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MIG or TIG on an aluminum speed boat

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  • #16
    Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
    So does heart surgery

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    • #17
      Originally posted by takoateli View Post
      Guys, OK, I get it. Thanks! : - )

      It looks really easy on YouTube though.

      : - )

      Greg
      Yep...pretty much anything that you watch someone else do that is really good at whatever it is LOOKS EASY, but that is the thing....if a person makes whatever they are doing look easy (flying a helicopter, rolling strikes at bowling, doing brain surgery, winning a pool tournament, doing real pretty TIG welds, etc..) it just means that they are good at it and got that way usually by hours and hours of practice..maybe for months and months or even years and years.

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      • #18
        How you end up in a small town in Venezuela with a Nice Speed Boat and find a Harbor Freight welder?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tommy2069 View Post
          they do have some rods you can use with a torch that has very good results when used . they are very costly but they do a good job.
          Yeah, and they're made of ZINC...same thing they make boat sacrificial anodes out of!

          I think I'd sooner use Elmer's Glue-All.

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          • #20
            Thanks to everyone who posted!

            I don't know if the TIG machine that is available does AC myself. My friend in town who saw the machine only sent me some specs and not the actual model number or a pic.

            The boat went through the rapids and is badly bent and all the structural trim around the edges is gone and the middle seat is broken out. The boat is of riveted construction and not welded, which also gives me some concern because perhaps it's an alloy that doesn't weld well.

            The boat is actually in the Amazon jungle, and the small town is just where we do our shopping.


            No, those aluminum "welding" sticks that you use with the torch work really great. Their melting point is far enough below the melting point of aluminum alloy that it's pretty easy not to puddle the work. The repairs do turn black with exposure to water over time, but the repairs do seem to last and seem to be very strong. There's really no way out here to properly repair and aluminum boat, as this thread attests to, so they are a really good second best. In fact I even gave a Yanomami Indian friend a Burnsomatic torch and a few rods and he was able to repair an aluminum canoe that got a puncture from a collision with a rock. The torch was a bit wimpy and didn't work the first try, so I told him to take the boat and leave it out in the sun on a really hot sunny day, and at noon time go out and put the torch on the spot, move it around and keep waiting to see if you can get the stick the flow. The solar "preheating" worked. So that attests to the low skill level needed to use those rods if a hunter, gatherer, gardener Indian in the jungle can use them. I assure you he has no other welding or soldering experience.


            Again I want to tell you all how much I appreciate your input. I'm always struck by the kindness and generosity of all the professionals who populate the various forums and take the time to pass along what they know to those who are needing their help. Thanks!


            Greg
            http://gregihnen.me

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            • #21
              I've been welding for 40+ years now and have a great deal of experience TIG and MIG welding aluminum. However my experience has been on heavier sheet aluminum 11ga. 1/8" and heavier but have considerable experience welding dirty aluminum castings. I doubt I'd even attempt the repairs you're needing with my experience level. Now if you had a broken skeg that's a different story, bring it over and I'll weld it up! If it were thin gauge stainless I'd take the job, I do have considerable experience with thin gauge stainless.

              Being located where you're at doesn't lend to much options for repairs. Does the boat have insurance on it? If so contact your insurance company perhaps they have someone in their database who is qualified to make the repair for you. Seems like you're between a rock and a hard place, I wish you the best of luck getting the boat repaired.

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              • #22
                Fascinating and educational website, Greg. Will take a little while to get through it all. Thanks for posting the link.

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                • #23
                  Argon

                  'and I beleive there's a place that has argon gas.'.............better find out for sure before going any further..........if so, get some material that is of similar thickness and start running beads...like tank after tank of practice...

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                  • #24
                    When we do repairs on ours, we usually throw the spool gun on the MIG. Just make sure you drill out the ends of the crack so it doesn't keep cracking.

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