Advertise Follow Us
As is true of iron, many farriers think welding is one of the most difficult things to do with aluminum. However, as with iron, if aluminum is handled correctly, the welding process is no harder than any other aspects of forging.
There are a few pitfalls that can trip you up. I’ll try to mark these traps so you can journey safely from aluminum bar stock to a finished aluminum bar shoe.
We don’t weld aluminum as we do steel. Since there is a piece of material added to join the opposing sides of the bar, the process is actually closer to brazing than welding. Proper set-up and being extremely careful with your heat is imperative for success.
Begin by cutting a piece of stock to the desired length. First we will look at building and welding the shoe using a propane forge. Next issue, we’ll go over the process using a coke-fueled forge. They will both be made from 15 inches of 3/8-by-1-inch aluminum.
You can center punch the straight bar if you desire however, I rarely do this with aluminum.
Aluminum can be worked for a longer time than steel after it has been heated. That means there is less need to have the shoe marked out. The stock is not losing color by the second, so you have more time to crease and punch.
Heat the entire piece of steel in the forge. Test the temperature of the steel with the…