Don't think of it as an axle, but just a shaft. I would be very surprised if it's anything more than 1018 cold rolled shaft. If you have a wire feed, that's the best way to go.
Don't turn the welder all the way up, and skip around alot. Weld a line on one side, then do another 180 degrees off, then go maybe 90, then 180, etc... until it's built up. Don't go too fast, and try not to get the whole area glowing red. Best if done on a flat table.
For any kind of a bearing (bushing) surface, I'd like to see it turned down myself.
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