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Weld Al with a stick welder

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  • Weld Al with a stick welder

    I checked out a Arc welding book at the library and it has a technique for welding Al with a stick. I still have to buy the rods but can I be successful with an AC machine. It gives the directions (Don't weave the electrode, scratch to start, and keep a short arc) but says will work best with a DC machine. Does that eliminate my machine or just not as good welds. I am just talking about learning here, not welding on a trailer or anything important.

  • #2
    Yes you need a DC machine. I welded alot with stick and its fine for castings but sucks for pretty much everything else you want to look nice. Unless you just give some little tacks...Bob

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    • #3
      I've done it to practice and be ready for an emergency job with it. I've not tried it on AC, but with as difficult as it is, DCEP was tough enough.

      I would never recommend or use the SMAW process for welding aluminum on purpose. But I keep the rods around, just in case all else fails on something.

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      • #4
        I threw all my aluminum SMAW rods in the garbage and I hope someone I don't like finds them.

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        • #5
          I nearly bought the electrodes but chickened-out when quoted $19 /lb. I have never welded Al with any weldor. I just wanted to try something new. I assume mig is the medium of choice? Thanks.

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          • #6
            Pulsed mig [thin], or tig is best for aluminum. I use tig on everything thin and pulsed mig on thicker stuff. I didn't have much luck with stick for aluminum. Somebody must or they wouldn't sell them.

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            • #7
              MIG welding al - does it work well?

              What is pulsed mig and is my Miller 175 capable of it? I need some better way of welding thin al irrigation pipe other than with stick electrodes. I have that mig welder but I have heard that they don't perform well on al and I didn't want to waste the money on wire and gas if it wasn't going to work for me. I want to get some other opinions. Do you have to have a spool gun to weld al or will the sleeve-type gun work? Also, what cover gas should I run?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by txhayman
                What is pulsed mig and is my Miller 175 capable of it? I need some better way of welding thin al irrigation pipe other than with stick electrodes. I have that mig welder but I have heard that they don't perform well on al and I didn't want to waste the money on wire and gas if it wasn't going to work for me. I want to get some other opinions. Do you have to have a spool gun to weld al or will the sleeve-type gun work? Also, what cover gas should I run?
                The MM175 is not a pulsed-capable MIG. You don't NEED a spoolgun, but it's the right way to do it, barring a push-pull set-up. (read: even MORE expensive) A spoolgun can be put on the MM175, but you also have to buy a control box.

                You CAN run aluminum through the M10 gun, but I've only read about it. There are tricks to make it work as best as possible, but you'll still get problems. What alloy are you needing to weld?

                No matter what, you have to use 100% argon gas.

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                • #9
                  You now you could try the aluminum wire. get a 1-2 lb spool. Depending on much of the stuff you have to weld might be better to buy a small tig. A pulsed mig actually pulses the current. You can hear it. Pulsing allows the weld puddle to cool slightly between pulses allowing you to weld thinner material with MIG. Pulsed is a machine made for it. Now alot of tig machines are pulsed. Let us know what you try. good luck

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