Naval Shipyard Welding: Air Arc Gouging Saves the Navy Time and Money

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Navy ship at dockGuest blogger David J. shares his experience as a shipyard welder for the U.S. Navy.

Need to remove or move a large object welded onto the deck of a ship?  Arc gouging equipment can really help speed up the process. I worked as a welder in the shipbuilding/ship repair industry, and especially ship repair, in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years.  One particular day I was given the task of finishing up the removal of a pair of bollards that had been mounted on the deck — the navy wanted them moved a few feet forward.  Someone else had done the initial cutting, but a rectangular shaped weld measuring about six by three feet, where the bollards had been joined to the deck, remained.  This weld was perhaps half an inch wide and protruded above the deck by nearly half an inch.  That’s 18 feet of steel nearly half an inch square.

This steel could have been ground flush with the deck, but the time involved using a grinder would have greatly increased the time and cost of the task.  With a hand arc gouging torch, see the K4000 manual gouging torch, I made much quicker work of the job.  Properly handling the gouging torch, the welder can leave the surface such that the grinder who follows him need only do the lightest touch-up.  For bigger jobs and for outfits that routinely have gouging operations, the N6000 metal removal system is recommended for both increased speed and accuracy.

Red-D-Arc carries a number of Air Carbon Arc Gouging pieces that are excellent for gouging large welds like the one described above.

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