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  • Aluminum solder/braze

    I have some AL parts I need to repair and do not have an AC TIG.
    I am thinking about using one of the AL solders or Brazing alloys.
    What do you recommend?
    Bill
    I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

  • #2
    Harris makes an aluminum solder/flux kit. It works well for small stuff. Then there is the zinc aluminum brazing rods. They work well enough for quick patches but if you want it done right I would find someone with a tig machine.

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    • #3
      I know this will ruffle some feathers, but here is the truth.
      The aluminum braze, solder and miracle aluminum rods you use with a plumbers torch ... all junk. I have it all, have tried it all and it has all failed me. I have seen demonstrations in person at trade shows that worked flawless, hell i was even pulled from the crowd to do it at a trade showand the stuff worked great at the show. I bought some, got it home and couldn't get it to work worth a damn. I have 25 years of welding experience and have run my welding shop since highschool. I always hoped the "miracle rod" would work on certain parts that I didn't want to warp, but it has let me down every time.
      As s shop owner I can tell you this, It cost more to have it fixed properly after its been boogered up with JBweld, Epoxy and alumimun miracle products.

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      • #4
        ..at trade shows .. worked flawless ... the stuff worked great...
        So what happened at home? What was the difference? Serious question - if it worked well once, presumably it could again if you knew what to do and what not to do.
        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mickeyf View Post
          So what happened at home? What was the difference? Serious question - if it worked well once, presumably it could again if you knew what to do and what not to do.
          In all likelihood, the demo was not done with a propane plumbers torch. It was most likely something that provided a protective pool of gas like the you get from the argon/co mixture with MIG or an oxy-acetylene flame.

          The other trick that goes into using the aluminum rods is that you should scrub the joint with a pristine stainless steel brush WHILE the molten rod is on there. Thats lets the pool act as the shield to prevent oxidation as you scrub off the top layer.

          Like Jaimie, I've had limited success with it. My neighbor managed to use it to fill a gap in a small aluminum cone. The cone was made from a flat sheet and hammered over a form. The gap was not load bearing, so I don't know how good the adhesion was.

          Dan
          At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

          Location: SF East Bay.

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          • #6
            Send the parts out and have them TIGed. That infomercial stuff is garbage.

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            • #7
              I used some Eutectic (brand) aluminium brazing rods and flux which looked like plain aluminium rods, worked perfectly on both sheet and cast aluminium, but I used oxy acetylene as the heatsource, perhaps that makes the difference.
              Phil
              UK
              Man who say it cannot be done should not disturb man doing it! https://www.youtube.com/user/philhermetic/videos?

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              • #8
                Eutectic products are top notch.
                Brazing with a heat sorce hot enough to melt and burn into the metal is totally different than solder and the miracle rod.
                I have tried several aluminum brazing rods with different fluxes.... I could make it work but it's not good enough for me to charge a customer for. At best it's a bandaid.
                Last edited by jamie76x; 05-27-2015, 04:47 PM.

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                • #9
                  That stuff works great but you have to get the album clean with no oxidation. That may be difficult. You can even use regular 60/40 solder. I know this because I soldered together a 9mm bullet mold that I made from alum. A stainless brush is a must. If a carbon steel wire brush is used the steel ions will contaminate the joint to the point that nothing will stick.

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                  • #10
                    The "miracle rod" does work and can make strong joints... but all must be clean- clean- clean. Use a CLEAN stainless steel brush to wet the rod into the joint. However the rod is mostly zinc, much harder than the base aluminum and NOT the same color. The filler metal will oxidize to a dull gray. As for real welding of aluminum, all work was done with Oxy- acetylene or oxy-hydrogen back in the day before TIG. Real full penetration welds using aluminum filler rod and fluoride based flux. It still can be done, takes practice.

                    Joe B

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