Welding Aluminum Change over


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Old 11-06-22, 08:41 PM
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Welding Aluminum Change over

I have an older Century 200 Wire Feed Mig Welder. I use it all the time for welding steel, but I had an aluminum flagpole snap at a joint that I have to repair. I know I have to switch shielding gas to Straight argon and to aluminum wire, but do I absolutely have to switch the Tweeco hose to a teflon lined one for a quick repair? The liner I have in it now was replaced a few years ago and is not binding now using steel wire.
 
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Old 11-06-22, 11:20 PM
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No, the hose/liner does not need to change.
 
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Old 11-07-22, 06:44 AM
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Aluminum MIG wire is softer than steel, tho, and it tends to birdnest as the machine tries to push wire through the liner to the gun. Your setup can work for you if you keep the cable as straight as possible, with as few bends as possible. Reduce likelihood of birdnesting by cleaning out the liner, too, esp. if you've never cleaned it before. Hope this works out for you!
 
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Old 11-07-22, 06:50 AM
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I have TIG but never MIG welded aluminum, and i'm wondering if you'll need to get a grade of MIG wire to match the aluminum of the flag pole.
 
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Old 11-07-22, 09:40 AM
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Thank you for your replies! I do not care to weld it back together out in my front lawn, so I have to carefully get the base piece of the pole out of the holder it sits in. (Kind of stuck right now) I get it about the softer aluminum wire, and I may have a guy who can TIG it for me as well. What gets bad is that most shop basic charges are more than the cost of a whole new Pole, flag and everything. If I am careful and a bit lucky I might get away with it with what I have. I think I do have a teflon liner around here somewhere but as i remember it was a pain to change
 
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Old 11-07-22, 09:44 AM
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Just be aware, aluminum welding is really different than welding steel.

I've done Mig/Tig for years on steel and do not look forward to the day I ever have to attempt aluminum welding.

I watch the guys here in the shop, it's much more art than science!
 
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Old 11-07-22, 03:59 PM
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I have always thought that welding anything was an art lol. I find that a really good spot putty hides a multitude of sins due to my lack of expertise. Fortunately no ones life is going to depend on this flagpole's repair.
 
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Old 11-07-22, 04:04 PM
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I have always thought that welding anything was an art
It's the visual of molten steel being red and molten aluminum being, well silver,that makes it a bit less science and more art!

It's just not as intuitive!
 
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Old 11-07-22, 06:55 PM
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When welding with aluminum wire on a MIG machine people normally use a spool gun to avoid any contamination of the wire.
 
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Old 11-08-22, 11:29 AM
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Got a recommendation for a spool gun? Assuming it pulls power and shielding gas from the same source a tweeco does? That wouldn't be as bad to change over as the teflon liner maybe?
 
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Old 11-08-22, 11:55 AM
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would probably check with the welder manufacturer see if there is one compatible with your welder but its probably way more expensive than just buying another pole, believe the main reason spool guns are used is to fix feeding issues with the aluminum wire by putting the spool on the gun have way less problems feeding the short distance.
 
 

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