whats required to build in aluminum

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Paulv, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Paulv
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Paulv New Member

    I'm new to boat building. I was geared up to build in plywood but am wondering if Its much harder to build in aluminum. I want to build a semi-dory. something lilke Tracy O'briens headwater 18.
     
  2. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    You can use a lot of the same tools, the hardest part is learning to weld aluminum. There are many excellent books. Build other stuff first to get practice, like boxes, panels, anchors then work you way to hull . Look at sites that have origami boats. Some ideas, more later. Just make sure you use MARINE ALUMINUM from a GOOD Aluminum Supplier, 5000 series AL. Don't let people sell you bargain other AL that is just as good, it isn't. Aluminum is very strong if built well, and very light. Don't think like wood, think like an airplane...
     
  3. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    http://www.boatdesign.net/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/28346

    take a look here, there is a boat in there partly plated, upside down(last time and first time I ever build wrong way up) It is the first al al boat I ever made
    If you are not a welder of any discription , then yes that will be the challenge
    Possibly you may have to go to school, night classes our whatever to learn this, You then have to commit to a rather expensive rig to weld the stuff You COULD build a dory using a single phase welder and a standard push gun In this case its easier to feed the wire if you suspend the welding power pack above the job, so gravity helps the wire to feed If the wire does not feed properly and you are using a machine that is not programmed, then the wire speed drops, the volts stay same and the wire burns back into the tip and drives one nuts
    But do not be afraid , you can do it
    I have written a book on aluminium boaqtbuilding , with the emphasis on hands on you are welcome to chapter on welding if you get that far:)) cheers
     
  4. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    masalai masalai

    Paulv, someone who knows what they are doing and is a competent marine tradesman who is supported by a NA who knows his job via experience... See above...
     
  5. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    as noted above, got to a training school and to a basic course, see how you do. Then try and perhaps make it a more formal qualification. As noted again, build some basic things, boxes, tanks etc. Then find yourself a very experienced and local ally welder, and ask him to review your work and to give advice and guidance on where things are not quite right or where you've gone wrong etc...since you lack the skill/knowledge, you can feed off his to understand what to do and what not to do, much better, as well as " the correct ways".
    Also read some books and wedling with respect to quality and the effects of poor practice/workmanship. Don't start using bad habits from the get-go, just becasue it is "easier".
     
  6. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    aw shucks me not used to this treatement:eek:
     
  7. Paulv
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Paulv New Member

    thanks for the information. I'm not in a huge hurry so Researching and learning about whatever technique/materials I'll use is okay with me. I do happen to have a neighbor who is a retired welder who might help for the right price. I think It would be fun to build a boat if the final product is something worthy of being proud of.

    If the hull of a commercially available boat is $10,000 how much could I expect to make mine for? assuming similar quality materials. This Hyde boat is kinda what I'm after. http://www.hydeoutdoors.com/boats/new/power-drifter

    As mentioned earlier I've found suitable plans for plywood construction which I believe I could jump into quite easily. It just seems that an aluminum boat would far outlast it, correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  8. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    al al will outlast anything, with a couple of precautions
    give you an example
    had a place where I kept scrap and offcuts, in a pine plantation near my workshop, one pile was for steel, other al al, other wood, I shifted places, 15 years on buried in the pine needles the al al was new, the steel had almost all gone back to the earth, nothing left, the wood was rotten
     
  9. Paulv
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Paulv New Member

    I don't need anymore persuasion to believe in Aluminums superior lasting qualities compared to wood.

    I am interested in learning to weld anyway so I don't see that as a negative. I have experience with the stick and wire feed on steel so It should be possible to learn al al welding with the right instruction.

    So It leaves me wondering how much it would cost on materials to build an 18' open dory.
     
  10. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    use 4mm, work out how many squaremetres you need and then you can work out easily your costs, , any suppier will give you a rate, al al, is the ONLY metal that has stasyed same price for last 20 years, God knows why , here it is abt 8000 tonne, you can draw dory in carlton, a free program, it,ll let you print out the plates, and nest them onto a 8x4 sheet,
    al al is readily available in 2.4, 4.8, 6 metre sizes so with 6m, no butt welds, only seams, butts are vertical m joins seams run along the boat, , you wont have seams either, only chines,
    For a dory pick 2 chines, one of which is the bottom, It looks better than single chine, gives better shape
     
  11. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    paulV

    look at the closest sized boat, that you wnat to build. Find out how much ally there is in it, in kg's or lb's. Then contact a local supplier/mill how much does XX kg's or lb's of ally cost.
    Then compare that against the cost of buying a brand new hull..that'll give you an idea
     
  12. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    It did go up in price with all other commodities before the GFC but is now in the doldrums. Now is the very best time to be buying aluminium - maybe a fortnight ago was best but still OK now.

    It costs a lot of money to start an alumina refinery and an aluminium smelter. Can take two to three years to bring fully on stream from initial start up after a two year construction period. They have very little turn-down so once in operation there is a tendency to keep them in operation. Aluminium is very unresponsive to overcapacity. It just gets stockpiled. (See attached - and this is just LME stock. You can bet all the smelters have bulging metal yards as well.)

    It is also the high end metal that takes the biggest hit when there is an economic downturn. Fewer planes being built. Fewer pleasure boats being built and fewer commercial boats being built. Not the ideal material for military craft that might get a boost from government priming the economy.

    Rick W
     

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  13. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    sorta meant, pacing inflation, yes was abt 4-5-6 a tonne in 86
    please see my post oil hydraulics I need some help:))
     
  14. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Just do not let mercury especially mercuric-oxide come in contact with anything aluminium....
     

  15. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    There are many threads about AL painting, treatment and others who have built killer boat here. You can check out a lot of my previous threads since I am always on AL issues. AL in the last five years has double in price, it follows price of oil since it is very energy intensive to refine.
     
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