Avoid welding distortion

I have to make a fair number of 5' x 5' aluminum frames out of 1" by 1/8"
6061 aluminum bar stock.
Each frame is subdivided by additional aluminum pieces into a grid of 12 by
12 squares.
I am looking for the best approach and/or jig to keep this large but thin
(1" depth) frame from either warping out of its plane or not staying square.
How is this best approached, I intend to tig weld all the outside joints and
some of the interlocking pieces.
Reply to
Jaggy Taggy
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Wow, that is going to be tough. Aluminum TIG is fairly low in distortion compared to aluminum MIG.
Basically you will need to make a plywood jig that keeps your parts aligned. Tack all the pieces together before you weld any joint completely.
....."Tack Everything before you Weld anything"
You might want to thionk about riveting it instead of welding. Use aluminum flush head rivets.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
That, and use a procedure where you balance the stresses against each other, don't weld two diagonally opposed inside joints first for instance.
I remember my welding teacher saying that part of being a good welder is knowing when a weld is not appropriate..
Reply to
preference here would be to spot tack the edges at the intersections, and get it dip brazed
Reply to
How about notching and inter-locking the internal dividers. Depending on strenght required you could braze instead of weld. Hope this helps..
Reply to
John D
A plate of aluminum at least half inch thick and over five feet square would be nice for starters. I somehow doubt you have that. The tactic would be to tack everything to the plate then after welding break the tacks off the plate. I suggest that you stack your strips together eight at a time four foot eleven and three quarters long. Lay out notches every foot and cut notches one inch deep and one eighth wide using your table saw and an aluminum cutting carbide blade. A radial arm saw could be set up also.... maybe more easily. Break apart your strips and interlock them together. Square it up and put your five foot perimeter strips ( 5 ft. 11 3/4 ) around. I would lay three strips of your one inch flat bar diagonally across the grid to hold everything in position (stiffeners). Tack weld all the intersections then with the braces still on turn the frame over. Tack weld all the intersections on the second side. Stand the unit up and decide just how much welding you are going to do jumping around welding inside the square boxes. Turn the unit over standing up again and weld inside the boxes again. Let it cool, lay it down and break off your stiffeners. If you only tack weld along one side of your stiffeners they should snap off easily. If you physically interlock the strips with notches you should not have to do much welding..... less welding = less distortion Randy
Reply to
Randy Zimmerman
I reread the post and noticed that I suggested a one inch deep cut rather than a half inch deep cut. OOPS!
Reply to
Randy Zimmerman

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