Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Aluminum welding with a Big 50 CC/CV Confused

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Aluminum welding with a Big 50 CC/CV Confused

    Hello, I have an older Big 50 (early 90s 500amp) diesel welding machine Iíve owned since new. It has the AC/DC, CC/CV capacity, 5 and 14pin plugs which I run an old LN7 Mig (on a telescoping boom) as well as LN25 suitcase off the leads. Ive used this incredibly reliable set up over the last 25years mig welding to my heartís content on steel. Once I went to dual shield mig, Iíve never needed anything else. I rarely stick anymore. But I find myself wishing to adapt my rig to aluminum and frankly Iím lost. 25 years ago in the fab shop I Tig welded aluminum on AC with a High Frequency machine & a water cooled torch which (after mastery) produced clean beautiful welds that you could bend backwards and the base material would fail before the weld did. Is that type of weld possible with my equipment? I intend to weld 3/16Ē and larger aluminum plate / tubing / bumpers / boxes/ headache racks/ trailer decks/ and diamond plate type projects for repairing damaged aluminum semi-truck trailers (no frame work, I donít take the liable stuff anymore). I donít expect the ďstacked dimeĒ tig weld appearance of my early days but I would like consistent and clean looking finish welds that are strong. I donít expect to be doing this a whole lot but the opportunities for this type of work seem to be coming up here and there. Perhaps it will turn into a moneymaker and I can invest into a newer machine with bells and whistles.
    Iíve read that you must use a Push-pull gunÖ
    Iíve read that a 10ígun with AL rollers and Teflon works fine if kept straight
    Ive read that you must have a Pulsed machine for good MIG results
    Ive read that high freq is a must for aluminium. Ive read its not...
    Im more confused now than ever.
    What results can I expect with either my LN7 or LN25 on aluminum rolls, 10í gun, and a Teflon liner which would be a minimal investment?
    What settings would I use? Would I use AC?
    Is it as simple as switching gun, liner and rolls?
    Although Iíve spent my life welding, I obviously donít know a lot about it, Iíve just been blessed with really sound equipment that has always worked for the applications Iíve been involved in.
    Sorry for the book...Thanks, Chris

  • #2
    Miller 30 A spool gun and WC-24 and the Big 50 will weld aluminum great.
    For Tig buy used dynasty sd or dx and run off AC on big 50.
    Works for me in field work.
    Never had any luck with Teflon liners.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks GNforge, I've spent the last couple days looking into a 30a spool gun and WC-24. It's seems to be the way to go if I'm gonna get serious on big stuff. For the thinner stuff, anyone try an arc pig with a tig? How is it compared to a HF 251 box?
      Chris
      Four Corners

      Comment


      • #4
        ....about like pushing a rope up a tree....

        What's interesting is the guy that builds and sells the arc pig is in my town, I'd still like to get one. Maybe I should call him....

        Seriously, I started with a 251-D on my thunderbolt, it's just not gonna work for you in any serious manner. I can do it, but it ain't fun and you can't weld for long.

        Comment


        • #5
          I see, so a 251-D simply doesn't give anything like the consistent results of a newer dedicated designed aluminum tig machine? (A newer inverter type like the dynasty is?) Unfortunately, although my 28 year old Big 50 has all the power in the world and seems impervious to abuse, it only has a small 240v 13amp twist-lock type plug. Unlike the slightly newer big blues with the large "electric stove/dryer" type plug. Doubt this is sufficient or easily modified. So unless the Arc Pig is the holy grail of stabilization, it sounds like I'll pursue a good used 30a spool gun with a WC-24 and stick with the 3/16 or larger AL. That's a great ability indeed for around $800. The right tools are the difference between a short and long day, money vs frustration. I like a reliable processes.

          Would I use the 30A spooler on aluminium in AC? Still confused about that. Hey guys, thanks for the advice.

          Chris
          Four Corners

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rkymtn View Post
            ...Would I use the 30A spooler on aluminium in AC? Still confused about that...
            No, it's back to the GMAW process and DC+.

            Comment


            • #7
              The 251-D needs something with remote amperage control to take advantage of its purpose. If you were near by, I'd let you borrow it and see for yourself if it will work for you or not.

              Comment


              • #8
                I bought a used Dynasty SD. There cheaper than DX but same machine less pulse.
                It’s in my shop but if I hv field work it can go with me.
                I’ve got same problem I’m still running a 1988 Big 40 D with CV pkg. still runs strong.
                I can get 150 amps in Tig off the 240 13amp.
                Plug. Works fine for light aluminum on steel work then I use spool gun & WC 24 for bigger aluminum work and that works real fine.
                The inverter dynasty takes much less input to run.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow, now that's some great information, thanks Ryan and GNforge, I feel much more informed today than last week. I have two LN-25 Pros, from the days when I was hustling. Ill probably look into selling one of them, and picking up a spooler and a WC. Its good to know you have had success running lower amps off the SD plugged into the 40, that is an option I have negated for many years. Perhaps there's also an inverter machine for my shop sometime in the future.
                  Chris
                  Four Corners

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As much as I like the big old transformer machines, it's hard to argue with how adjustable and usable the inverters can be, especially on AC tig.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X