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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2013


    I'm certainly no expert but somebody told me this when I was in your position so I'll pass it on to you. Aluminum absolutely must be clean to get a proper weld. If it's oxidized it must be cleaned before welding. You can get the right kind of acid from your welding supplier. Make sure that the aluminum alloy your welding on is the same alloy that your welding with. Your supplier should be able to help you with that also. Use a stainless steel wire brush to clean your weld after each and every pass. Make sure it is a stainless steel brush and never use that brush on anything other than aluminum.

    To address the problem of the wire burning back and balling up. I think either your wire speed is too slow or your heat is too high. If that's not the problem then make sure your tip is recessed at least a minimum of ⅛" inside your nozzle and when you pull the trigger make sure that you can hear the gas coming out just before you see the wire coming out. I hope something mentioned here will help. Good Luck!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles


    Quote Originally Posted by fishbum View Post
    Hi guys, I have a millermatic 185
    and a friend gave me a used 30a spool gun!
    I'm not much of a steel welder but been wanting to learn aluminum.
    now the issue when trying to use it I can get a weld that looks ok for the first time
    but every other try starts with a spark and wire balled up in the gun?
    I can't tell that I am doing anything different?
    but it is most of the time. The wire speed is controlled on the machine not the gun
    because of the type machine. Any idea what to look for? Thanks
    As JL- mentioned Aloominum welding is a lot more finicky than steel.

    everything has to be just right and even then you will have some tough starts to get the feel of AL mig welding.

    The Tip to work distance has to be precise, wire speed precise etc etc.

    Clip the wire for every start.
    Ed Conley
    Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
    Miller 125c Plasma 120v
    O/A set
    SO 2020 Bender
    You can call me Bacchus

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