Accidents happen. Things break. Repairs are needed. It’s just a normal part of shop life. But before you throw something away, you might just save time and money with Dura Fix.
Dura Fix is an Aluminum based welding rod designed to weld brass, copper, aluminum and zinc based metals without any special tools or a dedicated welding machine. All that is needed is a propane torch (typically used by plumbers for soldering pipe) and a steady hand. This product truly shines not only because of it’s ease of use, but the fact that it can easily weld dissimilar metals without any problems. Dura Fix is easily machined and is actually stronger than the parent metal. Its use is limited to the previously mentioned materials and will not adhere to stainless or ferrous materials with the exception of galvanized steel.
In our review, we found the welding process to be easily learned. It is a two step process of first cleaning and prepping the surface with the included stainless steel wire brush and then heating the surface to a minimum of 732 degrees F. We learned with a few practice parts that the trick to welding aluminum was to first heat the parent material enough to melt the rod when touched to it, but not too hot where you would melt the material you’re welding. The rod has a melting point of 732 degrees and aluminum’s melting point ranges from around 1000 deg to 1200 deg depending on the alloy. That temperature separation gives plenty of headroom to melt the rod and not the material you’re working on. The welding process is very much like soldering where you heat the working pieces then touch the solder to the pieces and flow it into place. If you apply direct heat to the rod it will simply crumble from the thermal shock.
Video from the Dura Fix Website:
Off the top or our heads we couldn’t think of a lot of common uses for Dura Fix in a machine shop environment, however after playing with it we found ourselves fixing tables, shop chairs, patching coolant tanks, sealing pipe and airline fittings, restoring old tools and even reinforcing machining fixtures. This last application is where Dura Fix really shines.
Often, fixture creation goes from a simple idea to a complicated exercise in mechanical design (aligning boltholes, fabricating multiple parts, testing and reworking). With Dura Fix we were able to quickly weld up machine fixtures and immediately put them into use.
Once we quickly mastered the technique we found ourselves just looking for anything to weld. The product’s ease-of-use became addicting. For some reason our product tester’s favorite practice was welding two beer cans end to end, empty of course.