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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Central Fla.

    Default Spoolmate 100 and 20ga. Al.

    Has anyone welded any 20ga (3003-H14) aluminum with the Spoolmate 100? I have a project to do and am considering using a spoolgun with my MM211 instead of tigging it since there are quite a few long beads needed. Looking to save some time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    southern California


    I think the result is going to depend more what power supply you have that Spoolmate 100 connected to than the gun itself. 20 ga is pretty thin for aluminum with mig and not all machines dial down low enough to weld it without burning through, depending on joint type, fit-up and position.

    I've mig'd aluminum that thin with the 350P and Python in pulse, but don't have any experience mig'ing thin aluminum with the machines the Spoolmate 100 is typically connected to. I've never tried a 211 on aluminum. Be interesting to find out how it does. Let us know!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Lake of the Ozarks MO


    Quote Originally Posted by Old Sporty View Post
    Has anyone welded any 20ga (3003-H14) aluminum with the Spoolmate 100? I have a project to do and am considering using a spoolgun with my MM211 instead of tigging it since there are quite a few long beads needed. Looking to save some time.
    I would say get some scrap and practice. If you are SUPER good then sure.
    I would imagine if appearance is a factor here, you will tig it. I more than likely would, depending on the joint design.
    But with small wire you may get away with it...if so post pics
    Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Salem ,Ohio


    I think i would tig it. You are prob going to burn some holes with the mig...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
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    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Central Fla.


    Well, got the Spoolmate 100 in yesterday and just like a kid at Christmas, I couldn't wait till today to test it. So, yesterday afternoon out to the shop I went. Loaded a spool of Lincoln .030 4043 Al. in the gun (took some manipulating to get it in) then hooked the regulator to my argon tank on my Tig. Installed the spoolmate in the MM211 and put the 120v plug on. Now I'm ready.

    For initial settings, I set the wirespeed at 60 and the voltage at 2. Argon set at 25cfh. Wasn't real good. Ended up with burnback and a trashed tip. Dang, need to pay attention to the contact tip to work distance. Replaced the tip and backed the wirespeed back down to 50. Kept the 3/4" ctwd and burned a couple of beads. Still not just right. Increased the wirespeed to approx. 55 and ran a couple more beads. This I think will work. One note, however, you've got to Move. No dallying around. Bead is almost flat and shows full penetration.

    So it's nice to know that I can cheat the chart and make the 211 and spoolmate do what I need it to do. Next week when I get to a small project I'm working on, I'll try to post a few pics. No time now as my main water main to my house started leaking pretty badly and that takes priority.

    I do intend to play with the settings a bit more. The 2/55 is getting me in the ballpark.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Dalton, GA


    Old Sporty!
    Keep us posted and use some pictures if possible. I have the same setup MM211 and Spoolmate 100, but have not had a chance to use with aluminum. I will learn from your experience.

    I don't think I will be welding 20 gauge, but you never know.
    Thanks for the post.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    West Bloomfield, Michigan


    I've got one on my passport plus and loaded it with .023 4043 (yes, they make it that thin... just a special order item at your LWS) with the voltage at 2.5 and wire speed at 60 to 80 depending if I'm on an outside corner or inside corner. I burn one inch long beads to tack the 20 gauge skin onto 1" by 1" square tubing that has 3/32 or .94" wall.

    The application is just machine guarding so it is not super critical.

    Appearance improves considerably with a quick stainless steel wire brushing just before you do the weld.

    I also keep a pair of small spring loaded electrical side cutters in my other hand to cut the wire right off at the tip immediately after each bead I run. The reason for that is... when I hit the trigger on the next tack, it sets me up with just an instant more of run-in time which gives the argon the chance it needs to cover. I wish they would have set the passport up so that you could partially depress the trigger and just run the argon like on the spoolmate 30A's

    Works o.k. for tacking skins on frames for guarding and such.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Alabama


    I got a M211 with the spoolmate 100 about 2 months ago. Picked it for the portability and voltage versitility over bigger machines. Have done some aluminium welding with it, mostly 1/8" plate and 3/16" extrushion. so far it has welded good welds but have had problems with the gun getting hot and melting the wire as it comes out of the gun. burt up all my tips and had to pick up more this week at the LWS. have a few small projects to do soon and will try some more setttings as I do. Thoughts so far are to increase gas flow to cool the gun, don't belive it is going over duty cycle as this happens after about 2" of welding a bead after gun has had time to cool. Any one else having problems like this? I am more use to using big machines at work, kind of new to these little guys.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Ottawa Canada

    Arrow My 2 cents?

    When doing aluminium this thin use a stainless heat soak backing whenever possible.With thin aluminium mig (<1/8"),it's not a capital crime to use short-circuit instead of spray transfer either
    Millermatic 252
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