Hello ladies and gentleman - I first need to get off my chest that I am not an experienced welder by any means. Welding classes are impossible to get around here for months, so I am trying to wing it until I get enrolled in some kind of school.

I am currently trying to weld 1/8 thick aluminum square tubing. My puddles are improving but the arc is randomly shutting off for about 1 - 2 seconds, then it will come back on for a few seconds and then shut off again. When it shuts off, the area around the puddle instantly turns black. I am using the pedal for control.

This is really frustrating to deal with and I don't have the experience to know if it is something that I am doing. I do know that I prep the aluminum well, use clean filler and am not touching the electrode to anything. (Although I do put a ball on the tip cause someone told me it would be a good idea.) I would forever appreciate any advice that someone could offer me.

Thanks, Paul