advise on brazing cast iron

I recently moved a Pearl no. 11 and in the process the impression lever was broken. I’ve been in touch with the museum of Printing and they unfortunately do not have a replacement part available and were unable to recommend a vendor for the repair.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for Boston area welder with experience brazing cast iron? From what I gather it is a tricky process and have had trouble finding anyone who seems confident in making this repair.


image: pearl11-1.jpg


Log in to reply   6 replies so far

Here in the Boston area we are fortunate to have the Golden Guru, if i were you i would contact John Falstrom, he might know someone.He might even have the part, you must know of John Barrett, he might have the part also.

If you run into somebody who doesn’t advise on the need to pre-heat the part, run! Cast iron requires slow pre-heating and cooling to prevent stress cracks from developing around the weld/braze.

A lot of people like nickle rod (designed for cast iron) as it allows them to use arc welding equipment—but the material is more problematic to work around if the weld fails. Gas brazing is a more difficult technique but can be repaired. Ask around at welding shops and specify you are looking for a cast iron repair.

You might look around for an old-fashioned blacksmith with a forge and a welding/brazing torch. Heating the cast iron in the forge is the safest way, I think, to braze it. The heating and cooling can be controlled to reduce the chance of stress cracking. Your break is at a point where significant strain can be caused by bumping the stops at either end of the travel of the handle, so a strong repair is important.


Top answer, cast is difficult and yes requires baking to heat the whole part through. Looking at it though ,you can reassure the welder that it is not under load so the weld should hold ok .besides that you appear to have plenty of room to do a boilermakers repair , ie straps back and front of the break ,glue with superglue to keep it together while you drill and rivet through the whole sandwich .

check into “stitching” this. i had the leg of a bed repaired it is still running fine.

image: P1010865.JPG


My local machine shop would wire feed weld this.