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big musk411

Aluminum Blow Torch Welding?

Question

big musk411

I poked a small hole in my boat. I did an internet serch and found rods that you can heat with a blow torch to patch aluminum. The different product website make it look like an easy fix. Has anyone done this before? How did it work [if it actually works]?

Thanks!

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Eric Wettschreck

I know the product you are talking about. If you have a pop can with a hole it it this product works well. I wouldn't weld a hole in my boat with this particular product, however.

You will have better luck riviting on a doubler patch and sealing around it with silicone. Seriously.

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big musk411

Thanks Boilerguy, I'll look into that. If it looks too good to be true it usually is.

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hovermn

I actually bought it. Here's what I found. because of its surface tension, it doesn't like to fill holes. Okay, that's the smaller of the 2 problems I ran into. The worse is that because the boat is under tension (curved aluminum to make the V) it wants to straighten out under heat. AKA Warpage. I'd take Boiler's advice and save your money.

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Fishbreath1

I more or less told him that welding aluminum is tricky business unless you weld often or for a living. I just don't see how a "kit" could make it easy to make a good repair that will last awhile.

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Eric Wettschreck

Yup. Welding aluminum is not easy. Being it's aluminum many people think you can do it with low heat. WRONG.

You have to clean it and clean it and clean it some more to remove the oxides. Then, when it's finally time to weld you have to go hot and fast. There is a definate knack to it.

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big musk411

Again, thanks for all the input. Welding is not my area of expertise so I surly would have messed it up even more.

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Shack

I have heard some good things about epoxy 2 part glues and alum... The kits are cheap and available at your local hardware store.

I would tend not to punch any more holes in a weakened area than need to be. Any flexing or stress could cause a bigger hole or crack. That is just my thought from my mind visual of area that was punctured.

Epoxies have come a long way. A buddy of mine who had a split in the haul of his alum. boat due to water freezing, epoxied the entire crack length. He did it about 4 years ago and still does not leak.

Good luck!!!

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big musk411

That is the route I am leaning towards now. It's a pretty small hole. My bud works at 3M so hopefully he can hook me up smile.gif.

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eurolarva

I think 3m product is called 5200. Fleet farm has a product that is a tube of what looks like clay with a resin in the middle. I filled two rivet holes on my boat with that stuff and repaired a hole in my prop with it. Really good stuff. You kneed it with your fingers and put it where you want it and it gets almost rock hard in about 7 minutes. I would stay away from JB weld. I have not had much luck with it working well with aluminum.

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iffy

If thats a real small hole, say less than 3/16" diameter just drill it to 3'16" and put a solid rivet in it.

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