Home welding ,been thinking trying aluminum welding on my Hobart mig.


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Old 02-01-14, 04:58 AM
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Home welding ,been thinking trying aluminum welding on my Hobart mig.

I have and a Hobart Handler 135 for years. I use C25 argon gas currently and I really like the machine for home stuff. Not big enough for all projects but I have a stick welders for that.

I rarely have a need for welding aluminum but have had some needs over the years. I have always figured out a way to skate by. However I now have additional tank I could
swap out for 100 percent argon,pickup a roll of 5356 .030 Aluminum wire .. seems like I would be good to go..

Am I missing anything other then some practice.

One welding shop tech a few years back told me to keep the wire straight coming from the machine to the nozzle and I believe he said something about you change the
path of the nozzle to keep the gas over the weld better.

Larry
S. Florida
 
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Old 02-15-14, 03:06 PM
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If have access to the argon, give it a shot! You will need to keep the gun as straight as possible and aluminum is very soft and does not like being pushed through a 10' gun. I would also recommend using a contact tip size one size larger than the wire diameter so use a .035 with the .030 wire.

A few things to keep in mind
aluminum is a much faster process so increase your stick out to about 1/2" - 3/4" so the wire does not burn back to the tip
You are very limited on thickness of aluminum that you can weld with that machine. You can probably only successfully weld 18 gauge to 14 gauge with that machine (135)

Be prepared to birdnest the wire in the drive rolls and purchase a spare mig gun liner. I would blow out your existing liner with compressed air, but there is a good chance that the aluminum will bind in the liner (eventually) and you will have to replace it so you might as well keep one on hand now.

You will probably find it a little frustrating, but give it a shot and try it! What do you have to lose?

Upgrading your machine with a spoolgun compatible (I don't believe you can use a spoolgun directly on that power source. Not until the 140's came out were the 100 spoolguns available) would be the best bet. I am a Miller man and would not suggest anything smaller than a MM211 if you are planning to do any aluminum. The 140 and 180 just don't give you enough range in material thicknesses.

Hope that helps! Good luck! Have fun!
 
 

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