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Modifying a boat top ???

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  • Modifying a boat top ???

    I am modifying a T Top for a pioneer fishing boat. It appears to be 1 3/4" OD aluminum tubing. I am just shortening the 2 uprights on one side(the top is laying down in the pics). I am taking a 3" section out and butt welding back together. Will inserting a smaller diameter tube and using it as a backer be sufficient enough? I will sand the weld flat and polish after words. Would drilling a 3/8" or 1/2" hole below and above the but joint to use as a plug weld to the inserted smaller tube make it any stronger or will the pull pen butt weld be enough? It uses the 4 circle plates and the two angles above it to mount to the sides of the console. Thx. Dave
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  • #2
    Thought I would have atleast one reply by now! Haha.....either way, being that it is Labor Day weekend where may I be able to find some sort of aluminum tube 1 3/8" OD or a solid stock? Thanks. Dave

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    • #3
      Could the section you cut out be cut lengthwise then squeezed together and inserted back into the pipe. I think some do that SS tube so maybe it will work with aluminum also.

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      • #4
        I was thinking the same thing as I looked at it on my kitchen counter......could be I guess....
        Originally posted by Hardrock40 View Post
        Could the section you cut out be cut lengthwise then squeezed together and inserted back into the pipe. I think some do that SS tube so maybe it will work with aluminum also.

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        • #5
          Looked at your first pic, is that how you plan to piece back together your aluminum tower? An OA tourch? What kind of machine do you have to weld aluminum?

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          • #6
            No....accidentally uploaded that pic. I have a Diversion 165 and some 4043 3/32 filler or 1/8 if needed. Dave

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            • #7
              Those boat towers are sometimes clear anodized and are difficult to weld unless done properly. Research bump technique on the forum and that may give you some good info on your project. Once you cut out the peices to shorten, practice welding on them first. You may have to heavily prepare the surfaces you plan to weld to remove the anodizing. Good luck with your project and think of safety first, your tower will have to withstand some pretty fast travel speeds on the water and on the road. Ja

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              • #8
                Can the tower be mounted lower on the console? That may be an easier fix to shorten the overall height? Just thinking of different options. Good luck

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                • #9
                  Jersey welder i do this kind of work all day. There is a supply house in miami fl. that has weldable sleeves that we use to do what you want. The name of the supply warehouse is E-TECH your pipe is anodized be carefull how you weld that. That take a different technique than regular aluminum welding. Hope this helps you good luck.

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                  • #10
                    "Bump Welding" Anodized...

                    Originally posted by Gaby View Post
                    There is a supply house in miami fl. that has weldable sleeves that we use to do what you want. The name of the supply warehouse is E-TECH your pipe is anodized be carefull how you weld that. That take a different technique than regular aluminum welding. Hope this helps you good luck.
                    Bump Welding...

                    Anodizing leaves a nonconductive layer of aluminum oxide on the surface that will not allow you to draw an arc... so you have to "Bump" the tungsten to break through it and start the arc..

                    Here is a thread on it that might be helpful..

                    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...chine-settings
                    Last edited by H80N; 09-02-2013, 11:33 AM.

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                    • #11
                      It is for a friend. I was thinking of inserting a piece of solid bar in about 1.5" on each side. I would machine a larger diamter piece down on my lathe so it is a slight hammer fit. This would keep it straight and keep it from flexing. I can sand the stuff off with emery cloth or sand paper and then weld? Thanks for the advice, ideas. Dave

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                      • #12
                        If your a good enouph welder you dont need to insert anything, just weld it.

                        If not spend the money and turn some aluminum stock down on a lathe and do a nice weld all the way around, Leave a 1/16" gap.

                        Drilling holes is not needed if your bushings are tight, In fact if your bishings are tight enouph you almost dont need any weld.

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                        • #13
                          Imagine the top of your T-top breaking off at YOUR weld at 40 mph and slamming then pulling someone's friend, wife, or god forebid you or someone's child off the back of the boat.
                          I'm a hobbyiest just like you, I turn down friends who want to modify street bikes, boats, and other extreme machines and projects. I can weld awesome but, if you can't garantee your work won't hurt someone down the road don't do it. Do you have professional liability insurance that covers your fabrication of boating structures? If not, someone dies from your weld job, you and your family looses everything. I'm really not trying to bust your balls, just get you to think beyond the friend project. If you do it, best of luck and I hope it comes out great. Ja
                          Last edited by ja baudin; 09-02-2013, 07:34 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I'm not a hobbyist.....just like to reinforce my ideas sometimes.....I have confidence in my work.....a second opinion never hurts.
                            Originally posted by ja baudin View Post
                            Imagine the top of your T-top breaking off at YOUR weld at 40 mph and slamming then pulling someone's friend, wife, or god forebid you or someone's child off the back of the boat.
                            I'm a hobbyiest just like you, I turn down friends who want to modify street bikes, boats, and other extreme machines and projects. I can weld awesome but, if you can't garantee your work won't hurt someone down the road don't do it. Do you have professional liability insurance that covers your fabrication of boating structures? If not, someone dies from your weld job, you and your family looses everything. I'm really not trying to bust your balls, just get you to think beyond the friend project. If you do it, best of luck and I hope it comes out great. Ja

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                            • #15
                              He is just shortening 2 of the 4 uprights. Plus there is no wind catching the top like a kite. Ever see a depower kite work? In order for that thing to snap two welds at the same time and rip the other two supports out it would have to flip on the highway.

                              Even if the welds cracked all the way around it's not going anywhere. Maybe it would bend a little somewhere with people using it for an oh crap handle.

                              IMO if he couldn't find some anodized to see how it welds I would prep it like the OP states and take it to a local shop for the welding.

                              Then cleanup wouldn't have a bunch of holes and crap due to just making it work and learning on the fly. But if your like me you wont sleep well until you fire up on that thing. LOL

                              Also watch for fit up after it has been cut. Those appear to widen as they go down, if so it won't be as wide when shorter, your probably beyond that tho.

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