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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    72

    Default

    is that because the aluminum is old and not fitted well maybe?

    because all the aluminum boat builders use mig machines to build boats.

    I know its clean new aluminum that is jigged in place...maybe thats why it can work so good.

    I can tig , i do it at work.....75% my aluminum tig welding works out fine...but i have had issues that I had hard times getting over.

    I tigged some aluminum boxes onto the back of my aluminum boaty 3 years ago at work... BUT.... I could NOT tig upside down PERIOD!!!

    i tacked the top and the sides fine...even with a huge gap to fill/.....

    but no way no how was i tigging the bottom of the boxes to the boat, upside down...


    plus the akward postions you have to get in and be able to keep the torch at the right distance and speed AND keep the filler od where it needs to be AND not contaminate the tungsten!!


    sooooo i was REALLY hoping MIG would be my savior...

    BUT, Id rather hear the bad news now.,..rathg
    er than dump $2000 on a mig set up that makes life miserable for me.



    whats the trick you need to learn with the mig?

    how to control the spool gun?

    how to set up the power settings?

    something else?

    thanks

    bob

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,558

    Default

    So are you thinking that you are gonna do a better job upside down on thin aluminum with a mig gun?
    Seriously, if you can make a decent mig weld and cannot tig well enuff to get by then that would be your only way to go I guess.
    But if you were gonna weld on other peoples boats for money, I would have to say that you need to get better with tig. In the thickness range you are talking about, it is absolutely the only game in town.
    With tig you can vary your amps and literally watch the weld going in. With the mig it happens very fast, and you only have a moment to know if it is going in correctly. Also, you must realize in production, you have the time to get all the settings exactly on the money. They make the same welds everyday. I have been there. Not the case on your boat.
    Also, are you saying that you are gonna drop coin for nothing other than these few mods on your own boat? We all know better than that!!

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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Ill never work on another person boat...at least for money anyway.
    I have never used MIG yet....but since so many people do use them on boats, i thought it might be an avebnue to pursue.

    I have no idea why the tig wouldnt work upside down...and I dont know that mig will either..

    thats why i am here asking.

    and it would be for my own personal needs. Ill always have an aluminum boat...and when ever I get a new boat, ill want to change things around to my liking then as well.

    right now i am riveting and screwing parts together..the rivets pop now and then and the screws get loose..

    how about the XR feed system and gun? will it plug into most miller Mig units?

    as for the process...i guess i should rent a mig set up and see how it goes before I buy.

    I keep shying away from TIG, because it is so slow, and you need the filler rods in the other hand.....Tig seems fine for welding on a bench....but it SEEMS Mig would be easier on odd shaped things like a boat.

    thanks

    bob

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    561

    Default

    as for the process...i guess i should rent a mig set up and see how it goes before I buy.



    Where do you rent mig setups? I would love to rent an aluminum setup for occasional repairs.
    Does this rental place rent the Dynasty 350/700?
    Kevin

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    St. Paul Park MN
    Posts
    133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dvice View Post
    Ill never work on another person boat...at least for money anyway.
    I have never used MIG yet....but since so many people do use them on boats, i thought it might be an avebnue to pursue.

    I have no idea why the tig wouldnt work upside down...and I dont know that mig will either..

    thats why i am here asking.

    and it would be for my own personal needs. Ill always have an aluminum boat...and when ever I get a new boat, ill want to change things around to my liking then as well.

    right now i am riveting and screwing parts together..the rivets pop now and then and the screws get loose..

    how about the XR feed system and gun? will it plug into most miller Mig units?

    as for the process...i guess i should rent a mig set up and see how it goes before I buy.

    I keep shying away from TIG, because it is so slow, and you need the filler rods in the other hand.....Tig seems fine for welding on a bench....but it SEEMS Mig would be easier on odd shaped things like a boat.

    thanks

    bob
    After you blow a hole in the bottom with the mig you will understand better why all the people that know are trying to steer you to TIG.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lars66 View Post
    After you blow a hole in the bottom with the mig you will understand better why all the people that know are trying to steer you to TIG.
    why cant all you experienced guys tell us less informed guys why i would blow a hole in the bottom instead of just belittle us?


    so now after a few experienced guys have told me I cant do it with mig, I am not experienced enough, it is stupid...

    i still DONT

    1) know why it isnt as controlable as tig welding
    2) if the equipment io sked about is compatible with other miller mig welder?


    I also saw an ad for a WC-115A control box and a 30A spoolgun

    I wonder what miller power source would work with that steup?

    obviously there is a learning curve with everything...maybe a MIG is a bad choice for everyone, maybe it is only a bad choice for a newbie..

    i cant tell....because no one will say WHY..other than a newbie cant do that.

    this isnt like asking if i can row my boat across the atlantic ocean!!

    frustrated

    because i can call the local Miller dealer and ask what used equipment will work for me....he wont tell me, he wants to sell me new stuff

    and I get mostly negative remarks...with no sunstantial information...


    bob

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    561

    Default

    Hi bob
    Check this link http://www.millerwelds.com/products/wire_feeders/spoolgun-chart.html
    Hope this helps. Where in NY are you? I would like to know where this rental place is that has migs for rent, I'm in north Jersey not far from Orange county.
    Kevin

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by go2building View Post
    Hi bob
    Check this link http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...gun-chart.html
    Hope this helps. Where in NY are you? I would like to know where this rental place is that has migs for rent, I'm in north Jersey not far from Orange county.
    Kevin
    the local Miller shop in Bethel Ct said they would rent me welders...by the week or by the month.

    it wasnt cheap.....in my way of thinking, id rather spend $1200 on something, and if it didnt work out, Id sell it for $1200 or maybe $1000. rather than rent a wlder for $700 for a week.

    the $700 is gone, and I have nothing....but a little more information.

    so i didnt rent.

    if i was going to spend $4000 on a new set up..then renting is a good way to go...

    because i wouldnt be able to sell the new set up for what i paid for it, if i found out the process wouldnt work for me.

    plus the local tool rental house has welders they rent...they arent the newest fancy stuff...but they rent trailblazers and large tig and mig welders from miller.

    I saw that page but it is only for SPOOL guns.

    the WC-115A was not listed.....and nether was the XR gun....

    so i guess i need another chart to see what power sources would work those stand alone feeder systems.

    bob

    bob

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    Maybe the experienced posters are trying to get you to do a little homework on your own, rather than spoon feeding you information which you probably won't believe anyway.

    If a man who's hand is badly scarred from a burn, tells you not to stick your hand in a fire because it's hot and you'll get burned, do you ask him how hot the fire is?

    Mig welding thin gauge aluminum (as found on the boats you've referenced) is not a job for the inexperienced welder. With mig, once you pull the trigger, you're welding. Only control you really have is travel speed. You don't turn the wire feed speed down while you're welding. With the smaller migs and aluminum, there's a really fine line between cold start and burning thru. Overhead mig welds with aluminum are a whole nuther story. Here, you'd be best served with pulsed mig, but that's not going to happen without a major equipment outlay.

    Aluminum, when exposed to the elements, starts to form an oxide layer (it's way of protecting itself). The more "weathered" the aluminum, the more difficult the challenge. This is where tig, with the ability to adjust the heat, comes in.

    Both processes (mig and tig) require an experienced hand. Tig gives you the chance to see what's going on and adjust to the circumstances. Mig doesn't.

    Some inexperienced mig welders will lay down an aluminum bead and think they're set. Only to find out the first time the boat is subjected to a little stress/flexing that the bead just pops off because they had no penetration.

    The cost of setting up to weld aluminum is inversely related to the thickness of the material we're talking about. In other words, the thinner the material, the more expensive the machine will be. Experience follows the same logic.

    The XR push/pull system you're referring to is best served with a dedicated power supply such as an XMT, or a high end pulsed mig (Millermatic) such as a MM350P. For a lot less than either of these setups, you could pick up a used Syncrowave 200 and start spending the time developing your tig proficiency.

    It all comes down to heat control. With mig you're very limited. With tig you're limited by the welder's skill level.

    The thickness of the material has a lot to do with why many of the aluminum boat manufacturers still rely on rivet construction. Even where the boat is welded, they have the time/resources to develop a set procedure for each weld needed. Plus, you'll find that they're not using low/mid range mig welders with a little spool gun.

    If you were closer, I'd have you come by the shop and try your hand on thin aluminum with mig/pulsed mig. Sounds like that's about the only thing you would believe. You may try running an ad on Craigslist to see if there are any welders in your area who can "show you" what problems you'll face with mig.

    Using a squirt gun (mig) looks easy. Getting satisfactory results is not.
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  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,145

    Default

    Sundown
    Very well put..... and diplomaticly so if I might add.....

    Maybe the OP could take a welding class at a local CC and gain some more familiarity with the equipment and process..... as well as the possibility of bringing in and repairing his aluminum boats with the oversight of an experienced instructor??
    all without having to make the large investment of an equipment purchase....

    just a thought.....
    .

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