Aluminum Welding

ChuckZZ

Member
I am about to embark on a project that will require a few days of welding. I would prefer to use aluminum rather then steel but I have never tried welding aluminum. I am pretty good at welding steel. Is welding aluminum pretty easy to pick up or should I stick to steel? I will be using a Hobart 140 Mig.
 

Hitman

Member
Unless you have a push pull gun and aluminum wire I would stick to steel aluminum is a touchy material when it comes to welding it
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
expect to ball up the wire every 3-4 inches.
learning it is one thing .
the equipment is another.
a spool gun would be a tremendous help .
I tried with my miller 140; they told me it would do it at the weld supply when I bought it .
when I went to get the wire for the machine they had a different tune.
you might have better luck . A few days I wouldn't do it.
at least you need argon and wire and about 2 packages of tips. add more tips.
 
Some years back I needed aluminum welded I thought NO problem I know plenty of good welders, went to like 10 different places they all told me they could not do it and how hard it was to weld, the only guy they knew that they would say could weld it was 45 min away that's where I ended up.
 

Grilleguy

Premium User
You will have to flip the positive and negative leads inside the lift up cover where you wire spool is at. As Flattop said, a spool gun is best because it pulls the wire thru the whip, but you can buy a nylon liner to replace the wound steel liner and it won't bunch up as bad ( it will still happen though). If you can use .035 wire, rather than .030, you'll be better off. Just remember to change the tip to match your wire size. If you e been welding steel with it, you probably have a .023 tip in it now. Try to get the 5356 alloy, 4043 is too soft to push thru the whip.
 

waj-28

Member
I have to agree with ^^^bandmm you can get on his email and you will get different weld ideas,you can also take a crash course at Eastwood google that if you have one close I think it’s 75.00 bucks but it’s well worth it if you have know knowledge about a tig machine
 

Bandmn

Member
I watch him, and weld.com both on youtube.... Mr.tig is amazing also as well as bob moffatt on weld.com but hes more of a mig/arc specialist but does some tig.
 

krtrcn

Member
I looked you machine up. Its not designed to weld aluminium only steel. Sorry, most all 110 volt welders are for carbon material only.
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
https://www.hobartwelders.com/equipment/welders/mig-gmaw/handler-140-mi
The manufacturer says it will , the problem is its advertising.
It will do it , the main problems are exactly what , how much and for how long.
Biggest thing is these machines do not have the power to burn the wire and heat the material up adequately.
The OP wanted to do a few days of welding .
I have patched a canoe and fixed my boat seat with my Miller. That's about all there good for . Even welding steel you aren't going to be building a car hauler . Lawn cart sure , fix a muffler pipe yes ; they just are not powerful enough for much else .
 
A 180 amp Miller Tig welder will serve your purposes perfectly. Foot control and cooler are necessary to have a satisfactory outcome. Go less.....get less. How much "lesser" are you willing to settle for?
 
The spool gun for these hobart machines is like $200. I'd highly suggest it if you're doing a couple days of welding. I have one and it's nice to have around. You can order them from pretty much anywhere or may even find one on the shelf at your local tractor supply. You must use 100% argon shielding gas. I'd also recommend thinking of using a little preheat if welding at that machines max rated capacity of 1/8". With 350degree preheat you may get it to weld some 3/16" if its only a little bit.
 
Also if you don't have an argon cylinder, go to your lws and rent one to get you by. You can always buy it outright later if you want to.
 

krtrcn

Member
The big draw back on these 110 volt welders is the duty cycle. This has alot lot to do with the amount of penetration you can get. You can reverse the leads get a spool gun and a bottle of argon. The most important thing in welding aluminium is having it clean. The cleaner the better.
 
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