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Thread: Dumbbell repair

  1. #1
    Registered User flipman's Avatar
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    Dumbbell repair

    Hi all,

    I have a few hex dumbbells where the ends are breaking loose from the handle. How do I go about getting this repaired? I'm not a welder, nor do I know anyone locally who can weld. I'd prefer to repair them if possible instead of replacing them because they are above 50lbs. Thanks for your help/suggestions.

    BTW these are not rubber encased or anything like that.
    Last edited by flipman; 06-21-2008 at 09:41 AM.
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    Originally Posted by flipman View Post
    Hi all,

    I have a few hex dumbbells where the ends are breaking loose from the handle. How do I go about getting this repaired? I'm not a welder, nor do I know anyone locally who can weld. I'd prefer to repair them if possible instead of replacing them because they are above 50lbs. Thanks for your help/suggestions.

    BTW these are not rubber encased or anything like that.
    Well, they're not pinned or bolted (and I wouldn't trust those solutions anyway) so, besides epoxy (and again I don't think that would be safe) how could you do this besides welding?

    There has to be a welder in your area. Just get out the phone book and find one willing to do a small job like this. You're bringing him the steel and there probably is very little labor in this. It won't be cheap, but it should be more than the cost of new DBs. Just remember that a cheap fix..if even possible...may end with a >50 lb piece of steel on your face.


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    Registered User HardKore79's Avatar
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    If they are breaking off now, what makes you think that they won't break again?! How do you treat your dumbbells? Do you drop them at all?
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    Workin' Stabilizers Skidmarx's Avatar
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    A welder could fix that in 5 minutes. Remove the old paint first.

    Hex dumbells can take a drop, I drop my heavy ones all the time(i have rubber mats).
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    Registered User flipman's Avatar
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    I don't drop them too much. And the few times I have, they fall on my rubber mats. These are old and were used when I bought them a long time ago. It seems to be more rust related than physical abuse.

    What do think this might run me per dumbbell...ballpark figure? I just don't want to go to a welder "unarmed?"

    Thanks again for your inputs!!
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    Registered User HardKore79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by flipman View Post
    I don't drop them too much. And the few times I have, they fall on my rubber mats. These are old and were used when I bought them a long time ago. It seems to be more rust related than physical abuse.

    What do think this might run me per dumbbell...ballpark figure? I just don't want to go to a welder "unarmed?"

    Thanks again for your inputs!!
    Are you scared of just walking into shops and asking a couple of different places?
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    Registered User flipman's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=HardKore79;182012331]Are you scared of just walking into shops and asking a couple of different places?[/QUOTE

    Dude, I don't need your derogatory responses. I just asked a simple question to people here to maybe give me a clue about cost. Since I won't be able to find out from any shops until Monday, I figured I could get a head start. If you don't like my question, then stay off!!
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    Registered User HardKore79's Avatar
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    Dude, the only real damn answer you'll get is by visiting different shops in YOUR area! What costs in California $100, would be $30 in Ohio!
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    The problem with repairing hex dumbbells is that the hex is cast iron, and the handle is steel-two different materials. Cast iron doesn't take kindly to welding; you might be able to find a shop that will try to braze the weights back on, using an acetylene torch. Good luck.
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    The problem with repairing hex dumbbells is that the hex is cast iron, and the handle is steel-two different materials. Cast iron doesn't take kindly to welding; you might be able to find a shop that will try to braze the weights back on, using an acetylene torch. Good luck.
    Brazing won't work. I used to be in the trades and I know for a fact that you'll need a hotter gas than acetylene. Maybe adding oxygen might help to get the metals hotter but welding would be the best choice.
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    Registered User flipman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HardKore79 View Post
    Dude, the only real damn answer you'll get is by visiting different shops in YOUR area! What costs in California $100, would be $30 in Ohio!
    Now that's a response I can respect as an answer for that question. And I will do that. I apologize if that seemed like an ignorant question to you, but I know absolutely nothing at all about any facets of welding and the costs of it. That's why I asked. But since you are familiar with this area, you could of just enlightened me that's all. I don't mean to sound like I have thin skin either. I've read a lot of your responses from other posts and it appears you gave a lot of very sound advice and suggestions. I was just wondering why you responded in such a manner before.

    Then let me ask you, what do you suggest I do about fixing them? What's the difference between brazing and welding? Is it even worth the risk, safety wise or money wise? I live in Illinois if that helps.
    Last edited by flipman; 06-21-2008 at 04:28 PM.
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    I'm not familiar with the type of dumbell you have, but you have two options,, either welding or mechanical repair.

    If all the parts are steel, a local body shop or iron works will have the equipment to weld it for a few dollars. If the hex bells are cast iron (evidenced by casting mold lines, or rough areas from sand molding) a welding shop with experience welding cast iron will be needed, and depending on the alloy still may not be feasible. Brazing with brass alloys and a oxy-acetylene torch may also work.

    Mechanical repair may be a better option, where the handle can be drilled and tapped for threads, and a bolt and washer is used to retain the hex bell. A machine shop will usualy handle such a job, or if have a friend whose a good mechanic.

    Otherwise the easier option may be to buy new weights rather than attempt to repair the old ones.
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    Originally Posted by flipman View Post
    Now that's a response I can respect as an answer for that question. And I will do that. I apologize if that seemed like an ignorant question to you, but I know absolutely nothing at all about any facets of welding and the costs of it. That's why I asked. But since you are familiar with this area, you could of just enlightened me that's all. I don't mean to sound like I have thin skin either. I've read a lot of your responses from other posts and it appears you gave a lot of very sound advice and suggestions. I was just wondering why you responded in such a manner before.

    Then let me ask you, what do you suggest I do about fixing them? What's the difference between brazing and welding? Is it even worth the risk, safety wise or money wise? I live in Illinois if that helps.
    Honestly, I wouldn't risk it. I live in Illinois also, and I see dumbbell sets all the time on Craigslist. Just think about it, you go and weld them, without even knowing how the welds will hold up in an already brittle metal, and you start doing dumbbells flyes and accidently both dumbbells smack hard. That's definetly something I wouldn't want to think about. You are working out for a reason, and that's to better yourself, but also not to break anything. I say skip...
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    I just found something for you that you might like: http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/spo/727969689.html I would go for dumbbells.
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    Registered User flipman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HardKore79 View Post
    I just found something for you that you might like: http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/spo/727969689.html I would go for dumbbells.
    Thanks a lot HK. I too was also thinking about just replacing them instead. Unfortunately for me they are an 80lber and a 95lber. Oh well, what's a little bit of money versus safety.

    I didn't mean for us to get started off on the wrong foot either. I hope to continue getting the good advice you put out. Thanks man.
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    Hey no problem man! Actually I just missed a set of hexes of 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s. I was the 2nd guy in line. It's ok though. I just bought a pro handle on ebay and will go that route from 80lbs and up.

    Don't risk it. A 40lb or or 45lb blob would crack your eye-socket too easy.
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    Originally Posted by HardKore79 View Post
    Honestly, I wouldn't risk it. I live in Illinois also, and I see dumbbell sets all the time on Craigslist. Just think about it, you go and weld them, without even knowing how the welds will hold up in an already brittle metal, and you start doing dumbbells flyes and accidently both dumbbells smack hard. That's definetly something I wouldn't want to think about. You are working out for a reason, and that's to better yourself, but also not to break anything. I say skip...
    Ugh....when you put it that way I think my old dumbbells would be sent to the bottom of a lake somewhere as a boat anchor.

    A rapidly falling 45lb ball of steel falling onto my nose, neck, mouth, eye, or really anywhere on me from 20" sounds like a really bad day.

    Really bad.
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    [QUOTE=flipman;182018291]
    Originally Posted by HardKore79 View Post
    Are you scared of just walking into shops and asking a couple of different places?[/QUOTE

    Dude, I don't need your derogatory responses. I just asked a simple question to people here to maybe give me a clue about cost. Since I won't be able to find out from any shops until Monday, I figured I could get a head start. If you don't like my question, then stay off!!
    derogatory responses?

    hardkoree?

    noo wayyy! =PP


    ANYHOW,

    i'd check the local welding people to see, as it doesnt' seem like that hard of a job.

    if not, just replace them!
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    Machine Shop Owner/Welder stunmai3's Avatar
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    As an owner of a machine shop/welding shop I can tell you that you have received some good answers here, I can sum it up like this-

    If the ends are cast iron, it takes a damn good welder to tackle this, as iron does not weld easily, especially if rusted. If you are able to get them repaired, do not crash them on to the floor because they could easily break right next to the weld.

    We might assume that the ends ARE cast iron, because if they were steel I doubt they would have broke in the first place.

    I would contact a local welding supply store, and ask them for references to a welder that might tackle this, as they supply the gasses and supplies they have a good handle on who tackles odd jobs like this.

    As Hardkore mentioned, pricing will be all over the place. HK knows whats going on. And I hate when someone tells someone that it's a '5 minute job.'(for someone else to do) There is no such thing as a 5 minute job, especially on cast. IF there are no complications, to weld the first pair of DB would involve prepping them, changing the welder over from aluminum to steel (because that's how it works, you never get 2 jobs of the same material in a row), setting them up, preheating them, the actual welding, cooling and checking and most likely a second pass, would involve a minimum of 30 minutes. Additional pairs would take slightly less time after initial setup. Then there is materials, nickel rod, gas, rent, electricity (my welder draws 100 amps while it is on, regardless of material)

    I get $85/hr for welding including supplies, you do the math. BTW I'm in Florida.

    Hope this helps

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by stunmai3; 06-22-2008 at 05:37 AM.
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    Registered User HardKore79's Avatar
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    Stunmai-- That's a reasonable price per hour. I'm guessing with the rising everything, you might have to up that price a bit.
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    Registered User flipman's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the great info. It is much appreciated. After reading your posts, I think it might be better and safer for me to just go ahead and replace them.

    Let me ask you this.... How are hex dumbbells made? Are the blobs just welded on handles or are they screwed on and then welded? Just curious....


    Thanks again!!
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  22. #22
    Registered User HardKore79's Avatar
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    I believe first they are pinned than welded around the seams. That seems to be my observation. If you have the money go for pro dumbbells. They will never break. For the heavier dbs of 80 and up I prefer Pro sets.
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