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Thread: Mig Welding Aluminum

  1. #13
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    I've welded on a miller 220 without spool gun using argon teflon roller and a special feed kit..... Must say I prefer metal any day, and will not weld aluminum without a proper gun and controll box it's just a pain, burn backs , birds nests etc .... it's a real pita.. hats off to the aluminum welding pro's



  2. #14
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    Trying to produce quality welds in AL with MIG is a waste of time. You can use the process to make material carts, but qualifying people in the process for critical welds is a waste of time. Hard enough to get good alloy tig welders up to speed on AL.

    Steve
    DO SOMETHING, EVEN IF IT'S WRONG!


  3. #15
    Gold Member mxtras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elogicca View Post
    I've welded on a miller 220 without spool gun using argon teflon roller and a special feed kit..... Must say I prefer metal any day, and will not weld aluminum without a proper gun and controll box it's just a pain, burn backs , birds nests etc .... it's a real pita.. hats off to the aluminum welding pro's
    I must say - using the 220 with a #30 spool gun is as good as it gets. That combo is decent - especially if it is a three phase machine.

    The issue with MIG and AL is not really the welder or the weldor - it's the process. I can lay a decent bead with a decent machine, but it's too difficult to do it perfect every time and no matter what you do, it still has a cold start - even pre-heating will not resolve this. It's the nature of the procees.

    I often wonder why the manufacturers don't offer start settings for their MIG machines - like Start Heat, Duration, Wire Speed and ramp controls for start-up. This would certainly help and I think it's an extremely good idea.

    If you want to weld AL without the potential for future crack propagation due to cold start issues, get a TIG and get good with it. The outcome is 100% up to the Weldor with TIG - you control everything and that guarantees success - every time.

    Scott

    Consistency is a good thing....unless you're consistently an idiot.


  4. #16
    This might not be possible at all, or may not work, but could you set-up the inductance settings to compensate for the cold start and then either automatically or manually adjust after 1 or 2 sec's when the piece heats up?



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    Talking argon amount

    Quote Originally Posted by jacarpen View Post
    I have this same welder ( lincoln welpak 100hd ). I have purchased the "gas kit" as well as the "aluminum kit". I have practiced with it all weekend trying to weld some 6061 T-6 extrusion that is .160 thick. Sometimes it welds good, but I have not been able to get the "stack of dimes" bead to run. Most of the time it is either too cool or too hot and blows through the material. I am using 100% argon gas, but don't know for sure what to set the gas pressure on. I wish I had done more research before buying the add-ons for this welder. Any help on the gas pressure is greatly appreciated.

    James
    i mig weld aluminum all the time. i have had pretty good success on thinner aluminum. it takes about double the amount of argon when welding aluminum. i keep my reg set to 45psi of argon flow. i believe most people use about 22 to 30 psi of mix gas when welding steel. so a good range would be anywhere between 40 and 50 psi of argon. hope this helps!!



  6. #18
    Gold Member mxtras's Avatar
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    "i keep my reg set to 45psi of argon flow. i believe most people use about 22 to 30 psi of mix gas when welding steel. so a good range would be anywhere between 40 and 50 psi of argon."


    You mean CFH not PSI.

    CFH = cubic feet per hour. A measurement of volume.
    PSI = pounds square inch. A measurement of pressure.

    Anything over about 28CFH is throwing money out the window in my opinion. I run 18-22 when I MIG.

    Welcome to the site, BTW! I see this is your very first post!

    Scott

    Consistency is a good thing....unless you're consistently an idiot.


  7. #19
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    Hi:

    The gas regulators are based on CFH cubic feet/hr) and if working in a shielded area 15-20CFH will do.
    I've experienced the above mentioned dissapointment with these little welders. Pushing the wire is just not the way to go, unless you want to dig out the birds nest.Second of all you just dont have the amperage for any decent pentration. For thin materials you would be better of with aluminium brazing rod & oxy-aceltylene. This setup works really well on thin < 1/8" thick materials.

    regards



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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by mxtras View Post
    "i keep my reg set to 45psi of argon flow. i believe most people use about 22 to 30 psi of mix gas when welding steel. so a good range would be anywhere between 40 and 50 psi of argon."


    You mean CFH not PSI.

    CFH = cubic feet per hour. A measurement of volume.
    PSI = pounds square inch. A measurement of pressure.

    Anything over about 28CFH is throwing money out the window in my opinion. I run 18-22 when I MIG.

    Welcome to the site, BTW! I see this is your very first post!

    Scott
    thanks for the correction! are you saying that you only use 18-22 when you mig aluminum with pure argon? are your results good as far as clean welds go? wow! im gonna go run a bead using 20cfh! i have been wasting money! argon is almost twice as expensive as blended gas here in texas! thanks again!!



  9. #21
    Gold Member mxtras's Avatar
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    Yes - I run pure Argon at around 18 if I am doing mostly fillets. Butt welds or lap joints can soot up but the weld is clean. 18-22 works for me in the shop on the rare occasion that I MIG aluminum. TIG is my preference except for amperages above 250 or so.

    Scott

    Consistency is a good thing....unless you're consistently an idiot.


  10. #22
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    Smile Lincoln mig welder sp100

    Quote Originally Posted by tadream View Post
    I have a customer that has been using Lincoln SP-100's for years to weld AL with decent results. Amazingly, they have found that the regular wound steel liners work better than the nylon ones, and they are pushing .035 wire with them. They are a sign contractor and are, of couse, only welding light gauge material with them. I was blown away the first time I saw one of their machines come in the shop, thinking they were idiots for trying to a) Push small diameter Aluminum, b) trying to weld it with a 115v machine, and c) using steel liners. Worse yet, they run them off portable generators to do roadside repairs. Once the machine was fixed, the guy brought over some of the material they were welding and proceeded to put down a decent bead with the thing. They've got about a half-dozen units set up this way and use them all the time. Keeping the gun straight and changing liners frequently allows it with very few birdnests. I have since been setting other people up with steel liners instead of Nylon or Teflon when pushing AL, with improved results. They do require more replacement or cleaning. I've also "engineered" a Lincoln spool gun onto a Century 140 amp mig (the guy INSISTED). It worked well also.
    I have a Lincoln SP100 mig and I want to set it up for steel and AL,what do I need? Do I need a controller with spool gun?or do I need conduit with steel liner? Please any and all info will be greatly appreciated.



  11. #23
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