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welding aluminum beer cans

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  • welding aluminum beer cans

    I recently purchased a Miller Dynasty 200DX and want to practice welding thin aluminum.

    I figured welding beer cans would be good practice and the materials are cheap.

    The problem I'm having is that there are so many settings on the 200DX that I'm not sure where to set them all. It sure would be helpful if Miller included the recommended settings for various materials and thickness's in the owners manual and that they weren't generic but specific to the machine. I have their tig calculator but the 200DX has more settings than what are listed on the calculator.

    I've tried the lowest amperage setting and frequency set around 200 but I have to move excessively fast just to get it to not burn thru.

    Does anyone here have experience with welding something similar with a 200 DX and if so could you post all the settings as well as the tig rod size and tungsten size you are using?

    one more thing.....when im welding aluminum and dip the tig rod into the puddle, the outside of the tig rod is "gummy" when I take it out of the puddle. It stretches like gum and is quite irritating. Does anyone know how to cure this?
    Last edited by teknition; 08-30-2006, 08:55 PM. Reason: spelling correction

    Millermatic 350P
    Dynasty 200Dx
    Hypertherm Powermax 1000
    Victor Journeyman O/A
    Offshore Mill and Lathe
    Tunes to weld with by Peavey

  • #2
    Here's one thread on the sister-board. I searched over there for "beer cans." A few threads have info, and this one had some specific settings you might try...

    http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/...22beer+cans%22

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    • #3
      I cant help you with your settings, I dont run that machine myself. But as far as welding aluminum beer cans or anything of that nature I have gone back to gas welding using one of the new super alloys thats available. I wont **** any product here, but I can tell you that I have no problem welding any aluminum can or even filling holes up to 3/8" in diameter using mapp or propane fuel source. I know that even years ago we were welding cans togeather using the old tig technology, I am sure with your new machine once you get your settings dialed in, you will be able to weld as many beer cans togeather as you wish, providing you are not trying to consume the contents as fast as you weld the cans.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the link Mac , I'm sure it will come in handy and I will have a look at it tonight.

        Thanks for the post Dan
        I'm not really trying to weld any aluminum for a specific purpose other than tig practice. I can't promise I won't sample the contents while practicing but don't worry, there aren't too many structural beer can towers out there and I wasn't planning on making one, but if I do I'll try to limit it to 3 floors

        Millermatic 350P
        Dynasty 200Dx
        Hypertherm Powermax 1000
        Victor Journeyman O/A
        Offshore Mill and Lathe
        Tunes to weld with by Peavey

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        • #5
          I assume you mean dip the tig rod[filler metal] in the puddle. I think it does that because there is not enough heat in the puddle to melt the filler rod. I do it too sometimes. maybe use the smallest filler rod. I think .040". haven't tried a beer can yet but will with my 180sd. If i can do it with that i know you can do it with the dynasty, you even have pulse with that machine which should let you weld even thinner stuff. Let us know how you make out and I'll post it when I try it.
          Scott
          HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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          • #6
            Thanks for the reply HMW.
            Yes, i was refering to the tig filler rod. It is quite possible I didn't have enough heat in the puddle as I was using the lowest setting on the 200DX.
            I will have to try it again with a bit more amperage and some smaller rod. I was using 3/32 filler because that was all I had.

            I'm sure the machine itself is more than capable of welding the beer can, I just have to learn to use it properly

            Millermatic 350P
            Dynasty 200Dx
            Hypertherm Powermax 1000
            Victor Journeyman O/A
            Offshore Mill and Lathe
            Tunes to weld with by Peavey

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            • #7
              I know you can get 1/16th. I have some of that. I also used some .035" out of my spool gun once. It worked. Sometimes I use smaller filler than you need just because its easier to work with. Uses up more filler rod but sometimes only have short weld to make anyway. good luck with your new machine
              Scott
              HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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              • #8
                frequency set around 200
                i think i would drop that back a bit and let the arc widen up a bit, it should help stop the burn threw.
                i think i would rip a lil sidding off the house (provided its aluminum sidding) and practice on it first then move on to beer cans. naybe hit the good will store and buy a old set of aluminum crutches to play with. finding stuff to practice on is easyer than you think you just gota think of every thing as matereal insted of item, just look at what it made of not what it is.
                thanks for the help
                ......or..........
                hope i helped
                sigpic
                feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                JAMES

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                • #9
                  Aluminum Can welding

                  I have done this on Pepsi cans with a Miller Econotig machine on low setting and using 1/16" filler rod and 3/32" pure tungsten. It helps to clean cans with a stainless steel wire brush to get the coating off.

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                  • #10
                    Hey Tek, can I assume you're drinking the contents of the aforementioned cans? Stay away from Old Style or Millers- bad aluminum! I know you folks up north don't celebrate the 4th of July, but have a great day anyway!
                    sigpic...John

                    Dynasty 200DX
                    Lincoln SP135 Plus
                    Victor O/A outfit
                    Dewalt chop saw

                    US Navy '65-'69
                    Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club
                    USS Intrepid '67

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by blazehaze69 View Post
                      Hey Tek, can I assume you're drinking the contents of the aforementioned cans? Stay away from Old Style or Millers- bad aluminum! I know you folks up north don't celebrate the 4th of July, but have a great day anyway!
                      I hope your talking about Canadians. I couldn't imagine ANY American not celebrating the 4th of July, Independence Day.

                      I'm going to go weld some of the new Bud Select Aluminum Bottles. They come in a 4 pack so I'm might have to go back to the store to get more "metal" to weld.

                      James
                      Miller Dynasty 200DX SOLD
                      WeldTec Water Cooler SOLD
                      Miller Millermatic 180 w/ Spoolmate 100
                      20Ton press
                      And lots of Cut-off and grinding wheels
                      www.IAGPERFORMANCE.com

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                      • #12
                        are you welding the bottom together or trying for the middles?

                        for the bottoms it's quite easy, keep the parts clean of oxide, keep the energy low and run the arc mostly on the filler to pull more energy out. The tops are a bit harder because they are rolled and you get the side of a stressed thin piece of aluminum. If you are welding the sides-good luck I haven't been able to do it without a plasma welder, not cutter, welder even then it was hard.

                        Be careful of the fumes, they made me very sick the first time around. The inside of the cans have some coating that is nasty in the heated fume state. I think they put it in there to keep the content of choice from tasting like aluminum. There are even some concerns about what kinds of disorders are coming from aluminum food handling equipment, so just be careful and enjoy the prep work

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by diamondback View Post
                          are you welding the bottom together or trying for the middles?

                          for the bottoms it's quite easy, keep the parts clean of oxide, keep the energy low and run the arc mostly on the filler to pull more energy out. The tops are a bit harder because they are rolled and you get the side of a stressed thin piece of aluminum. If you are welding the sides-good luck I haven't been able to do it without a plasma welder, not cutter, welder even then it was hard.

                          Be careful of the fumes, they made me very sick the first time around. The inside of the cans have some coating that is nasty in the heated fume state. I think they put it in there to keep the content of choice from tasting like aluminum. There are even some concerns about what kinds of disorders are coming from aluminum food handling equipment, so just be careful and enjoy the prep work
                          Thanks for the heads up. I didn't know that, so I will definently(sp for the spelling police) wear my half mask.. Might have to take it of to do some more welding prep.
                          Miller Dynasty 200DX SOLD
                          WeldTec Water Cooler SOLD
                          Miller Millermatic 180 w/ Spoolmate 100
                          20Ton press
                          And lots of Cut-off and grinding wheels
                          www.IAGPERFORMANCE.com

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                          • #14
                            Pulled this off today on after working on it here and there since i've owned my own TIG. I honestly thought i'd never get it this fast, but thatnkfully i'm on the right track now at least. I was using 1/16th rod and tungsten.

                            Machine settings were as follows

                            Start amperage 10A _only one changed
                            Main apms 30
                            balance 70
                            frequency of 60hz made it realy easy

                            Also did it with a freq of 140hz while pulsing at 4pps and using 80/20 on the peak and background.

                            Althought they weren't flawless, it's my best effort so far, INstead of welding 1/3 inch and then burning 2-3 holes through i only burned 3 small holes on the places where i had to stop and then get teh puddle flowing again. NOt bad IMO, i'll try and get pics up later. Gotta go to work here soon. Just waiting on my Dogs to get "backyard business" and breakfast done so i can load up and head out.
                            Last edited by turboglenn; 09-25-2008, 07:05 AM.
                            Dynasty 200DX
                            Hobart Handler 135
                            Smith MB55A-510 O/A setup
                            Lathe/Mill/Bandsaw
                            Hypertherm Powermax 45
                            Just about every other hand tool you can imagine

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                            • #15
                              Can stainless steal wool to clean the filler rod get rid of the glob?
                              Millermatic 135
                              Dynasty 200DX

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