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Help migging alum.


 
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Peter (NY)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I can"t seem to get the welder dialed in and any tips would be appreciated. I used a ss wire brush to clean the area. I am using the recommended settings on the welder for amperage and wirespeed. The flow is set to 30. I am using a push technique with the tip around 3/4" away and a small angle opposite of travel. Using a Hobart with spool gun. I used to get smooth flowing welds that looked good. The wire is a few years old. Could the wire be oxzidized? Not getting the spray transfer hiss, kind of popping sound. I can"t dial in to the problem, technique, gas coverage, settings? Thanks for any input.

 
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Puddles
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'll bet your problem is the old wire. I'm sure you've changed the contact tip? Make sure you have a good ground also.
Here this might help.
http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/articles/index.php?page=articles10.html
 
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Peter (NY)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:14 am    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The tip is in pretty good shape with little usage. I have extra so I will change it. I'm going to pick up a new spool of wire today and take that out of the equasion. Forgot to mention it's 100% argon. The gas is about two years old. Can that go bad?
 
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Puddles
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've never heard of argon going bad. Have heard of bad bottles of argon right from the start. My 250 bottle of argon can easily last me 1 to 2 years. Can't remember it ever happing with Mig aluminum, but it has happened to me a couple times with Tig aluminum. When the argon bottle gets low I'll see a difference in bead quality!
 
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jon f mn
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Looks like you need more amps. Aluminum takes a lot more than the same steel. On my miller welder I weld up to 3/8 steel on low range, but aluminum 1/4 and over has to be a high range setting.
 
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Stick welding
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If your argon is bad the weld will be black and possibly pinholes in the weld. Get some aluminum cleaner (Arcair makes it) and try cleaning the wire. It's not uncommon to clean TIG wire. Being a spool gun, clamping a felt pad soaked with cleaner won't do much harm. On the other hand a 1lb spool of wire isn't expensive.
 
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Welding man
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What type of wire are you using. Looks to me like 5356. If it is throw the crap away and get some 4043.Wire speed and is very critical to getting good welds on aluminum. Forget about what the machine says. Pull the trigger and adjust the speed until it runs like you want it to. Aluminum is no harder to weld than anything else,just takes practice. I burnt 15-1# pound spools of .035 -4043 and a big tank of argon last week on one job.
 
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Peter (NY)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks everyone. I really do appreciate it. Well, it was one of two things. I bought a new roll of 4043, same as I had before. But what I think it was is the old eyes. A .035 contact tip with .030 wire. Whichever, it"s looking a lot better. Thanks again.
 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

For aluminum you use a larger size contact tip because the aluminum expands when it gets hot. It's common to use an .040 or even .045 contact tip with .035 aluminum wire so an .035 for .030 wire would be correct.
 
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Peter (NY)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:56 am    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Must have been the wire then. Thanks
 
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Puddles
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: Help migging alum. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Stick welding generally that's a good rule of thumb. But here is an .035 contact tip for my Lincoln SG spool gun with an .043 drill bit stuck through it.


 
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