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welding aluminum

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  • welding aluminum

    I have a millermatic 175 mig . I would like to try welding aluminum with this machine . I am thinking about purchasing a miller aluminum conversion kit [liner , drive wheels etc. ]. That would be cheaper than buying the spool gun . I have been advised that the conversion kit does not work very well . Can anyone clue me in on this ?

  • #2
    I don't think that Miller makes a conversion for the MM175 to do aluminum, I think Lincoln is the only one that does that. You can get a 4" roll of .030 4043 and try it as is, keep the whip as stright as possible, the wire and spool tension should be only enough to feed the wire. You will be using 100% argon as gas and can run it about 25CFH to start with, and some like to run a .035 tip (I never did but they say it helps). Try about 1/2" stickout and about 1/4" from the work peice and be sure to push the weld. With some practice you can do it, but it can be frustrating.

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    • #3
      Welding aluminum

      Hi

      I tried welding with a lincoln SP135 plus with the aluminum liner & roller kit and had nothing but problems. I could'nt get the wire to stop bird nesting. My suggestion to you is dont waste your money.

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      • #4
        aluminum
        had a buddy that wanted me to show him how to weld alum. he had a small lincoln mig. i think we wasted a 1 lb roll trying to get it set he only had a 10ft whip and it keep bird nesting at the feed rollers. never had mush luck like sundown said keep the whip as stright as possible. good luck

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        • #5
          Definitely hold off till you can afford the spoolgun. Tried this once & almost created a drinking problem. In the ideal situation if you could hold gun & cable in a straight line it might not be bad, but that doesn't usually happen in the real world & as soon as you move a little out of line , big birdnest.

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          • #6
            4043 is soft and doesn't feed as nice as 5356. I haven't had any experience running AL wire through push feeders but I was told 5356 works better for that application. Only have push-pull and spool gun experience.

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            • #7
              yep defenetly go with the 5356 wire insted of the 4XXX wire. and then still try to keep the gun as strait as possible., miller dose have a aluninum liner for it i can dig up the part #'s if you want. i dont know off hand if i have the book in here or out at the shop. i have herd of some people haveing acceptable results with the 175. not a good long term solution but if you get lots of aluminum work its best to invest in a better option like the MM210 and spool gun. if you are going to have the work it will be werth the investment. for the rare ocational thig the 175 should be able to get the job done on thin stuff like 1/8"

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              • #8
                check out ready welder.com. I have this spool gun with my mig and it works great with aluminum. I got it off of ebay it was a little cheaper.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ingog@shaw.ca View Post
                  I have a millermatic 175 mig . I would like to try welding aluminum with this machine . I am thinking about purchasing a miller aluminum conversion kit [liner , drive wheels etc. ]. That would be cheaper than buying the spool gun . I have been advised that the conversion kit does not work very well . Can anyone clue me in on this ?
                  http://www.readywelder.com/10250.htm here is the link to the one you would need. I hope this helps

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                  • #10
                    i've never wire welded aluminum, but my dad used to and he hated it. of course he was on top of a utility pole under an asbestos tarp, who would blame him?
                    anyway, i asked him about the spool gun once and he said the wire is so soft that the spool gun is the only way, besides tig, because it has such a shorter distance to travel.

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                    • #11
                      you dad is right to a cirten extent, the spool gun is the best option but with 5xxx series aluminum wire its doable but still can be a pain. the 5xxx series is much stiffer than the 4xxx is.

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                      • #12
                        You can get satusfactory welds with your millermatic 175. Get the liner and u drive roller kit. Leave the rollers lose and hit the trigger on the gun, start tightening the tensioner just until the wire barely starts moving, that's how sensitive it will be. Keep a 7 foot lead or leass and keep it straight. You can get good results but you have to follow these steps.....don't bother with 4043, use the 5356 as mentiones.....leave a good deposit at the end of the weld or it'll crack. Dave

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                        • #13
                          I was in Airgas today and a gentleman told me something very interesting. He is welding aluminum with his Powermig 255, with the regular gun, and a nylon liner. The gun is 15 ft long!!!! His Python push/pull broke a couple months ago and he just started running the 5*** wire right out of the power unit. I would never try it with 4*** wire, but he's doing it just fine with the harder stuff. If you do give it a go, stay with a shorter gun (7' or 10'). Also, if you can, give us some feedback on how it works for you. I want to try the same thing. Goodluck.

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                          • #14
                            Push feeding aluminum

                            I've never tried using my Lincoln SP-170T for Aluminum but at work we had an LN-25 suitcase and a 10' gun that I ran off my Invertec V-350 Pro and it did a killer job. No birdnesting or any sort of grief. I think it even had knurled drive rolls in it. My preference is GTAW, but it got the job done in a pinch.

                            Later,

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