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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default passportplus aluminum bar

    Hi
    Passport Plus 1/4 inch aluminum bar.
    New to welding, with specific needs.
    I want to weld 1/4 inch bar armatures to put canvas on.
    So there is not much stress or weight - hopefully.

    As to weight, would like to keep it down and would like to weld 3/16, 1/4 inch
    aluminum bar round/square. Armatures may have 20 to 30 pieces of bar
    between 1 and 3 foot long.

    Working in tight quarters in garage, so am liking the low splatter
    plus the size and portability of the passport plus.

    Would the passport do the job tack welding ends of 3/16, 1/4 inch aluminum bar.
    I realize I'll need the spool gun - with external tank of argon.

    I've attached a photo of what I'd like to do with aluminum bar using
    a passport plus.

    Any advice appreciated,
    Thanks, Stu
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Stu Miles; 12-11-2012 at 12:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Salem, NJ
    Posts
    271

    Default

    I have the spool gun for the PP, but I don't think you will like the end results. The machine says it can do 1/4" alum, but with aluminum welding, your starts and stops are a lot weaker then the middle of the weld. So welding small pieces, you won't get good penetration and the strength of the joints won't be there. I am comfortable with welding 1/8" panels together, but I don't have much intentions beyond that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Thank you for your reply and advice.
    So you do not think I'd have much luck with a tack weld
    of 1/4 inch aluminum bar at the joint of a T - that is not weight bearing.
    What happens with a cold weld ? Will it just break off ?
    Could I leave the wire feeding at the joint till hot ? -
    will melting then occur if I did that ?
    I'm not having much luck in the way of tutorials even on the Miller website
    showing how to weld smaller bar together - most of the stuff deals with
    plate.

    Well dumb questions I realize - trying to save time $, on supplies and mistakes.

    Thanks, Stu
    Last edited by Stu Miles; 12-12-2012 at 12:11 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    388

    Default

    Stu,
    I'm probably not the right person to advise you. I'm still working on getting my mig for aluminum setup but a couple of questions come to mind. Do you already own the passport plus? I see in the specs that it is max rated at 1/4 aluminum with the 4043 series wire. Wouldn't the 211 serve the purpose better at a little over 1/2 the price? Or maybe the diversion 180 for a little more? I know it says 3/16 max but I suspect a 1/4 rod to 1/4 rod should be doable. There are lots of very experienced people on here maybe a different question will get more results. Good luck.
    Meltedmetal

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Do not own a welder yet

    Hi
    Thanks for reply.
    I do not have a welder yet.
    A mig welder is what I am looking to buy, that would enable me to hold
    one bar and tack to another bar. I'm trying to avoid clamping and my welds do not have to be pretty.
    Trying to do light weight 1/4 inch aluminum bar for armature - but maybe just too
    difficult with mig/passport/110 outlet.
    Guess I'll start of with heavier steel armatures and practice with aluminum when I get a welder.

    Appreciate the help,
    Stu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7,658

    Default

    Well, cheapest and simplest alternative would be to get a basic AC stick welder, and with Aluminum rods mererly stick weld the sections together. You don't need $$ gas, just need a helmet, or handheld welding shield and weld away.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,844

    Default

    Thin walled steel tubing would probably provide the same weight/strength and the Passport would work for that on 120v no problem.
    Ed Conley
    http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
    MM252
    MM211
    Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
    TA185
    Miller 125c Plasma 120v
    O/A set
    SO 2020 Bender
    You can call me Bacchus

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default 1/4 inch aluminum bar

    Thanks guys
    The advice helps.
    The smaller aluminum bar I am wanting to bend - don't think I could get
    the curves for armatures I'd want with tube ?
    The reason for wanting a nice arc on the mig rather than stick is because
    I am stuck in tight quarters in the garage - some ventilation but not as much as I'd like to be using stick - but had not realized I could do aluminum with with stick - still trying to figure it all out - but at this point just need to get welder and start making mistakes and learning with it.

    Thanks for help, Stu

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Thanks Brocoli

    I will try the thin walled steel tubing -
    thanks, Stu

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Long Island NY
    Posts
    15

    Default

    If you decide to go with the passport plus, you can just pre-heat the ends of the square bar prior to welding to get better penetration on a short tack. I use the same machine to regularly repair aluminum beverage trailers for Anheuser-Busch, and have not had any problems.

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