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Solder aluminum?

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  • Solder aluminum?

    I thought I saw in a catalog one time that they were advertising an amazing new solder. One that would solder just about anything, even aluminum. Well now I have a project that I wish I could use it on, but I never ordered any. Is this possible???!! has any of you ever done it? Any info would be helpful. Thanks

  • #2
    There have been couple previous postings about this.

    It's good for filling cracks and such but I would never use this for anything structural. I've used it before and frankly I'm not impressed. It's quite sensitive to temperature and unlike brazing or soldering, it doesn't wet the aluminum very well, which explains why the "soldered" joint isn't very strong.



    • #3
      Mnay years (at least 55) ago I soldered aluminum to copper with lead solder. Rick was If I remember correctly, to flux well, make a puddle of solder, scrape the oxide off the Aluminum under (through) the puddle so air never got to the aluminum. The method was writtine up in old Mechanix illustrated, pop mechs or some such magazine. Best I remember it held and made a good ground, looked bad. Iwas building a transmitter from war surplus radio equipment and had few tools and a dollar was big as a cart wheel to me so my standards may have been a tad low. Have not tried it since. I think today I might use a wire brush (iron) if i were desperate enough.

      Those miracle welding rods and solder never seem to help me. Aluminum is very active and oxidizes almost immediatley even at room temp. The oxide would have to be removed (thus the wire brush underthe solder pool. I second rotate about not trusting the miracle stuff, and I have tried it also. Its not even very good cosmetic wise. About as soon use bondo for filler for looks.


      • #4
        did a double post sorry!

        [This message has been edited by docsteve66 (edited 10-23-2002).]


        • #5
          The solder sold today for Alumium ins totaly Lead or Antimony free (or it won't work). But save your money, a super glue with a properly preped and primed surface is almost as strong as the metal - ask Boeing, they shave thousands of pounds of weight off a jet with proper application of cyanoacrylate glues. The big difference between what they buy and what you buy is they get the extra pure stuff and you get crap. To extend the life of these glues place a small bag of dessicant in a sealed bottle (large pill bottles) with the glue to slow damage from moisture once opened. It is best to buy small batches and use them up fast to minimise and reduce loss of bonding strength from deterioration.

          If you need to join Aluminum use a TIG welder or gas weld it (if you are that good, what the hell would you solder it for?).


          • #6

            you forgot to mention that some of this stuff is stored at precisely say -40 F with only +/- 5* for only a few days.


            • #7
              on "super glue (CA). Thrud is correct buy small, keep it dry. The moisure in the air (When you have a squeeze bottle) is sufficient to start the process of thickening the glue and rendering it useless. As trap says- we stored the stuff at low temps, used it fast once the first drop was removed (within days).
              So Now I buy small tubes, ones that roll up so no air is sucked back into the tube, and if asample (on a test plate) is losing strenght, discard it. Is also (in my experience- Doctors says don't do it) better than a stitch for holding a cut together. Course I used to use plastic electricians tape so maybe I am not to be copied.


              • #8
                Try storeing your super glue in a sealable plastic bag,with the air squeezed out.


                • #9
                  Docsteve66- My doc actually suggested superglue for splits in the fingertips, and it's getting to be that time of year.


                  • #10
                    Daughter says its good for split finger nails also.

                    I DO NOT advise using super glue for elecrical connections which is why i did my soldering. I suspect the current flow would be low, and if a ground you might even feel a voltage drop


                    • #11
                      Hi folks,

                      I'm new here. First post in fact. If you buy super glue, get it from a hobby retailer, not the stuff at the grocery store. It will work better (be more potent) and you can get what you need. There are special compsitions that will glue rubber, plastic or metal along with wood. Pacer makes some stuff called Zap that works quite well.

                      Randy (the model plane builder)


                      • #12
                        Randy: I have friend who builds models, multiengine etc. He confirms that modelers CA is better quality, but you modlers USE it. I store it till it goes bad (excepting a drop or two). For me small and expensive lasts longer and is cheaper!>


                        • #13
                          Last time I was in Florida I was at a big fleemarket a guy sold me some solder sticks said to solder aluminum .He went on to show it welding holes in cola cans filled big holes.
                          (thats me)
                          paid handsomely for it I bought over $50 bucks worth as I believed it would work guess what i still have it here what a pile of crap .At least I cant get it to do anything.Alistair
                          Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                          • #14
                            It is customary to buy swamp land - NOT Aluminun Solder in Florida! (titter, titter)


                            Lee Valley Tools sells a small can of Argon - used to force air out of opened wood finish containers to extend their shelf life. Works great, but a wee expensive. Mind you, some of the oil finishes are not that cheap either so, what the hell. Since Argon is inert and heavy it displaces the air easily. If you have a TIG welder on Argon you could just give it a shot from that!

                            Damn I am good, for what I have no idea...

                            ooH! ooH! Lee Valley also has Kolsch German Beer glasses - for you purists out there. Stick 'em in the fridge and serve your Grasshopper (German Beer made in Calgary, AB)ice cold like a man... Makes good glasses for bubbly too - keeps it more effervescient than normal champagne glasses.


                            • #15
                              I bought some of that Aluminun rod too. It works great for filling holes in pop or beer cans but thats about all. If any of you guys need to fill any holes in beer or pop cans let me know and I'll give you the rod to do it with.