Aluminum arc rod
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  1. #1
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    Aluminum arc rod

    I have a small welding job involving some aluminum, problem is that I'm not equipped for anything other than mig, or the crappy DC rod with the nasty flux, I don't have an argon tank and really don't see it as economical to buy some & try the mig as I don't have a spool gun either. I'm wondering if the DC rod would work with an O/A torch, or if some 4043 wire would work at all with C-25, or should I just break down and try to find someone that can do it, I know there is no-one locally, or should I just try some ALUMAWELD.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    Lots of aluminum has been welded with o/a but you would need proper rods & flux. Plus if you really love whatever you want to weld you'll want to get some practice on aluminum first. Never tried C-25 on aluminum either, I guess you could find some scrap to test it out on, maybe.
    By the way Google says ALUMAWELD builds boats and ALUMiWELD makes the propane torch applied stuff.
    ---Meltedmetal

  3. #3
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    If you're talking about "Alumaloy," the stuff you can supposedly "weld aluminum with a propane torch," it ain't aluminum – it's zinc – and would be a bad idea for boats because when you put it in water, the zinc will disappear (like a zinc anode) due to galvanic corrosion...other than that, I imagine it works great.

  4. #4
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    C-25 won't work, I accidentally hooked it up one time and it wasn't pretty or even somewhat functioning. I have never tried oxy fuel welding aluminum, but I would try it before stick welding it.
    Miller xmt304, Miller S22 p12, Miier Maxstar SD, Miller 252 w 30A, Miller super32p12, Lincoln Ranger 9, Thermal Arc 181I with spoolgun, Hypertherm 10000 ,Smith torches. Esab 161lts miniarc.

  5. #5
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    My esab 161 runs stick aluminum well. The package on my aluminum sticks says the can be used with o/a. O/A has a learning curve and proper goggles would be much appreciated. The alumiweld works. I have used it however I would not use it to replace welding. I used oxy/propane when I used alumiweld. It takes a lot of heat to get it to flow..

    Good luck

  6. #6
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    The piece is a part for my pool skimmer, so kind of having second thoughts on the alumaweld due to maintaining water chemistry, my drill it & go with S/S bolt & lock nut. I may play with the sticks a little to see how it works with O/A.
    NRA LIFE MEMBER
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  7. #7
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I may play with the sticks a little to see how it works with O/A.
    Keep us updated on that.

  8. #8
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    Got a pic of the pieces? As far as aluminum stick welding goes, be prepared for a lot of failure before you have sucess. From the sounds of it you might be better off buying a new piece.

  9. #9
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    The parts are new aluminum, 1/8 & 1/4 to stiffen the plastic clamp on a skimmer for an above ground pool. If I try gas welding , it will be scraps and not screw up the water chemistry. the damn clamp gets hot & loosens up in the Az heat, so just looking to stiffen it up some on the part that fits over the top frame.
    NRA LIFE MEMBER
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  10. #10
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    The piece is a part for my pool skimmer, so kind of having second thoughts on the alumaweld due to maintaining water chemistry....
    Is it something you use to get leaves out of the pool, or something that will stay in the pool water all the time? If it's in the water all the time, I don't think even straight aluminum is gonna play well with the sodium (or calcium) hypochlorite that you use to chlorinate the pool...I don't think it'll change your water chemistry so much, but the hypochlorite will attack the aluminum over time...also, SS and aluminum together are also gonna make a galvanic cell (corrosion) if they're submerged together all the time...

  11. #11
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    welding aluminum with stick was a very last resort. i usually got it to work but wasn't proud of the results. i remember reading you could gas weld with the rods but never tried. if i did attempt it i would break the flux off a rod or two and mix it with water and make a paste like silver solder flux;paint the clean parts and light the torch.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  12. #12
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    Someone once told me that when gas welding aluminum that you set an acetylene flame that is very sooty and "soot" the joints, adjust the torch to a neutral flame and start preheat, and as soon as the soot disappeared it was welding time. It sounds like a total crock of sh!t to me simply because nothing is cleaning the metal.
    NRA LIFE MEMBER
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  13. #13
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Is it something you use to get leaves out of the pool, or something that will stay in the pool water all the time? If it's in the water all the time, I don't think even straight aluminum is gonna play well with the sodium (or calcium) hypochlorite that you use to chlorinate the pool...I don't think it'll change your water chemistry so much, but the hypochlorite will attack the aluminum over time...also, SS and aluminum together are also gonna make a galvanic cell (corrosion) if they're submerged together all the time...
    The piece is called a surface skimmer and the bracketry is just a poor design. It's a salt pool with salt level at about 2700ppm so the only time it gets sodium hypochlrite is when I shock it, the part stays above the water for the most part. I was worried that if I used the alumaweld I would have issues since it appears to be zinc, also read somewhere that it was tin, so IDK, I think there are 2 types, one for O/A torch and one for propane torch. I'm thumpin my brain trying to figure a way to keep it in place without going to a thru the wall skimmer
    NRA LIFE MEMBER
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  14. #14
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    All I have to add to the discussion is my experience with Arctec aluminum electrodes.

    On a whim I ran a couple pounds of 3/32 & 1/8 on dc, hated it. Toes wouldn't fuse all the time and the rods burned up exceedingly fast.
    Also noted that whatever is in the flux caused interesting reactions with the concrete in my shop where i didn't sweep every last crumb up, and caused rusting on any steel tool that i didn't wipe all the (liquid?) from the flux off.

    Eta;

    As with anything, more experience would improve results. YMMV.
    Last edited by Tango Sierra; 08-18-2019 at 11:02 PM. Reason: more info.
    Tango.

  15. #15
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    Someone once told me that when gas welding aluminum that you set an acetylene flame that is very sooty and "soot" the joints, adjust the torch to a neutral flame and start preheat, and as soon as the soot disappeared it was welding time. It sounds like a total crock of sh!t to me simply because nothing is cleaning the metal.
    Seen that on multiples places, I don't think it is a hoax. Pretty sure you start with clean aluminum. The soot protects the metal and a rich( rich side of neutral) flame doesn't add oxygen. Al Gets slick to the filler rod and shiney when it is time to weld. Appropriate Goggles will be important to be successful.

    Have you personally tried stick welding? I tried it with 4 inverter machines. The results were frustrating on 3 machines. The esab runs it easily. Also the other machines made it difficult to start and keep an arc...making seem like I could not feed fast enough.

    Hobart sales the small packs of aluminum electrodes.

  16. #16
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    Somewhere on youtube there are some videos of a Brit motorcyclist, I think, who welds up some aluminum with O/A. Looks like it takes a mountain of heat, but he pulls it off if I recall correctly...

  17. #17
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    aluminum rod requires picking a big enough size. that is 1/8" diameter rod is way to small a diameter for 1/4" or thicker material without serious preheating
    .
    there is always a maximum amperage the rod can use and get good welds. exceeding recommended amps with too small a rod diameter is most common source of aluminum stick welding problems. sure you can use oxyacetylene or tig and use stick aluminum rod as a filler rod flux and all but be prepared for needing massive supplies of heat. if you tig weld 1/8 aluminum at 200 amps and 1/4" thick aluminum at 250 amps you obviously going to need a big enough stick rod that can deliver same heat. that is 1/8 dia aluminum stick rod for 1/8 thick material many will say is just right.
    .
    many clamp on a aluminum piece under a butt joint as aluminum will drip or collapse with little warning. you grind off the aluminum piece later. just saying its not the easiest to stick weld aluminum.
    .
    stores rarely carry bigger than 1/8 aluminum stick rod as if you were doing thick aluminum its far easier using a mig at usually on a 200 amp or higher machine. only reason they carry 1/8" rod is many try oxyacetylene or tig as a heat source

  18. #18
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    I've done a little stick on aluminum, I don't like it and will avoid it if I can, I may buy a pack of rod because what I have on hand is OLD, don't even remember where or why I have it.
    NRA LIFE MEMBER
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  19. #19
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    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    JB Weld!
    Owner of Fast Leroy's Bar and Grill
    Liquor up Front, Poker in the Rear

  20. #20

    Re: Aluminum arc rod

    IF you want to O/A weld get the flux here:

    https://www.tinmantech.com/products/...ler-metals.php

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