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Re: [bolger] Re: Reply to Susan Alum welding

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  • Wilderness Voice
    I have thousands of hours welding and fabricating alum. I started out in the shipyard builing the Fast Frigates (FFG) for the US Navy. The superstructure is
    Message 1 of 22 , Dec 1, 2009
      I have thousands of hours welding and fabricating alum. I started out in the shipyard builing the Fast Frigates (FFG) for the US Navy. The superstructure is all alum. The big problem for the home fabricator is keeping it clean and keeping the wind out so you don't get porosity.  In addition you cannot grind alum on a bench grinder set up for steel without danger. Alum has many advantages for the home builder since you can put an alum saw blade in a circular saw and use the common tools to fabricate with. There is the added cost of alum over plywood. My advice still stands though, you have to realize that if the cost of the equipment is folded into the cost of the boat it can be prohibitive. I know a guy a PSF Industries in Seattle that lost his eye from someone having ground alum on the bench grinder there and he went and ground steel and it exploded. Learning the safety rules and procedures is easy for anyone that picks up any number of books on metal fabrication. I know too many people killed and injured by taking short cuts. I in turn have been injured by the short cuts of others, so take it very seriously, but not impossible to learn if the desire is there


      From: oceannavagator <Mikieq@...>
      To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 1:33:00 PM
      Subject: [bolger] Re: Reply to Susan

       



      I've been a certified welder for 35 years and I'd be more than happy to enlighten you on the in's and outs of the trade. Aluminum is the ideal material for metal boats. With modern equipment it welds as easily as steel and with the correct alloys and care it lasts forever. The dangers of welding can be mitigated by using a little common sense and proper attire. Aluminum fabrication is ten times cleaner than steel and the material can be cut and machined with woodworking tools. Also, aluminum is available practically anywhere unlike high quality boat building wood. Argon gas is nontoxic but it will displace oxygen in a closed in area so welders use exhaust fans to remove it. The welding equipment for thin sections is very reasonable in price. A small mig power source with a spoolgun runs about 1500 bucks, a spool of wire is about 5 bucks and argon gas costs 40 dollars per fill up.
      Mike

      --- In bolger@yahoogroups. com, Douglas Pollard <dougpol1@.. .> wrote:
      >
      > Also don't forget the argon gas in mig and the oxygen-less gas created
      > by the flux on welding rodes and flux cored wire is deadly so if you are
      > welding inside a boat you need to change the air now and then this may
      > mean a fan that does not blow toward your welding. You could die and
      > never know it until you hear the angels sing. Every now and then in
      > shipyards a welder used to die from going into a tight place where
      > welding gas has accumulated.
      >
      > Doug
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Douglas Pollard wrote:
      > > Fred I agree with you. I have owned and run a machine shop for a lot of
      > > years and we in that business train most of our employees ourselves and
      > > of course at some point most of them leave and go to large companies
      > > where the pay and benefits are better. AS a teenager I went through a
      > > shipyard welding school (flunked out) and we were not taught much of
      > > anything other than how to run a bead. I became a machinist instead.
      > > Welding is not rocket science and most welders learn in doing factory
      > > maintenance and on the farm or in an Automotive shops. A good book if
      > > you want to bother can teach all that is needed to learn the technical
      > > side of it. Yes there are pitfalls and things to learn so that an
      > > acetylene torch doesn't back burn and blow your hand off and that's for
      > > sure. There are good books out there on steel boat building by Tom
      > > Colvin and Gill Clingle and a host of others where you can learn all you
      > > need to know about welding up a boat. I think anyone who has built in
      > > wood can also build in steel if they take the time to study a little and
      > > practice some. Building in aluminum is a little different in that it
      > > takes a heck of a lot more practice and know how. For that I would hire
      > > a good welder who has welded boats before. For one thing he will weld
      > > with a water cooled mig machine that can weld about 6ft a minute as
      > > compared to one of us sputtering a long with a cheap lit mig machine
      > > that is constantly over heating and jamming up.
      > > When comes to designing a boat the information is all out there for the
      > > designer to use and there is no reason they should not be able to design
      > > in steel or aluminum boat. For most of us at least in small boats, I
      > > don't see much point in it as we for the most part we can get all the
      > > plywood we want pretty cheap. Where bigger boats are concerned metal is
      > > great stuff you can build a 40ft sailboat in the backyard with out even
      > > so much as a shed roof. Just don't weld when the wind is blowing.
      > > Building in metal is dirty, heavy and nasty work. Since most metal boats
      > > rust out from the inside they really should be sandblasted on the
      > > inside. What a hell of a job that is, it requires a sandblasting suite
      > > with outside air pumped in. Small sections should be blasted and then
      > > coated as corrosion begins right away. This is even more critical in a
      > > aluminum.
      > > If you build a small metal boat the material will have to be light to
      > > keep the weight down and there in lies the problem. Welding thin
      > > material is hard. It warps from the shrinkage of the weld bead and
      > > puckers at every frame and stringer. I am a decent welder and I would
      > > not attempt it. I might try welding 1/8 steel but the really thin steel
      > > needed to weld a small boat is out of my league. I suspect that most
      > > small metal boats built by less than highly skilled welders will be more
      > > body putty the steel.
      > > Now I think a small aluminum boat riveted might be another story. It
      > > would be little harder than stitch and glue but reqires two people, one
      > > to rivet and one to buck. With modern metal glues you likely don't even
      > > need the rivets except as a failsafe for the glue joint.
      > > There is also the possibility of laying up a hull of really thin
      > > aluminum layed and glued much as cold molding id done. A hull lay up in
      > > a cross diagonal pattern of 6 inch wide .010 inch thick aluminum could
      > > be shaped to almost any fine shape desired including a fine wine glass
      > > shaped hull. Todays glues are really the cats whiskers. When you
      > > consider a lot of modern airplanes are glued together they better be good.
      > > Doug
      > >
      > > Fred Schumacher wrote:
      > >
      > >>
      > >> On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 10:54 PM, Susanne@...
      > >> <mailto:Susanne@ ...> <philbolger@ ...
      > >> <mailto:philbolger@ ...>> wrote:
      > >>
      > >> W.V. I agree with your serious note of serious caution about
      > >> casual welding or even casual swapping construction- materials from
      > >> ply to steel.
      > >>
      > >> I agree too about some dangers inherent in welding; however, as a
      > >> retired farmer, I have to state that there are thousands of
      > >> non-professional welders out there doing quite creditable jobs of
      > >> welding. It's virtually impossible to be a farmer today and not be
      > >> able to weld or use a cutting torch. Those are two absolutely
      > >> essential tools on a modern farm.
      > >> With the ready availability of wire welders, it's much easier these
      > >> days to weld light gauge steel. But leave the aluminum work to experts.
      > >> Fred Schumacher
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------ --------- --------- ------
      > >
      > > Bolger rules!!!
      > > - NO "GO AWAY SPAMMER!" posts!!! Please!
      > > - no cursing, flaming, trolling, spamming, respamming, or flogging dead horses
      > > - stay on topic, stay on thread, punctuate, no 'Ed, thanks, Fred' posts
      > > - Pls add your comments at the TOP, SIGN your posts, and snip away
      > > - Plans: Mr. Philip C. Bolger, P.O. Box 1209, Gloucester, MA, 01930, Fax: (978) 282-1349
      > > - Unsubscribe: bolger-unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. com
      > > - Open discussion: bolger_coffee_ lounge-subscribe @yahoogroups. com Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >


    • Doug Jackson
      Aluminum in a word is awesome. And it s doable for a novice (me) even down to 1/8 sheet with $1K of MIG equipment. Here are the lessons I ve been taught:
      Message 2 of 22 , Dec 1, 2009
        Aluminum in a word is awesome. And it's doable for a novice (me) even down to 1/8" sheet with $1K of MIG equipment. Here are the lessons I've been taught: http://www.submarineboat.com/welding_aluminum.htm

        There is a rule about not mixing steel and aluminum tools so you don't contaminate the aluminum with steel, but aluminium would only gum up a regular grinding wheel. I have an aluminum grinding disc, "Flexcel" on an old motor that works great for grinding. AirGas sells them for $10 each, but they last a good while.

        Doug
        "I began life as a bad boy." --Simon Lake, father of the modern submarine
        Join "Bad Boy Submarines" at ArgonautJr.com




        ________________________________
        From: Wilderness Voice <thewildernessvoice@...>
        To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 8:36:51 PM
        Subject: Re: [bolger] Re: Reply to Susan Alum welding


        I have thousands of hours welding and fabricating alum. I started out in the shipyard builing the Fast Frigates (FFG) for the US Navy. The superstructure is all alum. The big problem for the home fabricator is keeping it clean and keeping the wind out so you don't get porosity. In addition you cannot grind alum on a bench grinder set up for steel without danger. Alum has many advantages for the home builder since you can put an alum saw blade in a circular saw and use the common tools to fabricate with. There is the added cost of alum over plywood. My advice still stands though, you have to realize that if the cost of the equipment is folded into the cost of the boat it can be prohibitive. I know a guy a PSF Industries in Seattle that lost his eye from someone having ground alum on the bench grinder there and he went and ground steel and it exploded. Learning the safety rules and procedures is easy for anyone that picks up any number of books on metal
        fabrication. I know too many people killed and injured by taking short cuts. I in turn have been injured by the short cuts of others, so take it very seriously, but not impossible to learn if the desire is there




        ________________________________
        From: oceannavagator <Mikieq@erols. com>
        To: bolger@yahoogroups. com
        Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 1:33:00 PM
        Subject: [bolger] Re: Reply to Susan




        I've been a certified welder for 35 years and I'd be more than happy to enlighten you on the in's and outs of the trade. Aluminum is the ideal material for metal boats. With modern equipment it welds as easily as steel and with the correct alloys and care it lasts forever. The dangers of welding can be mitigated by using a little common sense and proper attire. Aluminum fabrication is ten times cleaner than steel and the material can be cut and machined with woodworking tools. Also, aluminum is available practically anywhere unlike high quality boat building wood. Argon gas is nontoxic but it will displace oxygen in a closed in area so welders use exhaust fans to remove it. The welding equipment for thin sections is very reasonable in price. A small mig power source with a spoolgun runs about 1500 bucks, a spool of wire is about 5 bucks and argon gas costs 40 dollars per fill up.
        Mike

        --- In bolger@yahoogroups. com, Douglas Pollard <dougpol1@.. .> wrote:
        >
        > Also don't forget the argon gas in mig and the oxygen-less gas created
        > by the flux on welding rodes and flux cored wire is deadly so if you are
        > welding inside a boat you need to change the air now and then this may
        > mean a fan that does not blow toward your welding. You could die and
        > never know it until you hear the angels sing. Every now and then in
        > shipyards a welder used to die from going into a tight place where
        > welding gas has accumulated.
        >
        > Doug
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Douglas Pollard wrote:
        > > Fred I agree with you. I have owned and run a machine shop for a lot of
        > > years and we in that business train most of our employees ourselves and
        > > of course at some point most of them leave and go to large companies
        > > where the pay and benefits are better. AS a teenager I went through a
        > > shipyard welding school (flunked out) and we were not taught much of
        > > anything other than how to run a bead. I became a machinist instead.
        > > Welding is not rocket science and most welders learn in doing factory
        > > maintenance and on the farm or in an Automotive shops. A good book if
        > > you want to bother can teach all that is needed to learn the technical
        > > side of it. Yes there are pitfalls and things to learn so that an
        > > acetylene torch doesn't back burn and blow your hand off and that's for
        > > sure. There are good books out there on steel boat building by Tom
        > > Colvin and Gill Clingle and a host of others where you can learn all you
        > > need to know about welding up a boat. I think anyone who has built in
        > > wood can also build in steel if they take the time to study a little and
        > > practice some. Building in aluminum is a little different in that it
        > > takes a heck of a lot more practice and know how. For that I would hire
        > > a good welder who has welded boats before. For one thing he will weld
        > > with a water cooled mig machine that can weld about 6ft a minute as
        > > compared to one of us sputtering a long with a cheap lit mig machine
        > > that is constantly over heating and jamming up.
        > > When comes to designing a boat the information is all out there for the
        > > designer to use and there is no reason they should not be able to design
        > > in steel or aluminum boat. For most of us at least in small boats, I
        > > don't see much point in it as we for the most part we can get all the
        > > plywood we want pretty cheap. Where bigger boats are concerned metal is
        > > great stuff you can build a 40ft sailboat in the backyard with out even
        > > so much as a shed roof. Just don't weld when the wind is blowing.
        > > Building in metal is dirty, heavy and nasty work. Since most metal boats
        > > rust out from the inside they really should be sandblasted on the
        > > inside. What a hell of a job that is, it requires a sandblasting suite
        > > with outside air pumped in. Small sections should be blasted and then
        > > coated as corrosion begins right away. This is even more critical in a
        > > aluminum.
        > > If you build a small metal boat the material will have to be light to
        > > keep the weight down and there in lies the problem. Welding thin
        > > material is hard. It warps from the shrinkage of the weld bead and
        > > puckers at every frame and stringer. I am a decent welder and I would
        > > not attempt it. I might try welding 1/8 steel but the really thin steel
        > > needed to weld a small boat is out of my league. I suspect that most
        > > small metal boats built by less than highly skilled welders will be more
        > > body putty the steel.
        > > Now I think a small aluminum boat riveted might be another story. It
        > > would be little harder than stitch and glue but reqires two people, one
        > > to rivet and one to buck. With modern metal glues you likely don't even
        > > need the rivets except as a failsafe for the glue joint.
        > > There is also the possibility of laying up a hull of really thin
        > > aluminum layed and glued much as cold molding id done. A hull lay up in
        > > a cross diagonal pattern of 6 inch wide .010 inch thick aluminum could
        > > be shaped to almost any fine shape desired including a fine wine glass
        > > shaped hull. Todays glues are really the cats whiskers. When you
        > > consider a lot of modern airplanes are glued together they better be good.
        > > Doug
        > >
        > > Fred Schumacher wrote:
        > >
        > >>
        > >> On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 10:54 PM, Susanne@...
        > >> <mailto:Susanne@ ...> <philbolger@ ...
        > >> <mailto:philbolger@ ...>> wrote:
        > >>
        > >> W.V. I agree with your serious note of serious caution about
        > >> casual welding or even casual swapping construction- materials from
        > >> ply to steel.
        > >>
        > >> I agree too about some dangers inherent in welding; however, as a
        > >> retired farmer, I have to state that there are thousands of
        > >> non-professional welders out there doing quite creditable jobs of
        > >> welding. It's virtually impossible to be a farmer today and not be
        > >> able to weld or use a cutting torch. Those are two absolutely
        > >> essential tools on a modern farm.
        > >> With the ready availability of wire welders, it's much easier these
        > >> days to weld light gauge steel. But leave the aluminum work to experts.
        > >> Fred Schumacher
        > >>
        > >>
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ------------ --------- --------- ------
        > >
        > > Bolger rules!!!
        > > - NO "GO AWAY SPAMMER!" posts!!! Please!
        > > - no cursing, flaming, trolling, spamming, respamming, or flogging dead horses
        > > - stay on topic, stay on thread, punctuate, no 'Ed, thanks, Fred' posts
        > > - Pls add your comments at the TOP, SIGN your posts, and snip away
        > > - Plans: Mr. Philip C. Bolger, P.O. Box 1209, Gloucester, MA, 01930, Fax: (978) 282-1349
        > > - Unsubscribe: bolger-unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. com
        > > - Open discussion: bolger_coffee_ lounge-subscribe @yahoogroups. com Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • Pierce Nichols
        ... And of course you can sell the equipment when you are done building the boat -- if you buy used and take care of it, you can probably recoup most (if not
        Message 3 of 22 , Dec 1, 2009
          On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 7:04 PM, Doug Jackson <svseeker@...> wrote:
          Aluminum in a word is awesome.  And it's doable for a novice (me) even down to 1/8" sheet with $1K of MIG equipment.  Here are the lessons I've been taught:  http://www.submarineboat.com/welding_aluminum.htm

          And of course you can sell the equipment when you are done building the boat -- if you buy used and take care of it, you can probably recoup most (if not all) of the money you spend on it.
           

          There is a rule about not mixing steel and aluminum tools so you don't contaminate the aluminum with steel, but aluminium would only gum up a regular grinding wheel.  I have an aluminum grinding disc, "Flexcel" on an old motor that works great for grinding.  AirGas sells them for $10 each, but they last a good while.

          No, it's worse than that. My understanding is that the bits of smeared aluminum get down between the grains of s wheel meant for steel and that when they heat up again, they can expand enough to fracture the wheel. And that's just a bad day. Use the right tools for the job and things will go better.

          -p 
        • Doug Jackson
          when you are done building the boat -- LOL You re funny! We haven t finished that boat, and we ve started 2 more. And thanks for the explanation about the
          Message 4 of 22 , Dec 1, 2009
            "when you are done building the boat" -- LOL You're funny! We haven't finished that boat, and we've started 2 more.

            And thanks for the explanation about the exploding wheel.

            Doug
            "I began life as a bad boy." --Simon Lake, father of the modern submarine
            Join "Bad Boy Submarines" at ArgonautJr.com




            ________________________________
            From: Pierce Nichols <rocketgeek@...>
            To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 9:16:09 PM
            Subject: Re: [bolger] Re: Reply to Susan Alum welding





            On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 7:04 PM, Doug Jackson <svseeker@ymail. com> wrote:

            >Aluminum in a word is awesome. And it's doable for a novice (me) even down to 1/8" sheet with $1K of MIG equipment. Here are the lessons I've been taught: http://www.submarineboat.com/welding_aluminum.htm

            And of course you can sell the equipment when you are done building the boat -- if you buy used and take care of it, you can probably recoup most (if not all) of the money you spend on it.


            >>There is a rule about not mixing steel and aluminum tools so you don't contaminate the aluminum with steel, but aluminium would only gum up a regular grinding wheel. I have an aluminum grinding disc, "Flexcel" on an old motor that works great for grinding. AirGas sells them for $10 each, but they last a good while.

            No, it's worse than that. My understanding is that the bits of smeared aluminum get down between the grains of s wheel meant for steel and that when they heat up again, they can expand enough to fracture the wheel. And that's just a bad day. Use the right tools for the job and things will go better.

            -p
          • Pierce Nichols
            It s something nice to tell yourself when you re starting out, at least. :) -p
            Message 5 of 22 , Dec 1, 2009
              It's something nice to tell yourself when you're starting out, at least. :)

              -p

              On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 7:24 PM, Doug Jackson <svseeker@...> wrote:
              "when you are done building the boat"  -- LOL You're funny!  We haven't finished that boat, and we've started 2 more.

              And thanks for the explanation about the exploding wheel.

              Doug
              "I began life as a bad boy." --Simon Lake, father of the modern submarine
              Join "Bad Boy Submarines" at ArgonautJr.com




              ________________________________
              From: Pierce Nichols <rocketgeek@...>
              To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 9:16:09 PM
              Subject: Re: [bolger] Re: Reply to Susan Alum welding





              On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 7:04 PM, Doug Jackson <svseeker@ymail. com> wrote:

              >Aluminum in a word is awesome.  And it's doable for a novice (me) even down to 1/8" sheet with $1K of MIG equipment.  Here are the lessons I've been taught:  http://www.submarineboat.com/welding_aluminum.htm

              And of course you can sell the equipment when you are done building the boat -- if you buy used and take care of it, you can probably recoup most (if not all) of the money you spend on it.


              >>There is a rule about not mixing steel and aluminum tools so you don't contaminate the aluminum with steel, but aluminium would only gum up a regular grinding wheel.  I have an aluminum grinding disc, "Flexcel" on an old motor that works great for grinding.  AirGas sells them for $10 each, but they last a good while.

              No, it's worse than that. My understanding is that the bits of smeared aluminum get down between the grains of s wheel meant for steel and that when they heat up again, they can expand enough to fracture the wheel. And that's just a bad day. Use the right tools for the job and things will go better.

              -p






              ------------------------------------

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              - Pls add your comments at the TOP, SIGN your posts, and snip away
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            • Doug Pollard
              I feel that aluminum has a big advantage over steel for the home builder if he has been building wooden boats because he already has a most of the tools he
              Message 6 of 22 , Dec 2, 2009
                I feel that aluminum has a big advantage over steel for the home
                builder if he has been building wooden boats because he already has a
                most of the tools he needs.He already has the knowledge and skill to
                make good fits ( very important in working in a lum because you can't
                just fill gaps as with epoxy. He can saw aluminum on a table saw, power
                hand skill saw, saber saw and etc. He can use a router to get nice edges
                and good fits and here like in wood an electric plane does the job. I
                use kerosene as a cutting fluid on routers saws etc. Lots and lots of
                ventilation, electric fans needed as the mist will build up in the air
                when cutting and it is hard on lungs and is likely explosive though I
                have seen miles of aluminum cut this way and have never heard of a problem.
                A TIG welder can be bought pretty cheaply to tack things together much
                like stitch and glue except you are holding things together with weld
                tacks. You can likely buy a used one and then sell it when the boat is
                finished though I would keep it.
                There is knowledge needed to build and weld and electrolysis
                avoidance.(very,very important to understand) There is all that
                information available in books and on line.
                Never pass up a chance to talk with welders, you almost always learn
                something.
                All of this is doable and yes there are dangers but I think that anyone
                that is smart enough to build a boat can learn this stuff.
                Having said all that I don't think its practical in really small boats.
                I would say that if you want to build a 21ft keel boat or bigger to sail
                the seven seas it is a perfect material. I would look for plans for a
                doubled chined keel boat with a monocoupe style hull where all internal
                furniture are aluminum and welded in as a monocoupe design for strength.
                I would plate no thinner than 1/8 in. and preferably 3/16 in. to ease
                the buckling problems. Plywood or foam core decks lighten the top sides
                but a 1/8 thick aluminum deck with plenty of support and lots of camber
                for strength all welded in will make a much stronger boat.
                Foam insulation is a must for cold or hot climates. If sheets of foam
                are used I would glue a thin light fabric over it to protect it and make
                an attractive interior. A man made fabric would be best so that it will
                not rot or mildew. Under the decks glued in foam makes great protection
                from bumping you noggin.
                Wilderness Voice, you obviously have a whole storehouse of knowledge,
                information and training on this subject. If you have the time and
                inclination you ought to start writing a blog on these subjects to help
                the home builder in building metal boats and also to help the designer
                with practical knowledge in designing in metal that can more easily be
                built. You could then put your writings together and publish as book and
                in the meantime you might get a little money off of advertising from
                your blog.
                Tom Colvin built a boat for a fellow that had been designed by another
                designer and found that he had to weld three welding rods together in
                order to reach the seams in the bow to weld them. There was a lot of
                fussing going on about that as I remember. Tom was and old Newport News
                naval architect and he was certain that the home builder could build his
                boats and a lot of them did.
                I see no reason Bolger and Friends could not design proper metal boats
                of any size, hopefully slightly bigger boats. For that matter redesign
                an existing one for metal where it is appropriate might be excellent.
                Phil Bolger designed Wolftrap for me and he did an excellent job. I was
                amazed that he was able to know just how much compound curve I could
                squeeze in to a hull plate. I would not sell the home builder short and
                especially those that have built and used a few boats. I personally
                think those boats that are designed for ocean sailing are especially
                good candidates
                Doug



                Wilderness Voice wrote:
                > I have thousands of hours welding and fabricating alum. I started out
                > in the shipyard builing the Fast Frigates (FFG) for the US Navy. The
                > superstructure is all alum. The big problem for the home fabricator is
                > keeping it clean and keeping the wind out so you don't get porosity.
                > In addition you cannot grind alum on a bench grinder set up for steel
                > without danger. Alum has many advantages for the home builder since
                > you can put an alum saw blade in a circular saw and use the common
                > tools to fabricate with. There is the added cost of alum over plywood.
                > My advice still stands though, you have to realize that if the cost of
                > the equipment is folded into the cost of the boat it can be
                > prohibitive. I know a guy a PSF Industries in Seattle that lost his
                > eye from someone having ground alum on the bench grinder there and he
                > went and ground steel and it exploded. Learning the safety rules and
                > procedures is easy for anyone that picks up any number of books on
                > metal fabrication. I know too many people killed and injured by taking
                > short cuts. I in turn have been injured by the short cuts of others,
                > so take it very seriously, but not impossible to learn if the desire
                > is there
                >
                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                > *From:* oceannavagator <Mikieq@...>
                > *To:* bolger@yahoogroups.com
                > *Sent:* Tue, December 1, 2009 1:33:00 PM
                > *Subject:* [bolger] Re: Reply to Susan
                >
                >
                >
                > I've been a certified welder for 35 years and I'd be more than happy
                > to enlighten you on the in's and outs of the trade. Aluminum is the
                > ideal material for metal boats. With modern equipment it welds as
                > easily as steel and with the correct alloys and care it lasts forever.
                > The dangers of welding can be mitigated by using a little common sense
                > and proper attire. Aluminum fabrication is ten times cleaner than
                > steel and the material can be cut and machined with woodworking tools.
                > Also, aluminum is available practically anywhere unlike high quality
                > boat building wood. Argon gas is nontoxic but it will displace oxygen
                > in a closed in area so welders use exhaust fans to remove it. The
                > welding equipment for thin sections is very reasonable in price. A
                > small mig power source with a spoolgun runs about 1500 bucks, a spool
                > of wire is about 5 bucks and argon gas costs 40 dollars per fill up.
                > Mike
                >
                > --- In bolger@yahoogroups. com <mailto:bolger%40yahoogroups.com>,
                > Douglas Pollard <dougpol1@.. .> wrote:
                > >
                > > Also don't forget the argon gas in mig and the oxygen-less gas created
                > > by the flux on welding rodes and flux cored wire is deadly so if you
                > are
                > > welding inside a boat you need to change the air now and then this may
                > > mean a fan that does not blow toward your welding. You could die and
                > > never know it until you hear the angels sing. Every now and then in
                > > shipyards a welder used to die from going into a tight place where
                > > welding gas has accumulated.
                > >
                > > Doug
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Douglas Pollard wrote:
                > > > Fred I agree with you. I have owned and run a machine shop for a
                > lot of
                > > > years and we in that business train most of our employees
                > ourselves and
                > > > of course at some point most of them leave and go to large companies
                > > > where the pay and benefits are better. AS a teenager I went through a
                > > > shipyard welding school (flunked out) and we were not taught much of
                > > > anything other than how to run a bead. I became a machinist instead.
                > > > Welding is not rocket science and most welders learn in doing factory
                > > > maintenance and on the farm or in an Automotive shops. A good book if
                > > > you want to bother can teach all that is needed to learn the
                > technical
                > > > side of it. Yes there are pitfalls and things to learn so that an
                > > > acetylene torch doesn't back burn and blow your hand off and
                > that's for
                > > > sure. There are good books out there on steel boat building by Tom
                > > > Colvin and Gill Clingle and a host of others where you can learn
                > all you
                > > > need to know about welding up a boat. I think anyone who has built in
                > > > wood can also build in steel if they take the time to study a
                > little and
                > > > practice some. Building in aluminum is a little different in that it
                > > > takes a heck of a lot more practice and know how. For that I would
                > hire
                > > > a good welder who has welded boats before. For one thing he will weld
                > > > with a water cooled mig machine that can weld about 6ft a minute as
                > > > compared to one of us sputtering a long with a cheap lit mig machine
                > > > that is constantly over heating and jamming up.
                > > > When comes to designing a boat the information is all out there
                > for the
                > > > designer to use and there is no reason they should not be able to
                > design
                > > > in steel or aluminum boat. For most of us at least in small boats, I
                > > > don't see much point in it as we for the most part we can get all the
                > > > plywood we want pretty cheap. Where bigger boats are concerned
                > metal is
                > > > great stuff you can build a 40ft sailboat in the backyard with out
                > even
                > > > so much as a shed roof. Just don't weld when the wind is blowing.
                > > > Building in metal is dirty, heavy and nasty work. Since most metal
                > boats
                > > > rust out from the inside they really should be sandblasted on the
                > > > inside. What a hell of a job that is, it requires a sandblasting
                > suite
                > > > with outside air pumped in. Small sections should be blasted and then
                > > > coated as corrosion begins right away. This is even more critical
                > in a
                > > > aluminum.
                > > > If you build a small metal boat the material will have to be light to
                > > > keep the weight down and there in lies the problem. Welding thin
                > > > material is hard. It warps from the shrinkage of the weld bead and
                > > > puckers at every frame and stringer. I am a decent welder and I would
                > > > not attempt it. I might try welding 1/8 steel but the really thin
                > steel
                > > > needed to weld a small boat is out of my league. I suspect that most
                > > > small metal boats built by less than highly skilled welders will
                > be more
                > > > body putty the steel.
                > > > Now I think a small aluminum boat riveted might be another story. It
                > > > would be little harder than stitch and glue but reqires two
                > people, one
                > > > to rivet and one to buck. With modern metal glues you likely don't
                > even
                > > > need the rivets except as a failsafe for the glue joint.
                > > > There is also the possibility of laying up a hull of really thin
                > > > aluminum layed and glued much as cold molding id done. A hull lay
                > up in
                > > > a cross diagonal pattern of 6 inch wide .010 inch thick aluminum
                > could
                > > > be shaped to almost any fine shape desired including a fine wine
                > glass
                > > > shaped hull. Todays glues are really the cats whiskers. When you
                > > > consider a lot of modern airplanes are glued together they better
                > be good.
                > > > Doug
                > > >
                > > > Fred Schumacher wrote:
                > > >
                > > >>
                > > >> On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 10:54 PM, Susanne@...
                > > >> <mailto:Susanne@ ...> <philbolger@ ...
                > > >> <mailto:philbolger@ ...>> wrote:
                > > >>
                > > >> W.V. I agree with your serious note of serious caution about
                > > >> casual welding or even casual swapping construction- materials from
                > > >> ply to steel.
                > > >>
                > > >> I agree too about some dangers inherent in welding; however, as a
                > > >> retired farmer, I have to state that there are thousands of
                > > >> non-professional welders out there doing quite creditable jobs of
                > > >> welding. It's virtually impossible to be a farmer today and not be
                > > >> able to weld or use a cutting torch. Those are two absolutely
                > > >> essential tools on a modern farm.
                > > >> With the ready availability of wire welders, it's much easier these
                > > >> days to weld light gauge steel. But leave the aluminum work to
                > experts.
                > > >> Fred Schumacher
                > > >>
                > > >>
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > ------------ --------- --------- ------
                > > >
                > > > Bolger rules!!!
                > > > - NO "GO AWAY SPAMMER!" posts!!! Please!
                > > > - no cursing, flaming, trolling, spamming, respamming, or flogging
                > dead horses
                > > > - stay on topic, stay on thread, punctuate, no 'Ed, thanks, Fred'
                > posts
                > > > - Pls add your comments at the TOP, SIGN your posts, and snip away
                > > > - Plans: Mr. Philip C. Bolger, P.O. Box 1209, Gloucester, MA,
                > 01930, Fax: (978) 282-1349
                > > > - Unsubscribe: bolger-unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. com
                > <mailto:bolger-unsubscribe%40yahoogroups.com>
                > > > - Open discussion: bolger_coffee_ lounge-subscribe @yahoogroups.
                > com <mailto:bolger_coffee_lounge-subscribe%40yahoogroups.com> Yahoo!
                > Groups Links
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                >
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                >
              • Doug Pollard
                ... It s funny I have been working in machine shops all my life and did not no that grinding aluminum on a grinder could cause it to blow up. I just thought
                Message 7 of 22 , Dec 2, 2009
                  Pierce Nichols wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 7:04 PM, Doug Jackson <svseeker@...
                  > <mailto:svseeker@...>> wrote:
                  >
                  > Aluminum in a word is awesome. And it's doable for a novice (me)
                  > even down to 1/8" sheet with $1K of MIG equipment. Here are the
                  > lessons I've been taught:
                  > http://www.submarineboat.com/welding_aluminum.htm
                  > <http://www.submarineboat.com/welding_aluminum.htm>
                  >
                  >
                  > And of course you can sell the equipment when you are done building
                  > the boat -- if you buy used and take care of it, you can probably
                  > recoup most (if not all) of the money you spend on it.
                  >
                  >
                  > There is a rule about not mixing steel and aluminum tools so you
                  > don't contaminate the aluminum with steel, but aluminium would
                  > only gum up a regular grinding wheel. I have an aluminum grinding
                  > disc, "Flexcel" on an old motor that works great for grinding.
                  > AirGas sells them for $10 each, but they last a good while.
                  >
                  >
                  > No, it's worse than that. My understanding is that the bits of smeared
                  > aluminum get down between the grains of s wheel meant for steel and
                  > that when they heat up again, they can expand enough to fracture the
                  > wheel. And that's just a bad day. Use the right tools for the job and
                  > things will go better.
                  >
                  > -p
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  >
                  >
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                  > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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                  >
                  >
                  It's funny I have been working in machine shops all my life and did not
                  no that grinding aluminum on a grinder could cause it to blow up. I just
                  thought you didn't do it because it clogged up the wheel, Never too old
                  to learn something. It sure makes sense that somebody could get hurt
                  that way.
                  Doug
                • jdmeddock
                  Aluminum granules + iron oxide granules + heat = Thermite! Maybe an unlikely outcome but one I will now have in the back of my mind every time I use our bench
                  Message 8 of 22 , Dec 5, 2009
                    Aluminum granules + iron oxide granules + heat = Thermite!


                    Maybe an unlikely outcome but one I will now have in the back of my mind every time I use our bench grinder at work. I am a mechanic and we have one grinder for everything that needs to be ground.

                    Justin




                    > It's funny I have been working in machine shops all my life and did not
                    > no that grinding aluminum on a grinder could cause it to blow up. I just
                    > thought you didn't do it because it clogged up the wheel, Never too old
                    > to learn something. It sure makes sense that somebody could get hurt
                    > that way.
                    > Doug
                    >
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