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Post rammer maintenance and care

Shop for Fencing Mauls and Post Rammers

unless left open to the elements rammers require little attention Rammers require very little attention and minimal maintenance, unless they are left open to the elements for a substantial period of time. This could result in weld failure (where the weld cracks and the metal separates) caused by rusting, corrosion or misuse.

How is the top of a post rammer fitted?

the top steel plate is securely welded to the rammer The top of the rammer can be up to 38mm (1½”) in thickness and is the most substantial part of the tool, with thick fillet welding (a type of welding for filling in gaps when manufactured) around the steel top plate to secure it in place.
as the top plate of the rammer takes the pounding It is important that the plate is well secured, as it is the area that takes the pounding action when the rammer is lifted and dropped into place.
The powder coated post rammers are constructed from heavy steel, which in time may flake or rust Post rammers are constructed from heavy-duty steel. They are supplied with a powder coating, which may flake away, rub off or even rust over time if exposed to the elements.
red oxide, powder coating or galvanizing are options to restore the standard of your post rammer If your rammer becomes an unsightly mess, possibly because it was left out all winter and needs some tender loving care, there are a few options:

  • Paint with red oxide primer
  • Powder coating
  • Galvanizing

Cleaning old paint or rust from a post rammer

there are two ways to remove old paint or rust from a post rammer are abrasive blasting or by hand Post rammers, when new, are usually powder coated by the manufacturers. This coating gives a smooth finish, provides a protective layer and is pleasing to the eye.

Before you apply a new coating of your choice, you will need to remove the old powder coated layer. This can be done in two ways:

  • Good old elbow grease
  • Abrasive blasting
removing rust or old paint by hand is a more labour intensive way of doing this task

Elbow grease

This is the more labour intensive way of removing powder coat, using wire wool, wire brushes (these can be used in electric drills) and coarse sandpaper to rub away at any powder coating that is still on the post rammer until you are left with a smooth surface.

This can take hours of painstaking rubbing as you have no way of knowing how thickly the coating was applied.

abrasive blasting is when fine pieces of material are fire under pressure at a surface

Abrasive blasting (or sand blasting)

Abrasive blasting is when fine pieces of material (usually sand, crushed walnut shells or glass beads), are fired, under pressure, at a surface. This removes any rust or coating and give a smooth finish ready for a new coating to be applied.

Red oxide primer

red oxide paint is a protective solvent based paint which helps to prevent corrosion

What is red oxide primer?

This protective, solvent-based paint helps to prevent corrosion. When applied to a new or rusted metal, it provides a protective barrier against rust or further rusting.

applying red oxide primer provides a smooth surface for painting, prevents rust, is unlike ordinary paint which lies on the surface, red oxide primer interacts with the surface

 Why apply red oxide primer?

  • Provides a smooth surface for painting
  • Rust prevention/resistance
  • Oil based – It won’t wash off with water
  • Lead free – environmentally friendly
  • Unlike ordinary paint, which lies on the surface of the metal, red oxide primer interacts with the surface chemical bonds. No moisture or air is trapped between the paint and the metal, and this prevents rusting.
there are several ways in which to apply primer to post rammers

How should you apply the primer?

There are several methods of applying the red oxide primer:

primer can be applied using the traditional brush method

Traditional brush method

Using a nylon or polyester-bristled brush.

apply primer with a short pile roller to the post rammer

Roller method

Short pile woven roller is ideal for this type of primer. Some manufacturers suggest thinning down the primer for ease of application, so check the product specification to see if this applies to yours.

post rammers airless spray gun

Airless spray gun

This method is an option if you have access to a spray gun. The nozzle type and volume of thinners required will be stated in the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to apply red oxide primer

remove any rust, old paint and dirt from post rammer, with your chosen method

Step 1 – Remove rust and old paint

Remove any rust, old paint or dirt from the surface with your chosen method.

wipe over the surface of post rammer with thinners to remove grease, oil or remaining dirt

Step 2 – Clean

Using thinners, wipe over the surface to take away any grease, oil or remaining dirt.

apply your chosen method of application, following manufacturers instructions, apply primer then allow to dry

Step 3 – Apply Primer

Take your chosen method of application and following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply the primer, then allow to dry.

primer based at room temperature will will be touch dry in 1-2 hours, hard dry (no tackiness)) 4-6 hours, or ready for second overcoat in 16-24 hours

How long does it take to dry?

At room temperature (roughly 20oC) the primer takes the following approximate times to dry:

Touch dry 1-2 hours

Hard dry – no tackiness 4-6 hours

Overcoat – second coat 16-24 hours

primer dries depending on three factors air temperature, primer thickness and primer brand These times depend on three factors: air temperature, primer thickness, and primer brand.   

Powder coating

powder coating is a hard resin coating with a smooth finish

What is powder coating?

Powder coating is a hard resin coating with a smooth finish. It’s a free flowing dry powder that is applied and then cured under heat. Powder coating is however more expensive the smaller the item to be coated. It can be applied on top of a galvanized material, but not one that has been painted with primer.

although powder coating is tougher than paint, it can still be chipped and damaged under heavy use This type of coating is much tougher than paint, but can still be chipped and damaged under heavy use.
how is powder coating applied

How is powder coating applied?

For powder coating to stick, you need to have the item abrasive blasted first. This will make the metal porous, allowing the coating to adhere.

Powder coating is applied electrostatically (difference of electric charges) with an imbalance created between the metal and the powder particles

how is the powder coating applied The metal is clamped and negatively charged by an earth current passing through it, the powder coating gun passes the powder particles over a high voltage electrode and positively charges them. When the gun is fired at the metal, the positively charged powder particles are drawn to the negatively charged metal, sticking them to the surface.
how does the powder coating dry

How does powder coating dry?

Once coated, the item is then put into an oven or under ultra violet light at 175oC to 190oC for about 10 minutes.

   

Galvanizing

what is galvanizing

What is galvanizing?

Galvanization is the process in which zinc and steel are bonded together to produce a hard-wearing and weather-resistant coating.

How to galvanize your post rammer

how do you galvanize your post rammer Galvanizing, unfortunately, is not a process than can be undertaken in your own home. Due to the processes involved, the rammer needs to be taken to a company that specializes in the galvanizing.

What is the hot dip process involved in galvanizing?

the rammer is dipped into a tank of caustic soda

Dip 1

First the rammer is dipped in a tank of caustic soda, a degreasing agent that removes grease, dirt and other contaminants.

 it is then dipped into a tank of clean water

Dip 2

It is then dipped in a rinse tank to clean away the caustic soda.

the rammer is pickled in a hydrochloric acid solution Dip 3

Next, the rammer is pickled in a hydrochloric acid solution, to remove any mill scale (iron oxides) and rust from the steel.

the rammer is then rinsed to clear away the hydrochloric acid Dip 4

The rammer is then rinsed in a tank to clean away the hydrochloric acid.

the post rammer is immersed in a flux solution of zinc ammonium chloride

Dip 5

It is then immersed in a flux solution of zinc ammonium chloride, to remove any final traces of oxides that may have remained on the steel. This allows the molten zinc to attach to the steel’s surface.

the post rammer is placed under a dryer to heat the metal to a similar temperature to molten zinc Dip 6

The rammer is then placed under a dryer to heat the metal up to similar temperature to the molten zinc. This avoids any distortion when the steel is dipped.

the post rammer is dipped into a molten bath of zinc heated to 450°c Dip 7

Following this, it is dipped into a molten bath of zinc heated at 450oC where a reaction occurs, to bond the zinc to the steel.

the post rammer is finally cooled and inspected to ensure all surfaces are covered

Dip 8

Finally the rammer is cooled and inspected to ensure all surfaces are covered, and no faults have occurred during galvanization.

galvanizing forms a very tough coating which has the potential to last the life of the rammer

Why galvanizing?

Galvanization forms a very tough coating which has the potential to last the life of the rammer.

The zinc coating weathers at a very slow rate and provides total coverage with a physical barrier, meaning that little maintenance is required. Although the initial outlay for the process is more expensive, it should only be required once for the life of the tool.

If you need to weld your rammer, make sure you grind the galvanize layer off first, as it can when heated give off toxic fumes!

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