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Aluminum is the most widespread metal on Earth. It’s helped pioneer modern flight (finding its way into the Wright brothers’ biplane engine), was seen as a highly precious metal in the 19th century, and is even found on the moon! All of that being said, being able to weld aluminum can be a great experience if you know how to work with it. Here are some quick tips for welding this incredibly versatile metal:

Safety First
When working with anything that could potentially cause an injury, it’s critical that you make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment before starting a project. When welding aluminum, it’s important to –

  • Make sure the area you are working in is well-ventilated. It’s important to do your best to avoid breathing in any potentially toxic fumes.
  • Wear a welding mask, gloves, and leathers to protect your body from any hazardous splattering.

Know The Material
Aluminum does not produce any color while reaching its melting temperature – only after it reaches its melting point (being 1,221 F) does it begin to emit a dull red color. It also has double the ability to absorb shock when compared to other metals (such as steel).

Don’t Forget the Wire Brush
Remember to wire brush the material with either a copper or a brass wire brush and remove the oxide layer. A good way to know if you’re successfully breaking up this layer is when you begin to notice the metal becoming a bit dull. One direction brushing is a beneficial technique to try when doing this.

Pay Attention to Torch Angle
To see the puddle, you need to angle your torch ever-so-slightly. You’ll also want to move quickly when you feed your aluminum filler rod, and while working you’ll want to try to keep your torch as vertical as possible.

Now that you know a bit of starter info on welding with this metal, give it a go and be sure to practice, practice, practice! While you’re brainstorming what projects you want to do, don’t forget to check out the brands we sell here at Westerman’s!