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Gauge face inlay for bit hardfacing

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #5904212.

Steel bodies are manufactured in a production process that employs polystyrene patterns in a lost foam casting process. The patterns are machined to permit the formation of complex shapes that cannot be reproduced in simple patterns that are extractable from reusable, two-piece pattern molds or dies. Bit patterns formed in the process have forward canted blades that are machined from mating planar surfaces to simplify the machining process. The edges of the forward canted blades form a spiral surface for mounting cutter elements. The forward canting makes the blades stronger and thus permits the blades to be thinner than non-canted blades to increase the clearance between blades, which improves the movement of the cuttings past the bit. Recesses are machined into the gauge face of the patterns to produce a recess in the casting for receiving hardfacing. The hardfacing in the recess forms a layer that cooperates with the surrounding blade material to form a smooth transition area as the bit wears during usage.

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