Material – Aluminum Sheet, 1/16’’
AC Setting – 40-165 @ 50%
Shielding Gas – 100% Argon @ ~18 psi
Note: With thicker metals, a mixture of helium and argon is recommended. Helium makes the arc hotter and gives more penetration. Since I primarily use thin metals, I use 100% argon.
Filler Material – Aluminum 4043 (1/16 & 3/32)
Note: I keep both handy based on gaps.
Torch – #6 cup with Tungsten Electrode, 2% Thoriated Ground Tungsten (rep tip), 3/32
Note: Cup size is measured in 16ths. A #6 is 6/16ths or 3/8’’ o.d. With this metal thickness, I find the 2% more user-friendly than Puretung…personal preference.
Cleaning Materials – Stainless steel wire brush and Gold Matrix industrial cleaner by Walter. IMPORTANT NOTE: Aluminum needs to be very clean to weld.
Tack welding these pieces together helps get the general structure established before making final cuts/modifications. After final cuts are made, I extend tack welds 6+ inches to help maintain the structure’s integrity when forming/bending. Ratchet straps are great alternative to traditional clamping. A rubber mallet is ideal to form these ends closer together for welding prep.