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Shortening or Lengthening a Shaft

I’ve had several occasions to lengthen or shorten shafts on some of the custom Cub Cadet stuff I’ve done. The mini-Cub I’m currently working on required extending the steering shaft, tie rods and right rear axle. I used to just c-clamp two sections in a piece of angle and weld them together. But it’s very difficult to clamp a round section in a piece of angle. The c-clamp tends to slide off to one side. The picture is a fixture that I made to permit c-clamping two round sections together for welding.

shaft-2-fixture endshaft-1-shaft_6











The fixture consists of a length of 1” angle welded to a section of ¼” X 1” flat. I welded a continuous length of angle to the flat and then cut out the section shown. By making the cut after welding, I was sure everything was properly lined up. After welding the angle to the flat section it became obvious that the flat did not have the rigidity necessary to prevent a welded shaft from deflecting as it cooled. So I reinforced it with a heavy section of 1” square tubing. (It was just a scrap piece of tubing that I found in the scrap pile. That’s why you may notice a piece of weld on it that serves no purpose.) The 1” square tubing on the bottom gives a nice flat surface for one half of the c-clamp.

With the fixture made, c-clamp the two sections to be welded together in the fixture.








Notice that the ends of each shaft section have been beveled for better weld penetration. You can also see that piece of weld on the square tubing that I mentioned earlier. Some day I’ll grind that off!!!
With the shaft secured in position, it’s ready to be welded.

Once the shaft has been welded allow it to completely cool before removing it or rotating it to do additional welding.  Generally the angle is “thick” enough that you won’t have to grind the weld until you’re completely finished.  However, if the weld interferes and doesn’t allow the shaft to seat properly in the angle when it’s rotated, it will have to be ground off.

This is one of those things that seem really simple when you see how it’s done.  But it’s a process I’ve developed over several years of trial and error.  If you have a simplier or better method, I’d be glad to hear from you.  Just drop me an email.

Last Modified On: 2014-03-15 11:24:27