High school Robotics team needs Aluminum Welding help

Hey guys!

I am a mentor for Plano Senior High School supporting their FIRST Robotics team. We designed a frame of our robot and made our first iteration by brazing since we were unable to weld. We are trying to get ready for our competition and have realized that the brazing is not really holding up since we had one major crash with a cabinet and some of it fell apart.

I would greatly appreciate any help in this. I plan to be down their machining some parts on the mill and could coordinate being done with it when you are available.

Post a pic, if you have it. Give us an idea of the skill level required.

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It’s been a couple of years since I’ve done aluminum welding, but I can help. Do you have the aluminum filler rod for TIG Welding? Not sure if the metal shop has any available. Also, do you have any scrap aluminum that I can do a test run on a few beads. I will be at DMS this Monday and Wednesday evening, as well as, this Saturday.

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Thanks for the response! I am actually had to head out an a last minute emergency work trip. Let me reach back out to you when I make it back?

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Just a suggestion. If you can bolt it, you might be in better shape. Should you take a hard hit, or an unexpected drop that breaks a weld, you have to have access to a TIG welder to make repairs. If you bolt it, you won’t have that issue. It weighs slightly more but is just as strong as a weld. The frame takes the most stress so you should really consider how aggressive you plan to be and how aggressive you think you might be approached. It would be a shame to be knocked out from something you cannot fix quickly in the pits.

No problem. Just PM me when you’re ready.

Following on @steve_a’s point. I mentor FRC Team 2714 BBQ and we don’t weld anything.

All of our construction is tube, brackets and pop rivets. This construction methodology has worked great for us.