Sammons discusses removing oxides from aluminum. “If you choose to remove the oxides mechanically, remember to designate the scraping tool or wire brush for that purpose only — using these tools for multiple jobs could cause contaminants to be introduced to the aluminum.
Using a power brush is not recommended as it can also re-embed contaminants into the metal. Finally, if you are considering using the chemical method to remove oxides, consult your local welding distributor for the best product options.”
Practice Makes Perfect
Although instruction manuals and magazine articles are a good place to get basic knowledge, the only way to become a better welder is to practice. And after you are done practicing, practice some more.
You need to be comfortable with your welding equipment. Practice welding on scrap metal. This is a good way to become familiar with the equipment you are using, allowing for more confidence when doing the actual welding.
Jim Brook, product manager for Miller, says that a good weld bead using filler resembles stacked dimes. “The weld will be of equal width with concentric circles, much like dimes stacked over each other in a row.”
When you start out, your weld beads may resemble plenty of things other than stacked dimes. Only through practice can you get consistent stacked dimes.