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Thread: Weld Aluminum canoe?

  1. #1

    Default Weld Aluminum canoe?

    Hey everyone,
    I floated the lower section of the Gulkana this weekend. The weather was perfect, the water a little low and fishing good.

    I ended up breaching on rock, bent my aluminum canoe (SmokerCraft) and put a crack in the side when I straightened it out.

    I remember someone mentioning that aluminum, at least aluminum canoes can be welded with minimal equipment. I actually have welded with stick and mig welders so have a big of experience.

    Any thoughts much appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default

    Actually, I should have stated my problem more broadly. I am looking for any good ideas for repairing a cracked aluminum canoe, whether welding or not.

    By the way, there are 3 cracks, all pretty small: a 2", 1" and 1/2".

  3. #3
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default

    Clean up the beak and rivet a 16/18 ga aluminum patch.
    Some JB Weld or RTV for the leaks and your done on the cheap

  4. #4

    Default

    thanks Erik...headed to the store now!

  5. #5
    Member aksportsmen's Avatar
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    Default good idea

    welding aluminum is more of a art then a skill. diffrent then your typicle ferrouse metals would be easy to burn through. turn a small crack into a big hole. mig would be better then arc/stick

  6. #6
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    Default Welding Aluminum Canoe

    Cracks can be Tig welded up easily. Could do it this evening if you are can get it to Wasilla.

  7. #7
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default state fair

    Go to the state fair,, and stop at the guys place that has the do it yourself propane aluminum welding rods..
    i have a couple of them and used them on canoes over the years..
    he will teach you how to weld with them
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  8. #8
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    Tig welding would be the best fix. No not everyone can weld a canoe either As stated already there is a trick to aluminum especially if its thin like a canoe. It is very easy to make swiss cheese out of it in the wrong hands. If it were possible I'd take Tedo up on his offer otherwise find a reputable weld shop. Greatland could probably fix you up cheaper than you might think if your in the valley. No I have no connection with Greatland either. It could be done in a 1/2 hour if they are that small.

  9. #9

    Default welding sounds like a good idea...

    Actually, I went to the store for a new cv joint, but didn't buy jb weld yet.

    So welding is best? Someone else mentioned something about the state fair and the welding sticks, very interesting. Maybe I will go. Or, maybe I can buy them online? Will do some googling...

    Tedo, I really appreciate the offer. Unfortunately I am in Fairbanks and will not be in Wasilla until tomorrow evening, enroute to the Kenai and Kodiak for my summer vacation -- will you be around?

  10. #10
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    Default Welding Cracks in Canoe

    I'll be around--have Tig, Mig, Plasma Cutter, Tubing Bender, Brake, etc. to do most repair or fabrication tasks. Fix alot of cracks in river boats, especially in the low water periods. The problem with sealants, JB Weld, solders, etc. is cleaning them off if you want to weld up later. Tig and Mig require clean material, Tig in particular.

  11. #11
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    Beng, think its either Cabela's or Bass-Pro that has the alum. welding rods.

    Gun Runner

  12. #12

    Default thanks Gun Runner...

    thanks Gun Runner...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Runner View Post
    Beng, think its either Cabela's or Bass-Pro that has the alum. welding rods.

    Gun Runner

  13. #13
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    Default I'm a few years late -but here's my two cents

    Welding thin aluminum is very difficult. It's much more difficult than welding thin steel or thick aluminum.

    My first recommendation would be to have a radiator repair shop fix your canoe. They repair thin aluminum every day.

  14. #14

    Default

    I'd also recommend Tig welding the cracks; that said, Cabela's has the Aluminum Boat Patch (rods), and if you own a small torch (needed with the Patch rods), you can also use Dura Fix as another option to JB Weld, etc.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

  15. #15
    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    Default

    welding thin aluminum isn't to hard even with wire, turn it down and go REAL FAST, or trigger it in one puddle at a time
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
    Μολών λαβέ

  16. #16
    Member hntr's Avatar
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    Default Call Tedo

    He fixed my boat once and he knows what he is doing, give him a call.

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