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how to repair cracked pot metal license frames?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oldpl8s, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,399


    If you build up the back side too much with weld or epoxy, then the plate will be pushed back. Is there a simple was to weld / braze / solder the frames? I've seen vendors at swap meets demonstrate the "magic" rod for brazing about anything. It looked like aluminum rod. Any ideas? thanks
  2. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 650

    Jack E/NJ
    from NJ

    crazy glue.

    Jack E/NJ
  3. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,626


    Bevel and JB Weld?
  4. mlagusis
    Joined: Oct 11, 2009
    Posts: 1,042


    When I choped my brothers 56 Chrysler I played around with pot metal a bit with success while chopping the vent window frame. I think I did use the rod from the swap meets as filler metal...or was it other pieces of pot metal... Can't rember. Anyways, I used some U shaped channel as a mold and melted the two pieces together with a propane torch, then filed the piece down to the shape I needed. Maybe try doing what I did and use a Dremel tool to grind out the excess material on the back side and file the front side.

    Be carefull...the pot metal does not give much warning before it turns into a puddle. Practice on some scrap piece until you are comfortable.

  5. The problem you have with those "aluminum welding rods" is they are not really welding, they are soldering. There is no base metal melting and fusion is strictly surface bond. Think of a braze on steel, same idea just with different lower temp melting filler material.
  6. one37tudor
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 146


    Google "Muggy Weld" and see if that might work for you. I use that to repair a grille part once. Worked real well for a low stress area.

  7. OldTC
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 770


    If it's thick enough,....(probably not), seperate the two broken ends by torqueing the frame, drill a couple small holes the size of two steel dowels, (wire or finish brads), pin the pieces together with the metal dowels & epoxy.

    Can you silver solder a "fish-plate" on the back if it's too thin?
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  8. yellow dog
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 456

    yellow dog
    from san diego

    As you originally suggested, try the aluminum brazing rod, Al, Cu, Zn alloy (fluxless).
    MP is 720*F, however this is pretty close to the MP for some pot metals. You do not want to melt the base metal. I don't think that you need a lot of structural strength, but the rod spec is 34K#/sq in. I've used the ABR 701 for Al. A downside is that it turns dark w/ oxidation.
  9. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    Ive heard alumna weld works.I have never had any luck with repairing aluminum with it ,I heard the trick for potmetal is a small torch
  10. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,399


    thanks for the tips. I can practice on some junk frames.
  11. gasser dad #1
    Joined: Mar 31, 2013
    Posts: 41

    gasser dad #1
    from Minnesota

    I'm working on patching up a thermostat housing on an international harvester with a hairline crack in it. The guy I spoke to at the welding supply shop sold me some cadmium free rods that seem to work but I am still looking for a better solution.
  12. PotmetalB
    Joined: Aug 13, 2017
    Posts: 29


    Hello Guys. Thought I'd chime in on this century old problem.. Well. Even as old as this comment is, People are still trying to repair #potmetal either by gluing it with epoxy, JB weld (which still is epoxy) super glue and the like. Or soldering it will Muggyweld or some other soft solder. Gluing flat out does not work, and soldering works, but it you plan on rechroming, your selected plater will not chrome over muggyweld or the like. Pot metal is hard enough to chrome due to its inherent corrosion issues. Adding another soft material on top of that, you're looking at a desaster waiting to happen. Good news is, #potmetal can easily be welded. However it takes a very unique skillset to understand why it acts the way it does when it's brought up to its melting point to attempt to weld two pieces back together. This skillset, is something that has taken me quite some time to devolop. That said, Can Pot Metal be welded? You bet it can! There's only a handful of people in the world that can do it and make it look good and I happen to be one of them. Unfortunately, welding pot metal is one of those things that is so damned difficult for the average welder, they go into it thinking they're going to make it wet-up like aluminum and before they know it, it's already distroyed. Pot metal welding is so far from any other form of welding for this reason is why no one has bothered to figure out how to do it. Yeah, there are people who can gas weld it, problem is, it ususally is a complete mess when they're done. This is due to the inability to burn off the corrosion before the raw base metal starts to melt. See. Pot metal corrodes so damned fast and it takes as much heat to burn it away as it does to melt the base metal. That said, you end up melting the corrosion deeper into the base metal creating bubbled up mess that is full of porosity living very little strangth in the repair. However, there is hope. See my website for some of the potmetal repair's I've done. I wish I could teach ya'll how to weld pot metal, but due to it's nature, it would be an imposible task.
    The37Kid and warhorseracing like this.
  13. A link wouldn't hurt
  14. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,943


    It's in his signature
  15. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,319


    there is a welder here in town that can weld pot metal. [if you come in with the right attitude] he has done several pieces for me and they have held up
  16. ...Flex Glue
  17. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,700

    john worden
    from iowa

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  18. 55styleliner
    Joined: May 11, 2015
    Posts: 558


    We can probably weld it with our laser welder. We can actually weld dissimilar metals with it!! You might be able to find a local laser welder, a lot of jewelers use them. The laser welder does not heat the parent metal other than the actual weld so no worry of it melting.
  19. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,721

    from washington

  20. ronotron
    Joined: Feb 19, 2011
    Posts: 91


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