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Mig Aluminum with spool gun help, please

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Mig Aluminum with spool gun help, please

Postby bellanrudyspa » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:59 am

Hi all, and thanks in advance. I'm working with a Hobart 210 and Spoolrunner 100--same as Jody uses in some of his vids. I've struggled and practiced, learned everything from the WTAT vids that I can, and think I have isolated a couple of the issues that I really need to improve on, both revolving around using a smooth, consistent speed as I weld. The first is hand position. What is the best hand position that will allow for consistent movement of the gun across the metal? I just can't seem to figure that out and as a result the weld speeds up and down, the stickout and angle change, and it gets really sloppy.

The other issue is the weave or pattern when using a spool gun for aluminum. I use the cursive e or wave on steel and have that down. With aluminum I hear experts say they use a "hitch" pattern, and in really studying Jody's work closely it looks as though he actually lifts the tip away from the metal while moving forward about a quarter inch, then hitches while pushing back closer to the metal to create that stack of dimes bead. Is that correct, or is there a better technique? I get that I'm still a beginner and that it takes lots of practice and dialing in the settings; it just drives me nuts to see guys lay down such beautiful welds--the stack of dimes--using the same equipment, while mine are embarrassingly poor.

Again thanks for your help.
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Re: Mig Aluminum with spool gun help, please

Postby cj737 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:29 pm

When I use mine, I have 1 hand controlling the trigger (behind) and the other aligned with the tip of the gun/propping if possible on the material. Definitely need to "push" with ally MIG. I use almost the same motion as I do when Stick welding, touch each side and sweep across the middle. Maybe an pushed "C" sometimes as opposed to a reverse "C" as I might when steel MIG.
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Re: Mig Aluminum with spool gun help, please

Postby AKmud » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:16 pm

Typically you don't need to use much movement with a spool gun. The wire comes out of the gun with a slight oscillation already. Try to be smooth and don't go too fast. If you are going for the "stack of dimes" look, you need to do a slight hesitation while the puddle builds and then advance.
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Re: Mig Aluminum with spool gun help, please

Postby Poland308 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:46 pm

Body position is a very large part of control. Ask anyone who has done hplv painting. They often use body positions to limit the sweep of the gun as they paint large surfaces. And for them gun angle is also important. Lots of times you will see Jody doing a dry run with his motions. Plant your feet in one spot. Pretend they are anchored. Then if your right handed, swing your gun left, only as far as your body moves freely without feeling like you need to move your feet. This is essentially the far left side of your free movement range. Swing right in the same manor, again only until you feel like you need to turn your body or your feet. As you sweep with your gun roll your wrist. After doing only a few dry runs you will start to build muscle memory within your range of motion and control. With practice you can expand your range and will learn how it feels as your body gets out of position and where you begin to loose control.
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