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  1. #1

    Default MIG Welding Aluminum Without a Spool Gun (Video)

    Goodafternoon, everyone!

    Hope y'all are having a nice weekend. Heres a recent video of mine... It was highly requested, and although I'd never attempted welding aluminum with anything but a TIG machine or a massive 500 amp push-pull gun, I decided to wing it and hope for the best.

    What did I find? Contamination. A LOT of contamination... The wire was clean and the metal was clean, so, best I can figure thats coming from the drive rolls (steel, with grease/crap, and steel on them), and the STEEL liner in the gun.

    But aside from that, it worked... great! I had some problems but it was still far more successful than stick welding aluminum, atleast when I tried that a while back. I loosened the tension (greatly) and only had feeding issues when the wire burned back and I pusled the trigger hoping to pop it loose (DONT do that, :blush: ). I also noticed that this wire has a tendancy to burn back when you stop the weld, so I yank the gun back to increase the Contact-Tip-To-Work-Distance, thus preventing the wire from "sticking".

    It was fun. And although it should be obvious, I'll say it anyway. This isnt ment to be a how-to. I just wondered how this would work, and went for it. It was really fun :cool2:

    Hope you guys like the video!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Salem ,Ohio


    You prob picked up some metal thru the steel liner. Even the spool guns have steel drive rolls and some are knurled. If you used a Teflon liner you would have better luck as its cleaner and makes the wire slide thru easier. I ran a Miller Delta Weld 452 for years with alum wire and the regular mig gun at work, but i used 1/16" wire. I did a similar match up a few years back and was almost ready to sell my spoolgun and i got a few more birds nests so i quit. The weld looked the same on both mig gun and spool gun but i couldn't deal with the bird nesting...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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Williams Lake, British Columbia


    Awesome job Chuck, I like your enthusiastic personality, Keep up the good work. It surely helps a lot of people get in to this awesome trade.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Good try but without a clean liner and drive roll its pretty tuff. I've been trying to weld aluminum with a 100 spool gun at work on mm 140 for about a yr I can do a little with it its got to be on 10 and 10 . It has given me a lot of practice with 4043 it will even bird nest finally figured out you have to cut the end of your wire ever time you start a weld or it doesn't strike a arc quick enough to burn the wire so it just stops the wire for a second and it crimps it enough that it starts that bird nest. I hate picking those bird nest out of that spool gun.

  5. #5
    turbo38t Guest


    Is that pure argon? Teflon liner and u groove rolls will help tons. I don't think the contamination is from the liner or wheels though.....I'd be more suspect of gas coverage. I used an MM250 in short circuit a couple years back with the standard V drive rolls and liner with success. The biggest concern was getting the proper tension and using a short 6' gun and keeping it straight. I was however able to get the little curlie cues...Dave

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