Welding Aluminum?


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Old 04-25-07, 11:53 AM
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Welding Aluminum?

Hello.

I have some aluminum frames for 3 different floor compartments in my boat. One angle connection of each frame needs a new weld.

Is this something I can do at home with a torch, or is there a specific tool needed to weld aluminum?

Thanks! AW
 
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Old 04-25-07, 02:19 PM
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I would suggest taking it to a shop that has a TIG machine so the job is done right. Second suggestion would be to have the pieces welded with a Spool Gun that has aluminum wire in it. I am not a big fan of spool guns because it seems you need to preheat the pieces to be welded in order to get a good weld the first pass. Back in 1965 the spool gun we used was powered by a big Westinghouse power unit and you could weld aluminum angle to a 3/8 thick Bulkhead and the weld would wash in real nice. The machines today don't seem to work that way, or at least the ones I have seen.
 
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Old 04-25-07, 03:47 PM
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I agree with Jerome that TIG welding aluminum is the best way to go. MIG welded aluminum welds are OK in some applications, but if it was welded before and broke, chances are mig welding it again will probably not be as permanent as a good tig weld. Unless you fish plate or angle bracket the joints...if possible.

Torch is out of the question on aluminum. Unless you're soldering or something. But then you would still need to somehow back-up a butt or T joint.

Jim
 
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Old 04-25-07, 09:55 PM
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Thanks guys. I'll look up some local welders. What's the ballpark price for having them weld these 3 angles that are seperated with a TIG machine? Thx again. AW
 
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Old 04-26-07, 07:43 AM
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Wow. The 2 local guys I called want 90 and 100 respectively to do those 3 small TIG welds. I may be better off just screwing the frames down to the ribs then blowing a bill on this...

Thanks again. AW
 
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Old 04-26-07, 02:36 PM
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Wow! that is a lot. There is some expense involved in TIG welding, and it does take time, but 90 and up seems high. Does anyone else have a comment on this price, without actually seeing the job?
 
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Old 04-27-07, 12:08 PM
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Are you bringing the pieces to them to be mended or are you having them come to you. If they are coming to you, with their equipment, $90 is a vey resonable price at least in my area anyway(NJ). Especially on aluminum.
 
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Old 04-29-07, 07:32 PM
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probably a 1 hour min charge...and that is fair
 
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Old 04-29-07, 09:02 PM
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the price quoted is not all that uneasonable. if you consider although there is only a couple of inches of weld, the prep time and the experience and the equipment are worth that. Take into consideration the time to look the thing over, get things set up, prep the material, weld the material, write up the bill and recieve payment, he's going to have an hour or so in this thing.

this is the 21st century and all.

if they were coming to you I would probably double that before I started to get concerned.
 
 

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