How to Weld Heavy Aluminum
- 1). Put on a welding helmet, welding gloves and long-sleeved protective clothing. Welding can be a hazardous exercise. Since small fires can easily break out in your work area, always keep a water bottle and fire extinguisher close at hand.
- 2). Fit the aluminum as closely together as possible. Aluminum will not melt and join correctly if there is too large a gap between the areas you are welding. If necessary, use a grinder prior to welding to ensure a close fit.
- 3). Clamp clean, dry aluminum to a copper or aluminum heat sink. Copper and aluminum are both effective conductors of heat. Heavy aluminum will need to be preheated to a temperature ranging between 275 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit prior to welding.
- 4). Use one amp per each .001 inch thickness of aluminum. Always use a slightly higher amperage than your material requires and bring it back down as necessary. The amperage of a TIG welder is controlled using a foot pedal.
- 5). Weld the aluminum. Hold the TIG welding torch at a 70 degree or 80 degree angle and about 1/4 inch above the areas of the aluminum you are welding. Do not allow the tungsten to come into contact with the aluminum as this will cause contamination of the metal.
- 6). Feed an aluminum filler rod into the area that is being welded. Work the filler into the aluminum quickly to avoid any larger build-ups. When the required areas have been securely and neatly joined, remove the heat source and allow the metal to cool.