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Trouble with Millermatic 211 and Spoolmate 100 on 1/8" alum (pics)

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  • Trouble with Millermatic 211 and Spoolmate 100 on 1/8" alum (pics)

    Hi everyone. I have been lurking around her for a while, but this is my first post. I wanted to start off by sharing pics of a few projects since I picked up the new 211 recently, but I'll have to do that later.

    Tonight, I unpacked the Spoolmate 100 for the first time and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately it was not the same success story that I've had so far with mild steel.

    Setup:
    -Millermatic 211 with Spoolmate 100
    -McKay ER4043 0.030" wire
    -100% argon set at 25 to 30 cfm
    -DCEP
    -Set at recommended 5/70 (Voltage/Wire speed)
    -1/8" x 1" alum flat strap (unknown allow- scrap)
    -Prepped with Aluminum oxide 200 grit flap disk

    After purging the gun and checking the wire feed tension, I tried my first pass. I used a 10-15 degree angle and about a 1/2" to 3/4" stickout. Accustomed to steel, I moved too darn slow and melted the crap out of the workpiece. I noticed a lot of heavy black smudging so I thought the line might not be purged all they way. After a couple more passes, I wound up with what looks like this (I am too embarrassed to show you the others!):

    Please tell me what I am doing wrong. This looks like hot garbage. I'm not sure why I'm getting all the black discoloration and severe melting. Am I still moving too slow? I admit that I should have practiced more and played with the settings, but I have a limited amount of material to work with until later this week and want to make the most of it.

    Thanks!


  • #2
    Black soot is normal.

    Your specimen is way too small. It is overheating. Try something bigger, like a real test plate. My test plates are 6" x 12" for example.

    Actually I am impressed by what you did. Looks like the machine is working great.
    Nothing welded, Nothing gained

    Miller Dynasty700DX
    3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
    Miller Dynasty200DX
    ThermalArc 400 GTSW
    MillerMatic350P
    MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
    MKCobraMig260
    Lincoln SP-170T
    Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
    Hypertherm 1250
    Hypertherm 800
    PlasmaCam CNC cutter
    Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
    SiberHegner CNC Mill
    2 ea. Bridgeport
    LeBlond 15" Lathe
    Haberle 18" Cold Saw
    Doringer 14" Cold Saw
    6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite

    Comment


    • #3
      Click your heat down to 3 instead of 5. It looks way too hot...Bob
      Bob Wright

      Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
      http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

      Comment


      • #4
        I've got the same setup as you, and had some difficulties on my first attempt at aluminum and the Spoolmate 100. After playing with it and adjusting my gas flow, stickout, wirespeed, and my own speed, it all came together.

        Some comments about your results :

        I don't recommend using an aluminum oxide flap disk to clean the aluminum. Use a stainless steel brush (strictly reserved for aluminum) and the wipe with acetone. You're trying to get rid of the oxide on the project rather than add more and grind it in.

        Play with your gas flow. Could be too high for where you're trying to weld and pulling in atmospheric contamination. This may be the case given the amount of soot on your sample.

        Play with the wirespeed and voltage settings. You are running either too hot, or too slow from the looks of your samples. The charts are simply a place to get started. The beauty of the 211 is that you can make fine adjustments when needed.

        Keep adjusting your gun movement speed and practice a lot until you get the feel for it. Also, I've found that a 3/4" stickout with this setup is almost mandatory. Too close and you'll just burn tips up and get wire sticking.

        Keep at it and I think you'll find all the sweet spots. Good luck. When you get it you'll be very happy.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree, it's too hot, especially for the small piece of material you're practicing on. Turn it down and you will get it going without melting through.
          Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
          Millermatic175
          MillermaticPassport/Q300
          HTP MIG200
          PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
          ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
          DialarcHF, Radiator-1
          Hypertherm PowerMax 380
          Purox oxy/ace
          Jackson EQC
          -F350 CrewCab 4x4
          -LoadNGo utility bed
          -Bobcat 250NT
          -PassportPlus/Q300
          -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
          -Suitcase8RC/Q400
          -Suitcase12RC/Q300
          -Smith oxy/propane
          -Jackson EQC

          Comment


          • #6
            I have the same setup. I agree too much heat, maybe turn your argon down closer to 20.

            Maybe try to weave a little, not a 7018 type weave but some movement helps build a bigger, cleaner, more uniform puddle with the spoolmate.

            Good Luck

            Comment


            • #7
              Aluminium oxyde anything???

              Originally posted by Lindley View Post
              Hi everyone. I have been lurking around her for a while, but this is my first post. I wanted to start off by sharing pics of a few projects since I picked up the new 211 recently, but I'll have to do that later.

              Tonight, I unpacked the Spoolmate 100 for the first time and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately it was not the same success story that I've had so far with mild steel.

              Setup:
              -Millermatic 211 with Spoolmate 100
              -McKay ER4043 0.030" wire
              -100% argon set at 25 to 30 cfm
              -DCEP
              -Set at recommended 5/70 (Voltage/Wire speed)
              -1/8" x 1" alum flat strap (unknown allow- scrap)
              -Prepped with Aluminum oxide 200 grit flap disk

              After purging the gun and checking the wire feed tension, I tried my first pass. I used a 10-15 degree angle and about a 1/2" to 3/4" stickout. Accustomed to steel, I moved too darn slow and melted the crap out of the workpiece. I noticed a lot of heavy black smudging so I thought the line might not be purged all they way. After a couple more passes, I wound up with what looks like this (I am too embarrassed to show you the others!):

              Please tell me what I am doing wrong. This looks like hot garbage. I'm not sure why I'm getting all the black discoloration and severe melting. Am I still moving too slow? I admit that I should have practiced more and played with the settings, but I have a limited amount of material to work with until later this week and want to make the most of it.

              Thanks!

              Much of your blackness problem and bad starting can come from the use of aluminium oxyde based abrasives.Oxydation is one of the BAD things you want to eliminate so Aluminium oxyde is a no no!!!! Or at least run a clean dedicated STAINLESS wire brush to remove the oxydation layer AND the embeded residue from the alumionium oxyde based sans paper of the floppy disk you've just used.And dont be afraid to adjust your settings from the factory baseline settings as needed according to,as mentionned,the size of your work pieces.

              Frank
              Millermatic 252
              Millermatic 180
              Dynasty 200DX
              Hobart spoolmate 3035
              Digital Elite

              Comment


              • #8
                Round #2

                It's me again. It took me some time for find a larger piece of scrap, but unfortunately it really isn't any thicker. In fact, it's a little less than 1/8" of an inch thick, but it's a about 12X36 inches of extruded scrap that I think absorbs the heat a little better.

                Anyway, here are my first attempts with the Spoolmate and 0.030" wire. (Identical setup as before). My welding supply store was out of stainless brushes so AGAIN I had to use the flap disk. However, I did blow off the surface with brake parts cleaner. If I'm learning anything from all this it is the fact that surface preparation is PARAMOUNT to anything else. **** this aluminum stuff is picky! I admire you folks that can do it and do it well. It's a steep learning curve.

                Here are a few passes and a couple of attempts at lap welds. My favorite bead is in the last two images and it was done down the center of the two lap welds over the two pieces of ~1/8" material. This gives me hope that I could actually do some nice work with 3/16" and up material. I am hopeful to get my hands on some before I start any real projects.

                As a side note, I am still getting quite a bit of black soot. However, the non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner blows it off really well. In fact, the sooner it is applied to the hot metal, the better it works! (Be careful not to use any flammable type of solvents).

                I'm open to any feedback... good, bad, and in between.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Looks like it is still dirty or the wind is blowing the gas away and it isn't shielded fully. Here are some welds I made today with a MM211 and SM100 on 1/4" plate. On the end was a corner joint I cut the lower part off of, followed by a butt joint and a lap joint. These are just as the were when I finished, no cleaning or other attempts to improve appearance.Click image for larger version

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                  "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Any chance you are using the wrong gas?
                    Nothing welded, Nothing gained

                    Miller Dynasty700DX
                    3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
                    Miller Dynasty200DX
                    ThermalArc 400 GTSW
                    MillerMatic350P
                    MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
                    MKCobraMig260
                    Lincoln SP-170T
                    Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
                    Hypertherm 1250
                    Hypertherm 800
                    PlasmaCam CNC cutter
                    Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
                    SiberHegner CNC Mill
                    2 ea. Bridgeport
                    LeBlond 15" Lathe
                    Haberle 18" Cold Saw
                    Doringer 14" Cold Saw
                    6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As a side note, DO NOT use brake cleaner to clean anything you weld, it can put off severely toxic gas that can kill you! I havent used a spool gun in years, but yes, welding aluminum in any way shape or form is MUCH more picky of the variables..... Good Luck.

                      Rudy
                      T-4 Paraplegic, Runnin' the Pedal With my elbow, now trying to get used to a momentary switch.......

                      Journeyman Millwright, Local 1102, Detroit, Michigan (Disabled)

                      Syncrowave 200
                      Coolmate 1

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Diverdude View Post
                        Looks like it is still dirty or the wind is blowing the gas away and it isn't shielded fully.
                        You nailed it! It was actually very windy today. I forgot to mention that. I was trying to weld between big gusts, but that was difficult to do and I could hear the weld sizzle and pop a little when the wind picked up.

                        Those are great looking welds you did. I really need to get my paws on some thicker material.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shovelon View Post
                          Any chance you are using the wrong gas?
                          It would seem that way, but I'm using 100% argon. I think the problem with the soot is my poor metal prep in combination with the gusty wind. I forgot to mention that important part.


                          Originally posted by RudyOnWheels View Post
                          As a side note, DO NOT use brake cleaner to clean anything you weld, it can put off severely toxic gas that can kill you! I havent used a spool gun in years, but yes, welding aluminum in any way shape or form is MUCH more picky of the variables..... Good Luck.

                          Rudy
                          Point taken. Thanks for the input.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Are you pushing the weld or dragging it?
                            Kevin Schuh
                            Service Technician
                            Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Miller Kevin View Post
                              Are you pushing the weld or dragging it?
                              You are the first to mention this!!!! Push the weld........you get gas coverage that way...Dragging will cause black stuff... Just my experience.........

                              Comment

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