Frustrating pontoon repair

   / Frustrating pontoon repair #11  

EddieWalker

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I'm not much of a welder and know it. So when I need something done right, I searched all over to find a shop with people who really know what they are doing, and not just full of themselves. Not to say all welders are like that, but here in Tyler, it's very hard to find a welder that doesn't know everything, but never actually does anything.

The shop that I found is very busy. Good sign. They have a waiting list. Good sign. They have a machine shop. Good sign. And the guys working there have been there for at least a decade!!!! VERY GOOD SIGN.

Everything that I've given them to do, from welding aluminum, to putting my backhoe back together, has been perfect.

Spend the time to find a welding shop run by pros with all the machinery and equipment to do the job right.

Your "friend" doesn't sound like much of a friend. He misled you on his skills and ability to do a job that was way outside his abilities. From what you have described, he made it worse then before you went there.
 
   / Frustrating pontoon repair
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kevinwak

kevinwak

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I'm not much of a welder and know it. So when I need something done right, I searched all over to find a shop with people who really know what they are doing, and not just full of themselves. Not to say all welders are like that, but here in Tyler, it's very hard to find a welder that doesn't know everything, but never actually does anything.

The shop that I found is very busy. Good sign. They have a waiting list. Good sign. They have a machine shop. Good sign. And the guys working there have been there for at least a decade!!!! VERY GOOD SIGN.

Everything that I've given them to do, from welding aluminum, to putting my backhoe back together, has been perfect.

Spend the time to find a welding shop run by pros with all the machinery and equipment to do the job right.

Your "friend" doesn't sound like much of a friend. He misled you on his skills and ability to do a job that was way outside his abilities. From what you have described, he made it worse then before you went there.

I am not sure he is misleading on purpose or if he actually thinks they are doing the best job possible. But yes, it is in worse condition then when I took it there. It went in for a minor repair and now needs a major repair to fix their damage.
 
   / Frustrating pontoon repair #13  

CincyFlyer

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I am not sure he is misleading on purpose or if he actually thinks they are doing the best job possible. But yes, it is in worse condition then when I took it there. It went in for a minor repair and now needs a major repair to fix their damage.

Well, the thing did crack because the metal has fatigued, and there were previous repairs in that area, so fixing this with a single localized weld or patch may be chasing rainbows. It's possible that it cannot be done without a very large patch that goes beyond any previous fix in all directions. I'd take a look at what is flexing that area and causing the metal to wear out.
 
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kevinwak

kevinwak

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Well, the thing did crack because the metal has fatigued, and there were previous repairs in that area, so fixing this with a single localized weld or patch may be chasing rainbows. It's possible that it cannot be done without a very large patch that goes beyond any previous fix in all directions. I'd take a look at what is flexing that area and causing the metal to wear out.

Yes there is some fatigue that caused the crack. I believe the original repair was more of a design and manufacturing flaw as it had to be repaired in that exact same spot on both pontoons in the first two years of the boats life. We have had no issues since until this new crack appeared in a nearby, yet completely different joint. The only reason the two repairs became connected is they kept blowing threw on their repair, so ended up putting a patch and the ran all the way to this past weld.
I have no doubt that entire area needs attention now. The new leak that I found yesterday is on the back side of the tube, which is a V bottom, so it is directly behind the repair about an inch apart. I think they blew through where they were working and stressed the backside.
 
   / Frustrating pontoon repair #15  

MinnesotaDaveChalmers

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That first pic is an embarrassment...

Here is a barely acceptable aluminum weld that I did for my brother - moved his radiator inlet.
Yes, I know it looks bad - but I'm willing to post it for what I consider the bottom of acceptable...

Aluminum welds by a shop that does this all the time should look much better than my pic.

Screenshot_2018-05-26-10-38-16_kindlephoto-169710958.png
 
   / Frustrating pontoon repair #17  

Ritothebull

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Welding aluminum on a bench is one thing but welding an aluminum hull that has been in the water is another, especially if it was in salt water. I've welded on many types of aluminum hulls and the most important thing is the prep and cleaning prior to welding. If theres a crack or a hole it's going to have corrosion in it and as soon as they put heat to it they'll blow a hole in it, and if they keep trying to weld over it their just going to make a big mess. You need to find someone who has experence with this type of work, or possibly someone who repairs aluminum tank trailers if your away from the coast.
 
   / Frustrating pontoon repair #18  

Langanobob

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After all your aggravation with welding and welders I think I壇 stop throwing good money after bad and go with Piloon痴 riveted patch and sealant suggestion. Who knows what kind of filler metal they tried using, there are lots of different aluminum alloys, and it will not make life easy for the next welder who has to weld over it. Not sure if you have access to the back side of the damaged area in order to buck or set the rivets but if not they make aircraft grade pop rivets. They would not be beautiful but they壇 look and work a lot better than what you have now. There痴 an aircraft manufacturer over in BC, Murphy Aviation, that builds pop riveted float planes. They might have some useful suggestions.

You have a point that your friend may really believe that they did the best job possible. I think you have an obligation as a friend to politely let him know that his repair jobs were unacceptable. If nothing else it might prevent him from inflicting the same damage on someone else.
 
   / Frustrating pontoon repair #19  

MinnesotaDaveChalmers

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Welding aluminum on a bench is one thing but welding an aluminum hull that has been in the water is another, especially if it was in salt water. I've welded on many types of aluminum hulls and the most important thing is the prep and cleaning prior to welding. If theres a crack or a hole it's going to have corrosion in it and as soon as they put heat to it they'll blow a hole in it, and if they keep trying to weld over it their just going to make a big mess. You need to find someone who has experence with this type of work, or possibly someone who repairs aluminum tank trailers if your away from the coast.

Very good points indeed.
My modification to the brothers used radiator was harder than welding new aluminum - lots of trash would randomly float into the puddle from inside.
Old Triumph motorcycle engines cases were difficult too. Same for aluminum transmission bellhousings.
Have to weld clean aluminum sometimes just to prove to myself that I actually know how to weld :laughing:
 
   / Frustrating pontoon repair #20  

Underdog57

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I think you should check into filling the tubes with foam.
 
 
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