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I know that welding aluminum is difficult and the equipment is expensive, since I have been looking to fabricate a new manifold out of old manifold parts plus new aluminum tubing. I see advertisements for brazing rods made for aluminum, claiming high strength and ease of use. The rods melt around 800 degrees and aluminum goes somewhere past 1100, so they claim you can easily braze and even build up broken parts like boat propellor tips or broken flanges or stripped threads, using a propane torch for small parts and MAPP or oxy acetylene for bigger. has anyone here used these? They are expensive ($45/pound) but if they do what they claim they clearly are worth it.Would I be able to braze intersecting pieces of large diameter aluminum tubing together using this stuff? How about brazing together sheets of aluminum to make a box for a plenum? Or am I better off taking my stuff to a professional welder?
 

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Much better off taking it to a pro. I am certified in Aluminum for aircraft, andthe "braze" rods just don't cut it. I think you will be rather dissapointed. I wish I had better news for you. ---Bob
 

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I agree with rhogsett. I've been welding aluminum for over 30 years. The brazing rods are tricky to use and not very strong. If you're dead-set on using them, the best tip I give you is once you see the aluminum start to sweat, you better start moving your torch and rod. It takes allot of practice. They do make aluminum stick rods that are easier to use and stronger. They will only run on a DC machine (at least the ones I use). Again, it takes practice and you have to move quick.
But it does have a nice pretty pink arc :)



Post Edited (Oct 9, 8:58am)
 

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I bought a set up at the State Fair a couple of years ago. I have a buddy that welds daily. He tried it and said it worked for repairs of heavy gauge aluminum. I bought it to repair old aluminum grilles. I did not use it. I took the grilles in to a pro. I think you could try it on a manifold. You need a lot of welding time/skills to make it work. The guys selling them at the fair could repair holes in a Coke can and also weld heavy stuff. He made it look easy!
 

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I have used two methods for aluminum welding / repairs with adaquate results.

First, the aluminum rods I found at Home Depot, made by Bernz-O-Matic, 3 for about $8.00. I used this to solder some aluminum 1/8" angle for a grille frame. It did look pretty good. If you can solder copper pipe, you can do this.

Second, I bought the aluminum/stainless kit for my Lincoln Mig Welder. You need to use 100% argon with the aluminum wire. I needed to make a custom aluminum door and window wall system for a loft apartment. I welded 3/16" structural aluminum with the mig welder. I did work well, BUT! I used a full pound of aluminum wire to practice with first. I needed to find the right heat and speed to get it done right.

I strongly suggest you pick up a pack of the rods at Home Depot and give it a shot. It is very satisfying work.
 

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Those little Lincoln migs are awesome! I talked with a guy at work about one he'd just bought and he said the smallest one (the one he had) would handle metals up to 1/4" thick... seems perfect for welding on cars. Only problem is I wouldn't use it enough to justify the price... :(
 
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