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Any help with faster connections

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  • Any help with faster connections

    I searched around and seen a few things about the titanium racks. I also seen the sput welder on caswells site. I am not sure this will help me though but the titanium racks sound nice or at least titanium wire and bolts.

    Right now I make throttle bodies and fuel rails for sport compact cars. We machine everything from 6061 series aluminum then we built our own anodizing tank which holds like 250 or so gallons. It's quite large so we can do more parts a time and works fairly well. Currently I am using aluminum wire though. It's really a time consuming process to attach each piece to the wire by threading it in the holes. My fingers get all cut up and hurt like heck when I am done. I was wanting to find a way to do this a bit quicker but I can't have blems on the parts which stinks as the only real places I could attach the parts is on the threaded holes in the TB's for the sensors to bolt to. I could probably do it on the lips of the TB's if it really came to it but I just hate having these marks seen when I ship the parts out. We do the small cable attachment brackets as well as on the fuel rails the small L brackets for the rail to bolt to the part.

    Here is a picture of the TB and the fuel rails that I make and anodize. It will give you a idea on what it looks like and what I have to deal with. I also have another version I am finishing up as well which does have a flat mounting surface on it. I can probably use the bottom of it to sput weld to but I am not sure as I don't want to have a hole left and it cause sealing problems on the manifold.

    I really appreciate any feedback and help. I plan on anodizing about 180 of the small attachments that the throttle cable attaches to along with 100 TB's and about 200 fuel rail brackets and 100 fuel rails soon and if I can find anything to help me out to make this job alot quicker I would greatly appreciate it. I don't anodize every day generally around a week straight 10 hours a day every month or so. I also make gauge overlays that I anodize and I know the sput welder would be great for that as the back side of the overlay will never be seen but the aluminum is .060 aluminum so I wouldn't want it to burn through it.

    Any and all help is appreciated.

  • #2
    Wow, you do nice work, Lorenzo.

    Welding the electrical connections will be nearly as fast as Ti racking, and it provides several advantages over racking and all other mechanical attachment methods:

    1. Absolute electrical connectivity; fusion welding provides the best electrical connection possible.
    2. Immunity to connection degradation caused by the anodization process. Far better than any and all mechanical methods.
    3. Only one connection point blemish. Racking requires a minimum of two, but they are usually smaller.
    4. No holes required to make connections.
    5. Negligible parasitic surface area effects. Racking adds surface area that must be accounted for. The current wasted by the rack heats up the electrolyte.
    6. High strength, very suitable for large or heavy work.

    Work that is 0.060" thick isn't a problem, the minimum work thickness specified for the Type 5 or 6 is 0.020". When you have determined the correct weld energy for the work, you will be able to make the welds with no possibility of burn through or even a heat blemish on the opposite side.

    For the Throttle Body, you could use this technique to weld the wire in the bottom of a blind hole:
    Get a rigid piece of plastic tubing with an OD small enough to fit in the blind hole. The tubing has an ID that will allow the wire to freely telescope in it. The tubing guides the wire and keeps it away from the sides of the hole as you make the weld. Larger AWG wire, say 14 or 12 AWG makes this easy to do. If you are using a Type 5, you can take all the time you want to line things up, it won't lose any of the charge (big storage capacitors leak).

    This method can also be used on most any surface to aid in alignment, and to contain weld spatter.

    Needless to say; a CDW will save your fingers, and the welded connections will provide a noticeable improvement in the consistency of your anodizing.


    • #3
      Thanks... We just started making these parts and anodizing about a year ago. I have 2 other TB's that we are finishing up now so that's why I need to find a better solution. Now when you say blind hole welding do you mean that basically I am going to put the weld inside a bolt hole that's tapped out? If so that would probably work as I have a few holes that are M6 threads on the side so it would be a little bit wider then the smaller M5's I have One other thing is do you think only one connection wire per part will be fine? I usually used 2 when I hand put them in just in case and so far that works out well I haven't had a failure on a TB since then I do get the failures more on the overlays as they tend to float around when the tank is airated. But anyways what kind of burn mark does it make on the metal? I mean will you see a pit mark after you break the wire off? Also are you just welding the wire right to it and then using that wire to hook into the holes I have for my tank? SO I wouldn't need to weld a wire to it basically just use the wire that is given? If so I would need probably alot more any good places to buy it? Sorry for the tons of questions but I really like the sput welder and I think I will be ordering it monday Hopefully they are in stock and I can get it in the week because this would be a VERY nice addition.

      One other thought I had last night when I was trying to sleep and couldn't I was thinking if I could get some M5 or M6 titanium bolts I could thread the bolt into the TB and then use the sput welder to weld the wire to the bolt. Then when I am done I can unthread the bolt break off the wire and I am golden and just redo it again and again? Would that work? If so I am gonna have to find a place to get some bolts because this would be ideal as the blem would be on the titanium bolt and not the aluminum part. That's if this can sput weld titanium and won't damage the bolt as they are not cheap. But most of the time when I anodize is getting the parts ready to go by installing the wire on them. I hate that portion and I brought a few friends out to help me and told them I would anodize their parts for free if they helped. And after they came they don't want to come anymore

      Well let me know


      • #4
        Yes, you could weld the wire to a Ti bolt head. Since aluminum wire work hardens rapidly with handling; and becomes prone to breaking, Ti wire would be a better choice. You could do this with aluminum bolts and wire too, but it won't last as long.

        The problem with doing this is you won't have the 100% reliable connection where you need it the most, the connection to the work. Since you have only used mechanical connections, you can't appreciate the improvement to your anodizing welded connections make, you'll see.

        By blind hole, I mean the hole is not all the way through the work. The tubing prevents the weld from touching the threads, you slide it off after welding. When you have sealed the work and are finished, you break off the wire at the bottom of the hole. You can do this in a with a small screwdriver or a piece of steel by prying the wire (pushing on it sideways) a small distance above the weld. Around 10 or 20 mils will do it. This is easier to do than it is to explain.

        Additional wire or wires to stabilize the work is sometimes necessary, exactly the same as your present method. The additional wire(s) don't have any electrical purpose, so they can be just loops or hooks. If they are loose enough they won't interfere with anodizing or dyeing.

        The weld blemish is a tiny shallow crater, a little larger then the diameter of the wire, smaller wires make smaller weld blemishes. If the crater is more than about 10% larger than the wire you are using too much weld energy, reduce it. Both the Type 6 and Type 5 are capable of very fine energy adjustment, way more then any conventional welder. Because of the digital readout, the repeatability of the Type 5 is better than 1%.
        I sometimes cover the blemish (when the work is dry) with a single small drop of 2 part epoxy. You can mix a few drops of anodizing dye in the epoxy if you want.

        You can get suitable aluminum wire over the internet from MSC, Granger, McMaster-Carr, Paramount Wire, etc. The best alloy is anything in the 1xxx series, McMaster stocks 1100 alloy wire, which is also the cheapest alloy.

        BTW; RadioShack aluminum wire is 8 AWG not 12 AWG, and is much too large for most purposes.


        • #5
          Thanks for the info. I think I will order it monday and test the welding part out on some scrap parts first. Since I have a few TB's that were damaged when we made them so I can test it out on them to see what kind of marks etc it makes. I think if it isn't a bad blem I can actually use the bearing holes on the sides of the TB since I install 2 bearings for the shaft to rotate on. So as long as it doesn't interfere with the bearing and the sealing of it that would be ideal and wouldn't cause any marks on it.


          • #6
            If you order a Type 5 on Monday it can ship to you on Tuesday (11-16) along with the next batch. Caswell has done well emailing the POs to me the same day, place your order in the AM if you can.

            You may not realize that the Sputwelders use wire much smaller than RadioShack Al wire, which is 8 AWG (0.128" dia.).

            The range for Al wire sizes is 10 AWG (0.105" dia.) to 20 AWG (0.034" dia.) for the Type 5. Its 14 AWG (.067" dia.) to 20 AWG for the Type 6.

            The most common wire size used is 16 AWG (0.054" dia.) both units come with a coil of this size Al wire. This size will carry 5 to 7 Amps with almost no measurable voltage drop, and twice those currents without any problems. 16 AWG will do fine for your size parts.


            • #7
              I was thinking about the cheaper model as I really don't do this every day like said. The time I really do it is once I get a batch of parts is when I anodize. So really it depends on how fast I sell the parts etc... But I always leave blanks because I never know what color is going to sell faster. Since you seen to know alot about anodizing. Every once in a while I get fogging when I seal the parts. Is there a reason to this? It wipes right off though if I clean the part but just takes a bit more time. It really doesn't bother me to wash the part but would be nicer if I didn't. Some parts do it others don't. So it's strange. But anyways I was thinking of doing the type 6 one. If they had ordering online I would order it now if I could. But anyways I will try to call tomorrow what is the ETA on shipping if I order the type 6? Also is the wire in spools? Or is it cut? We have a MSC catalog that we order from all the time but the thinner wire would be fine my parts don't weight more then 2 pounds total when packed so it's a bit less then that I am sure without the box. I would want to get the smallest wire possible just because I would like it to leave the least amount of damage to the part hole wise. Well let me know what you think cause I am wanting to get this as it will help me greatly on my batch I will be doing this week or the following week.
              Thanks again


              • #8
                One more thing I am not sure what size wire I use currently. Basically since we have the machine shop we get alot of people bringing us stuff for free all the time. One of the owners friends is a electrician and he brings us a bunch of wire for free all the time. We cut the outside layer off of it and then cut it down to the lengths we need and clean it really well using the acids we use to clean the parts. So far that has worked out really well. We have thinner wire and thicker wire. It just depends on what parts I am anodizing on what thickness I use. Basically I bend the wire with pliars so it has basically 2 times the thickness so it can thread in the M5 bolt holes that we tapped into the TB. This works great for connections on these parts but is very time consuming as you know and ur fingers hurt when you are done because it takes alot of force to thread them since you want a good connection. So this is why I think this sput welder is going to be great for me on most of my parts. But anyways let me know about that and the wire and your thoughts and I will try to order the stuff tomorrow am before I goto my DR appt in the morning. Then I can order from MSC or wherever else to get the wire. I know MSC takes one day to get stuff to us which is nice. If not I will try to see if I can get any wire for free if possible. It just depends. But anyways thanks so much for your help you have been very helpful to me and I think this will make anodizing alot nicer and easier.


                • #9
                  But once I know for sure I will order it over the net as I see I can do that on caswells site. So let me know and I can even place the order tonight for the sput6 which is 150 on their site.


                  • #10
                    "One Type 6 coming up."

                    Go ahead and order it from Caswell's site, they usually get the PO to me via email the same business day. I'm shipping another batch of both types on Tuesday (11-16) we should be able to get yours shipped then.

                    Measure the diameter of your wire and determine the AWG from a wire gauge chart. There is one in Machinery's Handbook or search for one on the internet. 14 AWG (0.067" dia.) is the max size for the Type 6.

                    Yes, I know all about threading wire into holes, that's why I cooked these machines up.

                    McMaster-Carr has Al wire on 1/4 lb. spools, its pretty cheap. MSC doesn't show it in small quantities in AWGs larger than 20 AWG.

                    If you have anodizing questions, please start another thread, so that others can see it and participate.


                    • #11
                      OK thanks I will order it now.
                      Thanks for your help


                      • #12
                        OK I placed the order so it's ready to go. So you should be getting the info soon. So anyways thanks for the help and I can't wait to test it out.