Bevel and weld slowly and do as Jacki C suggested and "peen" the weld. It does relieve stress and you get less porous weld although that isnt big problem with nickel rod. Even regular welds can improve whacking at them while they are still hot enough to leave an impression with hammer. I tend to use pointy end of welders hammer.Ken Scharabok said:Thank you. What I need to weld is a piece of 1/2" x 3" x 3" quenched mild steel plate to a 3 LB China-import sledge hammer. I don't know what steel the head is, but doubt it is much more than a low-grade of cast steel or even cast iron. I sold one and the guy e-mailed me he had to weld it back on. Said it looked like a 'cold' weld, if I remember correctly, where the head wasn't properly heated. Unless I used a torch, I would not be able to preheat the head since the handle is still in it. I don't want to heat the plate again to possibly lose the hardening of the quench. Will do as advised and weld slow on the first pass around.