How to repair aluminum holes? - Defender Source
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Old April 28th, 2014, 02:24 PM
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Carl Jonsson
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How to repair aluminum holes?

Can someone with experience welding aluminum tell me how to patch 1/4" - 1/2" holes in aluminum that is approx 1/4" thick? I have a Zodiac Military floor, I mean a Defender part! ...that I want to patch and anodize. What are my options? I found something called Alumweld. Is it any good?
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Old April 28th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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You need a tig welder, take it to your local machine shop and see what they can do.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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You should be able to do it with mig via aluminum spool gun and a piece of copper to hold the puddle. At least that's what I'm going to try
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Old April 28th, 2014, 03:40 PM
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Can aleays use "aladin" stick. They melt at lower temperature then aluminium and it doesn't stick to steel. Just need to have a plate of steel under the hole and melt the aladin stick to fill the hole. It is a strong product! Won't separate from aluminium and if your not satisfied with the result just use your normal blow torch to melt it back..
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Old April 28th, 2014, 04:03 PM
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Using a plate of stainless steel behind the aluminum plate, I can usually run my TIG about 80-100 amps for 1/4" thick filling. I just run circles starting at the edge and going in. Flip it over afterwards and fill any craters, then use an air grinder to flatten it all out. Make sure it looks pretty well blended before having it anodized.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 04:28 PM
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Old April 28th, 2014, 10:38 PM
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Thanks guys! I think I'll try the TIG route first. If some wiz can melt some aluminum to fill the hole that would be ideal. If not I'll try the silly putty.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 11:35 PM
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When I have small holes in the skin of aircraft, when they are just too small to bother with a coin patch I use JB Weld. I use some tape with smooth adhesive, like clear thick packing tape. Put that on the side that shows. Mix up the JB weld and place it in the hole, use a toothpick to get al the edges filled in. Then I go about ¼ inch beyond the hole on the inside and cover with a small circular piece of fine glass mat. Put some Saran wrap over it and press the glass mat into the JB weld and smooth it. Let it set, peel the saran wrap off the backside and the tape off the front. Light sanding and they are almost invisible from the outside after painting. You can pant on some one thin JB Weld on the inside to smooth it a bit to get the glass pattern from showing.

If you hole is bigger than a quarter, then a circular coin patch is the best route. After you shave the rivets and do some light fill, they are invisible from the outside.
http://www.wikihow.com/Repair-Minor-...ft-Skin-Damage
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Old April 29th, 2014, 12:44 AM
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Another filler solution for small holes is Devcon epoxy. They make a version for aluminum and one for steel...I think they even have one for titanium. It's not as cheap as the JB weld, but it's super durable and easy to work with. Just don't build it up too far and have to sand it much - it's a real bugger to sand once it sets hard!!
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