I am curious about welding aluminum

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.lawnsite.com/buttons/jump.php?i' started by Cheryl, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. Cheryl

    Cheryl LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 95

    Guys,

    I don't want to hear about how hard it is, and I don't want to hear about a great welding book I should buy. I want to know if it is possible for me to do it, and how much I would need to get started. I have some experience welding with a MIG welder.

    From the search that I did here, I found that a TIG welder is better for aluminum, but a MIG welder can be used as well. Not wanting to spend the big bucks on a TIG welder, can someone tell me what size MIG I can use to weld what size aluminum plate?
     
  2. vipermanz

    vipermanz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,773

    Aluminum is a difficult material to weld with, but with a lot of practice you can have it mastered with a 115v machine, you will have to use a machine with a shielding gas system and possibly have to change the drive rollers and wire liner heading towards the gun, As far a Tig goes, Yes it is somewhat easier but only because you can drop the amperage super low, another factor is also you may not need a filler metal with Tig.


    Any questions Just Ask!!!!:)
     
  3. Cheryl

    Cheryl LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 95

    Why do the driver rollers need to be changed, and to what? What do I ask for at the store? Also, the same for the wire liner. Why am I changing it and to what? Again, what do I ask for at the store?

    Should I choose a machine that will allow these changes, or can I make these changes to any machine. What amperage machine should I buy?
     
  4. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    I haven’t heard any thing about the drive rollers but for the liner just get a nylon liner for your Mig. If you don’t have one as of yet and you want a 115-volt model buy a good one! Preferably from a welding supply that will take care of you down the rode. The one I use has copper wound coils. A welding engineer works at the shop I use. And has been able to answer all my questions. The liners for my Mig are about $15-$20 you will probably have to use argon as your shield gas. A decent welder would start at around $400.00 and the bottle from $70-$270.00 not counting the wire. I did see a guy welding aluminum with a propane torch at a farm show but I didn’t get the name of the rod he was using. And it was cheap!
    I hope this helped.
    Jeff
     
  5. vipermanz

    vipermanz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,773

    sometimes a different sized roller is needed, on most all brands today that shouldn't be required, i would recommend getting a teflon liner to help with the aluminum wire, it's such a soft wire it needs as little resistance as possible, otherwise it can "birdnest", that's when it sticks to the tip and gets wrapped around the rollers quite well , forming a birdsnest resembling clog of wire,

    Zip, i think he was probably brazing that aluminum, there is a rod called Alumaloy http://www.alumaloy.net/ That is a low temp brazing type rod:)
     

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