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MIG Welding Aluminum Without a Spool Gun (Video)

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  • MIG Welding Aluminum Without a Spool Gun (Video)

    Goodafternoon, everyone!

    Hope y'all are having a nice weekend. Heres a recent video of mine... It was highly requested, and although I'd never attempted welding aluminum with anything but a TIG machine or a massive 500 amp push-pull gun, I decided to wing it and hope for the best.

    What did I find? Contamination. A LOT of contamination... The wire was clean and the metal was clean, so, best I can figure thats coming from the drive rolls (steel, with grease/crap, and steel on them), and the STEEL liner in the gun.

    But aside from that, it worked... great! I had some problems but it was still far more successful than stick welding aluminum, atleast when I tried that a while back. I loosened the tension (greatly) and only had feeding issues when the wire burned back and I pusled the trigger hoping to pop it loose (DONT do that, :blush: ). I also noticed that this wire has a tendancy to burn back when you stop the weld, so I yank the gun back to increase the Contact-Tip-To-Work-Distance, thus preventing the wire from "sticking".

    It was fun. And although it should be obvious, I'll say it anyway. This isnt ment to be a how-to. I just wondered how this would work, and went for it. It was really fun :cool2:

    Hope you guys like the video!

  • #2
    You prob picked up some metal thru the steel liner. Even the spool guns have steel drive rolls and some are knurled. If you used a Teflon liner you would have better luck as its cleaner and makes the wire slide thru easier. I ran a Miller Delta Weld 452 for years with alum wire and the regular mig gun at work, but i used 1/16" wire. I did a similar match up a few years back and was almost ready to sell my spoolgun and i got a few more birds nests so i quit. The weld looked the same on both mig gun and spool gun but i couldn't deal with the bird nesting...Bob
    Bob Wright

    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.


    • #3
      Awesome job Chuck, I like your enthusiastic personality, Keep up the good work. It surely helps a lot of people get in to this awesome trade.


      • #4
        Good try but without a clean liner and drive roll its pretty tuff. I've been trying to weld aluminum with a 100 spool gun at work on mm 140 for about a yr I can do a little with it its got to be on 10 and 10 . It has given me a lot of practice with 4043 it will even bird nest finally figured out you have to cut the end of your wire ever time you start a weld or it doesn't strike a arc quick enough to burn the wire so it just stops the wire for a second and it crimps it enough that it starts that bird nest. I hate picking those bird nest out of that spool gun.


        • #5
          Is that pure argon? Teflon liner and u groove rolls will help tons. I don't think the contamination is from the liner or wheels though.....I'd be more suspect of gas coverage. I used an MM250 in short circuit a couple years back with the standard V drive rolls and liner with success. The biggest concern was getting the proper tension and using a short 6' gun and keeping it straight. I was however able to get the little curlie cues...Dave