what I would do, Cast iron and the Cast types of ferrous alloys out there in my opinion seems to weld the best with stainless filler, I personally use 308L and have great success with it.

Since I am not sure what you plan to do with it or its role in your life then I would say its up to you, depends on what its doing really.

Bolting things tend to work good in most cases, it just sucks to mount them and welding it on is much more fun.
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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby NF6X » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:30 pm

Olivero wrote:Well....

I would never recommend welding something in transport application if the person is not professional or has at least successfully welded this type of thing before BUT


Understood! This application would be stationary. It would just be mounting some sort of carport cover, kind of like this (random internet picture; there are lots of pictures of similar installations out there):

Image

I think the main structural load would be holding down the carport when the winds are strong. If the welds are stronger than the thin wall sheet metal tubing structure of the carport, then they should be fine.

Olivero wrote:I Will still tell you what I would do, Cast iron and the Cast types of ferrous alloys out there in my opinion seems to weld the best with stainless filler, I personally use 308L and have great success with it.


Interesting. Can I do that with my torch? I'm sure I'll learn other processes eventually, but I already have the oxy-acetylene gear.

Another option has presented itself. Instead of welding rails to upside down deck-mount twistlocks, maybe I could get (or make) aperture plates like these:

Image
https://www.tandemloc.com/securing-aper ... 1A-100.asp

Then weld my rails to those, and connect them to the containers with ordinary container stacking twist-locks. I think that most folks just bolt or weld things right to the containers, but I like the idea of using the corner castings. Kind of like Lego bricks for big boys! :)
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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby Poland308 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:33 pm

On the web page you posted there is an associated link to a similar mount with a mounting plate. It says that model is forged steel and will probably weld better.
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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby NF6X » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:37 pm

Poland308 wrote:On the web page you posted there is an associated link to a similar mount with a mounting plate. It says that model is forged steel and will probably weld better.


The twistlocks pre-welded to plates with mounting holes look like they might be good for things like fastening the containers to a concrete pier foundation. I don't know how much they cost yet, though. I was kind of interested in finding ways to use random, inexpensive, surplus twistlocks like these ones:

http://www.m2distributing.com/intermoda ... s/65MLTLBL
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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby Poland308 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:43 pm

You will fight the galvanized coating but the ductile iron should be weldable. I would consider welding them to a heavy piece of plate steel then adapting or welding onto that. This would allow you to put a good fillet weld from the base of your lock to the plate.
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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby NF6X » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:52 pm

Poland308 wrote:You will fight the galvanized coating but the ductile iron should be weldable.


I want to fight it with an angle grinder and a respirator, right? :)
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Re: Welding Ductile Iron Shipping Container Twistlock to Ste

Postby Poland308 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:54 am

Those are probably hot dipped so grinding will help, but it gets into the pores of the metal. If you tig them be prepared to grind a lot of tungsten.
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