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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    27

    Default 1/8 side + 1/8 other = 1/4 penetration ???

    I see the machines for alum rated for 1/8.
    If I am welding 1/4 alum bar and do one side 1/8 -
    weld around on the other side for an 1/8 -
    doesn't that equal a one pass 1/4 inch weld on just one side ?
    What is the difference structurally or in practical terms ?

    dumb question - but seriously.
    Thanks, Stu
    Last edited by Stu Miles; 12-18-2012 at 03:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Metro Detroit, MI
    Posts
    182

    Default 1/8 one side + 1/8 other side = 1/4 penetration ?

    Maybe I'm looking at this wrong or over complicating it but I don't quite understand the question are you saying welding two 1/8 pieces together to equal 1/4 inch?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    990

    Default

    What kind of machine and what process? You can kind of get away with it on steel, but aluminum is a bit more unforgiving. Because of how conductive aluminum is, it conducts the heat of your weld away very fast, requiring more input amps to keep the heat high enough to weld.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rezeppa View Post
    Maybe I'm looking at this wrong or over complicating it but I don't quite understand the question are you saying welding two 1/8 pieces together to equal 1/4 inch?
    If machine only does 1/8 inch penetration on aluminum,
    and lets say I am welding 1/4 inch aluminum plate.
    I do one side and flip it over -
    is that doing the same thing as one pass with a machine rated for 1/4 inch alum ?

    Thanks, Stu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    What kind of machine and what process? You can kind of get away with it on steel, but aluminum is a bit more unforgiving. Because of how conductive aluminum is, it conducts the heat of your weld away very fast, requiring more input amps to keep the heat high enough to weld.
    Well I guess that is why I am asking - cart before the horse maybe -
    because I am try to figure out if I can get away with a smaller machine
    to weld 1/4 inch plate from two sides.
    I am trying to figure out what machine to spend $1000. budget on.
    Realizing I'd have to also get spool gun and Argon with other $.

    Thanks, Stu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,847

    Default

    Depending on what you are welding you could always bevel it. So if it's 1/4" thick grind a bevel leaving a 1/8" land or slightly less & weld it up. This should give you plenty of penetration.

    On another note aluminum bridges easily so it is very easy to have a great looking weld with almost no penetration.
    Last edited by MMW; 12-18-2012 at 05:33 PM.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by MMW View Post
    Depending on what you are welding you could always bevel it. So if it's 1/4" thick grind a bevel leaving a 1/8" land or slightly less & weld it up. This should give you plenty of penetration.

    On another note aluminum bridges easily so it is very easy to have a great looking weld with almost no penetration.
    Thanks - That helps - and it helps me understand the purpose a bevel serves.
    Really appreciate the help.
    Stu

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    greenfield new hampshire
    Posts
    876

    Default

    Bevels, or, i call them weld preps are very important. I do very little aluminum so the other guys can fill you in, but with steel, they are generally used on any thing .250 and up. If you are looking at a machine with a rating of 1/8", and thinking mig, a welder that runs on 110 volts is what to expect. Do your self a favor and dont buy some cheap chinese welder, get one made in the usa

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    375

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Because of how conductive aluminum is, it conducts the heat of your weld away very fast, requiring more input amps to keep the heat high enough to weld.
    +1

    Aluminum is almost 5 times more thermally conductive than steel. That means the heat "leaks away" from the puddle into the surrounding metal almost 5 times faster in aluminum than in steel. So it's almost like a race where you're "chasing the heat." To weld aluminum, you need a machine with enough power to dump enough heat into the puddle faster than it can "leak out" into the surrounding metal.

    If your welder has trouble putting out enough heat to "keep up," you can preheat the surrounding aluminum with a torch before welding, and that will reduce the "chilling effect" that it has on the puddle. Just be careful – unlike a similar-sized piece of steel, the entire piece of aluminum will get hot as heck and stay hot longer than you might expect.

    In general, for welding aluminum, you want as much horsepower as you can afford.
    Last edited by Helios; 12-19-2012 at 03:36 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,847

    Default

    What machine are you looking at? If you are looking at a 110 mig for aluminum don't waste your time. If the machine is rated for 1/8" steel it will not do 1/8" aluminum very well. Judging by your $1000 budget you are looking at something bigger?
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    Syncrowave 250
    RCCS-14

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