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Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby dgapilot » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:55 pm

The liner goes in the cable from the welder to the gun. Even with the proper rollers and new liner, you still may not be successful. That's why they make spool guns, so the wire only goes from the little spool in the gun to the tip rather than from the machine all the way out the cable to the gun. As someone else stated, your 125 amp machine may not have enough power to do aluminum very well.


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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby cj737 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:55 pm

It's pretty hard to get aluminum wire to run through a standard MIG gun. The length of the cable and liner against the very soft and thin aluminum wire tends to bind up. Spool guns are a solution for that. Some quality MIG machines do run aluminum, but I don't believe (as has been said) that your Hobart will.
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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby Bill Beauregard » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:44 pm

I feel the posters have done you a disservice. My 252 is capable of 300 amps. I feel it is under powered for most aluminum. Aluminum is an amazing metal able to share heat. A big mass of aluminum will tend to heat the whole mass before localized welding can begin. Most aluminum MIG set ups try to beat the time cycle of conduction by welding so fast, it can't spread the heat away. Your welder hasn't a lot of heat in its bag of tricks. I believe 10,000 watts is about the low end of functional aluminum welders.

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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby cj737 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:10 am

Bill Beauregard wrote:I feel the posters have done you a disservice. My 252 is capable of 300 amps. I feel it is under powered for most aluminum. ...Your welder hasn't a lot of heat in its bag of tricks. I believe 10,000 watts is about the low end of functional aluminum welders.
Willie

Sorry to disagree, but 300 amps is NOT required to weld aluminum unless its over 1" thick. I weld aluminum ALL THE TIME with far less than 200 amps with a TIG torch, and plenty of thinner aluminum with a Spool Gun. But you're right about his welder, not enough tricks in it's bag.
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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby Josh MacD » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:10 am

Thanks for all of the input. I think I will stay away from aluminum. I'm a hobbyist at best and don't need to put out the expense of a new machine or the accessories needed for the specialty metals right now.

I do enjoy welding and am always looking for a reason to get out there and play around and learn new things. This forum, and Jody's site, are an amazing resource for newbies.
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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby Bill Beauregard » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:41 pm

cj737 wrote:
Bill Beauregard wrote:I feel the posters have done you a disservice. My 252 is capable of 300 amps. I feel it is under powered for most aluminum. ...Your welder hasn't a lot of heat in its bag of tricks. I believe 10,000 watts is about the low end of functional aluminum welders.
Willie

Sorry to disagree, but 300 amps is NOT required to weld aluminum unless its over 1" thick. I weld aluminum ALL THE TIME with far less than 200 amps with a TIG torch, and plenty of thinner aluminum with a Spool Gun. But you're right about his welder, not enough tricks in it's bag.

200 is enough for most TIG applications. Duty cycle is very important at 200 amps The Diversion 180 was frustrating even on 16 gauge. It doesn't shut off, it tapers back.
MIG work is traditionally done on heavier section aluminum. I wouldn't want a mini welder for that.

Miller now offers a 350P MIG with pulse for auto body work.

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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby MinnesotaDave » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:03 pm

Josh MacD wrote:
I can see myself liking to play with aluminum welding so I'll look into these things. But, for this one project, it is probably easier to just use light sheet metal instead.


Learning thin aluminum spool gun welding can make you very frustrated. It's really nice for heavy stuff but your machine is too small for that.

Thin sheet metal has its own issues, but is much easier than thin aluminum - in my opinion.
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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby cj737 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:13 pm

Bill Beauregard wrote:
cj737 wrote:
Bill Beauregard wrote:I feel the posters have done you a disservice. My 252 is capable of 300 amps. I feel it is under powered for most aluminum. ...Your welder hasn't a lot of heat in its bag of tricks. I believe 10,000 watts is about the low end of functional aluminum welders.
Willie

Sorry to disagree, but 300 amps is NOT required to weld aluminum unless its over 1" thick. I weld aluminum ALL THE TIME with far less than 200 amps with a TIG torch, and plenty of thinner aluminum with a Spool Gun. But you're right about his welder, not enough tricks in it's bag.

200 is enough for most TIG applications. Duty cycle is very important at 200 amps The Diversion 180 was frustrating even on 16 gauge. It doesn't shut off, it tapers back.
MIG work is traditionally done on heavier section aluminum. I wouldn't want a mini welder for that.

Miller now offers a 350P MIG with pulse for auto body work.

Willie

Not to hijack this thread completely, but you really need to read some modern research:
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/assets/g ... /c8100.pdf
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Re: Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

Postby tracybaker » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:25 am

You can MIG weld with aluminum. But there are some limitations.

1) Weld aluminum which is 14 gauge and higher otherwise use TIG welding.
2) A 10-15 degree torch angle is needed.
3) Use spool gun for MIG weld.
4) Use Spray Transfer to MIG Weld Alumina.
5) Use acetone for cleaning.
6) Pick Up A Complete MIG Welding Set Up.

For further assistance, you can go through the following link
https://www.bakersgas.com/weldmyworld/2 ... -aluminum/

And if you are doing some projects for sheet metal fabrication, try to consult some steel fabrication companies. My friend completed a project with the help of some steel fabrication companies in Toronto because he wants to get some custom sheet metals and such stuff, so that the project was worth. Feel free to contact for any doubts. Thank you.
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