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Joining Aluminum Sheets in Layers? Answered

I need to join aluminum sheets together. When I say sheet, all I mean is the body of a coke can. So, I would cut the top and bottom of the can off, then make a vertical cut to make the body into one long strip. I would do this again, and then I want to join these two strips together, end to end. Would 1/8" rivets work? I thought of solder, but I heard solder doesn't stick well to aluminum. I would prefer the aluminum to stay down. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

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Mad!dog (author)2011-06-17

I'm no engineering expert so forgive my idea if it is rubbish. I am trying the same thing but I don't have a heating problems you have. If your epoxies, etc don't like heat, try folding the sheets together. They used to do this in the old days with copper roof plates on churches and similar buildings I think. I am going to try that for my project. Im going to make a folding jig from as I need to do it about 50-100 times.

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solonavi (author)2010-01-13

Will JB Weld conduct/transfer the heat too?

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gowithflo (author)2007-08-26

rivets with the rivet washer type things oughta do the trick

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lemonie (author)2007-08-23

Couldn't you use something else? I'm not sure aluminium is most appropriate for yor job(?) L

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Garth Knight (author)2007-08-18

I would suggest epoxy. Source the thin alum from the cans, wash, dry. If you can, clean off all the paint with lacquer thinner (careful -nasty stuff). Don't sand or scratch up the alum, it will encourage corrosion. Take the fist sheet and tape it down to a flat surface with double stick tape. Mix up a small batch of epoxy, spread a small amount across the first sheet, drop on # 2 and flatten together with a small rubber/wood roller. Put on more layers (watch the time on your epoxy). Put a flat something and weight on top while the epoxy cures. Repeat adding layers until you reach the desired thickness. Cut to shape after you are finished with the final layers. It will be quite strong. It will not bend well. You can also make this with curves/bends if you get creative on how to apply pressure while it cures. -What are you making?

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user

Will the epoxy stick to the aluminum?

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used in this manner it will stick the alum together fine.

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oh. *Still thinks JB weld would be easier*

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jtobako (author)Weissensteinburg2007-08-19

Psst-JB weld is an epoxy...

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Weissensteinburg (author)jtobako2007-08-19

But it's not normal epoxy, it contains "liquid steel" that will bond it to metal.

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jtobako (author)Weissensteinburg2007-08-19

Ad copy is not real life : )

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Weissensteinburg (author)jtobako2007-08-19

Are you saying that JB Weld is the same as normal epoxy?

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Oh, and I didn't copy and paste from the add.

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Bran (author)Garth Knight2007-08-19

Thanks, that'll help a whole lot.

-What are you making?

I'm working on an Instructable for the Launch It! Contest, the aluminum will basically be a platform, if you will. Nothing that'll get a bunch of wear and tear. Thanks again!

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jtobako (author)2007-08-19

Alumaloy is a zinc-based solder for aluminum, melting point just over 700 degrees F.

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acer73 (author)Weissensteinburg2007-08-19

Yeah JB weld has a good temperature rating But instead of making a vertical cut, just sand the inside of the top and outside of the bottom. That way you can slip them into each other and they won't come apart real easy.

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Garth Knight (author)2007-08-18

Is this part of your campstove project? If so, the alum/epoxy combo will come apart when heated to stove temps. Best low cost source is a thrift store. Check out the various pots, pans, and mugs. you might be able to make something neat with a stainless double-walled coffee mug.

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