Brazing or welding aluminum?


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Old 08-24-13, 09:31 PM
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Brazing or welding aluminum?

I only have an arc AC welder and needed to weld 4 pieces of aluminum together to make a frame so I used some Alumiweld for the first time. Worked out good except for the test piece that I did I actually melted one of the aluminum pieces. Now I'm wondering if I should buy a TIG welder!!!! What gives the best results and is most cost effective in the long run? Also should I smooth out the weld? One of the weld was a bit chunky and decided to smooth it out with my bench grinder then realized that I just de-anodized the aluminum so now I have a shiny corner What's the best approach to clean up the welds with aluminum?
 
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Old 08-25-13, 01:18 AM
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Welding aluminum by any process other than TIG is difficult. A good TIG set-up is expensive so it often pays to simply have the work done in a shop that does a lot of aluminum work. If you want to learn TIG welding it is best to take a class at a local trade school that offers TIG welding in their metal fabrication program. A skilled TIG welder will leave a bead so smooth it does not require any after-welding work.
 

Last edited by Furd; 08-25-13 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 08-25-13, 06:17 AM
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If you've only got a few pieces to weld I'd take it to a welder or steel fab. shop and have them weld it together for you. Welding aluminum is more difficult than steel and has a bit of learning curve. By the time you buy the equipment and learn how to use it you've spent a fair bit of money and time.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 09:40 AM
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I guess I'll stick to those alumiweld sticks. Some of the welds I did are almost flawless it could be tricky not to overheat or not enough heat then it beads up and make a blob but you can work the puddle quickly with the stick. The down side is those sticks are pretty expensive. What's the best way to clamp your material so it's stays solid with you apply the flame? Right now I'm using bricks to make my 90 degree angles.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 09:46 AM
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The best way to clamp parts depends on your parts and what you have available for clamping. C clamps, pipe clamps, Vice grip pliers... heck I've even used rope to tie a big part to a building column to hold it in place while I welded. Best in my case is usually what I can find close by in 2 minutes or less.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 08:46 PM
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I have quite a bit of various clamps But the corners are a bit tricky since you can't tack when brazing aluminum.

What's a good type of flux for aluminum?
 
 

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