Aero Metal: Fabrication, Welding, & Repair Workshop

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Aero Metal: Fabrication, Welding, & Repair Workshop

The three primary aviation metals are aluminum, 4130 chromemoly, and stainless. This class focuses mostly on aluminum, from low-strength alloys 1100 and 3003, to medium-strength 5052 and 6061, and high-strength 2024. Students will learn the differences between these alloys, their tempers from soft to hard, and the various thicknesses. 

Over the four days, class projects will include making lightening holes for ribs and fuel tanks, making louvers, and working flat sheet into shapes such as wing root fairings, wheel pants, and wing tips. Students will have many hours to learn riveting, welding, brazing, and soldering. Some damaged parts will also be on hand for practice in making repairs, enabling students to learn and practice hand skills such as annealing, shrinking, planishing, and metal finishing. 

You’ll also have practice time using metal shaping machinery such as the English wheel, the air power hammer, the bead roller, pedal shear, leaf brake, and the flow-forming system. 

Students will be asked to respect the shop environment and equipment, as this special teaching venue is also a production aircraft shop, with tools that are in very good condition. 

Some shop skills will be necessary, such as laying out parts on sheet stock, organizing a small job, reading a tape measure, and working to some degree of accuracy. Some stainless and 4130 forming and repair instruction will also be included.

Pre-req: Basic understanding and preferably some experience with shrinking, stretching, forming, and shaping. Recommended: Metalworking Fundamentals or equivalent experience (or 4-Day Intensive, or Aluminum Intensive). 

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