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1936 Buick front grill repair


36threewindow
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I am attempting to restore the 36 grill which is either Aluminum or Pot Metal (?) and I'm thinking Aluminum. Either way it was a pretty poor casting job (thinking aftermarket although has 5 horizontal ribs but no part number). It has a lot of casting pits or gas pockets 1/16" to 1/8" dia to deep to sand out. I rcently read about a product by devcon called Aluminum putty supposed to dry the color of aluminum. also considering using low temp (730 egrees) brazing rod to fill these holes. I am concerned about brazing as the bars in the grill are 3/8" wide and 1/4" thick approx and worried about warping at that temp.

Would appreciate any comments on these products and approaches and welcome any other ideas. I am going to try polishing this grill (hope its aluminum) to a final bright finish.

Thanks

Al T.

Chesterfield,Mo.

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Hi Al, I suppose the first thing you need to do is figure out if it's pot metal or cast aluminum. I can't help much except to say that if it is pot metal, you should see some remnants of the origianal chrome plating. I have one old cast aluminum grill and there is no chrome plating on it - it's also very light in weight.

I have successfully repaired a potmetal grill using this high priced stuff called Muggy Weld. Basically, it is an alloy solder that melts at a temperature much lower than potmetal. You use a flux that turns light brown when the temperature is right to flow the solder. You have to clean the potmetal really good (freshly filed, ground, or sanded) to get the stuff to flow onto the based metal. You have to be careful to not overheat or a big chuck of potmetal will just slough away. The grill was chrome plated and turned out great.

Muggy Weld also has a similar solder for aluminum but I've never used it. I've also never used the aluminum putty you mention. I do know that the same holds true for aluminum - you have to be careful or you'll melt away a big section.

I'm not associated with Muggy Weld and I'm even somewhat hesitant to recommend it because it is not easy to use but i haven't found a suitable alternative. If you are going to repair something to take to a chrome plater, be sure to tell the plater where the fix is and what you have used. The copper polishing step in chrome plating can easily generate enough friction heat to melt away your Muggy Weld repair.

Good Luck,

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Hi Al, I suppose the first thing you need to do is figure out if it's pot metal or cast aluminum. I can't help much except to say that if it is pot metal, you should see some remnants of the origianal chrome plating. I have one old cast aluminum grill and there is no chrome plating on it - it's also very light in weight.

I have successfully repaired a potmetal grill using this high priced stuff called Muggy Weld. Basically, it is an alloy solder that melts at a temperature much lower than potmetal. You use a flux that turns light brown when the temperature is right to flow the solder. You have to clean the potmetal really good (freshly filed, ground, or sanded) to get the stuff to flow onto the based metal. You have to be careful to not overheat or a big chuck of potmetal will just slough away. The grill was chrome plated and turned out great.

Muggy Weld also has a similar solder for aluminum but I've never used it. I've also never used the aluminum putty you mention. I do know that the same holds true for aluminum - you have to be careful or you'll melt away a big section.

I'm not associated with Muggy Weld and I'm even somewhat hesitant to recommend it because it is not easy to use but i haven't found a suitable alternative. If you are going to repair something to take to a chrome plater, be sure to tell the plater where the fix is and what you have used. The copper polishing step in chrome plating can easily generate enough friction heat to melt away your Muggy Weld repair.

Good Luck,

Joel,

Thanks for your comments and info. Pretty sure grill is aluminum as it has no signs of chrome plate and is fairly light and non magnetic although pot metal can be non magnetic also. You hit my concerns on the head with heat factor - was at Harbor freight yesterday and they had a small package of aluminum brazing/welding rod with melt point of 730 degrees reasonable so picked up. Still leary of heat so will look into the Muggy prduct an also trying to find a small qty of that Devcon aluminum putty. Its always interesting will keep you posted.

Al T.

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