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  1. #1
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    is there a flux cored aluminum mig wire? ( .030 / 35 ?? )

    I'd be inclined to pick up a small 110v mig if i could do small aluminum projects with it, vs the allow solder rods.. etc.

    hf has the small flux migs on sale again for 89$.. etc...

    opinions? ( i've seen people do tig aluminum.. etc.. but have heard some do it with mig.. etc. ) I'm not up on aluminum.. etc.

    Alternately.. a rectifier pack for my ac buzzbox, and i suppose ac arc welding.. local store does carry some aluminum electrodes.. but I'm guessing dc only.. ( havn't looked though.. )

  2. #2
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    Soundguy I will address this, but not from personal experience, only what I have seen and read.. Of what I have seen of aluminum welding with stick, it did not impress me. You must move very fast, the electrode melts very rapidly, and very globy, nasty looking welds..with tons of white smoke. I am sure a good experienced welder could do a much better job with them, but I haven't seen much. The rods I have seen are DC. Now a MIG with gas and a spool gun can weld aluminum quite well. But you are looking at an investment in a MIG machine and a matching spool gun for it, and a gas bottle. Of course TIG is probably king for pretty aluminum welds. The spoolgun will weld faster, but not quite as pretty as a good TIG guy can do. Either is so far ahead of a stick aluminum weld it is not even funny.. Unless someone can show me something different.

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  3. #3
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    My step brother has a Lincoln SP125 and he has welded Aluminum up to 1/8" think with it but it was all it could do. That was mig not flux core. The wire would burn back each time he stopped and half the time stick to the tip. If he didn't check it each time and it did stick it would create a mess back at the spool. I'm not sure how happy you would be even if they make a flux core aluminum wire.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    you could get a lincoln 135/140 110 mig with tapped settings.then add an aluminum kit on it with argon gas.that will weld aluminum.

  5. #5
    Silver Member MitchellB's Avatar
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    I watched my welding instructor years ago weld with an aluminum coated stick rod. He even showed us that you could take the same coated stick rod and make a decent weld using an acyelene gas torch for heat. So it can be done, but the skill level is much higher than using either a MIG or TIG machine. I've used a spool gun, the wire feed MIG (gas) setup and the TIG. I prefer the TIG because you just got more control when doing aluinum. We used to practice welding soda cans together if that will give you any idea of how light you can go with a good TIG machine.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    We call aluminum stick rods gulls**t rods, reason being that the weld looks like crap. They have their uses such as in a bind where ther's no tig or wirefeed around but not much else. If you do deicde to try them they're DC only, you'll never keep an arc with AC. Warm them up a bit either by shorting them out for a few seconds or running a torch over them, dryness is a necessity as is clean material. Vertical up is easier as the slag, which there is an abundance of, will stay behind you.

    Don't waste your money on a cheap machine if you want to try wirefeed, IMHO all the 110 machines are good for is body work or maybe 1/8" max....maybe. Realize also if you want to do aluminum you'll need straight argon, not a mixed gas as you would for steel.
    Just a month ago I bought a ThermalARC 181i, it'll do stick, lift arc tig (DC only) and well as mig for $1K, they offer an aluminum gun as an option for $350. Not a super high quality gun but for personal use it's not bad. Won't take much abuse like a Miller spool gun but still, for the price not bad.

    If you decide to go aluminum TIG, you'll need an AC machine with high frequency, not cheap.......Mike

  7. #7
    Elite Member wdchyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    I agree with all that has been said......alum is a bear to weld with anything other than TIG.....properly setup Mig welders are very powerfull and usually setup only for alum (at least the ones I've seen) and has a learning curve, and needs PLENTY of elec power

    I use an ac/dc stick/tig welder (with high freq) for most work
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    There is no flux cored aluminum wire. If you have a 115v wire feed you can do some aluminum welding but you will run out of wire speed before you hit the 1/8 " mark. It requires a teflon liner meaning you will need a name brand unit to get a teflon liner. Aluminum stick will work but you must pre-heat to 500 degrees and run the rod at a 90 degree angle and go like blue blazes. You can use the same stick rod as an oxy-fuel rod after a little practice and good clean aluminum. Depending on what you want to repair, There are good solders out there like Harris AlCor for all but the 60 series aluminums or Welco 52 for filling bullet holes in irrigation pipe. Coral and Alsolder 500. Nothing like Tig or Spool Gun of course but these were designed as a niche type repair tool. As far as Spool Guns go, Miller and Tweco both "make" similar $900 guns and both Miller and Tweco "sell" $350 guns. Both models are very similar and the less expensive ones for the small Millers and Thermal Arcs look like they come from the same plant. ( No Miller and Tweco do not make their low cost spool guns. Neither does Lincoln.) So if you can't justify an AC/DC Tig unit or a Twin Pulse Synergic Mig, The rest are all you have to choose from. For what it's worth, there are some decent 180+ amp AC/DC units coming out that are priced fairly close to 1K.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    soundguy you have a ac welder ,hunt up a hf unit and tig torch with a argon bottle.that would be the cheapest.but will be aggravating without a pedal.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: aluminum welding with mig (flux? )

    I think any direction you want to go, MIG with spool gun or AC TIG w/ a high frequency box, you'll need an Argon tank and regulator. For me, that raises the $$ quite a bit.

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