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welding alum. with a mig

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by surpip, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    anyone do this?
    the smaller wire feed welders have the cap. to weld alum. just wondering if anyone has actually done this or not.
     
  2. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    I don't personally, but we do it all the time here at the shop. Virtually all of out signs are aluminum and we weld them together with a mig welder. We have it set up with a separate gun and bottle. Straight Argon gas and the gun has a wire spool right on it.

    I know it takes new people some getting use to, but they seem to pick it up pretty quick.

    I wouldn't call ours a small welder. It is setup to run either the alum or steel. Just have to flip a switch and open the right bottle.
     
  3. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    yes, i have welded alum. with a mig. i have layed down some bitchen to some really crappy welds. its hard to get a consistant weld each time you weld alum. its not like steel where you just flick it on and go at it. i have only done this with our Lincoln 175 plus mig at work. we have the kit to do alum for it. i did find that i had to wick the volt almost max and the wire feed has to be almost maxed too for it to weld with what i would say is good penatration. those welds looked alot better then the ones where the volts were less.

    i weld aluminum fixtures up from time to time here at work. i usually use steel but there are times where steel is too heave so we use alum. your alum needs to be real clean, stainless steel wire brushed. if its dirty it will spit and sputter something awful.
     
  4. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    The smaller welders work better due to the length of the cable/torch assembly. The shorter the better. Long wire runs cause clogging.

    The best set-up is a big welder with a spool gun.
     
  5. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Yeah, that's what I was talking about. That's the way ours is setup.
     
  6. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    yup, you need the power you get from a big machine, and its best to pull the wire rather then push it.
     
  7. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    It's a pain in the ass to MIG aluminum. Just TIG it. :waytogo:
     
  8. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    oh of course let me run right out and buy a 1500 dollar tig machine so i can weld up the 10 projects i will need it for:rolleyes: :rolleyes:



    thanks for all the other helpful replies
    was just wondering cause all the small home depot/lowes machines say you can weld alum. with them, just wonderin if it was worth a crap or not to get the stuff you would need to do it
    its for the dash in my car so it needs to look good
    probally take it to a shop to have it done
    thanks
     
  9. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    if you want a really clean job thats what i would do. welding alum. with a mig spatters like hell, so you might not want the surounding area to get damaged from spatter. good luck with your project.
     
  10. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    1500? thats a cheap tig that is capable of aluminum welding haha
     
  11. Dallin

    Dallin 1/2 ton status

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    keep the wire to the gun as straight as possible. Also turn down the tension on the drive rollers. Both of these help the wire to slip instead of birds nest. I've had good luck welding Al with a Millermatic 251 without a spool gun.
     
  12. speedyvision917

    speedyvision917 1/2 ton status

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    TIG welding is soo much fun! By far my fav. type of welding:weld: :waytogo:


    As far as welding aluminum with a mig, ive done it twice and it there was alot of splatter, and the gun broke twice (not when i used it)
     
  13. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    dale....

    one word,,, can you say

    powermig350


    I use pulse on pulse... tig like welds from a mig....

    now the bad news

    its 5 grand
     

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