Metal magic!
Classic Motorcycle Mechanics|July 2021
Ralph Ferrand works with tools all day long – he sells them too at bikerstoolbox co uk so he knows what works.. .
Ralph Ferrand

I have a better-equipped workshop than most home fettlers and I justify my over-the-top toy buying habit by repairing the odd bike for a small financial recompense and writing in this august organ.

Many years ago I treated myself to an AC/DC TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welder, which is pretty fancy pants for a home workshop and will, combined with the right skill level, weld aluminium. TIG welding, however, does require not only a high degree of learned competence, but also regular practice, even if one has previously achieved a decent level of proficiency in the dark art of fusing alloys. Many cheap die-cast alloys with a high zinc content are pretty much not weldable, even by a TIG God!

Laser Tools gave me some magic sticks that claim – with no flux or fancy torches – can be used to repair pretty much any aluminum-based alloy. Some years ago I broke the back fence of my sliding chop saw. It was made of some ultra-cheap Chinese die-cast and whilst the saw worked fine, despite its great age and abuse suffered, the back fence was no longer available as a spare part, rendering the machine about as valuable as a hedge fund manager to humanity. I was pretty confident that the magic sticks would join together nice fresh bits of aluminium, but this part, that was broken at least five years ago, was a serious challenge!

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