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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    New Orleans/Northern California
    Posts
    61

    Default Trouble with Millermatic 211 and Spoolmate 100 on 1/8" alum (pics)

    Hi everyone. I have been lurking around her for a while, but this is my first post. I wanted to start off by sharing pics of a few projects since I picked up the new 211 recently, but I'll have to do that later.

    Tonight, I unpacked the Spoolmate 100 for the first time and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately it was not the same success story that I've had so far with mild steel.

    Setup:
    -Millermatic 211 with Spoolmate 100
    -McKay ER4043 0.030" wire
    -100% argon set at 25 to 30 cfm
    -DCEP
    -Set at recommended 5/70 (Voltage/Wire speed)
    -1/8" x 1" alum flat strap (unknown allow- scrap)
    -Prepped with Aluminum oxide 200 grit flap disk

    After purging the gun and checking the wire feed tension, I tried my first pass. I used a 10-15 degree angle and about a 1/2" to 3/4" stickout. Accustomed to steel, I moved too darn slow and melted the crap out of the workpiece. I noticed a lot of heavy black smudging so I thought the line might not be purged all they way. After a couple more passes, I wound up with what looks like this (I am too embarrassed to show you the others!):

    Please tell me what I am doing wrong. This looks like hot garbage. I'm not sure why I'm getting all the black discoloration and severe melting. Am I still moving too slow? I admit that I should have practiced more and played with the settings, but I have a limited amount of material to work with until later this week and want to make the most of it.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    Black soot is normal.

    Your specimen is way too small. It is overheating. Try something bigger, like a real test plate. My test plates are 6" x 12" for example.

    Actually I am impressed by what you did. Looks like the machine is working great.
    Nothing welded, Nothing gained

    Miller Dynasty700DX
    3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
    Miller Dynasty200DX
    ThermalArc 400 GTSW
    MillerMatic350P
    MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
    MKCobraMig260
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    Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
    Hypertherm 1250
    Hypertherm 800
    PlasmaCam CNC cutter
    Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
    SiberHegner CNC Mill
    2 ea. Bridgeport
    LeBlond 15" Lathe
    Haberle 18" Cold Saw
    Doringer 14" Cold Saw
    6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,900

    Cool

    Click your heat down to 3 instead of 5. It looks way too hot...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Central Fla.
    Posts
    311

    Default

    I've got the same setup as you, and had some difficulties on my first attempt at aluminum and the Spoolmate 100. After playing with it and adjusting my gas flow, stickout, wirespeed, and my own speed, it all came together.

    Some comments about your results :

    I don't recommend using an aluminum oxide flap disk to clean the aluminum. Use a stainless steel brush (strictly reserved for aluminum) and the wipe with acetone. You're trying to get rid of the oxide on the project rather than add more and grind it in.

    Play with your gas flow. Could be too high for where you're trying to weld and pulling in atmospheric contamination. This may be the case given the amount of soot on your sample.

    Play with the wirespeed and voltage settings. You are running either too hot, or too slow from the looks of your samples. The charts are simply a place to get started. The beauty of the 211 is that you can make fine adjustments when needed.

    Keep adjusting your gun movement speed and practice a lot until you get the feel for it. Also, I've found that a 3/4" stickout with this setup is almost mandatory. Too close and you'll just burn tips up and get wire sticking.

    Keep at it and I think you'll find all the sweet spots. Good luck. When you get it you'll be very happy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    southern California
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    I agree, it's too hot, especially for the small piece of material you're practicing on. Turn it down and you will get it going without melting through.
    Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
    Millermatic175
    MillermaticPassport/Q300
    HTP MIG200
    PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
    ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
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    -F350 CrewCab 4x4
    -LoadNGo utility bed
    -Bobcat 250NT
    -PassportPlus/Q300
    -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
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    -Smith oxy/propane
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ND
    Posts
    24

    Default

    I have the same setup. I agree too much heat, maybe turn your argon down closer to 20.

    Maybe try to weave a little, not a 7018 type weave but some movement helps build a bigger, cleaner, more uniform puddle with the spoolmate.

    Good Luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
    Posts
    494

    Default Aluminium oxyde anything???

    Quote Originally Posted by Lindley View Post
    Hi everyone. I have been lurking around her for a while, but this is my first post. I wanted to start off by sharing pics of a few projects since I picked up the new 211 recently, but I'll have to do that later.

    Tonight, I unpacked the Spoolmate 100 for the first time and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately it was not the same success story that I've had so far with mild steel.

    Setup:
    -Millermatic 211 with Spoolmate 100
    -McKay ER4043 0.030" wire
    -100% argon set at 25 to 30 cfm
    -DCEP
    -Set at recommended 5/70 (Voltage/Wire speed)
    -1/8" x 1" alum flat strap (unknown allow- scrap)
    -Prepped with Aluminum oxide 200 grit flap disk

    After purging the gun and checking the wire feed tension, I tried my first pass. I used a 10-15 degree angle and about a 1/2" to 3/4" stickout. Accustomed to steel, I moved too darn slow and melted the crap out of the workpiece. I noticed a lot of heavy black smudging so I thought the line might not be purged all they way. After a couple more passes, I wound up with what looks like this (I am too embarrassed to show you the others!):

    Please tell me what I am doing wrong. This looks like hot garbage. I'm not sure why I'm getting all the black discoloration and severe melting. Am I still moving too slow? I admit that I should have practiced more and played with the settings, but I have a limited amount of material to work with until later this week and want to make the most of it.

    Thanks!

    Much of your blackness problem and bad starting can come from the use of aluminium oxyde based abrasives.Oxydation is one of the BAD things you want to eliminate so Aluminium oxyde is a no no!!!! Or at least run a clean dedicated STAINLESS wire brush to remove the oxydation layer AND the embeded residue from the alumionium oxyde based sans paper of the floppy disk you've just used.And dont be afraid to adjust your settings from the factory baseline settings as needed according to,as mentionned,the size of your work pieces.

    Frank
    Millermatic 252
    Millermatic 180
    Dynasty 200DX
    Hobart spoolmate 3035
    Digital Elite

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    New Orleans/Northern California
    Posts
    61

    Default Round #2

    It's me again. It took me some time for find a larger piece of scrap, but unfortunately it really isn't any thicker. In fact, it's a little less than 1/8" of an inch thick, but it's a about 12X36 inches of extruded scrap that I think absorbs the heat a little better.

    Anyway, here are my first attempts with the Spoolmate and 0.030" wire. (Identical setup as before). My welding supply store was out of stainless brushes so AGAIN I had to use the flap disk. However, I did blow off the surface with brake parts cleaner. If I'm learning anything from all this it is the fact that surface preparation is PARAMOUNT to anything else. **** this aluminum stuff is picky! I admire you folks that can do it and do it well. It's a steep learning curve.

    Here are a few passes and a couple of attempts at lap welds. My favorite bead is in the last two images and it was done down the center of the two lap welds over the two pieces of ~1/8" material. This gives me hope that I could actually do some nice work with 3/16" and up material. I am hopeful to get my hands on some before I start any real projects.

    As a side note, I am still getting quite a bit of black soot. However, the non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner blows it off really well. In fact, the sooner it is applied to the hot metal, the better it works! (Be careful not to use any flammable type of solvents).

    I'm open to any feedback... good, bad, and in between.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    South Alabama
    Posts
    257

    Default

    Looks like it is still dirty or the wind is blowing the gas away and it isn't shielded fully. Here are some welds I made today with a MM211 and SM100 on 1/4" plate. On the end was a corner joint I cut the lower part off of, followed by a butt joint and a lap joint. These are just as the were when I finished, no cleaning or other attempts to improve appearance.IMG_0331c.jpg
    "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    Any chance you are using the wrong gas?
    Nothing welded, Nothing gained

    Miller Dynasty700DX
    3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
    Miller Dynasty200DX
    ThermalArc 400 GTSW
    MillerMatic350P
    MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
    MKCobraMig260
    Lincoln SP-170T
    Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
    Hypertherm 1250
    Hypertherm 800
    PlasmaCam CNC cutter
    Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
    SiberHegner CNC Mill
    2 ea. Bridgeport
    LeBlond 15" Lathe
    Haberle 18" Cold Saw
    Doringer 14" Cold Saw
    6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite

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