Quote Originally Posted by JTMcC View Post
Pretty thin, I'd guess equal to or less than 16 ga. 1/8" rod.
I would of never even messed with the stuff, but a good friend (superintendant for a worldwide construction company who sent very large amounts of work my way and treated me like the prince I think I am) ask me if I'd try fixing a leak in this little alu water tank on their trailer mounted power washer. Any tank thats corroded or worn thru is paper thin at the failure site and hopefully you can find just a bit of meat to weld to close by.
They had a pinhole leak, I tried welding it and blew out a hole you could throw a dead cat thru ; )
I wasn't about to let old Mr. Redd down, so I messed with it and messed with it until it finally clicked and I ran a pretty neat patch over the hole.
Mr. Redd gave me about 20 lbs of alu stick rod because as he said "nobody else can run it anyway" and that's why I had to learn the stuff.
It's paid off in large amounts of good will.
I'm well aware it's not the prefered repair method but when you fix a broken piece of alu out in the sticks, for a foreman who REALLY needs the piece right now, you have a friend for life. You can't buy advertising like that.
I welded a massive (over 12" long) crack in the bellhousing of my old '91 Dodge with a Cummins/5 speed, out in the fab yard, with the stuff and it's still trucking along out there in central northern Arizona, the Cummins was turned up well beyond common sense and had enought torque that it broke 2 or 3 bellhousing bolts per month. It broke a lot of other parts as well, but that's another story.
So I keep it on my truck now for those rare occasions when some sad faced dude walks up and ask's "you can't weld aluminum can you"? Just to see them light up when I say "maybe, let me see what you got". ; )

I run it downhill in the vertical position. And I stick weld for a livelyhood so I'm not scared of thin material.

JTMcC.
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I appreciate your way of explaining your methods. Please provide a little more detail on the last sentence in your post: "I run it downhill in the vertical position. And I stick weld for a lively hood so I'm not scared of thin material."

I understand that you weld with an aluminum rod using a DC Stick Welder that is commonly used with a steel, flux coated rod.

*Do you always weld downhill in the vertical position?

*Does this produce a better aluminum weld than from a flat, horizontal weld position?

*When you "run it downhill", do you use the "drag" or "backhand" welding technique by holding the rod perpendicular to the joint and tilt the top of the electrode in the direction of travel [downward] approximately 5 to 15 degrees?? If not, please explain.

*What size aluminum rods do you work with ?

*What are their numbers....like 4043, 5356, or Harris 26 Aluminum Welding Electrodes ?

*Do you always follow the recommended heat settings that come with the Aluminum electrodes?

These forums are a real blessing. Years ago before PC it would take a lifetime to get all of the help that the wonderful people on this site have provided. Thanks!

Larry Lou lrcdmc@sbcglobal.net