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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a 50" deck over the weekend for my 318. I got it at a good price because of the rust and condition. Of course we all know that the areas of rust is the "basin" section where everyone had those covers and wet grass hung around that area forever.

Anyway I tore the deck down and used an outdoor torch (you know the huge flamethrower torch) to burn off all the paint. It removes pretty much all the plastic coat paint and any organic debris. I see now the center area is moderate to heavily pitted. However, it's still solid, I hit it with a hammer and it holds up pretty well. There are no corrosion holes in the deck. My question is what can I do before pre and paint to "reinforce" the deck. I was thinking maybe to weld angle iron underneath along the existing ribbing to provide reinforcement. I did buy reinforcement rings that go into the spindle holes. The rings are 3/16" thick and I used them in my 46" deck with great success.

The other thing I was thinking was using Bondo or some fiberglass filler material, however I don't think this will provide structural reinforcement.
 

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They made reinforcement plates for the spindle housings on the deck.
Id use those and do nothing structural to the deck otherwise.

When you go to prep it before painting, look into POR-15 or KBS Coatings.
Their "paint" is ridiculously strong. It will also fill the pitting leaving you a mostly smooth surface to paint over. It does require proper prep, (they outline the proper steps on their website) and a proper primer for other paint to stick to it, but its worth it if you want that deck to last. It will never form rust where you put that coating ever again.
Ive used it a couple times on different things.
Incidentally, since you are redoing the whole deck, if you coat the underside of it with that same coating, stuff doesnt stick to it well at all either, and it wears like iron if you use a few coats and let it set up completely before use.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They made reinforcement plates for the spindle housings on the deck.
Id use those and do nothing structural to the deck otherwise.

When you go to prep it before painting, look into POR-15 or KBS Coatings.
Their "paint" is ridiculously strong. It will also fill the pitting leaving you a mostly smooth surface to paint over. It does require proper prep, (they outline the proper steps on their website) and a proper primer for other paint to stick to it, but its worth it if you want that deck to last. It will never form rust where you put that coating ever again.
Ive used it a couple times on different things.
Incidentally, since you are redoing the whole deck, if you coat the underside of it with that same coating, stuff doesnt stick to it well at all either, and it wears like iron if you use a few coats and let it set up completely before use.
I've seen the reinforcement plates. They unfortunately don't work for decks with "ribbing". it says this specifically. I was thinking of POR15, however I never used POR15 on my old deck. Just rustoleum yellow, several coats. there's not a single pit of rust after several years of use. I've also let wet grass over the deck a few times. But I have a habbit of using my blower on the underside of the deck after use.
 

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I have brazed small holes in the pitting but otherwise a couple coats of oil based primer,then paint after sandblasting will stop it from getting worse. If you do not get all the moisture out of it you might have to redo some spots next year where the rust kept working under the primer. I think it would have to be very very bad to start affecting the structure or strength.
 
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