How to weld thin aluminum to thick aluminim ???


3/8 to 1/8 5052 with 5356 .035 wire. (note the machine does not list a
setting for .030 for 3/8 stock)
Ok... this is what I tried.
Think corner or t, although the re-world isn't exactly either.
Power and wire speed to match thinner metal. Beaughtiful lookiing weld, but
failed hammer test. Flowed into thinner material but hardly bumped the
surface of the thicker material. Tore loose on only a couple hammer blows.
Compromise between power and speed of thicker and thinner metal. Crappy
looking welds all the way around.
Power to match thicker metal. Keep spray stream aimed at thicker metal with
quick stiches into thinner metal. Not pretty welds, but not ugly. (well
not all ugly) Good penetration. Odd appearance of thin lines of extra
metal or spatter off the edge of the bead on the thick metal side. Will
grind and see what it really looks like . Occassional blow through on the
thinner stuff. Mostly near ends or when my glove caught on something and I
didn't let go of the trigger. I was able to fill the blow through spots by
dropping the power by half, and running the wire as fast as it would go
without stabbing. Those fills are purely cosmetic I am sure.
I have a couple more welds to do where I will be welding 3/8 to 1/8 for 24"
beads. What should I try to improve my appearance, and keep my weld quality
or do I just need to keep doing the saem thing, and practice more?
This is all 5052 with 5356 wire.
P.S. 3/8 to 3/8 aluminum is pushing the maximum limit of this machine. I
have to slow stitch to get a decent weld, and it is not pretty. Now I can
say I have pushed both the upper and lower limits of this machine.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
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Have you tried preheating the thicker metal with a large O/A rosebud torch? That might allow you to weld at the power level of the thinner material or the compromise setting and get a nice looking AND strong weld. Just a thought. I've never tried it but it seems like something that would be worth experimenting with.
Reply to
Curt Welch
Hmmmm..... I had not thought of that. Worse. Now that you mention it I recall its one of those things sorta knew. Doh! I'll give it a shot tomorrow. Thanks Curt. Since I learned I can cut just about everything with saws, and almost never braze, my torch sits in the corner gathering dust. I just never think of using it. LOL.
Its funny. When I was a teen I used a torch for everything. You give me a torch and a clothes hanger back then and I thought I could do anything.

Reply to
Bob La Londe
Can you clamp in a steel or copper backing bar on the thin stuff to help suck out some of the excess heat?
Stuart
Reply to
Stuart Wheaton

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