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Thread: Pontoon Boats

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ocean City, Maryland
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    951

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    I found that out too, not to use a grinder on aluminum if your going to weld it. It seems even with a grinding or cut off wheel made for aluminum it still embeds particles in the aluminum and the MIG does not like that. After learning that, I now always cut aluminum with a shear or saw, no problems there. Plasma cutter if I have to. Sandblasting also cleans good but again embeds particles in the aluminum.
    Fun4now, I use the little SS wire brushes with the wood handles, cheap and work pretty well. I have a cup one too but I usually us it for cleaning up when done.
    Some good info welder_one
    Scott
    HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    I live in Cheraw, South Carolina
    Posts
    112

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    Hi Clint,
    Thanks for the info on the depth finder. I put a Humingbird on the Triton but wasn't sure about where to put one on the pontoon. My gas tank is in the back and the boat is definitely a little lower in the back sitting in the water.

    I think I will use whatever they have at Wallmart. They just built a super Wallmart in Cheraw and it opened last week. I have only braved the crowd one time since then but will go there in a couple of days to see what they have. I have a friend that says he wouldn't have anything but a Garmin. I have a Humingbird on the Triton and that is the only one I have any experience with. I guess the Humingbird works OK - many times it has shown me fish and then I will see some jump out of the water. One thing I have learned about the fish finder. It may show you where they are at, but it won't make them bite.

    That is a good idea on the reference line on the boat. That will probably save me a lot of trial and error. I think I will have to weld the L bracket a little below the water line though. That way I won't have to lie about the weld.

    We can meet at the Midnight Rooster soon. My daughter works in Hartsville a couple days a week doing her internship for her Master of Social Work. She graduated from Coker, so I am sure whe knows where the Rooster is . For all the good information you have given me, I will have to buy you lunch instead of just a coffee.

    Thanks for the offer to use your dock. I will bring the cooler and a couple of rods for you to use if you can turn off the welder for a little while.

    Thanks Again
    6010

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mobile,Al
    Posts
    108

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    Baxely has pretty good handle on things,some good advice.I personally preferr the Tig repair on pontoon boats,I know that they weld from factory with MiG ,But that is with ****** material,most of the cases I run across is wear ,the material is very thin in locations to be welded or rewelded.I run a hand amp controll .I can lay on my back under a pontoon and weld over head and control my heat.Where is if you tried Mig you would probally be to hot and burn through and have your hands full with a big ole MESS.May be that helped a little.I weld on refrigeration coils also If you didnt use the Tig method w/h amp control of some kind ,would also burn through and have the same mess.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mobile,Al
    Posts
    108

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    In cutting Aluminum or gouging a bevel in a crack,I reccomend a suicide saw this is awesome tool .It will even surface a weld bead to near machined surface... With no embeded particles or with out the gouge tears of a plasama.All air pneumatics, hand held, but kinda dangerous with out proper training

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
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    1,270

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdenney29 View Post
    In cutting Aluminum or gouging a bevel in a crack,I reccomend a suicide saw this is awesome tool
    Ok I've used a lot of tools in my day but I don't think I've ever used a suicide saw. Do you have any pictures or a link showing one?
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  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    haslet, TEXAS
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    109

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    USE O/A!!!

    a close friend of mine welded potoons in louisiana and he built the strongest ones they had useind 3/16 spring steel and he fusion welded them together! No filler

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    705

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWS29128 View Post
    I think our new member 6010 may be just a wee bit confused:

    Almost all "pontoon" boats made for recreational use in the US are made out of 6061T-6 Aluminum in .063" (approximately 15 gauge). The two exceptions to this are Bentley Pontoons, which are made with .080 extruded, and the Trimarans (3-tube) made by Bennington, which are a full 1/4" (.125) thick H-34 aluminum. H-34 and T-6 are similar in that they're both heat-treated and both anodized, but the base material for H-34 is slightly softer (hence the thicker material).

    To continue to use Bentley and Bennington as examples, since they're two of the highest-quality pontoon boats out there, both manufacturers use Pulse-On-Pulse MIG (GMAW) in their production lines. Bentley is strictly a Miller facility and Bennington uses Miller and ESAB equipment. One difference (and you immediately know this when you compare prices!) is that Bennington's outboard engine models (all of them with two sponsons) use good-ole-fashioned TIG/GTAW to piece together their engine-wells/bilges/motor-mounts, bimini tops, and handrails.

    Now that your familiarization is over, let's go back to the basics: MIG and TIG (GMAW/GTAW) both have significant advantages and disadvantages over one another. GTAW produces what is generally considered to be a "prettier" bead profile, while pulsed GMAW is much, much, MUCH faster. TIG beads on aluminum are often described as "stacked nickels" or "stacked dimes" while MIG welds are often called "burned V's". Except in the cases of very-seasoned professionals, "good looking" beads in aluminum are much easier to achieve with MIG as opposed to TIG...another reason many mfr's use MIG over TIG....unskilled labor comes up to speed much faster. Also, welding thicker aluminum is easier/faster with GMAW than it is with GTAW...the "easier" part is subjective, since it's always easier to learn to weld ANYTHING on thicker metal than it is with thinner metal.

    I quoted JollyRoger above because I want to make a distinction in what he said: Stick welding (SMAW) with aluminum is exceedingly difficult to master, but once done, it is ALWAYS my first choice when joining two pieces of aluminum IF several factors are met: (1) the base material is 1/8" thick or thicker, (2) the customer isn't concerned with or familiar with "stacked nickels", (3) the joint/crack/seam to be welded isn't a structurally-critical piece/part, and lastly (4) the base material has NEVER been heat-treated (T-6/H-34) and is NEVERNEVERNEVERNEVER going to be heat-treated nor anodized!!!!

    What's that tell you? Yep....no SMAW welding on pontoon boats allowed! NEVERNEVERNEVER!!! (and please, take my word for it......or drive from wherever in SC you are over to Lake Wateree above Camden/below Lancaster and I'll show you!!!). This also rules out SMAW welding on aluminum jon boats due to the thickness (cheapies like LOWE'S boats are .043 and even some of the better ones like G3 are only .063, although SeaArk makes a couple of their boats in .125 Aluminum). So, for most pontoon boats and most jon boats, stick with (okay, ixnay that....STAY WITH) MIG or TIG for aluminum boats.

    Does that answer some of your questions? I spent all summer repairing pontoon boats and jon boats and aluminum bass boats.....and as my Dad likes to tell me: a hard head makes for a SOFT a**!!!!

    PS: where in SC are you? your profile doesn't say......?

    ~Clint
    Just curious here. Are the Benningtons 1/4" or 1/8"?

    Griff

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    705

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    Quote Originally Posted by SundownIII View Post
    Hey Clint,

    Know all about budgets.

    You may want to look at the new Hobart HH210. Never used one but the reports coming in are very good. Also comes spoolgun ready. Uses the Hobart version of the 3035 if I read the specs correctly. Base unit can be had for less than $1,000.

    Going back to the thread regarding welding aluminum, I was reading an interesting article the other night. Author recommended gas welding aluminum using hydrogen in lieu of acetylene. Basically the same equipment required as O/A except uses a tip three sizes larger. Produces a flame in the 4000 Degree range which is closer to the melting point of aluminum than O/A. Recommends a blue lens vs the green lens to better see the puddle. Interesting reading. I may talk to my LWS and see about getting a bottle of hydrogen and trying it.

    Were you serious about taking the show on the road? How does the family feel about that? A friend of mine runs a pretty large fabrication shop here locally and has a couple of shutdown's already booked. Most of what they do though, is cold steel and SS. They don't do much aluminum.

    Gotta run,

    Later
    Aluminum melts at about 1200 degrees. Aluminum oxide melts at about 3400 degrees.
    Just thought I would throw that in before someone got confused.

    Griff

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX area
    Posts
    267

    Default And..

    Quote Originally Posted by griff01 View Post
    Aluminum melts at about 1200 degrees. Aluminum oxide melts at about 3400 degrees.
    Aluminum melts ~ 1200F and BOILS ~2800F. This means the base metal will vaporize before the oxide melts!

    Yes, I know almost all of you knew that. It was thrown in for the rest.

    P.S. I am loving all the great info in this thread. Thanks billions!
    Triggerman

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    "A professional knows what to do. A craftsman knows why."

  10. #40
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    Nov 2006
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    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    I hope you do not believe everything you have read on this thread....I have made my living for many years doing pontoon repair almost exclusively and there is some SERIOUS B.S. on this thread. (material, and processes etc..)
    That is why I would not post on it other than that even tho it's been up for darn near a year

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