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  1. #21
    Bronze Member woodsmith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    Cheers guys.
    I think I am going to call it a day on this.

    I don't know the grade of the wire, just whatever was stocked at my local Machine Mart. It is very soft though and my rollers have teeth so the wire comes out with ridges rolled in it.

    The gas is also leaking as the liner doesn't fit properly. It is very slightly larger then then the original liner and the seal clamp by the rollers doesn't clamp down properly. I guess my set up isn't going to help even if all else works out.

    I am going to return my welder to steel welding and hope that I haven't caused any damage to it trying to convert the liner and the gas pipe.


    Anyway, I have a 10 pack of Durafix brazing rods coming in the post to me so I will give that a go. At least it won't melt away the tubing even if it were to go wrong.

  2. #22
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsmith View Post
    my rollers have teeth so the wire comes out with ridges rolled in it.
    Boy this can cause all kinds of problems. Good thing you through in the towel doing it this way.


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  3. #23
    LD1
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    Yep, that setup just sounds like too many things wrong to do aluminum. As you found out, it certainly aint as easy as sticking steel together.

    If the brazing rods dont work out, Save up to get a TIG machine. I know you said you arent ready yet, But when you are, you will wonder why you waited soo long. Some of the chinese machines are pretty good (so I have heard). A couple of them are sponsers on this forum. (Everlast and longevity). They are pretty affordable, and when/if I ever get one for home, it will probabally be one of them two cause I am a tightwad. I just hope that the dynasty 200 I use at work hasnt spoiled me too much
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
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  4. #24
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by LD1 View Post
    I just hope that the dynasty 200 I use at work hasnt spoiled me too much
    Never ran a 200, but if it is anything like my 300, you'll throw rocks at everything else!


    Miller Dynasty 300.
    Lincoln V350-Pro w/pulse
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    Lincoln SG Spool gun

    Lincoln LN-25.
    1937 IdealArc-300
    Everlast PowerArc 200.
    5 Lincoln SA-200s.
    1800 Ellis saw
    Hypertherm Powermax 1250, CNC table.
    PROFAX Welding Positioner.
    JD2 model 3

  5. #25
    LD1
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    Definatally is nice.

    Gotta ask though, The 200 and 300 are pretty similar machines. What do YOU do that requires you to set it over 200A?? Cause I Imagine under 200, everything is pretty much the same. I can see stuff over 1/4" maybe wanting for more, but as it is now, I do 1/4" at or right under the 200A setting.

    The machine also has a lot of features that I dont use, like the pulser. I am old school and like the foot control. About the only settings I mess with are the amperage and balance (depending on how much cleaning/etching I want). I dont even mess with the Hz on it. Just as long as it is somewhere between 100 and 200 I am happy. But I aint no pro neither.

    I could see where the 300A may be of benefit if one likes to weld 1/4" WITH the pulser, cause the pulser makes the puddle run cooler than without.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
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  6. #26
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by LD1 View Post
    But I aint no pro neither.
    Me neither!

    My 300 will struggle with 3/8-inch thick aluminum. If the piece has any size / mass I have to use the heat gun to preheat.
    When I want a lot of penetration on aluminum I use very high frequency, this narrows the arc. I also use some pulse, this will also help narrow the arc. I use 85% background, 80% peak time, and 200 pulse per second.


    Miller Dynasty 300.
    Lincoln V350-Pro w/pulse
    LF-72
    Lincoln SG Spool gun

    Lincoln LN-25.
    1937 IdealArc-300
    Everlast PowerArc 200.
    5 Lincoln SA-200s.
    1800 Ellis saw
    Hypertherm Powermax 1250, CNC table.
    PROFAX Welding Positioner.
    JD2 model 3

  7. #27
    Bronze Member woodsmith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    TIG would be great but just can't justify it yet. It is as much the cost of additional gas bottles from BOC as the cost of the welder.
    I don't like having to pay, on top of the gas, annual rental on the bottle, delivery and handling even if I collect it myself, admin, a business account when I am not yet in business, hidden costs, environmental costs and every other cost they can think of that makes 50 of gas cost 170 to get hold of.

    I am trying to work my way out of sickness benefits. Due to the unemployment levels here, and being ill for near two years, and not being able to get a reference from my stupid previous employers who made me sick in the first place, I have to make my own work by making bespoke bicycle trailers and bicycle parts, converting small tractors to electric drive, and fine furniture (my proper trade and teaching subject).
    Awkwardly I also can't start to work without losing the benefits that pay the mortgage and bills when there is also no certainty that the work will continue.

    However, I am trying to do this with no spare money and a lot of good will from people I have worked with in the past. If I can get regular commissions of any sort then I can justify investing in more equipment, TIG welder, a small milling machine, and a bigger lathe.

    I will keep trying though.

  8. #28
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by Shield Arc View Post
    I didn't read every word in this thread, so forgive me if this has already been mentioned!
    I sort of remember trying to do this years ago, (30) before buying my first Tig welder. I had a Miller S32S remote wire feeder that I ran on my 450-amp diesel drive. I bought the shortest Mig gun I could get, with a nylon liner, U-groove drive rolls for the feeder, and hung the feeder above the work, so gravity could help me. Had to keep the Mig gun as straight as possible at all times, or I'd spend the next 5-minutes cutting the bird's nest out of the drive rolls. It can be done, but what a PITA!

    Here is a couple pictures of a 1/16th inch corner joint I did when I first got my spool gun. I'd still rather use Tig! I never have been comfortable welding thin material, even to this day 3/8 inch is about my limit!
    Shield,
    That's a very good weld for MIG!
    I have a spool gun on my Miller and it's a joke if you ask me. It works but for SS and aluminum it just passes. (nothing I want anyone to see!)The trouble is you want to control the heat on those metals and the amps you start with aren't he amps you continue to weld with.


    Rob

  9. #29
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    If you do aluminum on a daily basis you might see if you can make a deal with a shop that rents you time on their TIG. Also I don't know how it is there but we do see TIGs on local farm/shop ads. Maybe you can get a deal on a used one, EBAY?

    Rob

  10. #30
    LD1
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    Default Re: Mig welding aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob-D View Post
    Shield,
    That's a very good weld for MIG!
    I have a spool gun on my Miller and it's a joke if you ask me. It works but for SS and aluminum it just passes. (nothing I want anyone to see!)The trouble is you want to control the heat on those metals and the amps you start with aren't he amps you continue to weld with.


    Rob
    Yea, our miller 350p has a sp30a (IIRC) spool gun. It aint worth didly. Before we got the tig, we spent more time fiddling with it than actually making the weld.

    Anyone serious about aluminum....Tig is the only way to go IMO
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


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