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Tips on welding/grinding aluminum

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by SurfInferno, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Feb 5, 2011 at 11:45 PM
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    SurfInferno

    SurfInferno [OP] Dont be stupid, its not smart.

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    I am fabricating a project for my father for his (and my, same day) birthday in april. Its out of aluminum diamond plate. Its going to be a maltese cross with some other things im going to fabricate welded to it. In the center i will have the firefighters prayer painted with flames surrounding the center with the numbers of every station he has been assigned to.

    the only problem is i have no clue how to work with aluminum. Ive done some research on how to grind it, but i dont know where to start mig welding it.

    heres the cross cut out (plasma cut)
    [​IMG]

    heres the design before i cut it.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Feb 5, 2011 at 11:47 PM
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    WhatThePho?

    WhatThePho? Greg Graffin 2016

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    The things required to pull bitches
    You are using a Mig with and aluminum spool and gun right? They also have disc or flap disc for aluminum only
     
  3. Feb 5, 2011 at 11:49 PM
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    DWreck

    DWreck Famous Retrieval Vendor

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    I would have done it in steel. Why? Cause I haven't the slightest clue when it comes to aluminum.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2011 at 11:50 PM
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    SurfInferno

    SurfInferno [OP] Dont be stupid, its not smart.

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    im not sure. Im going to pick up a few of those flap disks tomorrow. Im still looking around for a welder. im using my welding classes right now and im not sure if we have the spool gun. Would TIG be easier? Keep in mind the aluminum is only 1/16th
     
  5. Feb 5, 2011 at 11:51 PM
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    SurfInferno

    SurfInferno [OP] Dont be stupid, its not smart.

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    I wanted to but im short on funds and i was given a fat chunk of this diamond plate among other pieces of steel tubing and metal and such
     
  6. Feb 5, 2011 at 11:53 PM
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    DWreck

    DWreck Famous Retrieval Vendor

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    Ah ha!
     
  7. Feb 5, 2011 at 11:58 PM
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    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

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    Wow, 1/16" aluminum will be just about impossible to weld, especially with Alum MIG. I find welding anything less than 1/8" to pretty much not be worth my time. TIG would be the way to go, better heat control that way but it still takes some skill with TIG on that thin of aluminum. Way easy to melt through it...
     
  8. Feb 6, 2011 at 12:01 AM
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    kauaitaco69

    kauaitaco69 Active Member

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    you can use a arc welder to weld aluminum with an aluminum welding rod but you have to switch the welder to reverse polarity, If you use a mig welder you have to get a special gun and different gas
     
  9. Feb 6, 2011 at 12:02 AM
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    WhatThePho?

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    The things required to pull bitches
    Better off using tig. Also make sure you clean it REALLY good before you weld. Any contaminates will mess you up.
     
  10. Feb 6, 2011 at 3:28 PM
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    littledvl

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    x2, Contaminates are a huge factor, makeing sure its clean will go a long way. If you have never welded aluminum with a tig you might want someone who has to give you a hand or you will have holes all in it (aluminum heats up extremely fast), and you will not be able to get the diamond plate look back in it after too many blow troughs.

    There are grind wheels and flap disc's ment for aluminum, also remember aluminum grinds very very easy, unlike steel.
     
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