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Thread: Pier Cart Repairs - do it yourself

  1. #1
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    Pier Cart Repairs - do it yourself

    I have a standard alumnum pier cart and a couple of the welds have broken. (main one is where the handle attaches to the main part of the cart)
    I don't know any friends that weld aluminum
    Does anyone have any suggestions on what process I could use?
    Is there any type of aluminum solder or cement that would bond to the cart?
    I would like to grind out the old weld and add an "L" brace for support.
    LMK likes this.

  2. #2
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    Give beach power manufacturing a call 251-978-2956, they make beach carts, sand spikes. Located in Gulf Shores.
    Pier#r likes this.

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    Had that problem with mine I was able to move the axles up towards the front and switch the handle to the back hole
    Haywire likes this.

  4. #4
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    Live near Chicago
    Want to actually fix it
    One of the rod holders has a crack that I would repair if someone has a "real" fix

  5. #5
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    https://youtube.com/watch?v=zE1P5Mhn_GQ&feature=share

    Flux Core Aluminum welding sticks. Iíve never done this, but, it looks like it works and worth a shot as how cheap the sticks are.
    1000 Miles Away likes this.
    Remember Duane Allman


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    Iíve used those before on some vintage car parts and such. They do ok on aluminum but on pot metal itís really touchy because it melts at much lower temp than aluminum. The carts are aluminum so no worries there. Without seeing the cracks youíre talking about itís hard to say but when repairing stuff like this I usually make a ďdoublerĒ which is a small plate that covers the crack (after brazing the crack itself and grinding the bead flat) and braze the plate on as a bridge to add strength. With something like a cart where appearances arenít a big deal this is what Iíd do. Another route is try and find a trade school or vocational school near you that offers welding. Maybe a student would like it as a project. Good luck with it.

  8. #7
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    A quick online search says epoxies like JB Weld (in an appropriate formula) adheres to aluminum, but among the keys are cleaning the surface to unoxidized metal and maximum surface area of adhesive contact. You are also trying to fix spots that take the most stress under load, hence the cracking.

    I would drill and then bolt through backing plates (stainless bolts if available) bacause I own a power drill, but there could be slight rattle/movement.

    There is a DIY forum here which might have more.

  9. #8
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    I went out and purchased the rods and a piece of aluminum angle
    As soon as I work on the repair will let everyone know how it turned out
    Won't be right away
    Rufus likes this.

  10. #9
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    Well, I repaired my pier cart
    Bottom line, it worked and I am happy with the results and would recommend using the Aluminul stick Rufus recommended (thanks)
    My "directions" may be unorganized but I am not sure you need any specific order to say what I did
    I purchased the Flux Core Aluminum welding sticks from Harbor Freight for about $20.00 and a three foot piece of aluminum angle from Menard's for $5.00
    I experimented first with a can just like the video but cans are super thin and I just melted it so I then tested on a couple pieces of the angle aluminum and had better results
    Best advice is to be patient and wear heavy gloves cause you will eventually grab something hot
    You can't be in a hurry as you heat up the area you want to repair but once you are up to temperature to make the rod melt you don't want to over heat or you will melt a hole on the cart you then will have to reinforce that part as well (I speak from experience)
    I cleaned any areas and the rod with acetone before "welding"
    I cut 3/4" pieses of the angle to use as a support which I think made the joint stronger than the original joint
    Because you are heating such a big area up I found that you have to clamp the whole area or areas you want to repair all at once
    If you try to do one at a time the heat will just melt the first weld you made and I put supports on both sides of the tube so it was best to do all at once
    I tried to put a piece of wood (cut up a paint stick) between the clamp and aluminum to keep from heat
    being lost on the clamp but don't know how much difference it made
    I did not grind away the old welds since I did not want to take away the original hold so I just bent the 3/4" support to match any difference
    The rod aluminum filled in most of the opening
    As long as I have everything up to temperature I went around the entire tube, sides and bottom as the original weld was just the two sides
    Some welds are prettier than others and I found out not to play around too much, make the weld and leave it be, too much playing and the old melted rod weld could just be pushed away and dropp off
    I hope some of this helps anyone that has minor damage to their cart or wants to add an extra support (I thought about adding a cross item to my handle)
    I wish I could be as good a word smith as Haywire or Pier# to better explain or make it more interesting
    Rufus, ironman172, Pier#r and 3 others like this.

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  12. #10
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    I’m glad this worked for you. Those rods are amazing and I understood everything the way you explained it.
    Pier#r likes this.
    Remember Duane Allman


 

 
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