aluminum welding

3t3 3t3 at
Mon Nov 26 21:48:36 CST 2012

Alex -

Once upon a time, long long ago, when I was still flying my ultra light 
aircraft, I hired a guy down in Lakeridge VA to do an aluminum welding 
job for me.

I spent a lot of time (about 3 hours) in his shop asking questions and 
watching, at close range (I had the protective hood on and looked on 
from about 2 ft away from the work)  while he did the job for me.

The oxidizing problem is overcome by encapsulating the molten liquid 
"blob" of aluminum in an inert gas "bubble" -  the typical MIG / TIG 

The "secret" to doing it is: to cyclically ( repeatedly ) puddle the 
liquid aluminum and then back off letting the puddle cool and solidify.  
Then going back at it again and creating another puddle next to the 
first one - again, letting it cool and solidify.  Step by step, one by 
one, you build up a straight line of successive puddles that are "the weld".

I think it is sort of like riding a bicycle - "words are hard pressed to 
describe it" - and there is a lot of "feel" (eye /  hand coordination) 
needed to be good at it.  The term "art form" comes to mind when I think 
back on how this guy did it -right there before my eyes. 

I think that if you tried to "build a wire" using a soldering iron, 
stacking liquid drops of lead, one on top of the other, letting them 
"puddle" and "cool", and then creating another blob of liquid solder and 
depositing it on top of the first - that is the basic process he used.

Let us know, if you try doing it, and tell how it turns out. :-)

     Terry McCarty
    3t3 at

Alex Fraser wrote:

> Has anyone on list gas welded or brazed aluminum?  I got a torch and 
> would sure like to master that technique.
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