Aluminum Fabrication & Repair

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Aluminum Fabrication & Repair
Plus Gas Welding, Brazing, & Soldering Aluminum Workshop

Have you wanted to work with aluminum but were daunted by making the jump from steel or other metals? Have you attempted to learn to gas weld aluminum but found it too frustrating or challenging? Aluminum isn’t nearly as difficult to master as you might think (or have been told). But you do need to know certain tips and techniques. This 4-day class is designed to give you complete knowledge of the basics of working aluminum sheet for automotive, aircraft, motorcycle, or sculpture.

Aluminum comes in a variety of alloys and is widely used in various thicknesses and harnesses. This workshop covers several techniques for cutting aluminum sheet, as well as hand- and machine-forming four popular alloys: 1100, 3003, 5052, and 6061. We cover hot-working methods, including annealing, shrinking, welding, brazing, and soldering. Along with these basics, the students will learn metal shaping, planishing, and metal finishing.

You’ll learn to make paper patterns and transfer them to a 3D form, buck, or mockup, then break down the large shape to smaller, workable shapes. You’ll then learn to make those shapes in metal using a variety of hand tools and machines. After roughing in the shape by stretching and shrinking, you’ll carefully define the fit of the part by smoothing, then do some even more refined work. Finally, by planishing and making little adjustments to the shape, the part will fit. Once the parts all fit, the students will trim and tack-weld them, and finally join them into a good shape that is filed and sanded. Making hems and wired edges rounds out your day, giving you a complete experience of all the steps, from first idea to physical component.

If you are currently working on an aluminum project you are having difficulty with, you are welcome to bring it with you.

Pre-req: Sincere interest in metalworking. Some knowledge of basic shop tools helps (although we’ve had students who’ve never used tools). This workshop is for all skill levels.

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