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Old 03-17-2010, 06:39 PM   #1
P B G OP
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Aluminum Repair Rod Reviews?

So here goes, I'm sure you've all seen the infomercials where someone uses a propane torch and some special rod and basically solders aluminum together, miracle aluminum repair where its stronger than aluminum.

Have any of you tried any of the products, and if so would you recommend them?

I've seen quite a few which mostly seem to be the same stuff, Alumi-weld, Alumarod, Durafix, Muggy weld alloy 1 + 5, Alumi-pro, kirkweld, HTS-2000, and I'm sure the list goes on, ranging from 15-60 bucks a pound.

Do any of these work, and would you use them on non-critical applications such as, fixing boat leaks in a cheap old aluminum boat, adding simple brackets to aluminum bike frames, repairing dinged portions of outboard lower units. These sorts of odd jobs that are difficult to accomplish with welders due to the configuration and disassembly required.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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Click here and see if it helps.

Youtube is great. People post how to do anything, welding, carbon fiber fabrication...
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:59 PM   #3
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Been watching some of those already, guess its hard to know who just doesn't know how to use it, and who is selling it.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by P B G
Been watching some of those already, guess its hard to know who just doesn't know how to use it, and who is selling it.
Harbor freight sells Alumaweld in the welding section. Something like 10 rods for 10 bucks.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SimpleSimon
Harbor freight sells Alumaweld in the welding section. Something like 10 rods for 10 bucks.
8 for 14 onlin

I do plan on picking those up to test tomorrow. Part of the reason to want to know if some are better/worse.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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They are Zinc based rods that melt at 700* instead of 1200 for Al. I got some from True Value, marketed as Oxy-Acetylene Aluminum Welding rods. I'd hoped they'd be better than the Alumiweld and Duraweld stuff everyone hates. They're not.
They don't stick to anything. They melt, ball up into spheres, and roll off whatever you were trying to repair. And if you actually TRY to use then with an oxy-acetylene torch, they'll not only still not work, but you'll also probably ruin whatever you were repairing even more.

I saw some Aluminum Solder at ACE hardware a while ago which looks a lot more promising. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a very small spool of fluxed wire with a melting point of around 1100 degrees. Expensive, but worth if it works.

I've also tried brazing with an oxy-propane torch with TIG rods. Didn't work very well either, but without using any flux I didn't expect it to.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P B G
Do any of these work, and would you use them on non-critical applications such as, fixing boat leaks in a cheap old aluminum boat
FWIW, I would avoid using Alumaweld (zinc) in an aluminum boat or an aluminum lower unit that spends any significant time in the water because you'll get a galvanic corrosion situation where the zinc will eventually disappear ... just like a zinc anode.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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Good point, although the boat in question gets dragged up on shore and is really a POS that accumulates quite a bit of water. SO I'd think anything would be better than nothing in this situation.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:22 AM   #9
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Except when heat is an issue, I can't see any application where this would be better than JB Weld.
And High Temp epoxy almost reaches the same temperature as these zinc rods.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pike Bishop
FWIW, I would avoid using Alumaweld (zinc) in an aluminum boat or an aluminum lower unit that spends any significant time in the water because you'll get a galvanic corrosion situation where the zinc will eventually disappear ... just like a zinc anode.
You may be correct in regards to salt water, but I live between 2 rivers and back in the 80's when I was doing it for a living I repaired a ton of broken props with this rod. And a propane torch most of the time.

As mentioned, clean the metal (I used a file mostly) and use a SS brush while you are heating it. I never used flux but I must have tried a few back then, and if it had made a difference I'd have kept using it.

One last thing- using a decent propane torch makes a HUGE difference! You owe it to yourself to buy one of these:



It pumps out heat, and is auto start and stop, just squeeze the button for fire, and let go when you want the fire to stop. Get the one like this one with a variable flame, it gives you a bit more flexibility than the fixed flame model does.
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