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MIG or TIG on an aluminum speed boat

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  • MIG or TIG on an aluminum speed boat

    I have a question about which gear to use and what you think my chances of success are welding an aluminum speedboat.

    I have a friend who badly smashed up an aluminum speedboat. He's willing to buy the gear needed to weld it. We're shopping for gear in a small town in Venezuela so there's not a lot of choice of machines. But there is a MIG and a TIG machine for sale, and I beleive there's a place that has argon gas.

    I've never MIG or TIG welded but I have some field experience with stick welding.

    My friend did find a MIG and a TIG machine for sale, though the owner says "they won't weld aluminum". What are the requirements for a MIG or TIG machine for welding thin aluminum? I've seen very expensive and fancy units demonstrated on YouTube welding Coke cans. I certainly won't be able to get a machine like that.

    My friend is going to get the model number of the machines for sale and I'll post them when I have them.

    So what are my chances of being successful starting out with MIG or TIG with possibly less than ideal gear on an aluminum speedboat? What's your gut feeling?

    Any input would be appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Greg

  • #2
    NO EXPERIENCE with either mig or tig.

    Thin aluminum.

    I'm guessing you don't have a snowball's chance in hades of making a satisfactory repair in the next 12 months.

    Thin aluminum that's been exposed to oxidation from salt water is a challenge even for an experienced tigger who's used to working with thin material.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
      NO EXPERIENCE with either mig or tig.

      Thin aluminum.

      I'm guessing you don't have a snowball's chance in hades of making a satisfactory repair in the next 12 months.

      Thin aluminum that's been exposed to oxidation from salt water is a challenge even for an experienced tigger who's used to working with thin material.
      Well thanks for the honesty!

      The boat is almost brand new, and it's never seen salt water. But it is thin aluminum and I have no MIG/TIG experience. Though I've watched it on YouTube. And my high school shop teacher said I was a natural welder. : - )

      Greg

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      • #4
        You need to meet Steph and start a boat repair...Bob
        http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...t=boat+welding
        Last edited by aametalmaster; 02-22-2012, 07:51 PM.
        Bob Wright

        Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
        http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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        • #5
          Thin aluminum? MIG I'd say no. TIG yes but with no experience GOOD LUCK. When you get it done Sundown will go speed boatin with you.

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          • #6
            More info

            Just a bit more info. The TIG welder my friend found for sale is a:

            Chicago Electric TIG 240 volt and says it is an Inverter Arc / TIG welder

            Does this up my chances?

            Greg

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            • #7
              none.....forget it.....sorry
              Originally posted by takoateli View Post
              Just a bit more info. The TIG welder my friend found for sale is a:

              Chicago Electric TIG 240 volt and says it is an Inverter Arc / TIG welder

              Does this up my chances?

              Greg

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              • #8
                Chicago Electric TIG 240 is sold at Harbor Freight I believe. Need I say more. I'm not even sure this machine will produce AC current.

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                • #9
                  Why not use the money for gear and hire an experienced welder to do the repair? It's not fun to be in a sinking boat, trust me.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Dude you are really barking up the wrong tree... First off if you have never TIG welded before and you think you are going to start off in the deep end of the pool with success is INSANE!! There's people that can TIG steel very, very well that can't TIG Aluminum AT ALL !!! After many years of experience TIG welding... First off if the seller is telling you the equipment isn't capable of welding Aluminum why do you think that you can make it do the job when you have admitted you have no experience at all TIG welding? Again that's simply insane..

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                    • #11
                      Guys, OK, I get it. Thanks! : - )

                      What should be counted towards my sanity is I came here and ran it by you guys first. I realize I can't do this job. Thanks for taking the time. I really appreciate it.

                      It looks really easy on YouTube though.

                      : - )

                      Greg

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                      • #12
                        So does heart surgery
                        Now with all that said, you should go ahead and make an effort to learn how to weld with the different processes so you could possibly at least do some more basic repairs when needed.

                        www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
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                        • #13
                          Still didn't here if the tig welder will do ac welding

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Post a pic of the damaged area that needs repairing. It might help with some repair options. Might be some boat guys here like myself.
                              Last edited by ja baudin; 02-23-2012, 09:31 AM.
                              sigpic

                              Dynasty 200 DX
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                              30A Spoolgun
                              Lincoln Pro Mig 140
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                              14" Rage Evolution dry saw
                              40 ton press brake
                              Evenheat Heat treat oven

                              1x42 / 4x48 belt grinder

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