I purchased a jon boat with about a 4" split in the bow. I brought the boat to work to fix it, cleaned the area with a nice SS brush, grabbed a 3/32 Aluminum Stick rod, and received the biggest surprise of my life!!!!! Man these boats are thin!!!!!!! For the next two hours I spent grinding filling over and over, and finnaly gave up. Now I have a big mess on my hands and Duck season is less than 1 month away. I have a friend with a Spool gun and plan on fixing it wup with that. I beleive it has .035 wire and I will be running straight Argon.
I have been reading the post on thin aluminum, but does any one have any aditional tips for me? I am thinking of putting a 1/8" plate on the front, incase I get into some ice, I am sure adding the plate will make it easier to weld, since it will not burn through fast. Thanks in advance, I will be sure to post Pics
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Thread: Ultra thin Jon Boat
09-14-2008, 02:16 AM #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Ultra thin Jon Boat
09-14-2008, 02:36 AM #2
SundownIII will know!
I'd say take it to somebody that can TIG weld it, especially if they have boat experience, as it's generally a hard alloy to weld and it gets a lot of contamination not just on the surface, but ground into it from the environment. If you must have your friend do it, I recommend you have him successfully weld a test piece of the same thickness and fitup BEFORE blowing holes in your boat.Equipped with red and blue... and red and green!
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09-14-2008, 07:11 AM #3
I've run into similiar situations where folks would bring me a aluminum intake manifold and they always say the same thing , it should be easy to weld . It always is a ***** when they try to J B weld it first . I tell people if you want me to fix it don't try to do so yourself first , let a pro do it right the first time . Good luck , btw if it were mine I'd tig weld that john boat .
09-14-2008, 07:14 AM #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
I have repaired (TIG) MANY aluminum boats that someone else has tried to repair with a Mig. Maybe some can but I have yet to see it done. Each one would have been 30 minutes to an hour max IF I did not have to grind out and clean up the mess someone else had caused with a MIG.
I charge the same for grinding as I do for Tigging. Very profitable.
09-14-2008, 09:06 AM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- Deltaville, VA
After the last thread, not sure I should even comment, what with all the other "experts" on the board.
Pictures of the boat/crack would be helpful. Your location would also be nice to know. I may be able to recommend someone locally who could help you out.
One of the things about repairing boats (or whatever) comes from the experience gained in learning the limitations of the welding equipment you have available.
I've migged a fair amount of aluminum with a spoolgun and the first thing you learn is that it "runs hot and it runs fast". Probably not what you need for the thin gauge aluminum you're dealing with. The reason most knowledgeable posters will recommend tig is because of the ability to "control the heat".
There are many other factors which enter into how to approach your repair. The first would deal with "why did the crack happen in the first place?". Was it because of a blow, strike, etc or did it crack from fatigue. If it was from fatigue, you've got some serious issues to deal with that probably can't be resolved on an internet board.
Most jon boats are constructed of a thin gauge aluminum that is very difficult to weld. If you check your own boat, you'll probably find that rivets were employed to fasten it together and that there are few if any welds on the boat.
Depending on the "crack" involved, the best repair may be a "backing plate" riveted on the back side and sealed with epoxy. The ends of the crack should be drilled to stop the crack from spreading.
One other comment. Aluminum jon boats don't lend themselves to operation in ice. No matter how you try to reinforce them, there's a major danger involved. There are jon boats built for operation in ice and rocky environments, but they are built with much heavier gauge material than your's I suspect.
Just my .02
09-14-2008, 09:43 AM #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
By the way, I couldn't stand it anymore. I jumped into the last thread this morning. He won't like what I had to say either.
09-14-2008, 10:08 AM #7
ROLF...the Mouth....I love it. Well, The Mouth didn't like what I had to say either.Don
'06 Trailblazer 302
'06 12RC feeder
Super S-32P feeder
HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
Esab Multimaster 260
Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC
09-14-2008, 11:57 AM #8
1st clue... 3/32 stick rod. 2nd clue... jon boat... If you post a pic of the crack and boat, I can probably help with your repair. Make of boat would help.
Last edited by Steve; 09-14-2008 at 11:59 AM.
09-14-2008, 05:38 PM #9Junior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Well I appriciate all responses. I know it is is much easier to take it to someone, that is a no brainer, but I am do it youselfer. I have a vast amount of resources and most of all I wan tot learn how. I realize that Tig is the best, I just have to find a welder here at work to hook me up with a tig torch, they seem hard to come by around here. Everything else is very accessable.
The crack happened when they ran the boat up a little to fast and hit the winch on the trailer. about a 4" tear, opened up about 1/8".
I too have thought to sandwich the tear with two pieces of aluminum and through bolt or rivet with some type of sealent, or epoxy. I expect to have this boat a while so I thought I would do it right.
I did stop by and show a local welding shop and told me to grind all the crap off and bring it back and he would weld it up for $40. Being the season is very close, this is what I will probably do.
But that does not help the fact that I want to learn!!!!!!! to TIG. I am pretty experienced in Mig and Stick, just never tried to tig. Looks like it going to be a winter hobbie to learn!!!!!
09-14-2008, 07:57 PM #10
On your boat is not the place to learn..."If you build it, they will come!"