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Old 04-28-2019, 07:58 AM   #1
TiltonBB
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Default Portable Aluminum Welder

Last fall while raising the dock on the right the cable broke and the boom dropped. It came down hard enough that it snapped one of the aluminum cross members.

The welders that I have contacted so far have truck mounted equipment and cannot get out to the area that needs repair. It is about 40 feet out on the dock but a truck would need 75 feet of cable on the welder to get out to it. There are trees in the way that prevent the truck from getting any closer.

I can pick up the materials but as of yet I have been unable to locate someone in the Gilford area that has a portable aluminum welder.

Please PM me if you know of anyone. Thank you.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
Last fall while raising the dock on the right the cable broke and the boom dropped. It came down hard enough that it snapped one of the aluminum cross members.

The welders that I have contacted so far have truck mounted equipment and cannot get out to the area that needs repair. It is about 40 feet out on the dock but a truck would need 75 feet of cable on the welder to get out to it. There are trees in the way that prevent the truck from getting any closer.

I can pick up the materials but as of yet I have been unable to locate someone in the Gilford area that has a portable aluminum welder.

Please PM me if you know of anyone. Thank you.
Maybe John Spooner @ Diamond Shine?
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:01 AM   #3
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I will call him. He has done some aluminum work for me before and did a nice job. I brought the boat to him and he did it in his shop.

I know he is extremely busy, especially this time of year. I would like to get it done in the next couple of weeks so I can drop the dock in.

Thank you for the suggestion.
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:16 AM   #4
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... www.centerharbordocks.com could throw a Navy quality fix on that.

Is also where to go for your do-it-yourself dock repair items, aluminum parts and pieces.
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
Last fall while raising the dock on the right the cable broke and the boom dropped. It came down hard enough that it snapped one of the aluminum cross members. The welders that I have contacted so far have truck mounted equipment and cannot get out to the area that needs repair. It is about 40 feet out on the dock but a truck would need 75 feet of cable on the welder to get out to it. There are trees in the way that prevent the truck from getting any closer. I can pick up the materials but as of yet I have been unable to locate someone in the Gilford area that has a portable aluminum welder. Please PM me if you know of anyone. Thank you.
It would seem that the original installer should be able to provide a repair at no expense to you. (After all, it was they who sourced the failed cable).

The problem seems to be the welding equipment (box) needs to be closer to the repair. You'd need more "gauge", but recently, I bought 100-feet of 14-gauge extension cord—reasonably priced at $55.

Loew's, Home Depot, and Harbor Freight sell aluminum welding "boxes" that are readily transportable. Any welder could be called-in to use it.

Of course, he'll complain about how cheap it is, so you can take a page out of another's book, and return it to Lowes. Also, determine where the boom hit the crossmember, and wrap a pool noodle around it to prevent a future reoccurrence.

If a repair looks hopeless (for this time of year), a "splice" of a well-placed 2x4 could get you through this summer season.
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Old 04-28-2019, 03:56 PM   #6
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Would a portable generator be capable of powering the welder?

If so, what wattage would be required?
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:18 PM   #7
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The dock is about 12 years old so I would feel pretty guilty going after the people I purchase it from. I have just a little bit of a conscience.

The cross member is completely ripped off of one side and hanging off the other side so it will have to be cut off before it is replaced.

The problem is not getting power to the welder, I have that. I may even be able to borrow an aluminum welder. I would still need someone to run it.

I would not use a welder whose only experience was steel. Welding aluminum is different skill. I learned that the hard way! I had rub rails welded on to a pontoon boat I have in Florida and the welder burned holes in the pontoons that were very difficult to repair because the holes were partially behind the newly installed rub rails.

I will call the local shops tomorrow, including Spooner, and see what they have to say.
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:58 AM   #8
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Too bad you couldn't do this. I recently repaired a small aluminum boat and was amazed how well this worked. If you're handy give it a try. There are other products out there but they all do the same thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj0NjwBqsSg
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:04 AM   #9
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East Coast Welding in Gilford repaired ours. It was about 100' from the road.
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