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  • Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
    Tomorrow I am going to try something new. In the attached model, you can see that there is a blue fan shaft support plate setting on top of an existing gear guard. There is no good way to bolt this onto the gear guard. I have modelled a completely new gear guard which has the fan shaft support integrated into it, but I don't have material to make it that way. Tomorrow I am going to buy some "alumiweld" brazing rod and attempt to weld that blue piece to the existing gear guard. I can buy two rods for $10 at Canadian Tire. If I fail, I'm only out $10. It would probably take about $15 worth of material to make a new one piece gear guard combined with fan shaft support. I've been wanting to try this method of welding aluminum, but haven't had any real reason to until now. I will let you know what happens.---Brian
    As an alternative... https://www.loctiteproducts.com/en/p...gcompound.html
    Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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    • I'm staring at a package of those rods right now on my desk at work Brian. Bought many years ago for a bit different purpose (that didn't work), but I can tell you they most likely will not work for what you have in mind. Hopefully that saves you a couple bucks anyway. Time to grab some scrap and get acquainted with that TIG torch.

      I think the best use for those rods is to suck the money out of wallets of people who think there is a cheap shortcut to joining aluminum. .

      Comment


      • Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
        This is one of the gear guards with the new fan shaft support tab setting in place beside it. I chickened out on using the 'alumiweld' brazing rods and instead went to my welding supply shop and bought some 3/32" aluminum rod to use with my tig welder. I will practice a bit on some scrap aluminum pieces, and then weld the two pieces in the picture together. Tig welding with aluminum is a skill I have to develop, and I might as well start now. I will post the end results of this tig welding.
        Way to go Brian ! 3/32 rod is kind of big for the project at hand, 1/16 would do a much neater job. When practicing, the method for aluminum is to hit it hard quick with current to establish a puddle, then back off, begin adding dabs of rod and travel at a brisk pace. On aluminum you will find that you need to continually lower the current (footpedal) from start to finish because aluminum conducts heat so well the part heats rapidly and less welding current is needed as you progress. How thick are the pieces you plan to weld for the engine? That will determine a good starting point for the current setting. Oh yea, essential to Tig'ing aluminum is the metal be super clean, you will need a stainless wire brush that is used for nothing but this purpose and never touches any other metal. (welding supply again)

        If you spend the time to learn to tig you will never regret it. There are excellent beginner tutorials on youtube that will help. Its going to take a lot more than a hour or two practice but so did learning machining.
        Last edited by Sparky_NY; 09-07-2021, 02:52 PM.

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        • You'll have best luck on the first go by preheating the parts. They're thin, so a few seconds with a propane torch will do. Getting them up around 350F makes a world of difference in how easy the puddle forms. CLEAN EVERYTHING with acetone just before preheat (that includes the brand-new rods). Don't turn your helmet too dark, you need to see what is happening. Aluminum isn't all that hard to weld unless its very thin.
          Southwest Utah

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          • Originally posted by chipmaker4130 View Post
            You'll have best luck on the first go by preheating the parts. They're thin, so a few seconds with a propane torch will do. Getting them up around 350F makes a world of difference in how easy the puddle forms. CLEAN EVERYTHING with acetone just before preheat (that includes the brand-new rods). Don't turn your helmet too dark, you need to see what is happening. Aluminum isn't all that hard to weld unless its very thin.
            All true but you still need to clean first with the stainless wire brush to remove all the oxides, acetone won't do that. I sometimes skip the acetone wipe on real clean new aluminum but NEVER skip the wire brushing, anytime I tried I paid the price.

            I just hope Brian does not think he is going to practice for a half hour then do a decent job welding the engine parts, thats beyond optimistic.
            Last edited by Sparky_NY; 09-07-2021, 03:54 PM.

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            • Well, there we have it. My first tig weld on aluminum. Aluminum is definitely a different kind of thing to weld than mild steel. One of the biggest problems was that the people who sell this welder in Canada are a bunch of morons. They sell the welders in Canada but don't have any kind of technical help. I called Toronto and asked for a tech help guy, and they shuffled me around from person to person, and finally I got a guy who moaned and groaned like he was in hard labour birthing an elephant, and after about ten minutes I said "Tell me the truth. You've never welded anything in your life, have you." He reluctantly told me that no, he wasn't a welder but he had read a lot of manuals. I hung up and called the company in Orillia that sell these machines, and got a bit of help from them. I had first tried to weld with the frequency control button off, because I didn't know any better. Once I had it turned on, things got marginally better. What I found was, that my welds were majorly ugly.---Like really ugly!! I kept at it until I could see that I was getting penetration on both pieces, and since the welds were so ugly, I laid down a lot more weld than I needed to, so that when I ground 90% of it off the part wouldn't have craters in it. It really doesn't look too bad. The good thing here is that this part will be pretty well hidden behind the fan and the flywheel, so if it's not exactly a work of art it won't matter that much. There must be an awful lot of practice involved between what I did today and those guys on Youtube who are tig welding aluminum and "stacking dimes".

              Brian Rupnow
              Design engineer
              Barrie, Ontario, Canada

              Comment


              • What do you mean by frequency control button? High Frequency (for arc starting) or AC frequency? If its AC frequency, somewhere around 100-120HZ would be a good starting point. A #6 cup with about 12-15 cuft of argon again a good starting point. The balance control, which controls cleaning action on AC is another very important setting. As mentioned, its critical to wire brush the parts first with a stainless brush used only for that purpose. The 3/32 rod you got it pretty big for the job, 1/16 would have been a lot more appropriate.

                Main causes of a lot of craters is improper cleaning or the AC balance (cleaning) control set wrong.

                Settings for TIG welders don't vary much between brands, you probably could have gotten better help here on the forum than on the phone. There are quite a few guys here that TIG.

                Glad you got the parts stuck together, things get a lot easier with more practice and suitable settings.
                Last edited by Sparky_NY; 09-07-2021, 08:29 PM.

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                • Actually Brian, it doesn’t look that bad!
                  For your first time with aluminum, I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself.

                  Sid

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                  • I'm puzzled..... I can't find anything substantial wrong with that weld.

                    To my eye, having had lots of trouble welding aluminum, but being "OK" at doing steel, that weld looks absolutely fabulous for someone with only a little time welding aluminum. It looks perfectly fine just in general, as a weld, no matter what.

                    Sure, it's ground down, but the parts look like they have always been one solid piece. I took a dang CLASS for welding, and my aluminum welds have never looked like that, even sectioned or ground.

                    I say it's darn fine work, and I'm sticking to that opinion.
                    2730

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    Everything not impossible is compulsory

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                    • You should have taken a picture of the weld before grinding it down. I agree that it looks perfectly fine, no matter how ugly it may have been before machining.
                      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                      USA Maryland 21030

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                      • Looks like you did just fine on that. Aluminum is a different beast for sure. Best way to clean it before and after, is simple dish soap in water with a SS toothbrush. Then immediately start the weld while the part is still wet. The soap breaks up the oxides on the surface, making the welding machine's job much easier. Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised! What Sparky says about controlling the heat is absolutely correct. You'll know it when you've got everything dialed in.
                        Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 09-08-2021, 09:36 PM.
                        25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                        • Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                          Looks like you did just fine on that. Aluminum is a different beast for sure. Best way to clean it before and after, is simple dish soap in water with a SS toothbrush. Then immediately start the weld while the part is still wet. The soap breaks up the oxides on the surface, making the welding machine's job much easier. Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised! What Sparky says about controlling the heat is absolutely correct. You'll know it when you've got everything dialed in.
                          Brian did much better than expected for first try, a LOT better than my first tries even if he had to clean a lot of excess off.

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                          • I spent this morning working on a real job (to pay for my DoAll bandsaw). Then I spent this afternoon running all over town trying to buy stuff that nobody in Barrie carries. Then I machined the little bits and pieces that make up my fan. My local bearing supply shop has changed their policy to a $25 minimum charge for anything bought at the store. They have lost me as a customer. The sealed bearings in the picture are 3/16" i.d. router bearings from Busy Bee Tools. My friend the electrical wizard is coming tomorrow to help me sort out the bandsaw VFD. next thing for the engine is to make a fan blade.
                            Brian Rupnow
                            Design engineer
                            Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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                            • I've been welding for about a hundred years now with oxy acetylene, stick, and Mig. The TIG is quite new to me, but I do have a LOT of previous welding experience. I built and raced hot-rods for most of my life. If you want to learn to weld nearly everything, just build a hot-rod.
                              Brian Rupnow
                              Design engineer
                              Barrie, Ontario, Canada

                              Comment


                              • Your hotrod days were before the “billet” period then.
                                (aluminum).
                                Practice!!!

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