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Thread: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

  1. #26
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    I can think of 3 brands of mig machines with twin pulse that can be set up like a Tig machine. ie: Wave balance, Pulses per second and wave form to control heat input. Synergic, digital and computer enhanced. So yes you can do this with mig. I've done 1/16 aluminum with 3/64 wire. Each pulse puts down a dime ( so to speak) and on it goes. 1 dime per second 3 or 5 dimes. look up OTC, Lorch and Fronius. Granted this is 5 -15K equipment. No idea about the welds near rivets cracking but the base metal should be able to be Mig'd. I haven't seen the type of aluminum posted and it does matter. That being said, I still prefer to Tig weld boat repairs. Good luck !!
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  2. #27
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Rondo View Post
    I still prefer to Tig weld boat repairs. Good luck !!
    so, stripping out all the speculation, and reading bassboy1's remarks (someone who does thin scantling mod's/repairs as a business) I'd guess that if you don't have access to AC TIG, diesel, then you're not going to be able to (realistically) do the work you've asked about.

    An alum. stick isn't going to be any where near adequate for a road worthy trailer but then, that's a great place for a spool gun or other MIG that can handle 250+ amps. Aluminum trailers are going to have to be 1/4" or heavier materials, well I guess we can include 3/16" -0.187" materials for some of these light wt boats?. So welding those 50 and 60 series extrusions and plates without MIG or TIG of sufficient amperage- is not going to deliver "highway safe" performance.

    cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  3. #28
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    for a nickel's worth.....my broher uses a 250ex for tig on his work on aluminum, magnesium and other metals. I have a 205si multi process with plasma (and analog controls) excepting the amps readout that I just use for plasma and have it for backup if the main 256D multi process with plasma (with digital controls) decides to take a nap. I got it because I wanted more horse power available. IF I had it to do over, I'd think more about analog controls instead of having to run thru the whole program to make changes in settings.
    Look around, there is a lot out there .

  4. #29
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    I'm not even gonna read this whole thread: listen to Morin if you are actually trying to weld canoes.

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  6. #30
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    All this does not matter if you cannot do the process. For mig use your spoolgun on thin sheet. For tig, have your buddy with the LincolnSW200 teach you how to weld thin sheet with it. Thicker sections are a breeze with that tig machine up to 1/4", then switch to a mig or add helium to your mix.

    ER5356 is your friend, with ER4943 a close second. Neither require base metal dilution for adequate strength.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  7. #31
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    About 8-10 customers ask me to fix a boat or pontoon a year, only 2-3 actually want to spend the money for me to fix them. Its usually a terrible job, thin cracked sections that have been punched up by something and need to be hammered back straight before welding. Rub rails and transoms aren't too bad to fix but usually filthy. Undersides are terrible to do. I have a XMT with a XR-A spoolgun for most of it if possible. Also a Synchrowave 350 for tig. I would never stick weld a aluminum boat. IMHO stick aluminum only is good for middle of nowhere thicker than 3/16 aluminum. Most of the time I use 5356 .035 wire, .030 and .023 like to bend and jam up very easily. Especially if I hit a "dirty" spot and it just pushes the wire. Cleaning the aluminum is extremely important, I use Roloc wheels for it, but I work for 3M and get deals on them. Most of the time I use both the spoolgun and tig. Ill lay in a bead next to the crack or gap to fill, then go back over it with the tig to draw out any impurities, try to close the crack or gap, and smooth the weld out. Had to do that a lot on cracks on the underside of boats that are too big to be flipped over. Are you decent at welding overhead? Lots of cracks - tears have to be welded from the underside due to decking, foam, and plates welded or riveted to the top. Don't be afraid to turn some people away too. Some potential customers think anything can be fixed cheap when they really need a new boat.

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  9. #32
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by ferrret3238 View Post
    Some potential customers think anything can be fixed cheap when they really need a new boat.
    We took a long time to get there, we explored lots of ideas, experiences and a variety of hulls'; scantlings, alloys, and designs. And finally, after a bit of "beating around the bush" we have a good summary of the 'disposable aluminum alloy boat manufacturing industry's products'.

    to which I reply " AMEN", preach on Brother!

    cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

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  11. #33
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by blackkathy View Post
    When I had my boat, I was often faced with repairing it because it was almost always breaking down. Because it was ancient, it was already starting to rot. It needed urgent repairs. But because the repairs would have cost me a lot, I preferred to sell that vodka. This way, I freed myself from wasting money to repair it. After all, I didn't need the boat. Mostly I liked to ride the boat and enjoy the beautiful views. But now that I don't have my boat, it's much more convenient for me to use the boat rentals miami service. Plus, these boats they have are much calmer and more comfortable than the little boat I had. So I'm thrilled with the boat rentals, and I don't need my own.
    Reported as spam
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  12. #34
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Reported as spam
    I wonder how many hours "Blackkathy" spent registering a username and then composing a post that wouldn't trigger an immediate, automatic bounce to the Bozobin ... all for the sake of perhaps three page views of her spam site in the next 10,000 years.

    "A" for effort! ROI...not so much.

  13. #35
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    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)

    That way pretty funny when he got excited over that first bead. And then he thought that was fast.

  14. #36
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    I watched the video kind of sped up, but didn't notice any 'boat welds'- or any really decent simulations of repairs I'd seen in our shop? The thicker pc.s do simulate plate boat building - sort of; but most of the welds were curled under due to being too low wattage- not wetted out very well. Setting up shop simulations w clean, (not particularly well cleaned) new, coupons of very thick material hardly seems a decent evaluation of a repair on light scantling formed hulls?

    I've used MIG to repair some thinner hull panel boats- but had to resort to run-on & run-off blocks, in most cases, in order to use the MIG bead - where starting and stopping just don't seem to have a means to control well enough to make a reliable weld that thin (0.060"<)? Globular transfer has worked for me in the past from .060" to .080", but required (me to have) control pots at the gun - like a pedal in TIG- to dial in the wire and wattage.

    I guess a lap weld could be used to 'patch' a panel between ribs, longs or other structure but I'd be concerned that the stiffness of the patch would result in HAZ edge failure due that area moving differently than the rest of the panel?

    Be interesting to see some hull patch work with a pulsed MIG?

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

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  16. #37
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    AHHHH! the voice of reason...been there and done that. 100% right!

  17. #38
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    Re: Boat repairs Welding aluminum

    I've been learning what works for jon boat repairs (from leaks to cracks and holes) and found there can be multiple solutions for the problems. Upped my game also from o/a to 220v mig w/spool gun then to tig, with tig being my main tool of choice.

    The boats I've worked on have been my own and a few friends mainly 16' riveted jons that all weld just fine. They're welded in every curved rake up front and in the transom area from the manufacturer anyways. No, you can't weld rivets and get them to reseal. Just replace the rivet and use sealant. But, welding up a crack or hole in a small jon is fairly straightforward. It's also pretty easy to weld up framework for deck extensions and other interior modifications to these boats. I added flat floor framing to my mod-v and it's welded to the existing floor ribs. Full season in and all us well. I just made and installed an all aluminum transom to replace the rotted plywood that was there. It was welded in place to its members then riveted and bolted to the support brackets. Very strong and won't rot again. Will most likely do this kind of work as a side gig... You never know what will work until you try.

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