Aluminium: Filling the Holes

Having poured my aluminium, like the bronze I began working on the surfaces, starting by cleaning it up, which was much easier than the bronze as the aluminium is far softer. I had originally planned to create a brushed finish on the aluminium, however I really liked the rough texture the aluminium had taken from the sand mould. When treated with a wire brush it polished up really nice and brought out the textured surfaces further. Following this I began TIG welding the aluminium to fill in the two major holes in the piece. This was really challenging as not only was the hole large and thus require a bit of a different tactic to fill it up, but due to the softness of aluminium and its lower melting point you have to be much more careful otherwise you could melt through the aluminium quite quickly and make more of a problem. The method to fill larger holes is to build up layers of aluminium from the edges of the holes rather than trying to fill the centre up from the inside out. Additionally, the arc which struck between the aluminium and the welding bit is much more spread out in comparison to bronze, so it makes it harder to pin point and specific area to fix on the aluminium. However after much work, I managed to fill the holes and grind the filled areas back flush with the rest of the surfaces. Unfortunately, the TIG welder Ran out of gas before I was finished. This made the welder spit and melt the aluminium creating making the weld quite messy as you can see in the pictures. Additionally, when you grind the aluminium back you can see lots of small holes which need to filled. However, once the gas is replaced in the welder, the holes should be relatively easy to fill and make the surface really smooth.

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