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Hole in aluminimum, Tig, braze, bolt or grommet ?


mad_pete
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I've bought some R380 floor panels and they have a couple of M10 size bolt holes in them and I'd rather they didn't have. Any suggestions ? Bit of Tig ? Magic aluminimum brazing sticks, put a grommet in it or a bolt ?

I'd like a half pretty repair of some sort because I'm like that.

What are people's suggestions ?

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Distortion will be the issue with large, thin sheets and the heat of welding or brazing. It wouldn't be hard to use the original as a template on a fresh sheet,the original could then be used as stock to cut into smaller pieces for future jobs...

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I'd look at alloy solder, I know the howls I'll get regarding this product but my mate who is a gun welder demonstrated his abilities by soldering two coke cans together, and thats no mean feat !

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I can't remember what brand low temp ali welding wire I used but it was very strong, on 1mm sheet the ali breaks before the weld and a plumbers blow lamp and old screwdriver is all you need. I bought some to weld a 30mm square winch bumper for my sons RC car but my plumbers blow lamp couldn't get it hot enough so ended up getting a friend to TIG it. On something big and flat like that you might find dumping sand around the hole helps stop the heat soak away?

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Got the rods, work pretty well, I think I warped the panel a little but not much and looks to fill the hole nicely. Need to work out what to grind it down with now. It's not a pretty repair but it is a filled hole.

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I was going to film it but I was pretty close to setting it on fire as it was without running a camera. It is very much as the YouTube clips show. Gas, scratching, melting and filling. I did the circle action this time and that worked quite well. I warped the second panel a bit more because I think the blow torch was running low on gas and took longer to get up to temp. It should bend back but I recommend going in as fairly hot with the flame. I'm pleased with it. I'll post some more pictures when I'm near my PC.

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I've used similar rods many times. The only issue with them is the disapprovment of everyone else at them. The welds are strong and because the temperature is low, you don't get the same degree of embrittlement or deformation in the original metal.

I've found that sometimes this can result in a stronger fix than TIG welding.

Si

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I tried the Durafix rod after reading this thread. It was at the rear of my rear 110 tub side panel. It would have worked but the molten metal sagged away from the crack that I was trying to fill, presumably because it's a vertical panel. In the end I stuck a piece of aluminium on the back with tiger seal then filled and painted in the usual way.

The difficulty for me as a novice was to try not to chase the flame with the stick but to melt it onto the base metal once that was hot enough (just as the videos show).

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I did a demo at a show a few years ago and the rod tended to stay in a blob, if it was solder I would assume the metal wasn't hot enough to flow, however the guy had me wiping it with a screwdriver to get it along the piece and then if flowed quite nicely to the other side.

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Is there an equivalent for steel?

I'm thinking where you get a load of tiny holes on body panels, and where the shape is quite complex. If you could fill it and build it up with some low temp brazing type process it would be useful.

That's lead filling you mean I think; used to be used instead of resin filler, like a plumber would have used. You tin the metal and then get it to the 'right' temperature and wipe it into shape. Probably not allowed these days because of the lead.

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I did mine flat. Blow lamp, brush, scrape with rod, repeat. Got to do the metal (not the rod or as it happens the brush) I did blow one of the repairs through as the lamp caught it before it set so I did the others onto a baking tray. I did want to clamp a bit of steel behind it but didn't have any. Once it was molten I either splooged it across with the rod or circle filled it by going round in decreasing circles with the rod. I think you do need gravity so I'm not sure how a non level repair would go. Maybe if it's a small hole. Ground down fine once cooled. Apparently let it cool on its own which I did do.

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