Aluminum Brazing Rods - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-21-2016   #1
 
caverdan's Avatar
 
C. Springs, Colorado
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Aluminum Brazing Rods

I was at the Denver boat show the other day and saw (and purchased) a pack of aluminum brazing rods to fix a couple of cracks in two dry boxes I own. The technique to success is to heat the aluminum to be braised to a temperature that the rod melts onto the aluminum the seals the hole or crack. Since the aluminum will be expanded when the rod fills the crack, I'm thinking it shouldn't crack again and will be as strong as original.

Has anyone had experience with this type of fix and is my thinking all wrong.

I'm also wondering if once I do this, it will make that area impossible to weld in the future. Below is a link to the site of the rod I bought.

Weld Aluminum with a Propane Torch | Aluminum Weld

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Old 01-21-2016   #2
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Originally Posted by caverdan View Post
I was at the Denver boat show the other day and saw (and purchased) a pack of aluminum brazing rods to fix a couple of cracks in two dry boxes I own. The technique to success is to heat the aluminum to be braised to a temperature that the rod melts onto the aluminum the seals the hole or crack. Since the aluminum will be expanded when the rod fills the crack, I'm thinking it shouldn't crack again and will be as strong as original.

Has anyone had experience with this type of fix and is my thinking all wrong.

I'm also wondering if once I do this, it will make that area impossible to weld in the future. Below is a link to the site of the rod I bought.

Weld Aluminum with a Propane Torch | Aluminum Weld

Alot of it depends on the makeup of the aluminum, if it is sourced overseas or imported the aluminum usually contains all different grades ,whatever they can throw in to melt down.

Depending on where your cracks are and age of the boxes it is probably best just to swing by a shop and have them hit it with MIG. Probably only cost you a 20 dollar bill. A picture would better determine what to do, I am sure a local shop will know what to do also by looking at them.

The wrong heat you will get a cold weld that won't hold and will crack or a fall out which basically is a puddle of molten box. You want to get the heat where you need it quick and be done, aluminum mig method is best for that on old materials
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Old 01-21-2016   #3
 
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Depending on where your cracks are and age of the boxes it is probably best just to swing by a shop and have them hit it with MIG. Probably only cost you a 20 dollar bill.
Unfortunately.......the shop I took them to wanted .......quite a bit more......than a twenty dollar bill. The cracks are along the bend of the box in the bottom and are about 4" long. Both boxes are from the 70's but still very functional and with no dents.

Have you ever tried aluminum brazing rods, Greenwall? I've noticed there are a lot of different brands of them out there.
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Old 01-21-2016   #4
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Originally Posted by caverdan View Post
Unfortunately.......the shop I took them to wanted .......quite a bit more......than a twenty dollar bill. The cracks are along the bend of the box in the bottom and are about 4" long. Both boxes are from the 70's but still very functional and with no dents.

Have you ever tried aluminum brazing rods, Greenwall? I've noticed there are a lot of different brands of them out there.
No haven't needed to braze anything before in aluminum. In the bend is a good spot and where I figured. It would literally be a 15 minute job start to finish with aluminum mig and then you could weld from the inside and get some material build up to add strength. That's where I figured the 20.00 2 minutes of actual weld time and mostly prep.

Get some .080 scrap and start practicing , I imagine you will need something hotter then regular propane at least MAP gas.
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Old 01-21-2016   #5
 
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The problem with brazing Aluminum is the flux used to brake down the oxide layer. If it is not completely removed it will continue to corrode the aluminum. In many cases it get trapped in the weld itself and will corrode from the inside. When you try to tig weld over it you will have two problems, first the flux or corroded metal will get into your puddle and cause problems and the mixing of the two filler metals will give you a weak weld. Try to find a good shop to weld it.
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Old 01-21-2016   #6
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I've used those aluminum brazing rods on a air conditioning low pressure line in my suburban. (3 years ago, still holding fine) I think on the dry box, getting the temperature up high enough will be the challenge, I've not worked with anything with that much surface area. but I think you can do it, I'd use a regular propane torch, mapp gas would probably melt the box.
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Old 01-21-2016   #7
 
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Dan, I could repair the cracks but, you would need to get to Boulder so, it might not be worth it. Per what John said, I don't want to weld it if you've already attempted brazing it.
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Old 01-22-2016   #8
 
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Dan, I could repair the cracks but, you would need to get to Boulder so, it might not be worth it. Per what John said, I don't want to weld it if you've already attempted brazing it.
Thanks for the offer Zeus. I haven't tried anything yet. Both cracks are so small you can't see them. I had a feeling that once I did it there is no going over it with a welder.

The rod I have melts around 725F and Maps gas is not recommended. Too hot. The flux must be built into the rod, yet the paper that came with it says it is fluxless. The guy selling it was punching a large hole in the bottom of an aluminum can and then filling the hole back up with the rod. I was impressed enough to buy some. I'm still a few months out from using the boxes, so that's why I'm asking around before I do anything.

Thanks all for the advice so far.
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Old 01-24-2016   #9
 
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if its a nonstructural leak issue, maybe you can just caulk it to stop leaking.This should be removable if you need to weld it later.
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Old 01-24-2016   #10
 
aurora, Colorado
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I've used the alumaweld flavor of these rods. Mostly zinc in them I think. The amount of heat you need is fully dependent on the thickness. The pop can; BIC lighter. A piece of 1" plate; oxy fuel and a rosebud tip. If you ever plan on welding, don't use it. If you have cracks, drill stop them regardless of repair technique.
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