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Welding - TIG, MIG, Arc

Olek welds metal using all major industrial techniques: TIG (GTAW), MIG (GMAW), as well as the older techniques of arc, gas welding, and forging when appropriate. Welding plays a key role in building steel, brass, or aluminum doors, windows, architectural metalwork for entries and lobbies, and decorative ornamental metals and lighting. We custom build commercial entries and decoration for lobbies, exotic stairs, balustrades, balconies, railings, balustrades, structural elements, and furniture. Olek creates metalwork from your design or drawings. We also design, survey, fabricate, finish (painting, patination, and electroplating), glaze, and install.

Welding can be used for the fabrication or repair of a wide variety of metal objects, made of ferrous metals like steel, stainless steel, non-ferrous metals including aluminum, brass, bronze or nickel silver. Welding is a millenniums old process from the Bronze Age that started with hammering or forging hot metals to bond them as one, that became dramatically more useful with the availability of electric current, and inert gases to protect the welds from being contaminated by oxygen in the air. TIG is best where thin non-ferrous metals need the highest quality of weld possible. Thicker and ferrous metals may be welded faster using the higher weld deposition rates achieved by metal inert gas MIG (or GMAW) welding.


Electric Arc or Oxygen Acetylene gas welding suffer from lower quality and productivity drawbacks, with their chief advantages being low cost equipment not requiring an electric power supply, or portability.


Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), commonly called tungsten inert gas (TIG) or heliarc is an arc welding process that uses a tungsten electrode to apply a welding arc current surrounded by an inert gas (mostly argon or helium) plasma forming a "shield" around the weld pool and electrode, to prevent contamination of the weld by oxygen. TIG is used for welding thin metals together. It is also an excellent technique for repairs of machine tools or other industrial machinery, as it gives the best quality weld, with less heat applied to the machine parts, and less thermal distortion. Especially useful for repairing and fabricating brass or bronze doors, aluminum or stainless steel architectural profiles or railings, balustrades, balconies, storefronts or entries. GTAW is also used for repairing or welding broken castings or tubings of aluminum or non-ferrous metals like brass used in furniture fabrication, or castings.


The torch held in the right hand passes the shielding inert gas to the metal surface, the perpendicular tip holds the tungsten electrode in the gas/ plasma stream, passing the electric current that melts the weld metal, being applied from the left hand to the weld surface.


TIG repairs to a Brass Door, in a historic Phillip Roth designed building, the San Remo at 145 Central Park West, NY, NY. Same door designs used for other NYC buildings, including the Beresford, and others at 15 W. 79th St. and on W. 80th St.


TIG welding of broken brass door stile.


Poor repairs left the lock to this door unstable. The gaping hole was covered by a brass plate.


The damaged face of the stile was cut away, and a new plate of similar brass TIG welded in place, this shows the weld repair before sanding and polishing. The ground plate for the mortise lock was also replaced. The thickness of the door stile was originally 11 gauge or 12 gauge, and is now thinner from almost a century of refinishing and polishing. A TIG repair heats the door less than MIG does, and performs a better weld on brass.


These welds have been carefully ground, to avoid more damage to the original thin brass around the new plate.


The weld is being sanded smooth with the brass surrounding the face of the stile.


The weld repair polished to match the surrounding door finish, and drilled to mount the original hardware. The weld seams are examined optically, and with penetrating dyes after welding for microscopic defects. The brass at the weld line is more brittle than originally, and can develop cracks after the metal cools down, from thermal stresses of shrinkage during cooling.


the restored door


Metal Inert Gas welding, or MIG (GMAW) is the predominant steel and aluminum welding technique today. It enables higher production rates than other welding methods. There are various MIG welding wires that may be used, matched to the material being welded, or sometimes other metals different than the substrate.


MIG welding joints of ½" and ¼" hot rolled steel made using argon shielding gas.


Butt joint MIG welds


Mitered MIG weld joints before dressing by grinding.


Welded 10" h mild steel door before dressing


Cast Iron Welding or Brazing

Grey cast iron tends to melt during welding, so instead it may be brazed hot using a nickel/iron or bronze welding rods or wire with slightly lower welding temperature than the cast iron. Cast iron substrates being welded or brazed should be heated to about 600 degrees F. to minimize stress on the weld after cooling, for the most durable weld. Old grey cast iron or ductile cast iron that have split and cracked are most effectively welded or brazed this way.


The bottom 2" of this cast iron frame and trim was split and deformed by interior leaks and freezing ice over many decades. The doors were crushed inwards, and deformed over 1 ½". Straightening the damaged jambs was necessary to install new doors for this former headquarters of Fireman"s Fund Insurance Co., now part of Rutgers/NJIT.


The ductile iron trim and jamb was ⅝ " thick, and had to be cut out to repair the damages.


The cast iron was heated, brazed both sides, then ground smooth to finish the repair


Field installation and welding in of the repaired jamb and trim.


One of three doors being repaired. The brown lines show the repaired jambs and trim reattached by welding to the casing.