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Attaching half rusted steel to new steel

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  • #745845
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I have a need to attached an exterior steel post that is half to 3/4 rusted (that’s pretty rusted) to a new steel post.

    I am debating if I should use rust converter or rust remover on the rusted post first.

    Then once I have applied say two coats of rust converter on it, how would I attach this to the new steel post?

    Should I weld the two together? I am not sure, because once rust converter is applied, it’s no longer steel right? Plus rust do not really weld well.

    Then my option would be either mechanical fastening (nuts and bolts) or chemical (structural epoxy).

    Any thoughts?

    #745846
    MTRoads
    Pro
    Near Glacier National Park, MT

    Any chance you can weld and then apply the rust converter? Or replace the rusted metal?

    Stan
    From the Northwest corner of Montana.

    #745851
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I cannot replace the rusted metal. If I replace it then legally it’s not a “repair” but a “replace” then the city would require me to adhere to the new code past in 2008 and move the posts back another 3 feet into my property.

    Yes I know it’s a strange way to go about it, but I have to operate within (or around) the law, same reason why some people demo a building down to one half wall then rebuild, which allows them to not call it a total rebuild.

    #745860
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Welding to rusted metal will not work, it will not be strong even if you could get it to weld. Your only choice in my opinion is a chemical bond. Do you have to attach the new post above ground?

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #745864

    I have a need to attached an exterior steel post that is half to 3/4 rusted (that’s pretty rusted) to a new steel post.

    I am debating if I should use rust converter or rust remover on the rusted post first.

    Then once I have applied say two coats of rust converter on it, how would I attach this to the new steel post?

    Should I weld the two together? I am not sure, because once rust converter is applied, it’s no longer steel right? Plus rust do not really weld well.

    Then my option would be either mechanical fastening (nuts and bolts) or chemical (structural epoxy).

    Any thoughts?

    Is it a fence post or something else like a overhang on a building , is it possible to coat it with the rust protection/stopper
    Then slip another post over the existing one and bolts through the two of them 🤷‍♂️

    #745870
    Sprokitz
    Pro
    Eastern shore of, Pa

    same reason why some people demo a building down to one half wall then rebuild, which allows them to not call it a total rebuild

    Is this post part of a fence? Play the “game” Replacing one post would only be a repair to the entire structure.

    #745875
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Welding to rusted metal will not work, it will not be strong even if you could get it to weld. Your only choice in my opinion is a chemical bond. Do you have to attach the new post above ground?

    It’s both above and below ground. I will explain in more details below.

    Is it a fence post or something else like a overhang on a building , is it possible to coat it with the rust protection/stopper
    Then slip another post over the existing one and bolts through the two of them 🤷‍♂️

    Yes these are steel fence posts, all anchored in large chunks of concrete probably 24 to 30 inches deep. The bottom – where the post penetrates the concrete are quite rusted. Some part of it has rusted THROUGH.

    I cannot break up the concrete and put in a replacement post, that would be considered a structural change. Doing that to one post would render the entire 120′ of fence to be “structurally altered”. Once structurally altered then that whole fence has to be moved further back 3 feet.

    Let me explain the code a bit more. Old code prior to 2008 you can put a fence that is street facing 6″ back from your property line. New code after 2008 says street facing fences must be moved back at least 3 feet from your property line, and if you have a gate say 5′ wide, that gate cannot swing out and cross the property line, so in that case, if you want to swing out, you need to move that gate 5′ back so the swing will not cross the property line. Now can you move the gate back only three feet and swing in? Sure, but only if you do not have a pool, properties with pools must have swing out gates that are self closing. On top of that, if your property is at a street corner, which mine is, that corner you lose even more property as the fence cannot be a 25′ sight triangle, which means from your property corner, go 25′ on both property lines then draw a triangle, your fence has to be outside of the triangle. In other words, I would have to move my fence WAY BACK.

    The only thing they would let me do are repairs but no post replacement. If they catch me replacing one post, they will make me move my entire fence.

    Part of the reason the steel posts have rusted out at the base is the concrete was too low, or at some point they regraded the ground, so the concrete is 4″ to 6″ below grade, this causes soil and dirt to pile up at the base with constant contact with the metal, and in Florida the ground is wet all the time from all the rain.

    My current strategy, which I am experimenting with one post only is to “substantially repair” each post, one at a time. This is my strategy.

    (1) Cut across the post near the ground level, leaving 4″ to 6″ of half rusted steel stub above the concrete.

    (2) Make another cut higher on the post, where I have unrusted solid steel. By doing so I am post likely removed a section about 6″ or so at the base of a square steel post.

    (3) The post is a 2.5″X2/5″ hollow square steel post. Cut the decotative steel top off and set that aside.

    (4) Buy a 2.25″ OD steel round post 8′ long, and slide that round post whose OD is barely smaller than the inside hollow square of my fence post, from the top through the steel post, past the cut out section, into the rusted section inside the concrete. Pound the new round post down into the concrete as far as I can. Now I have a new piece of round steel post inside the old square post.
    stick
    (5) I intend to weld the round post to the square post at the top (where I have the decorative cap cut off already), and further down where I cut off where there is no rust.

    (6) I am not sure what to do with the round steel post and the 4″ to 6″ of rusted square post protruding from the concrete. That section of old steel is kind of weak and brittle. I don’t know if I can join them and if I could if it’s going to be any good in terms of providing better support.

    (7) Bear in mind once I do this I have a square post, and near the base I have a cut away section exposing a round post going through it. I am going to use some epoxy putty to mold a square shape out of it, then sand smooth to match the square post so it would look like part of the square post.

    (8) Then I will use a sonotube cut to may be 6″ high and pour new concrete around the repaired section so the final product will sit higher and water will bot make constant contact with the post.

    (9) Finally weld the cut off decorative top back on, probably paint the whole post.

    To the city if the question it, I will say I “just added some concrete” at the base.

    I hope that explains it better. My original post was trying to figure out if I should somehow bond the old rusted square stub to the new round post inserted inside.

    #745876
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    same reason why some people demo a building down to one half wall then rebuild, which allows them to not call it a total rebuild

    Is this post part of a fence? Play the “game” Replacing one post would only be a repair to the entire structure.

    See my post above, yes it’s part of a fence. Cannot replace one post, they would not allow that.

    #745883

    Welding to rusted metal will not work, it will not be strong even if you could get it to weld. Your only choice in my opinion is a chemical bond. Do you have to attach the new post above ground?

    It’s both above and below ground. I will explain in more details below.

    Is it a fence post or something else like a overhang on a building , is it possible to coat it with the rust protection/stopper

    Then slip another post over the existing one and bolts through the two of them 🤷‍♂️

    Yes these are steel fence posts, all anchored in large chunks of concrete probably 24 to 30 inches deep. The bottom – where the post penetrates the concrete are quite rusted. Some part of it has rusted THROUGH.

    I cannot break up the concrete and put in a replacement post, that would be considered a structural change. Doing that to one post would render the entire 120′ of fence to be “structurally altered”. Once structurally altered then that whole fence has to be moved further back 3 feet.

    Let me explain the code a bit more. Old code prior to 2008 you can put a fence that is street facing 6″ back from your property line. New code after 2008 says street facing fences must be moved back at least 3 feet from your property line, and if you have a gate say 5′ wide, that gate cannot swing out and cross the property line, so in that case, if you want to swing out, you need to move that gate 5′ back so the swing will not cross the property line. Now can you move the gate back only three feet and swing in? Sure, but only if you do not have a pool, properties with pools must have swing out gates that are self closing. On top of that, if your property is at a street corner, which mine is, that corner you lose even more property as the fence cannot be a 25′ sight triangle, which means from your property corner, go 25′ on both property lines then draw a triangle, your fence has to be outside of the triangle. In other words, I would have to move my fence WAY BACK.

    The only thing they would let me do are repairs but no post replacement. If they catch me replacing one post, they will make me move my entire fence.

    Part of the reason the steel posts have rusted out at the base is the concrete was too low, or at some point they regraded the ground, so the concrete is 4″ to 6″ below grade, this causes soil and dirt to pile up at the base with constant contact with the metal, and in Florida the ground is wet all the time from all the rain.

    My current strategy, which I am experimenting with one post only is to “substantially repair” each post, one at a time. This is my strategy.

    (1) Cut across the post near the ground level, leaving 4″ to 6″ of half rusted steel stub above the concrete.

    (2) Make another cut higher on the post, where I have unrusted solid steel. By doing so I am post likely removed a section about 6″ or so at the base of a square steel post.

    (3) The post is a 2.5″X2/5″ hollow square steel post. Cut the decotative steel top off and set that aside.

    (4) Buy a 2.25″ OD steel round post 8′ long, and slide that round post whose OD is barely smaller than the inside hollow square of my fence post, from the top through the steel post, past the cut out section, into the rusted section inside the concrete. Pound the new round post down into the concrete as far as I can. Now I have a new piece of round steel post inside the old square post.

    stick

    (5) I intend to weld the round post to the square post at the top (where I have the decorative cap cut off already), and further down where I cut off where there is no rust.

    (6) I am not sure what to do with the round steel post and the 4″ to 6″ of rusted square post protruding from the concrete. That section of old steel is kind of weak and brittle. I don’t know if I can join them and if I could if it’s going to be any good in terms of providing better support.

    (7) Bear in mind once I do this I have a square post, and near the base I have a cut away section exposing a round post going through it. I am going to use some epoxy putty to mold a square shape out of it, then sand smooth to match the square post so it would look like part of the square post.

    (8) Then I will use a sonotube cut to may be 6″ high and pour new concrete around the repaired section so the final product will sit higher and water will bot make constant contact with the post.

    (9) Finally weld the cut off decorative top back on, probably paint the whole post.

    To the city if the question it, I will say I “just added some concrete” at the base.

    I hope that explains it better. My original post was trying to figure out if I should somehow bond the old rusted square stub to the new round post inserted inside.

    Sounds like you have a good plan , , question those square posts now , are they hollow at the bottom I assume , my concern is maybe some of the concrete got into the bottom of the post , hopefully not much and you can drive that round post down easily 18 inches 🙏 if not would you be using a concrete drill to drill some out before you try to get the round one in ?

    That’s a similar situation I have , guess they installed the fence posts before doing the grading of the land , and my concrete is down below grade like you , causing the 6×6 treated wood to rot , and they never protected the posts with anything else besides the crappy treatment for pressure treated wood 🙄
    Now I’m going to be replacing easily 12 to 15 posts
    Good luck with that @Miamicuse
    I’m debating using round posts in Crete and wrapping them in treated wood , making it easier to replace in the next decades lol

    #745887
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    question those square posts now , are they hollow at the bottom I assume , my concern is maybe some of the concrete got into the bottom of the post , hopefully not much and you can drive that round post down easily 18 inches 🙏 if not would you be using a concrete drill to drill some out before you try to get the round one in ?

    From the single post I have cut and examined, this is what I got.

    I have already cut away a 4″ to 6″ section at about grade. You can see the section below is pretty rusted, and at the bottom is the concrete chunk.

    I used a shop vac to vac out a lot of the dirt and debris. I can lower a round post into this about 12″ or so (6″ into the rusted stub, 6″ into the concrete). This is not deep enough obviously. I tried shoving an 18″ drill bit down there and it will go down, but there is quite a bit of packed debris I cannot get out. I think the posts were set into the hole initially, checked for level and plumb before concrete was poured, so shouldn’t be concrete inside.

    My intention is to remove the round post, then use a grinder to cut the rounded end into four sharp ends, then reinsert it, the pound it in as far as it will go, I think it may go down at least another 6″ or more. I wish I can use a drill to break it up more but there is a limit on the room I have to operate a drill straight down (it has to be at an angle).

    Your wood posts it may be easier to leave the existing concrete in, just dig new holes in between each pair of existing posts and use that instead, then cut the existing posts off at grade. Then no need to mess with the concrete chunks which could be back breaking. I couldn’t do that because they won’t let me use new posts. May be you can borrow Doobie’s breaker hammer to break up the concrete if you have to LOL.

    #745895
    Sorpa
    Pro
    Pierrefonds, Qc

    How city would know that you replace the post?
    Snitching?

    #745935
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    How city would know that you replace the post?

    Snitching?

    Snitching my a neighbor is a possibility.

    The city has code enforcement vehicles driving around looking for suspicious activities. Many people get caught while doing stuff or after.

    For example if you want to replace your driveway with paver bricks and it was asphalt while working if they see you then you get into trouble. Or if you replace an old wood gate with a new one where the gate looks fresh and new they would again check their records and know you put in a new gate. Some people paint their gate on the outside the same color as old fence to make it look like all they did was painting it. They have code enforcement driving around 7 days (not 5) so even if you work on weekends they can catch you. My neighbor last year replaced 4 windows without a permit, the windows were facing his back yard and he has a back fence so it’s unlikely someone driving by to see him doing it but he got a citation in the mail and had to remove the windows and get after the fact permits which was very costly worst yet he had to appeal to the historical preservation board to allow him to use the windows he already bought and he didn’t get approval. No idea how he got caught still.

    #745953
    Sorpa
    Pro
    Pierrefonds, Qc

    How about doing it in a Sunday?
    Do they work weekends?

    #745962
    Doobie
    Moderator

    How about doing it in a Sunday?

    Do they work weekends?

    Snitches work 24/7 all year long.

    #745977

    question those square posts now , are they hollow at the bottom I assume , my concern is maybe some of the concrete got into the bottom of the post , hopefully not much and you can drive that round post down easily 18 inches 🙏 if not would you be using a concrete drill to drill some out before you try to get the round one in ?

    From the single post I have cut and examined, this is what I got.

    I have already cut away a 4″ to 6″ section at about grade. You can see the section below is pretty rusted, and at the bottom is the concrete chunk.

    I used a shop vac to vac out a lot of the dirt and debris. I can lower a round post into this about 12″ or so (6″ into the rusted stub, 6″ into the concrete). This is not deep enough obviously. I tried shoving an 18″ drill bit down there and it will go down, but there is quite a bit of packed debris I cannot get out. I think the posts were set into the hole initially, checked for level and plumb before concrete was poured, so shouldn’t be concrete inside.

    My intention is to remove the round post, then use a grinder to cut the rounded end into four sharp ends, then reinsert it, the pound it in as far as it will go, I think it may go down at least another 6″ or more. I wish I can use a drill to break it up more but there is a limit on the room I have to operate a drill straight down (it has to be at an angle).

    Your wood posts it may be easier to leave the existing concrete in, just dig new holes in between each pair of existing posts and use that instead, then cut the existing posts off at grade. Then no need to mess with the concrete chunks which could be back breaking. I couldn’t do that because they won’t let me use new posts. May be you can borrow Doobie’s breaker hammer to break up the concrete if you have to LOL.

    It will eventually get another as you mentioned a few more inches of concrete added to the top your existing concrete , so that should help slightly
    Will you do anything to attach the newer poured concrete to the old one
    Obviously it would be better if you can get down further into the existing posts

    As for me , I know it would be easier to just dig New post holes , but that would mean more modification of the fence panels that are still in decent shape
    I’m just looking to replace the existing ones , not to many takers for this kinda work
    I don’t mind paying for the work , especially since my shoulder is messed up , I’ll see what I can find or do myself.

    Good luck with your project 👍

    #745981
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Will you do anything to attach the newer poured concrete to the old one

    Not really, I am not sure of the condition of the existing concrete, and I don’t want to weaken it by drilling rebars or chipping it into pieces. I am even worried if I pound that round post too hard it may break the concrete up.

    #745983
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    How about doing it in a Sunday?

    Do they work weekends?

    Yes, see 5 posts above.

    #745986
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Will you do anything to attach the newer poured concrete to the old one

    Not really, I am not sure of the condition of the existing concrete, and I don’t want to weaken it by drilling rebars or chipping it into pieces. I am even worried if I pound that round post too hard it may break the concrete up.

    I wonder if digging out deeper all around beyond the existing concrete and using that foam type of post hole post holder might be a viable solution.

    #746043
    GTokley
    Pro
    Madoc, ON

    I have a need to attached an exterior steel post that is half to 3/4 rusted (that’s pretty rusted) to a new steel post.

    I am debating if I should use rust converter or rust remover on the rusted post first.

    Then once I have applied say two coats of rust converter on it, how would I attach this to the new steel post?

    Should I weld the two together? I am not sure, because once rust converter is applied, it’s no longer steel right? Plus rust do not really weld well.

    Then my option would be either mechanical fastening (nuts and bolts) or chemical (structural epoxy).

    Any thoughts?

    You should be able weld to or put patch on rusted post if you can grind way the rust to bare metal.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #746051

    From what I see in the photo I would be tempted to take a 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 pressure treated piece, drill a hole in the end, drop it over what is still there (or cut off the steel to a more friendly length) and back fill it with gravel. Top with a couple of inches of top soil and call it a repair, not a replacement.

    Just my 2 cents worth which may be over priced.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

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