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Aluminum boat work

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  • Aluminum boat work

    A fellow brought in this aluminum Bass Tracker boat that has fallen off the trailer onto the highway. The drain hole in the back was pretty badly messed up.





    Here's how it turned out:



    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    Looks pretty good. Looks like a Lund.
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    • #3
      Nice job!Always good to turn scrap metal back into it's original form and function.
      I just need one more tool,just one!

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      • #4
        He also wanted some work done on the topside to cover all the holes that had been put in the various pieces over the years.









        Altogether, it came to about thirteen feet of TIG welding.
        Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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        • #5
          Winch,

          Nice job on the tig welds.

          How many amps do you need for that job? I have a 180 and wonder if it would have the heat for something like that.

          Brian
          OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

          THINK HARDER

          BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

          MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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          • #6
            Wow, thats a lot of work.

            Brian, you have the heat, just not the duty cycle. Your machine would shut down from overheat pretty quick on long welds like that. And if you are air cooled... Ouch.

            Duty cycle really hits you on TIG. Its a slow process.

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            • #7
              I had the machine set at 140 amps, but I rarely had the pedal all the way down. None of the material was over 1/8" thick. There were a couple places where the new aluminum sheet didn't cover all of a hole, and I had to bridge over a 1/4" gap

              I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the old aluminum was to weld, but I had done a lot of vigorous wire brushing preparation.
              Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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              • #8
                Those boats are made from 1100 series aluminum. It is very soft which is why it is so thick. That is also why it is so easy to weld. The reason for making it from that non-alloy is because of the very high corrosion resistance of nearly pure aluminum. It also absorbs damage by bending instead of tearing and isn't subject to fatigue cracking from engine vibration.

                At the opposite end of the scale is my 18 ft Grumman canoe. It is made of 2000 series aircraft alloy and weighs only 67 lbs with a payload of 880 lbs. The skin is only .032 thick.
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                • #9
                  Most Aluminum boats are made from 5000 series aluminum. They do crack mostly from bad design. They also come in all kinds of thicknesses depending on what the boat is built for. Some of our work boats are .100" or thicker. Light fishing boats are generally .052-.072".

                  Most of the time if a crack develops in the hull itself it will crack again and again if welded. With almost any boat repair a patch is needed.

                  Nice pro job winchman!
                  Andy

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                  • #10
                    I remember seeing lot tickets at Kaiser for aluminum going to Bass Tracker. The alloy was 5052.

                    1100 was used at one time for boats a long time ago. But it is just to soft to hold its shape very well. And it does not hold rivets or bolts at all.
                    Gene

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                    • #11
                      Well, it's a long time since I did work on aluminum boats, nearly 40 years. At one aircraft job I had we would work on anything similar during the summer since the aircraft were all flying. 5000 series isn't heat treatable but it does work harden and crack. Leaking rivets were always a problem too with 1100.
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                      • #12
                        Nice repair, but I think you messed it up.. the drain hole is smaller now, Not gonna drain* nearly as fast now!

                        *Drain the lake into the boat that is..

                        But really. Good job. Nice structural welds with good consistancy and good looking adheasion. I assumed you welded in a bit of pipe there on the drain? Good trick. Good skills at not melting the pipe either. Nice attention to repairing the damage on the bottom too.
                        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                        • #13
                          Did the owner attempt any fixes before he brought it to you?

                          They usually bring them to me after the Silicone,JD weld,Plumber seal,M3000 has failed and all that crap has to be burnt,scrapped,chiseled and needle gunned off before a weld can be ran.Usually takes more time to clean than to weld.
                          I just need one more tool,just one!

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                          • #14
                            "Did the owner attempt any fixes before he brought it to you?"

                            Thankfully , no. All I had to do was trim the edges of the three pieces he had cut for the topside to get a better fit.
                            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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                            • #15
                              Tread plate might have been a good choice for those flat surfaces?
                              Gene

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