08-29-2004, 08:42 PM
Looking to buy a welder for various marine projects like SS t-top framing, aluminum sheet (1/8") dingy, etc. The cost of a Tig or Mig w/ a spool gun is so much more than a gas welding setup. How practical would it be to weld aluminum sheet with a OA like a micomidget?
09-29-2004, 06:56 AM
Torch-welding stainless ("SS"?) really needs argon back-purging to work well, unless the pieces are really small.
Aluminum sheet can be done, "stitch" welding an inch "in the middle" and let the whole piece cool frequently, until the whole piece is joined. Like for a 2x2-foot sheet, go around all four sides welding an inch in the middle of each side, let the work cool, then on one half of each side, weld another inch on all four sides, let it cool, then weld an inch on the other half of all four sides, let it cool, and so you see that this takes a long time, but is the best way to keep the sheet from warping.
Also you might look into the aluminum brazing rod, "repair rod", also. I have read that it is NOT good for things that are permanently-used in water becaue it can corrode, but for an occasional-use item like a boat it works fine. Shops use it to patch aluminum bass boats. It melts at about 40 degrees lower than the aluminum.
I seem to be the rare-bird, a torch-welding enthusiast (-I'd be a TIG enthusiast but I can't afford it).
Many people seem to assume that any electric welder is somehow better than an "old-fashioned" torch, but many of the problems new welders have with the electrics are things that don't happen at all with a torch. Mostly because with a torch the heat is 100% controllable without adding filler, just like a TIG--but the torch just heats up a wider area, so they say TIG is best. For doing small precise clean welds in metals of all thicknesses, TIG is #1, torch is #2, everything else is behind.
09-29-2004, 03:18 PM
It is going to be a poor way to TRY to weld alum, especially sheet. TIG is about the only way you can do it.
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