Aluminum Mig On Small Unit?

Old 02-05-05, 07:33 AM
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Aluminum Mig On Small Unit?

New to forum and novice welder. Toying with idea of trying mig welding aluminum with my century 125gl for hobby. Is this ridiculous or possible? Worth the expense of argon? I think my unit is maxes out about 125 amp? and has infinite wire speed with four current settings. Thanks
Old 02-09-05, 10:36 PM
The Milkman
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Your machine will serve your needs just fine. Aluminum doesn't require the amperage that mild steel does, and argon is not going to run any more than a CO2/Argon mix depending on if you rent tanks, or you will have to buy one from your supplier. The only trick is going to be getting than Alum. wire to feed. The wire bends so easily that some machines will not feed it with out using a spool gun, or installing a teflon cable liner. Just get the largest diameter wire that your machine will run, and see if it will feed before you worry about the gas just yet.
Old 02-23-05, 06:48 AM
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I've got a Lincoln MIG-PAK 15 (155amp) with the teflon liner. I also bought a replacement feeder wheel that is smooth. The steel one has little teeth in it to grab onto the steel wire. But with aluminum, this would cause indentations in your aluminum wire which would add to the friction inside the line.

As the Milkman said, feeding it will be the hard part. I keep the line as straight as possible when welding aluminum. It puts less resistance on the wire inside. Also, zero out your tention wheel and add tension in increments until it feeds consistently. Too much will cause the wire to buckle right infront of the line entrance. That's very annonying as you have to refeed the whole line.

Other than that, you'll just need to practice welding aluminum. Use the recommended aluminum welding settings (gas, amps & feed) in your manual as a starting point. If you don't have any, research the net. I found lots of generic charts.

Good luck!

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