Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 38

Thread: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    188
    Post Thanks / Like

    Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Iíve had several people asking if I can make repairs on their boats. Most are very easy repairs. Anyhow, I was thinking of maybe buying some tools to get some practice and maybe get into making small repairs. Most of the material is 14-22 gauge. Iím looking for suggestions on tooling up. I have a 305g I was thinking of using with my 12vs and a spool gun. I also have a Hobart 140 I was thinking of using. I may also look into a tig rig. Whats the most practical way to get into this, while utilizing what I have? Iíve tig welded stainless piping, but used other guys equipment, and it was already rigged up, so Iím looking for any suggestions, being that Iíve never welded aluminum with anything other than stick electrodes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3,854
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    If the boats were originally riveted they won't weld successfully and just crack beside the welds. You can try to tighten the rivets is about all. Knew a specialty welding shop that did extensive aluminum Tig welding but it doesn't work for small riveted boats. If the boats have welded hulls can be welded. Epoxy may be an option.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    188
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Theyíre welded.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    368
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    MIG would be the way to go, you can set up for it easy with what you have and the skill level is less than TIG. Tig welding used boats can be challenging due to the amount of crud that you have to fight with in the weld pool. I would use 5356 wire.

  5. Likes shovelon liked this post
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    759
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    diesel,
    if the boats are 0.064" to say 0.025" (as you mention) its very hard to understand they were welded originally?

    Usually boats of this thin a scantling are press formed/roll formed and that is not usually done from the 50 series (marine sheet goods) alloys due to the bend radius of the 'welding alloys' compared to the forming tooling radius of thinner materials in different aluminum alloys.

    Another property of press forming materials is the ability of that alloy of aluminum to 'flow' without tearing into the dies/two sides of the forming machine. This series of alloys isn't always well behaved when welded- not that they can't be welded at all.... but welding isn't why those alloys were created- generally.

    And as Dave mentions, when these formed alloys are welded- the original alloy's properties next to many of the welds- not all of course- tend to become hardened and embrittled so they no longer flex like they did originally.

    That translates to a weld repair that may come back (over and over....!) because it created a 'hard spot' that cracked at the edge of the HAZ.

    Just a note of caution from someone who's repaired dozens of thin scantling, press formed aluminum boats and had a mix of successes and failures at the repair sites on these skiffs.

    MIG isn't really controllable enough to do the typical repair, and TIG, while very much more controllable and can be scaled down to the small beads implied by the scantlings you list: that's still a pretty fine bead, and the finer the bead- generally the longer time before you're putting that down reliably.

    so to answer your question about doing the work with what you have: You can't. TIG is the only way and that will be in pretty small beads that usually require a fair bit of practice.

    A few cents from an old welder with a few skiffs in his past.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    pekin, IL
    Posts
    54
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Morin View Post
    diesel,
    if the boats are 0.064" to say 0.025" (as you mention) its very hard to understand they were welded originally?

    Usually boats of this thin a scantling are press formed/roll formed and that is not usually done from the 50 series (marine sheet goods) alloys due to the bend radius of the 'welding alloys' compared to the forming tooling radius of thinner materials in different aluminum alloys.

    Another property of press forming materials is the ability of that alloy of aluminum to 'flow' without tearing into the dies/two sides of the forming machine. This series of alloys isn't always well behaved when welded- not that they can't be welded at all.... but welding isn't why those alloys were created- generally.

    And as Dave mentions, when these formed alloys are welded- the original alloy's properties next to many of the welds- not all of course- tend to become hardened and embrittled so they no longer flex like they did originally.

    That translates to a weld repair that may come back (over and over....!) because it created a 'hard spot' that cracked at the edge of the HAZ.

    Just a note of caution from someone who's repaired dozens of thin scantling, press formed aluminum boats and had a mix of successes and failures at the repair sites on these skiffs.

    MIG isn't really controllable enough to do the typical repair, and TIG, while very much more controllable and can be scaled down to the small beads implied by the scantlings you list: that's still a pretty fine bead, and the finer the bead- generally the longer time before you're putting that down reliably.

    so to answer your question about doing the work with what you have: You can't. TIG is the only way and that will be in pretty small beads that usually require a fair bit of practice.

    A few cents from an old welder with a few skiffs in his past.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK
    Not to derail, but I've been researching into making repairs on jon boats myself. How practical would oxy-acetylene be to make weld repairs? I'm thinking about getting a small torch setup to aluminum weld the same gauge.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Cumbria, UK
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Not very. O/A aluminium is possible, but it's fiddly and difficult to get right at the best of times.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    pekin, IL
    Posts
    54
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    Not very. O/A aluminium is possible, but it's fiddly and difficult to get right at the best of times.
    I've been practicing with 6000 series and mig wire. But I have a smith's HD torch and its pretty cumbersome. Hoses are old and stiff too. Thought about a smith's little torch or a aviation setup.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,810
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Kevin has it right. Tig would be the only way to go for what you want to do but it will take some time before you are ready to try welding that aluminum sheet metal on boats. The rivited boats make up about 90% of the under 20 ft aluminum pleasure boat market on fresh water lakes . I have repaired many of them but I have learned what I can repair and what I can't . The riveted overlaped seems have adhisive between the layers and do not take kindly to trying to weld them. If the leak is from a seem I tell them to try and tighten the rivets or use some sort of sealant on them. Most wind up selling the boat once bad leaks start.

    I am sure there are more welded aluminum boats on the coasts . Where they take more of a beating by the waves and weather but inland you will not find many other than pontoon boats and a few flat bottoms like duck boats and air boats.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cartersville, Georgia
    Posts
    445
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by thegary View Post
    The rivited boats make up about 90% of the under 20 ft aluminum pleasure boat market on fresh water lakes .
    That's actually location dependent. I'm assuming you're in the upper midwest/Great Lakes area, where Lund and Alumacraft and all have a stronghold, and that is likely an accurate percentage.

    Here in the Southeast (and I'm not near the coast), you can't sell a riveted boat, so I'd invert your percentage - 90% of the under 20' aluminum boat market will be welded boats. Mostly .100" thick, a fair number of .125" and a sprinkling of .080" hulls. As Kevin said, TIG will be your friend for most repairs, and is really the only practical option.
    Who is John Galt?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3,854
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by bplayer405 View Post
    Not to derail, but I've been researching into making repairs on jon boats myself. How practical would oxy-acetylene be to make weld repairs? I'm thinking about getting a small torch setup to aluminum weld the same gauge.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
    O/A is very difficult with aluminum but aluminum brazing might be an option.

    http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/...zing-rods.html

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laredo, Tx
    Posts
    6,065
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Morin View Post
    MIG isn't really controllable enough to do the typical repair...
    ...until you consider pulsed-spray MIG for aluminum. HTP's Pro Pulse MIGs are rated down to 0.032" with the Precision Aluminum Welding synergic program that is on the machine.

    FF until 36:30. Looks like 0.050", more or less. But you get the idea. (he does exaggerate a bit, as it's not "as thin as a coke can", lol)

    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling sig!



  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,810
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    ...until you consider pulsed-spray MIG for aluminum. HTP's Pro Pulse MIGs are rated down to 0.032" with the Precision Aluminum Welding synergic program that is on the machine.

    FF until 36:30. Looks like 0.050", more or less. But you get the idea. (he does exaggerate a bit, as it's not "as thin as a coke can", lol)

    I am not saying it can't be done , infact I have done a lot of aluminum boat repairs with a spool gun and no pulse . No bigy if you are used to it but most repairs are not long seems and a mig can be tricky at doing them. For a newby it would make learning much harder.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    759
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Oscar, diesel, others on the thread.

    Controllable is sort of relative term in this type of work. We're not discussing a general hull seam of a 0.024" (22 gauge) that is a foot long- where position, access and set allow one to consider a power supply that can weld with pulse- pulse/w/pulse or other great features when seams can be done that justify the controls.

    What we're discussing in repairing a very light scantling boat is where a corner of the hull has been damaged. The bow or stern corner work for a conversational examples.

    There is usually a heavier extrusion (0.125" to 0.160") meeting a 0.080" (or thinner) topsides, transom or perhaps a bow ramped up bottom panel?

    All these need to be welded at one temp/heat of fusion while cold, and as you get to more or fewer cross sections of material- control of Mig isn't very conducive to these wild sectional shifts. However I was using the term controllable to describe the TIG pedal/torch amperage control.

    Next example, out in the middle of the boat's bottom a rock has pushed up a fairly deeply creased bend in the bottom that stops, abruptly at a transverse rib's lap welded, horizontal (bend) flange.

    The top of the crease has formed a hardened area, that flexes for a few trips and slowly begins to leak.

    The weld may be along the top of the crease? or the bend hammered out and then welded, or in some cases there's a doubler added and all this has to tie into the rib.

    So again, the TIG control is the very deliberate variability of the welding wattage- while in MIG you pretty much 'set and go'. If the MIG were remote controlled on the gun's handle (? some people do this) then the weld could be heated and cooled to suit the needed repair cross section of differing materials.

    In general, MIG regardless of arc control characteristics isn't as agile as TIG for the repair of these boats - riveted/formed boats oR welded boats with heavier scantlings mentioned by bassboy.

    Another item in these welds is the dirt, contamination, and debris that might be present. TIG allows you to stop adding filler, lower the wattage, keep the puddle molten and just bubble out most of the junk (not saying good prep is to be ignored!) where MIG can only stack up wire to keep an arc, making the contamination area worse and worse, and requiring extensive body fender work before the next pass!

    There is quite a bit of difference between taking on repairs in a job shop and working to weld light scantling boats using factory jigs, weld sequences. The primary difference is the prior is random and the latter is very sequential and every single inch of welding is planned!

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    NW New Jersey
    Posts
    1,004
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Diesel - what kind of repairs were they looking for ? Hulls, decks , ladders, trailers, outboards . In my area, there are lots of rocks, Most of the repairs are cracked outboard cases, and skegs. Only a few guy do props. When the lakes get low, there are lots of repairs.
    Airco 250 ac/dc Heliwelder Square wave
    Miller Synchrowave 180 sd
    Miller Econo Twin HF
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Dayton 225 ac/dc
    Victor torches
    Snap-On YA-212
    Lotos Cut60D
    Primeweld 225 ac/dc
    Primeweld mig180
    Miller AEAD-200

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    188
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Some have asked for cuts, small gouges, holes, cracked hulls, and broken transoms to be repaired. There have been few who have asked for trailer repairs as well. The trailers could always be done with aluminum rods. The majority of them who have asked have flat bottom John boats. Theyíre real popular around here.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,810
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by diesel625 View Post
    Some have asked for cuts, small gouges, holes, cracked hulls, and broken transoms to be repaired. There have been few who have asked for trailer repairs as well. The trailers could always be done with aluminum rods. The majority of them who have asked have flat bottom John boats. They’re real popular around here.
    After you choose your equipment then comes the realization that aluminum welding is not cheap. Argon is expensive and goes fast, Aluminum filler is not that cheap either. Then add in the prep time needed to do the job correctly and the hand tools needed to clean and prep .you will find many will complain about the cost. So have a take it or leave it attitude about the work.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3,854
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    I wouldn't be trusting stick aluminum on a trailer. There's a reason you never see anything commercially made of aluminum welded with stick.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    188
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    I think Iím going to buy a multiprocess 220 welder. Anyone run the Everlast 205s?

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    759
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by diesel625 View Post
    I think Iím going to buy a multiprocess 220 welder. Anyone run the Everlast 205s?
    Diesel, does this power supply output as AC TIG arc? If not, it will not really solve the 'thin skinned boat repair' application you've posted about above.

    I'm not familiar with the power supply but don't believe there are many multi-purpose power supplies that include AC TIG with all the other features? All the other features of this power supply are DC output, as near as I can tell?

    Just a word about confirming AC TIG if you're going to work on thin aluminum hulls? Pretty sure the Everlast guys here will know intimately what outputs this power supply offers?

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  22. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,810
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Morin View Post
    Diesel, does this power supply output as AC TIG arc? If not, it will not really solve the 'thin skinned boat repair' application you've posted about above.

    I'm not familiar with the power supply but don't believe there are many multi-purpose power supplies that include AC TIG with all the other features? All the other features of this power supply are DC output, as near as I can tell?

    Just a word about confirming AC TIG if you're going to work on thin aluminum hulls? Pretty sure the Everlast guys here will know intimately what outputs this power supply offers?

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK
    Yes Kevin , I looked it up and it does have 200 amps of AC tig. I am skeptical of buys a multiprocess welder with plasma but I do have 3 Everlast machines and they have been good machines for me. I have had their 60 amp plasma for about 5 years and 250EX for about 3 years .

  23. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    759
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Thnx thegary, all my power supplies are red or blue; or the older ones- gray. & Never even laid eyes on an Everlast in person, but it's good to hear there is the key output AC TIG in this model. So Diesel will have the needed output for thin hulled boat repairs.

    that's quite a few (multi-) functions in one power supply! What does Everlast offer in the 300+ range in AC TIG? I build in thicker aluminum and have a "Blue"300DX power supply that isn't new... so I wouldn't mind knowing what's competitive since the cost of a "Blue" replacement is about the same as a new pickup tk! (exaggeration for the sake of attempting some humor).

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  24. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    NW New Jersey
    Posts
    1,004
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    You should get a straight tiq machine that has the most amps you can run off the generator side of the 305G, probably a 250 amp( 40Amp) unit ( or bigger ) . The 305g probably does 40 amps @ 240volts ? I have a bunch of units, but the 200 amp units just always seem to need a little more in the beginning of the weld. I would take amps over features when doing straight aluminum. as to brand, your on you own, Everlast seems to have a big selection in the 250 to 300amp class. Some people are happy with them some are not. Lincoln recomends the SW200 to run Tig off of the 305.
    Let us know what you decide.

    Good luck.
    Airco 250 ac/dc Heliwelder Square wave
    Miller Synchrowave 180 sd
    Miller Econo Twin HF
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Dayton 225 ac/dc
    Victor torches
    Snap-On YA-212
    Lotos Cut60D
    Primeweld 225 ac/dc
    Primeweld mig180
    Miller AEAD-200

  25. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    188
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    The Lincoln squarewave 200 was another option I was looking at. My 305g does 9500 watts continuous, and 40 amps for the 240v circuit as stated. I was looking at the Everlast powertig 255 as well. Main reason at looking at it is one of my buddies runs one in his shop, and highly recommends it. He has never used the plasma, but he did say it runs stick and ac tig very good.

  26. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,810
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Morin View Post
    Thnx thegary, all my power supplies are red or blue; or the older ones- gray. & Never even laid eyes on an Everlast in person, but it's good to hear there is the key output AC TIG in this model. So Diesel will have the needed output for thin hulled boat repairs.

    that's quite a few (multi-) functions in one power supply! What does Everlast offer in the 300+ range in AC TIG? I build in thicker aluminum and have a "Blue"300DX power supply that isn't new... so I wouldn't mind knowing what's competitive since the cost of a "Blue" replacement is about the same as a new pickup tk! (exaggeration for the sake of attempting some humor).

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK
    Hi Ken, At the risk of having some go nuts here on WW I will say Everlast has 3 AC tig models that have over 300 amps AC tig. The 315LX , The 325EXT and a 350EXT. Some are available in 480V 3 phase and all are available in 240V single phase. I have the 250EX and like it quite well. These 300+ amp models have more features than mine but I can do anything I need to with the 250EX. They would be worth you looking at them either for a spare or a replacement.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Page generated in 1,642,731,327.46674 seconds with 12 queries