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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    5

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,885

    Cool

    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
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Clark County, NV
    Posts
    2,696

    Default

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    1,788

    Default

    I threw all my aluminum SMAW rods in the garbage and I hope someone I don't like finds them.
    Regards, George

    Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
    Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
    Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

    Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
    Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    5

    Default

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ocean City, Maryland
    Posts
    951

    Default

    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.
    Scott
    HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

  7. #7
    txhayman Guest

    Default 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?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Clark County, NV
    Posts
    2,696

    Default

    Quote 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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ocean City, Maryland
    Posts
    951

    Default

    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
    Scott
    HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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