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Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

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Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby Olivero » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:15 pm

Hello fellow welders,

I do mostly TIG welding and a decent amount of Stick welding but only a small amount of MIG which has all been steel.

I have Tigged a lot of aluminum both wrought and cast so I am familiar with all the cleaning procedures and everything.

I have a project this Friday where a second welder will be using a MIG to weld seams on a diamond plate, 3003, Brite finish & anodized, 3/16" thick. Its a new flooring for a fridge so it all has to be watertight so drips and whatever won't go through the cracks and whatnot.

Only problem is, I don't know what the heck my settings should be for that, I will be running a TIG the second welder will be running the MIG but since I am the more experienced and "senior" welder, I want to dial the machine in and make sure the welds are quality.

What would you recommend for settings on this? Not sure if its that simple to ask but figured I would give it a shot, I will do some experimenting here tomorrow and dial it in but wanted an idea of where to start, I am using a Lincoln MIG welder, if you need the model I can get it.
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby Farmwelding » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:17 pm

https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/w ... alculators

Its a good start, but aluminum usually doesn't like keeping the same with settings especially with spool guns.
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby Olivero » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:59 pm

Farmwelding wrote:https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/weld-setting-calculators

Its a good start, but aluminum usually doesn't like keeping the same with settings especially with spool guns.


I just followed the instructions on the inside of the cover, flipped polarities and it runs like a beauty.....

All this time I thought MIG was just a waste of life......... Seems like it really has its place in aluminum.

The 2nd welder is going to outrun me with that MIG for sure.
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby Farmwelding » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:13 pm

Must have been running flux cored? Mig aluminum is DCEP just like regular squirt gun welding. Just checking for craps and laughs
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby AKmud » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:35 pm

What machine will you be running? I'd run my Miller 252 with the 30A spool gun at around 23V and 460IPM of 3/64" 5356. Just remember to keep moving! It is a much faster process than TIG and you will not have time to dilly dally around once you strike the arc.
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby Farmwelding » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:43 pm

And push that gun
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby Olivero » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:21 pm

Lol, no dilly dalling here.

Going to run a powerline out of the panel for the TIG and keep the MIG welder on 125 V as that's all it will take, its a Lincoln Power MIG 140C.

So push the gun, not drag?
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby Farmwelding » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:41 pm

Olivero wrote:Lol, no dilly dalling here.

Going to run a powerline out of the panel for the TIG and keep the MIG welder on 125 V as that's all it will take, its a Lincoln Power MIG 140C.

So push the gun, not drag?

Yes sir. Push that baby. Otherwise who knows what could be in that weld. I like that running a welder off of a welder.

Only one question. Does a 110 volt mig welder have enough power to run a spool gun since it has to be spray transfer
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby PeteM » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:17 pm

Here's some good info-

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/assets/g ... /c8100.pdf

My own experience with aluminum mig is based on wildly unpredictable and poorly maintained equipment but at least we used argon<- therefore of virtually no use.

But even with that, managed to make some pretty nice stuff.
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Re: Need some guidance on MIG settings for Aluminum

Postby Olivero » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:45 am

Pushing it is then, tried on some scrap, I was dragging and it seemed pretty good so I guess we will see on this Push technique.

The machine is designed to run with one so I assume it can, it doesn't roll the spool in the compartment in the machine but on the spool gun itself, seems to be doing okay. Have no idea how many times the breaker is going to trip, have to run it at full smash ahead to do these 3/16" plates.

First job I did like this was less than half as big as the one I am doing tomorrow, took me something like 8 hours of welding to get everything welded up, running 130 A on that plate kept blowing the breakers, pissed me off so bad that I just bother running a 208 V line out of the panel now for jobs like this.
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