Welded tubing?

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Welded tubing?

Post by vdonaldson »

Hello all,

I'm new to the forum and just posted a separate question about sponson repair. Here's the short backstory--I'm helping with some repairs on a Greenland II for a friend on duty in Afghanistan. He actually has two GIIs and is giving me one. (I know, he's a hell of a guy.) I'm inheriting his late father's boat, but his dad wasn't as on top of it with maintenance. In fact, the boat stayed assembled for years, maybe more than a decade. These boats are at home in the Puget Sound (the Salish Sea is salty). Here's my question:

The longerons on both keel ends, the ones held together with shockcord, are stuck together. I have both Marine 6-56 multi-purpose lubricant and B'Laster PB Penetrating Lubricant. I've thought about both cold (dry ice) and heat (heat gun, which I have, or hand-held blow torch, which I don't). Is this a lost cause, or am I going to get these unstuck?

I've thought about replacing the affected tubing. So far, my research tells me I'd need 6063-T832 aluminum tubing, push-button connectors, a snug insert, and shock cord. Has anyone else attempted to fabricate and replace their tubing? I'd appreciate your tips if you have.


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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by mje »

When aluminum get stuck together because they're corroded, there's not a lot you can do, as the aluminum oxide corrosion is harder than the aluminum- or most other materials. Nothing will dissolve it that won't dissolve aluminum a lot faster. You might try drilling holes and passing rods through to allow you to try to twist and pull to the break the corrosion. Might work.

All you need is the aluminum tubing, which is not expensive, and pop rivets. You can reuse the spring loaded buttons if you drill out the rivets, but they're not strictly necessary, in my experience.The spring is just a piece of spring steel.
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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by arcprof »

I'd try the heat gun. It will aid the penetrating oil getting in where it counts. Leave it for an hour or two then re-heat. Try bending the tube over a support like a piece of wood so that the fulcrum is on the joint. Bend one way rotate and bend again. Leave overnight and repeat heat and bending treatment. You could consider cutting through where the two butt together and sourcing a new joiner that is a snug fit inside the old.
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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by Alv »

Sombody gave us an old Folbot frame a few years ago. We assembled it, and it has been on top of a shelving unit in our shop ever since. It is not doing us any good, and you are welcome to it if you like. I am not sure what model it is, but there is some aluminum tube, so there will at least be some material for you.

Another option may be to get a couple of our PakCanoe rods. The diameter is a bit smaller (5/8"), but I don't see why it should not work. Folbot used 6063 alloy for its good corrosion resistance. Since 6063 is relatively soft, they probably used T832 to get acceptable strength (T832 is drawn tube and fairly expensive). Our tube is harder, but not as resistant to corrosion unless it is anodized (which it is).

You mentioned needing material to get you tight connections. Actually, that is a bad idea. Tight joints are much more prone to corroding so they become permanently fused together. Some folding kayaks have been famous for their tight corroding joints, but a little play in the joint goes a long way to protect you. Anodizing is helpful too.



Re: Welded tubing?

Post by vdonaldson »

Wow, this forum is awesome! I love these ideas.

I've tried messaging you, pakboats. Would love to accept your offer. Having trouble getting messages to leave my outbox, though.

I'm going to try the heat thing and then cut if that doesn't work. I figure I don't have much to lose, and I like the challenge. Will keep you all posted... maybe my experience will help someone down the road.


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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by Alv »

You can e-mail me at info@pakboats.com


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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by oldkayaker »

vdonaldson wrote:Would love to accept your offer. Having trouble getting messages to leave my outbox, though.
FYI - I was told the outbox will show the message count until the recipient reads it. Earl

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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by kaizoku »

I leave my Folbots assembled for long periods of time...such as more than a year, and naturally encounter the problem of the aluminum tubes welded together. I've broken tubes three times. Twice I repaired them with PVC outer tubing, and once with an interior hollow stainless steel rod screwed in position.

But finally I think I found the solution to un-sticking stuck tubes. In desperation I tried a massage tool, Hitachi's Magic Wand to be specific. To my great relief, it worked! I've used this method the last two times I disassembled the Cooper, both times after being assembled for at least a year. Takes a few minutes running the massage tool along the stuck joint but eventually the parts vibrate loose.

Turns out an occasional massage is good even for a Folbot. They should have sold the Magic Wand on their website.
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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by flatwater »

To prevent problems like this, treat the joints with Boeshield T-9 yearly.
Amazon sells several variations of it.
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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by gkl »

I've used ammonia to free up corroded aluminum seat posts on a bicycle with some success. Perhaps that would work here. Apparently it will dissolve the oxide without affecting the bare aluminum.
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Re: Welded tubing?

Post by DavisD »

I was lucky enough to be given a boathouse storage membership as a gift and stored my Cooper there for a year. I paddled a lot and rinsed with fresh water after every trip but nonetheless after the membership ran out and I was disassembling her my entire keel was corroded and would not come apart. After scouring the forum I found an entry elsewhere suggesting heating up the tubing around where the insert fits into the tube next to it. I rotated each over a gas burner atop our kitchen stove then rinsed it in cold water. It took a few times on some but it worked like a charm.
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