Aluminum boat repair

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BillW
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Location: Cape Cod MA

Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby BillW » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:38 am

Thanks very much for all the responses. I guess when it comes to fixing aluminum boats, there is no free lunch, after all. Apparently this is why even a professional welding company told me they wouldn't touch my boat......

amuller
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Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby amuller » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:23 am

I'm under the impression that these "aluminum brazing rods" are usually not aluminum at all, but some sort of zinc-based alloy. Is this so?

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wbeaton
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Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby wbeaton » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:52 am

They are definitely an alloy. I don't know what the composition is. I would be concerned with trying to repair an aluminium boat with brazing rods. Usually, cracks form from repeated flexing. Brazing will anneal the aluminium and make it even weaker. Tig welding is the only method I'd use on an aluminium hull. Perhaps mig if it can be done well. The brazing rods are great. I use them. Just not for hull repairs.

ShoestringMariner
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Location: Guelph, Ontario

Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby ShoestringMariner » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:31 pm

I would be very careful using aluminum brazing rods on a boat hull. It's going to take a considerable amount of heat and preheating time to get those rods to flow. The size of Rod also needs to be taken into account. Too small rod diameter and it will disappear before it will flow, too thick and it will stick and not flow. The size of rod also needs to be taken into account. Reparing a boat hull would be best left to somebody with an AC/DC TIG welder, especially one with a pulse feature. I have heard of it being done in DC mode however I've never done it myself. As Chris P says it has to be clean clean clean.
One difficult thing that people find with welding aluminum, is that there's no color. When you preheat steel, the colour changes. With aluminum, there is no colour change and it's easy to blow holes and thin material

Larkbill
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Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby Larkbill » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:30 pm

I bought, and still have, a package of the lower temp rods they sell at the sports and gun shows. Supposedly doesn't require a stainless brush, but works better with it. I was able to repair a couple leaks in my jonboat, but it took a bunch of experimenting. My brother has been extremely successful with aluminum wire in his wirefeed welder. Thinking maybe I need to buy a portable TIG when I retire and learn to use it.

ShoestringMariner
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Location: Guelph, Ontario

Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby ShoestringMariner » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:38 am

Larkbill wrote:I bought, and still have, a package of the lower temp rods they sell at the sports and gun shows. Supposedly doesn't require a stainless brush, but works better with it. I was able to repair a couple leaks in my jonboat, but it took a bunch of experimenting. My brother has been extremely successful with aluminum wire in his wirefeed welder. Thinking maybe I need to buy a portable TIG when I retire and learn to use it.


Do you know what wire size he used and was it a regular MIG set up, or a spoolgun? I have a spoolgun, but wouldn't go near a hull with it unless it was around 1/8" thick or thicker.

Larkbill
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Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby Larkbill » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:46 am

I'll find out exactly what he did. He built his own airboat using a Generac spec V-twin and the boat he bought had some issues, but his repairs seem to have held up.

Larkbill
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Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby Larkbill » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:26 am

OK, he used .030 aluminum wire in his spoolgun MIG. He bought a small bottle of mixed gas they recommended, he thinks it was 75% Argon,/25% CO2 but a welding supply place should know. The boat he worked on was .050, it was a 12' boat he cut and shortened to 8'. He uses it to duck hunt somewhere we have to travel on the Mississippi then drag a small boat into a canal.

He has a stainless brush and some sandpaper he never uses on anything but aluminum, and he said it welds best the less time between cleaning and welding.

cookjer24
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Re: Aluminum boat repair

Postby cookjer24 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:35 am

for small cracks or pellet gun holes lol,i use j.b weld works good for me been 2 years and no leaks


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