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no you do t need HF to do it .although it is a luxury.
high freq.only allows you to start the arc without touching the base metal. you will have to use the scratch start method,much like arc welding.
for welding aluminum you need to have the machine set to AC not DC
with a pretty good amount of amps.
,and your base metal must be VERY clean
when i tig i always try to weld with the gas off cuz i strike an arc and wonder why it isnt welding right
Truely you would get more and better responses if this question was moved to the welding discussions section. If you did not notice they have merged the forums together now and this is actually a new section even tho the old adress puts you here and they are not moderating it either
To answer your question, if your machine is not a tig unit then you will need a torch with a gas valve and a lug made for a torch cable and an argon regulator. Yes you will need high frequency to weld aluminum or you won't be able to maintain an arc. When learning to weld aluminum you really need everything in your favor so trust me when I tell you you might find it possible to weld it without HF but it won't ever be worth a crap untill you know what you are doing first. But I really doubt it could even be done.
Chances are by the time you get it all rigged out you could'a had a real factory tig for about the same money
You can scratch start DC tho and not use HF...it happens everyday
Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"
Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
Miller 30-A Spoolgun
Miller Spectrum 300
Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400
Welderman has obviously not tried to weld aluminum with an older transformer machine. On the Dialarc you will need everything FusionKing has mentioned. The HF 15-1 is the recommended HF unit for that machine. You need HF, not only to start the arc (scratch & alum don't mix) but to maintain the arc as the wave cycles from positive to negative.
The newer inverter machines make that +/- transition much faster, thereby they are able to use HF for starting the arc only.
Also, as FusionKing mentioned, the Dialarc is not the machine you want to try to learn aluminum tig on. It is not a squarewave machine, it has no balance control, and it has no provision for varying the amps (foot/finger control). By the time you get all the pieces together, you'd be better off picking up a used Sync 250 and have a "real" tig machine.
Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
Dynasty 200 DX
Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
Dialarc 250 AC/DC
Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
More grinders than hands
I'd have to vote with Sundown on this one. The Dialarc without the HF option would be a pain to use on AC. On DC it's ok but without the HF on AC to stabilize arc at the zero crossing point as it switched polarity every half cycle it would just spit and have constant arc outages. A squarewave machine crosses zero much faster and can in some cases be used with out HF.