An aluminum weld repair is different than welding fresh, clean new aluminum.
When someone brings you something to weld that is made from aluminum, something inside you really wants to strut. You know how cool aluminum beads can look and its fun making them look that way.
Aluminum welds can look awesome and can build your reputation. And when you can lay a stack of dimes, an awesome aluminum welding job can be a really good advertisement.
Such was not the case on this day with this aluminum weld repair job.
Here is why.
This particular aluminum weld repair was a rack for a motorbike.
It just snapped off.
Technically, a crack initiated, propagated by fatigue, and then finally failed from overload.
Thats the engineer version but Who cares? it broke off.
The problem with this type of weld repair is that grinding the old weld off also removes the jigsaw puzzle method of making sure it fits back to whatever it bolts to.
The guy who asked me to weld it was able to line it up on the bike and assured me that if it was put back just like it broke , that it would fit back on the bike.
Since this was a freebie. I didn’t ask too many questions?
By fitting the fractured surfaces back together and tack welding it just like that, it looked like it was pretty close.
Now, all that was left was to weld over top of the crapfest that was left on it...along with the crappy oxidized surface of the crack that I knew was going to float up in the puddle....and I was right , it did.
But by coaxing the puddle along with a slight forward and then back again technique, I was able to flow rod without penetrating too much into the cracked surface.
Really, it wasn’t too bad, and at least I felt confident the weld would hold better than the original.
No blue ribbons or attaboys will be coming my way on this one. …
In fact, I was tempted to ask the guy to keep quiet about who did the welding.
Really , it wasn’t all that bad. Just not what you can get on brand new aluminum.
Tig welding aluminum that is new and shiny is actually fun. Aluminum Weld Repairs are not usually fun.
Ask anyone who has welded on a Harley Crankcase.