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  1. #1

    Default Help with stick welding aluminum

    Hey fellow metal workers I am welding a trailer with an aluminum frame and less than novice at welding this material with stick I'm using aluminum 43 rods and a 302 trailblazer, the material is pretty thick and i dont have the proper machinery to do this with tig or else i would have set out on this journey and have been posting a similar thread. I'm wondering if this work has to be done flat or if i can just down hand it and get away with that, amperage,preparation and etc. oh and they are 3/32s any help would be appreciated thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    781

    Default

    i've not ever run aluminum smaw... a few of the old guys around an old shop did, and they said it wasnt a very good weld...at all... someone around here might have a better input for ya... anything thicker than 1/4 aluminum, i wont reach for a tig machine...
    welder_one

    nothing fancy, just a few hot glue guns for metal
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Delmont, PA
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Hey fng,
    I would strongly suggest you abandon the thought of welding on an aluminum trailer with SMAW. You are going to engage into some serious liability issues. There is much data available that would also concur with my suggestion since the issues are with the porosity/slag inclusion problems inherent with alum. SMAW. I did an aluminum trailer extension last year & used my 250A spoolgun unit(5356) & the welds came out excellent & strong. Either go with TIG or a spoolgun or pass up the job...... it's your a$$ on the line if a failure occurs. Just MHO.

    Denny
    * Complete welding, machine, & fab shop *
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    * Finally retired *
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Houston, Tx.
    Posts
    378

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by welder_one View Post
    i've not ever run aluminum smaw... a few of the old guys around an old shop did, and they said it wasnt a very good weld...at all... someone around here might have a better input for ya... anything thicker than 1/4 aluminum, i wont reach for a tig machine...
    I've seen one job welded with smaw on alum. As you said, It wasn't a good weld. I would not even think of trying it on anything structural. If I couldn't get the right equip. or did not have experience with the process, I'd pass this one up. Trailers are a dangerous place for a learing curve.
    Sometimes there's no second chances.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    Wrong process + no experience = REALLY BAD RESULT.

    Welded aluminum trailers present their own unique set of challenges, even to an experienced welder with all the right equipment.

    This is a really bad idea.
    Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
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    More grinders than hands

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,949

    Default Aluminum SMAW

    Quote Originally Posted by fng656 View Post
    Hey fellow metal workers I am welding a trailer with an aluminum frame and less than novice at welding this material with stick I'm using aluminum 43 rods and a 302 trailblazer, the material is pretty thick and i dont have the proper machinery to do this with tig or else i would have set out on this journey and have been posting a similar thread. I'm wondering if this work has to be done flat or if i can just down hand it and get away with that, amperage,preparation and etc. oh and they are 3/32s any help would be appreciated thanks.
    If you don't have experience running "43" rods, don't even try it. Pre-heat to 600-700F is required, and out-of-position welds should be avoided.

    I can't find "pretty thick" on my tape measure, so I don't have a clue what size of material you're working with. I have successfully used these rods, with proper pre-heat and prep, operating on DC+ 50-85 amps.

    You would be miles ahead to invest in a 30A spool gun and a WC-24 to use on the TB.

    If you want experience using these rods, practice on some scrap, and not some one's trailer.
    Last edited by davedarragh; 07-16-2010 at 11:31 AM.
    "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hampton, Va.
    Posts
    386

    Default

    Sundown gave you the best advice and formula for this project, I would heed his advice.


    Wheelchair

  8. #8

    Default thanks

    Crisis averted fellas, buddy of mine come into town and hes going to tig it for me and then we are going to re-enforce the welded jointed with a couple of tubes of carbon steel off the axle brackets, thanks for the advice oh and sorry for the vagueness pretty thick is 3/8s well played tho sir well played.

  9. #9

    Default

    2x3 tube

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    26

    Default Try 3/8" aluminum plate

    Use a layered sanding disk to remove oxide layer. Use straight polarity even though they recommend reverse polarity. figure out the amperage that works for you. Hint: A good range is within the recommended amperage setting range and you need arc force at a certain setting. I was successful at it using a miller welder/generator machine(electrode-,work +) without preheating. when you have a succesful setting know that it runs 2 to 3 times as fast as welding steel with a stick rod. I made it look like a mig weld by working it forward and back to achieve a stack of dimes look!

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