Can you weld AR500 steel? There are many different types of steel. AR500 steel is a type of steel that is used for heavy-duty applications. It offers the strength and durability to be able to withstand any type of challenge, no matter how extreme.
Welding AR500 steel can be difficult, though, because you need special equipment in order to do it properly, otherwise, it will just crack or break apart.
If you have welding experience, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for you since you are already familiar with what equipment is needed and how to use it properly. But if not, there are some things that we recommend doing before starting on your project so that welding AR500 isn’t as confusing as possible!
Can You Weld AR500 Steel?
Yes, you can! With some practice and patience, it’s pretty easy to do. The AR500 steel is not the problem, but rather how you go about welding it will determine your success or failure.
Make sure that when you weld on any material with high carbon content, such as hardened steel (AR-500) plate, cast iron, or even mild steel, you have a good shielding gas. It’s what is used to shield the area being welded from oxygen so that it doesn’t oxidize and lose hardness which will make your work of art worthless for shooting at!
Here are some tips for welding on AR500 steel:
Use a pulse arc welder when possible
They are much better suited for this type of work than standard stick welders, TIG, or MIG units. Pulse Arc uses an electric discharge that is very hot then followed by no voltage, which produces the pulsing arc effect giving you more control over your heat input than other types of welding processes can give you.
Pulse arc welders are best for this type of work, but any welding process can be used if you take the time to practice on some scrap pieces. The pulse effect helps prevent cracking and spatter that will ruin your project, so it’s worth using them when possible.
It is very easy to get in a hurry when making something out of steel plate because there are no seams or joints(no visible screw heads) showing where things come together so they look good at first glance even though the entire piece has not been perfectly made with square corners etc. Assume nothing until you have had a chance to do some quality control checks on your work.
Be sure to stay within the specs of your project
If you are making a steel target for pistol calibers, use only a mild steel plate that is rated for this type of shooting or it will deform and mushroom quickly under repeated hits from these lower-powered rounds which can be dangerous if someone tries to shoot at them without first checking them out.
If they hit something like hardened AR-500 armor plate with .44 magnum handgun loads expecting it not to deform because they looked good on paper before being shot up, bad things could happen!
It’s always best to err on the side of caution when building anything intended as a shooter just in case somebody doesn’t know all the details about what you have made so they don’t get hurt trying to shoot at it.
Don’t just jump in and start welding the first thing that looks right!
It’s easy to get excited when you have a vision of what your project should look like, but sometimes this can cause us to lose focus on the basics if we are not careful.
It is always best to do some research ahead of time by looking at photos or videos of other people’s projects so you know exactly how yours needs to be made before starting construction otherwise all kinds of problems could arise during fabrication where they are harder (and more expensive)to fix after-the-fact than they would have been had these things been taken care of during the design stage instead.
If you don’t think something will work properly take the time to figure out why and make corrections before wasting a lot of time, money, or both.
Don’t rush it!
Building something out of steel plate is not a race, so take your time to get each detail right. When you are done you can stand back and look at what you have made with pride knowing that nobody else has one quite like yours even if they claim theirs works better than yours does because there are no two pieces exactly alike in this world!
Do everything the best way possible while paying attention to every detail without cutting corners or taking shortcuts that could come back to haunt you later on down the road when your masterpiece fails during use for reasons that should have been obvious without proper fabrication techniques been followed before installation was complete.
Take photos along the way documenting all stages of construction from start to finish including any unique fabrication techniques and why they were used (or not) so you can refer back to them later for reference.
Use quality materials!
Whatever steel plate or tubing you choose, it is important that purchase the best quality product available because cheaper grades may fail over time through corrosion or deformation, which could be dangerous.
Many small local suppliers do not stock a wide range of products for this market but usually sell what their distributors carry due to limited space at each location where most people will only buy what looks good on paper before being shot up before realizing there are much better alternatives than have been traditionally offered by these types of vendors previously.
This has changed dramatically during recent years, so it’s best to research all options before making a decision on what type of AR500 or other steel plate metal you should use.
With these tips in mind, you can now go out and build something amazing! You can also check our post about welding cast iron horseshoes and our post answering the question, can you tig weld over a MIG weld.