Weld VS braze?

Sgt_USMC

Active Member
So I’m designing a roof rack for my TJ. It will be aluminum and only used for a few lights and maybe a shovel and axe. Would brazing hold up to this? I don’t have access to everything needed to weld aluminum, but the stuff needed to braze is easily gotten. Any input would be great!
 

TrailHunter

Hooked
So I’m designing a roof rack for my TJ. It will be aluminum and only used for a few lights and maybe a shovel and axe. Would brazing hold up to this? I don’t have access to everything needed to weld aluminum, but the stuff needed to braze is easily gotten. Any input would be great!
Braze it enough to get it built the way you want… then take it to a welder?
 

Sgt_USMC

Active Member
That may have to be the route I have to go if brazing won’t hold up. That’s where I’m stumped. Googling it has told me the equivalent of nothing. I’ve seen where many say it is and many say it isn’t. It’s going to be bolted to the cross bars that are on my roof, but wanted the other joints permanently fastened. I thought about bolts at first, but I think that will just look cheap and likely make noise.
 

TrailHunter

Hooked
That may have to be the route I have to go if brazing won’t hold up. That’s where I’m stumped. Googling it has told me the equivalent of nothing. I’ve seen where many say it is and many say it isn’t. It’s going to be bolted to the cross bars that are on my roof, but wanted the other joints permanently fastened. I thought about bolts at first, but I think that will just look cheap and likely make noise.
I say have it welded. Or build it out of steel and weld it yourself.
 

kevman65

Active Member
Braze will basically bond the pieces together with no penetration. The braze joints can crack with very little stress.

Welding will get penetration and the weld area becomes part of the base metal. Can still crack, but under higher stress.
 

Sgt_USMC

Active Member
It’s mainly to light up the area when the wife and I go camping. A secondary use will be while I volunteer for search and rescue when I get back out to SD. I figure by using aluminum angle I can keep the weight down so I’m not putting a lot of weight up high like I would using steel angle.
 

Sgt_USMC

Active Member
I also think that using bolts at all the joints will not look as clean. I have also read reviews that say racks that are bolted together tend to be noisy.
 

Sharkey

Word Ninja
What are you looking to spend? I had a custom aluminum bed rack welded and powdercoated for $1,400. A simple roof rack would probably be half that or less.
 

Sgt_USMC

Active Member
@Sharkey Thanks for that question! That made me look at the plans I drew up several weeks back. I was planning for 1x96x0.063 aluminum square stock and would cost me around $166 before tax. The steel stock is 1/2x72x1/16 which would be $140. The weight difference is negligible, a little over a pound (roughly figured), with steel coming in at 7.62 pounds and the aluminum at 8.96 pounds.
 
Last edited:

Sgt_USMC

Active Member
Looking at the weight and price comparison, I think I will just stick with the steel and just weld it up like many of you suggested in the first place. At least with steel I can put some things up there if I need to.
 
Top Bottom