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Old 03-08-2015, 04:59 PM   #1
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Stainless Railing Exploded!

While doing some work on my 36' marine trader sundeck today I noticed that the railing has split (See pics below). I'm guessing that there was water trapped in the railing that expanded and split the railing. The boat is currently shrink wrapped in New Jersey, where we've had a bitter cold winter.

All of the railing is welded, so I'm guessing that I will need to cut out the bad section and somehow splice (How? Where to buy?) it back together or have a new piece welded in ($$??).

I'm looking any advice or comments the group might contribute. Thanks in advance!!!!
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:07 PM   #2
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Here's the pics I hope!
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:13 PM   #3
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When all else fails, read the instructions. Here's the pics......
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:37 PM   #4
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Might contact some welders first. Should be able to squeeze it back together, maybe with a pair of half circle jigs and reweld the seam.

Ted
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:07 PM   #5
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Why would anybody live in New Jersey?
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:03 PM   #6
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Have you found the source of leakage into the pipes and drained them?
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:06 PM   #7
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That shouldn't be too hard for a good welder to fix, but I would drill a small drain hole in that area when it's done so it doesn't happen again. Kind of odd that water would have filled that horizontal area though - your little weep channels in the stanchion bases must be plugged solid.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:44 PM   #8
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Wouldn't saturated core suffer a similar fate in freezing weather?
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:39 PM   #9
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Wouldn't saturated core suffer a similar fate in freezing weather?
I'm not sure what you mean by saturated core -- in hollow stainless pipe rails?
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:42 PM   #10
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Believed sunchaser was referring to cores in fiberglass hulls/decks.
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:36 AM   #11
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Oh sorry, of course, I didn't read the previous post carefully. Thx.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:27 AM   #12
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A welder that installs or repairs SS counter tops in commercial kitchens can tig weld that or replace that section of pipe and polish the seam to the point you will never see it. They weld SS counter tops all the time and polish the welds. You have probably seen some and never realized it. Small tig welders are very portable, use 110 volt AC, and are not that expensive. If you are handy, go on U-tube and check out a cpl videos. Check your local pawn shop for a portable Tig. Get a scrap piece of SS and some SS rods and practice a little first. I find that I can do most things myself and are often more satisfied with the end results. I agree you need to find the place the water is getting into the tubing and repair it or make a cpl small drain holes to let it out.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:15 PM   #13
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Or just pinch the pipe back to its original shape and polish it if there are jaggers. It'll let the water out next time and you won't see it anyway. Use wood scraps/strips and a c-clamp.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:30 PM   #14
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Or just pinch the pipe back to its original shape and polish it if there are jaggers. It'll let the water out next time and you won't see it anyway. Use wood scraps/strips and a c-clamp.
Odds are if you manage a good compression you'll not need to weld it.
It's on the bottom , if you really want to fill the hole , throw some JB weld in it. The magic to this repair is really how good you are at reshaping the tube. Or I could send one of my tig welders to the boat and take care of it, but I suspect the price will just about kill you.
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:32 AM   #15
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I had a rail do this too. Also on a nearly horizontal section. Confusing, but I'm going to try the c-clamp bending technique and jb weld solution and see how that goes. Thanks for the tips ALL.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:27 AM   #16
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Or just pinch the pipe back to its original shape and polish it if there are jaggers. It'll let the water out next time and you won't see it anyway. Use wood scraps/strips and a c-clamp.
I would advise welding it up versus leaving that crack as is; with the vibration in the rail underway, however minimal, and thermal contraction and expansion of the metal the crack will likely propagate and grow. If you choose to not weld it I would drill a hole slightly larger than the width of the crack at each extreme to reduce stress concentration and the likelyhood of propagation of the crack. JMO
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:21 PM   #17
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Why would anybody live in New Jersey?
I used to live there too much traffic on the High Way to get out.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:01 PM   #18
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I have removed quite a bad kink in a rail using a block or oak, drilled across the grain, then sawn in 1/2, to make a form. I had to use heat from a propane torch the quickly clamp with several hefty c clamps. The heaping turned the stainless blue, but it polished right back up.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:06 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I decided to start with XSBANK suggestion of using clamps to pull the seam back together. It worked!!

It took a lot of repositioning of the clamp to slowly move things back to the original shape. I had to use lots of pressure on the clamps.

I'm going to use MBEVINS suggestion and put some jel-weld on the seam after it's polished. I'll also drill a couple of holes that RADION suggested.

I'll keep an eye on it and if it starts to get worse I'll have it welded properly, but for now it's a cheap fix!

I now need to polish the seam. Any suggestions on the best method? Grind? File? Sand?

Thanks Again!
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:18 AM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. 1. What you DON'T want to do is initiate your polishing with an abrasive (file,sandpaper,grinder) that is too aggressive initially. If you put any deep scratches in the SS it will take forever to remove them if you can at all. I recently "polished" all 85' of SS rub rail on our vessel using a die grinder and a 3M Scotchbrite (Scrulox) pad.

One has to use a light touch to avoid too many swirl marks. I think you may achieve acceptable results if you use something like this in an electric drill if you don't have a die grinder...
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