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Author Topic: Aluminum Welding With a Small MIG  (Read 1530 times)
Dallas
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« on: September 12, 2006, 05:08:07 AM »

Hey all!
A while back I asked about using a smal MIG welder for Aluminum welding.
The other day I was messing around with my new 115V 130A MIG welder, when a friend of mine came over and asked if I could fix his "across the bed" truck tool box.
I figured I'd give it a try, since I couldn't screw it up too much, (There was a 16"X16" hole in the bottom).

We dug out a piece of 1/8" diamond plate to use for a patch and I got the bottle of argon out along with a roll of .030 Esabe 4043 aluminum wire.
After figuring out how to hook up the regulator to the new welder, I started my experiment.

The first thing we did was clean the nasty old aluminum with vinegar and a stainless steel brush, until it was shiney. Next I looked for a good place to put the ground clamp... I eventually had to hook a 24" wood working clamp to the box and clamp the ground to that.

After a few false starts with some birdnesting on the rollers, I got the wire tension right. (Caution: 4043 wire is really really soft and will birdnest in a heartbeat).
I set the welder to it's next to the hioghest setting (about 105A) and turned the wire speed to No. 8 out of a possible 10.

As I contacted the wire to the work I could see immediatly that the wire was melting a lot faster than any I had ever used before, which meant that I had to move the gun quickly or risk burn back to the tip.

I actually surprised myself! as I tack welded the plate on, the welding went very well.

So, Since I'm not a professional welder, and at the best of times make some REALLY UGLY WELDS, I am pretty proud of my accomplishment.

Here are the specs:
Welder:    Clarke EN130 115V 135A 20% duty cycle MIG at 135 Amps.
Gun:        Tweeco
Tip:          .035 Tweeco
Wire:       Esab .030 4043 aluminum
Gas:        100% Argon

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Barn Owl
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2006, 04:23:06 PM »

Aluminum welding is not easy, nice job.
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Ace
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2006, 06:20:58 PM »

Dallas, when I get to T-Ville I would like it a lot if you would show me how you welded that aluminum with a regular Mig welder. I might be promted to return home and try it with mine!

That is if you don't mind!

The only way Ihavehad any luck at all welding aluminum is by using a mig gun and high frequency!

Ace... leaving on the 4th
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JackConrad
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2006, 04:01:27 AM »

I think I see a seminar here!  How bout it Dallas?  Jack
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Dallas
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2006, 04:29:48 AM »

OK,
As soon as the rain quits here, ( we've gotten more in the last 24 hours than during Ernesto), and the ground dries out so I don't electrocute myself, I'll see if I can reproduce those results.

It could be like the bumble bee... according t science, he cannot fly, but he does. If you tell him he can't fly, will he fall down?

I keep being told that it won't work, but, it did!

If I can reproduce those results, and make some decent beads on a flat piece of aluminum, I'll try showing everyone what I do to achieve it. After that your on your own!

I'm a lousy teacher, so I don't know about a seminar at the Timmonsville Rally, but I'll see what I can do.

Dallas


Ya'll come to the Timmonsville Get Together and watch Me make a Complete Fool Of Myself![/i][/b]

http://www.busconversionstuff.com/eventpage.htm
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2006, 04:33:13 AM »

Dallas,

Are you running the spool of wire in the equipment or do you have a spool gun by the trigger?

Cliff
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Dallas
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2006, 05:58:10 AM »

Dallas,

Are you running the spool of wire in the equipment or do you have a spool gun by the trigger?

Cliff

Geez, Me afford a spool gun??? Cat would kick my behind up between my shoulderblades if I asked for that.

Nope, this is just the wire run on the internal roller.
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2006, 08:52:16 AM »

We have done the same thing with ESAB 250s.  It takes a patient man and a steady hand.  Eventually we bought a spool gun.
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2006, 09:51:16 AM »

Dallas,
 
I don't have one either.† Cry

I am on the lookout for a good used one though.†

There someone out there just wishing they could sell that one in there garage† Wink

Of course, at a considerablel loss  Tongue

I used a buddys on my mig and Wow.

Cliff † †

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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain
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