"Welding" cast aluminum?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by John Schneider, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Maybe someone here can give me some advice on how to put an old part off a seeder back together. It is some kind of cast metal and it is quite thin. It broke apart last night and due to the age of the seeder, I won't be able to find a replacement. I am wondering what would be the best way to patch this part back together. There is not a lot of stress on the part, so I don't think I need anything amazing in strength. Can you weld cast metal? Some sort of epoxy? Fibreglass? or is there anything out there that is made specifically for the purpose of fixing cast metal? I have a more detailed description of both the part and the story of how I broke it on my blog...complete with pictures. www.goldforestfarms.blogspot.com

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    what about drilling, and bolting or riveting a couple thin strips of steel to the part? kinda like a splint. My dad, lol the original cheapskate, has repaired many things like that over the years.
     

  3. ericjeeper

    ericjeeper Well-Known Member

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    I have seen demos at fair and farm shows.
    It looks like sticks of solder. I have some and have used it on many occassions. works great, but you will need a great amount of heat. such as an acetelyne and oxygen tank. or atleast a plumbers B-tank setup.
    You can buy the sticks at TSC stores
     
  4. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    yeah,have you looked at the assembly good, i think you will either have to repair it in place or pull out the seed disk drive rod. to free up the spout. to weld you will have to have access to a tig welder and know how to use it.

    most of those spouts are plastic these days. might find a replacement at shoup.
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    What you have I refer to as a grain drill. Where it is broken I think it will still function even without repair. If too many seeds are released due to the break simply remove one of the good pieces from one end of the drill and use it to replace the broken one. Place a piece of sheet metal inside the hopper box and over the opening where you "borrowed" the good piece to blank off the end thus making the unit one spout narrower.
     
  6. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Ive seen patching material for aluminum boats that are similar to the "solder" ericjeeper referred to but all you needed was a regular propane torch. If you dont need a lot of strength maybe JB Weld would hold it, especially if you reinforced the break . Fiberglass tape would be an option if you use an epoxy compound
     
  7. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    ok...thanks, some good ideas to work with. I looked at it again last night and there are a couple places where I think I can bolt it back together or maybe rivet. I will look at some epoxy solutions also. I don't have a tig, but I do have mig. I was hoping that perhaps some aluminum wire at low voltage might work...I won't bother trying. Agmantoo...I think that you are right that it doesn't need to be perfectly repaired and it will still work.

    Thanks for all your insights.
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    If you will go to a boat facility that sells repair parts they will have a product that is called Marine Tex. This is an epoxy "repair all" product that is great. I have repaired fuel tanks, made molded knobs for antique vehicles, patched broker steering wheels on tractors, repairs broken carburetor housings, ets. The product comes in larger amounts and is cheaper than the stuff you get at auto supply stores. You can drill and tap the product once it sets. I put Saran wrap around parts that I do not want it to stick to when making repairs. Cleanliness is critical for a good bond.
     
  9. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    There is a MIG process for aluminum welding but it requires a special gun that holds a small spool of aluminum wire, the wire is too soft to push through the normal MIG torch and cable. It's an expensive setup, couple hundred bucks at least. I would pursue a mechanical (bolt, rivet) or epoxy repair.
     
  10. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again...great idea about the saran wrap! I was wondering how I was going to keep from getting epoxy all over the place.
     
  11. ponyboy123

    ponyboy123 Well-Known Member

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    aluminuim can be welded with a DC stick welder. With the proper rods and the cables reversed (anode goes to ground and ground clamp goes to positive) Start with the heat low and work your way up to good penetration.