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Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / What filler to use to weld a aluminum cleat??
- - By Chris2626 (***) Date 11-05-2012 03:29 Edited 11-05-2012 03:54
I am wanting to tig weld an aluminum cleat to my boat and was wondering what filler metal to use? Thinking of going and checking out west marine for these I'm sure there cast and I remember once welding MASSIVE cast aluminum cleats on a boat but can't remember the wire type.

The way my boat is made it isn't easy to bolt a cleat to the boat without drilling a access hole to tighten the bolts up so i figure why not just find some aluminum cleats and weld them on. I have two at the stern that are stainless and thats fine for anchoring when you're in calm waters but if it kicks up a little I'd like to be able to tie it off easily to a cleat around the starboard or port bow area.

Let me also go ahead and ask if I had to weld a broken skeg for a lower unit what wire should I use for this as well??

Parent - - By Tommyjoking (****) Date 11-05-2012 04:39
Parent - - By eekpod (****) Date 11-05-2012 11:53
Do you know the grade of alum on the boat?

ALso be real careful how much load you put on a welded cleat.  If that sucker breaks of it becomes a missle and could kill someone.  There was an accidnet at Disney a few years ago where a cleat broke off the dock and hit a persons head and killed them.  I don't know if that cleat was welded or bolted, just making you aware and be careful.
Parent - - By Chris2626 (***) Date 11-05-2012 12:52 Edited 11-05-2012 12:55
Thanks Tommy I've got plenty of 4043. is there a chart that tells you the type of filler for even cast?? I know one chart you sent me a link a while back I don't think it had cast aluminum on it.

I have thought the same thing as far as it breaking off and thought about maybe welding a pad on first then the cleat because there's not a lot of support right there where it's going.

The cleat will only be used to tie an anchor to it so if it goes hopefully it goes over board and not back at anyone in the boat. The material of the boat I think is 5052 or I was told I can weld 5052 to it. I've read a lot about boat building and it seems like the best material is 5086 or 5083 to go with so I really wonder if it is 5052 although it probably is 5052 because i think 5086 is more expensive.

Parent - - By Tommyjoking (****) Date 11-06-2012 00:20
4043 blends with more alloys well probably better then any other.  It is a good choice when you are joining known to unknown...dependent on where you get your cleats they could be a variety of alloy  but most likely "wedontevenknowiduium".  All the common cast "bow eyes" for small boats seemed to do just fine with 4043...I doubt your putting a 14 pound cleat on your boat right????:grin:
Parent - - By Chris2626 (***) Date 11-06-2012 00:43 Edited 11-06-2012 01:00
No I just realized that link for that cleat is 107 dollars LOL no I won't be putting that big of a cleat on it LOL need to get to west marine and find like a 4 inch cleat.

Tommy would 4043 filler be ok welding say a broken skeg back onto a lower unit?

and say if i were to build an aluminum boat would i want to use like a 5356 filler wire rather then a 4043??
Parent - - By Tommyjoking (****) Date 11-06-2012 01:09 Edited 11-06-2012 01:24
"say if i were to build an aluminum boat would i want to use like a 5356 filler wire rather then a 4043??"

Well what are you going to build it out of???????

A lot of shops use a 50xx series alloy and still weld it with 4043....a very few use a 50xx filler on hulls.  They use some of those 50 series metals just for the ease of forming and bending and that's about it.  Me, I would just use the inexpensive 4043 but look at the chart and make your own choices.   I have seen a zillion evenrudes, mercs, yamahas, hondas etc. all repaired with 4043.  Blended then bondo applied before final sand and paint.  BTW all cast aluminum.   The trick is making it all straight again and fill that lower unit with water to protect the bearings and seals before you start.  Lots of 6XXX jet aircraft parts are welded with 4043 Chris. 

BTW Skegs can be bought that match just about any motor.  If you got a really bad one that is trashed it saves a lot of welding/sanding to just cut it off and weld in a new one.

That is just my opinion...I am sure there are alternative ones.

EDIT:  Call Benrock in Benton AR.  If you want to buy some parts for your boat.  I am sure they can turn you on to some castings that will leave you lots of beer money.
Parent - - By Chris2626 (***) Date 11-06-2012 03:49
Thanks Tommy, I'm just asking is all. I have done some google searches and also have seen guys using 4043 for welding a skeg back on I was just wanting to hear what you and others use. I read about the filling the exhaust tube with water before welding which is a good idea i have seen some that don't do this.
Parent - - By DaveBoyer (*****) Date 11-06-2012 04:12
With regard to the cleat, weld the cleat to a larger thicker piece of 5xxx aluminum and weld that piece to Your boat. This reduces the chances of the hull material bending and starting to tear where the load is concentrated.

Grind the anodising off the cleat where You want to weld to reduce grief. Tuna tower guys burn through the anodising rather than remove it, but they have lots of practice at it.
Parent - By Chris2626 (***) Date 11-06-2012 13:08
Thanks Dave I got a piece of quarter inch laying around, i'll do that. need to go back to the dam testing board and get some pictures posted of what i've done to the boat so far.
Parent - - By F-17 (**) Date 11-06-2012 21:31
Having water in the lower unit is kind of pointless the area subject to the welding is actually filled with oil,not water.I've repaired quite a few skegs,buddies that drink and boat need welding work from time to time.I used to build boats and we used all 5086 material and welded everything with 5356 wire.4043 is softer and actually for structural material.We had 4043 wire around in one feeder and it was used very little.
Parent - - By Tommyjoking (****) Date 11-06-2012 23:10
I have seen that water start to steam on a major that point letting water run through it each his own tho.
Parent - By Chris2626 (***) Date 11-07-2012 01:24
I would think if you could completely submerge the lower unit in water with the skeg pointing up while you weld maybe a good idea hell it sure wouldn't hurt anything I would think?
Parent - - By makeithot (***) Date 11-09-2012 15:34
5356 is the wire I use for boat building have had no issuse with weld cracking etc and it is more compatable with the 60xx extrusions that you would use for framing etc
Parent - By Chris2626 (***) Date 11-10-2012 01:53
Parent - - By makeithot (***) Date 11-09-2012 15:24
have welded hundreds of cleats on and have always used 50 series wire have never had one come off yet ,
Parent - - By Chris2626 (***) Date 02-25-2013 03:52
Old thread but got a little project welding up some rivets on a old friends boats and well he gave me a bunch of 5356 tig wire and man I can't tell the difference in the 4043 and the 5356 wire, they seem to weld the same or am I crazy? This is some dam good practice for when I build my own and I am actually seeing the tig doesn't warp it as bad as I thought it would but will still buy me a mig machine when I go to build my own to keep the warpage down.

Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 02-25-2013 04:09
They pretty much weld the same with GTAW....  The differences come with mechanicals and color match if anodized.
Parent - - By Chris2626 (***) Date 02-25-2013 12:56
I guess down the road i'll find out if it welds the same with mig. I have use the 5356 on mig but I can't remember if it was harder to weld, heck what i was doing it was all hard.
Parent - - By makeithot (***) Date 02-25-2013 23:33
When you do buy that mig machine be sure and get one with the pulse option that is what makes welding new material a breeze and is a must for distortion control when building boats. You are right about how the tig wire welds it is hard to see the difference but it is the mechanical properties the you don't see the make the difference as Lawrence has said. As far as repair is concerned I still prefer tig welding over mig the results are always better on old material.
Parent - By Chris2626 (***) Date 02-25-2013 23:53
I HATE the pulse mig and for the all the time they would break it isn't worth it to me. Seems like they spend more of there time breaking down then actually working. i had a chance to use my friends machine and it wasn't pulse and I was welding 100 gauge aluminum and didn't feel like it was to hard and the distortion was fine. I think it may take a little longer learning it but no it wasn't to bad.
Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / What filler to use to weld a aluminum cleat??

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