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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Muzikp, May 31, 2018.
How did you do those f-holes?
I've never known anybody else who knows this trick!
It works the same if you quench it in water (unlike steel).
You can also turn on the torch with just acetylene and cover the piece with soot; then bring in the oxygen. When the soot flakes off, dunk it.
More nuance on aluminum annealing here: https://www.tinmantech.com/education/articles/aluminum-alloys-annealing.php
Yeh I wish I would have taken pics of that process. I started by spray mounting my printed paper template to the top and drilling the different size holes. Then I drilled holes big enough for my jigsaw blade to fit on each side of the straight piece in the middle of the F hole. Then jigsawed out the shape pretty close to the line. Then switched to files. It was really easy actually and didn't take long to get the rough shape you see in the photos. They still need a little perfecting but it's good for now.
Currently I'm waiting for Amazon to ship me this
It's a spool gun that can convert my MIG welder to feed aluminum wire. I already got a 155c.f. Argon tank for my MIG. I think this will work well on the thinner material I'm using. I feel like I'll blow a hole right through the aluminum with my TIG welder. I'll probably do that with my MIG also . Hoping Mark Grant will chime in, I know he has the experience.
You can tag him like this: Paging Dr. @Mark Grant . Dr. @Mark Grant , please report for surgical consult.
That's awesome. Thx.
HA! Wow!!! This is awesome James! You need much more power to weld aluminum in comparison to steel. I can only suggest practicing before you hit the real thing. I think you'll find your power turned up much higher than you thought. It's a fast process. I think you might do well connecting small spot welds. Do a spot, move half way across the instrument, do a spot, 1/4 way around, do a spot. I would also not rule out the TIG! Just practice and play with your machine set up is my only real advice to give. Looking forward to seeing your progress!
Mark thanks for the input. Have you ever used a spool gun on your MIG with argon to weld aluminum? I have a crap ton of experience TIG welding aluminum, I made this 24 gallon aluminum gas tank for my old Jeep.
And it even works with no leaks!!!
That project is what sorta gave me the confidence to try this guitar
But I've never welded aluminum this thin before. My MIG has plenty of power and for some reason I feel like I'll do better on the thin material with the MIG, I can move faster with it than TIG. I wouldn't call myself a good TIG welder by any stretch of the word good. Whatever I weld it with most of it will get ground off to a smooth finish anyway so I guess as long as I don't blow a huge hole through it all is well. I will for sure be practicing on this thin stuff first.
24 gallons of gas under the seat: what could go wrong? lol
But seriously, that gives me the Willys.
Sorry, I couldn't resist...
Nice!!! Yes. I have a spool gun for my Lincoln 140. Wish I had one for my Miller 250 as the 140 just doesn't have quite enough power to weld much beyond 1/8" or so. After seeing your fuel tank I'd encourage you to TIG the guitar together. It will be much easier to grind and file than the mess the spool gun will make. Nice tank dude!
Ok, I'll practice with both. I have so much respect for good TIG welders. I keep saying they would make good drummers. You have to have both hands and feet all doing different things and working together, it's tough.
I have a Lincoln 180 which is a 220V machine, seems like it should have the power.
I guess we are about to find out which is the easier process for an amatuer welder .
I see what you did there.
But seriously, that gives me the Willys.
Glad that joke didn't fall flat...fendered...
dropping dimes!! Can't wait to see the progress!
Had me worried there for a minute, James. That looks like some proctological medical device. Quite possible painful and humiliating at the same time. Awesome welding on the tank. I don't think you'll have any problem at all on the guitar. Fascinating project, thanks for documenting and sharing it with us.
My argument for the TIG is you will have FAR less to grind and file. I tack my steel bodies together with a MIG then TIG in between the tacks. So much less to grind...maybe the method could work for you too?
Started tacking this thing together today with my MIG. Was definitely getting good penetration, look at these tacks from the sound well. I was tacking the kerfing tabs to the top from the back, so close to blowing thru
Those ground off nicely so no worries. I put about 10 tacks on the sound well.
Then I moved to the sides and tacked it in. You can tell how hard it was, so close to blowing holes in it in a few spots.
Then I brazed the rest to fill it all in and make it pretty. Here's the braze going on.
And I followed that up with a flappy paddle sanding disc on my grinder to smooth it all out.
So I think I need to move on to making the neck now, or something... not sure what's next actually.