View Full Version : Want to try ALum.. welding
05-17-2008, 07:39 PM
Reserched the old threads...looks like I'll need a spool gun or at least a liner and some argon.I recently bought a Lincoln 180 and so far have only ran a few fluxcore beads.Heck of alot better welder then the centry 70 it replaced.
I'm more of a do-it-your self type so this is more hobby then anything,allthough I might make a few bucks If I get the hang of it.
Don't suppose anybody has a old spool gun laying around?
05-17-2008, 10:15 PM
Here's some "food-for-thought" regarding a solution to being able to weld both steel & AL and keep your costs to a minimum. Since you will never get good AL welds trying to run AL thru a liner that has already run steel wire, maybe consider simply purchasing another MIG gun complete assembly and just use one for steel & the other for AL. A used or new MIG assembly is much less than a spoolgun and it will eliminate the aggravation of having to change liners each time. I did that quite a few years ago until I finally got a couple used MIG welders I use strictly for AL. If you get a used one, be sure to clean it thoroughly with acetone & compressed air to remove any residue inside the liner. Hope that helps your considerations a bit.... Denny
05-18-2008, 12:57 AM
Advice like that is what I'm looking for thanks.
Just came from ebay and bid on this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200224234801&_trksid=p3907.m32&_trkparms=tab%3DBidding
Alum on your 180 will need to be run close to max power and max wire speed in order to get it to work right. Thats about the settings that work on my MM185 machine with the spool gun.
I've never had any luck pushing alum wire thru the std gun on a small mig. Hope it works for you.
05-20-2008, 03:32 PM
Thanks for the info...I jumped the gun bidding on that and have a feeling I'll be buying a spool gun in the end.I see allready the elec. hook up is different.Well life's lesson's
05-20-2008, 04:25 PM
Lifes' lessons are how you learn. Don't get discouraged. Listen, I know most like to save as much as possible these days with the price of everything....quite understandable. You will find the suggestions offered are to try to help you keep costs to a minimum if possible. Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet & get new. To provide some encouragement, I will say that I love my spoolgun(M-3035) unit and it makes a lot of jobs really pure pleasure. I have mine in my mobile unit as I do a lot of on-location classic car restorations. Being able to quickly & effortlessley change wire parameters really is a boon. Most of the jobs I do on the classics require mostly sheetmetal(.023) welding, and for the frame mods & add-ons, I switch between .030 & .035. The spoolgun changeover is quick & easy.I have 26' of cable so I can manuever underneath the cars easily. Sometimes the spoolgun is a bit bulky for really tight spaces, but so far I have not had any issues where I couldn't get into an area to weld. I will say that once you get used to the extra weight of the spoolgun & learning how to drape the cables over your shoulder, you will like using it. I'll tell ya, I can really lay some bead with mine. In addition, the primary factor for the spoolgun is being able to switch between steel, flux core, & alum. without any issues & only have to move your regulator from C-25 to Ar for the wire you are going to use.
Anyway, just wanted to give you a thought boost so you will get the best solution to help you. The other factor is that the spoolguns really hold their value, so it is a good investment..... they're not gonna get any cheaper. Let us know what you choose to invest in..... Denny
05-20-2008, 04:56 PM
05-22-2008, 04:00 AM
Great I got outbid on that gun,thought for sure I was stuck with it.
Now I can just order the spool gun.
yorkiepap I have seen pics of your mobile rig...very nice.I'm a handyman down here so I do alot of everything.Be great if I learn alum also.
05-22-2008, 08:00 AM
I would strongly suggest to learn every facet of welding you can. In addition, learning how do do some fabbing & metal manipulation will certainly enhance your offerings to get additional work. I have many times gone to jobs, or had jobs come in that required a new piece made, or an old piece cut to have a solid replacement piece fabbed. Besides, you can really make a solid profit with this ability & will give your operation strong recommendations. The mobile unit is the best way to get to jobs that cannot be brought to you & also provides a substantial profit margin. You can generally start getting as mobile unit setup in steps as your finances allow. No need to get into severe debt. Even if you also do as I do, have a small trailer to pick up & deliver a job, you will be in a position to provide services otherwise lost.
I will also stress to get proficient with all welding processes, ie., SMAW, GMAW, GTAW, O/A, plasma cutting, and the variables with the thicknesses & hardnesses of metal. You will get jobs that one process will be the best & most profitable. Just remember, each process you are proficient will simply allow you to have greater income potentials & profit margins. Aluminum is its' own world.... gotta do some serious practice. It's not hard, just a littler faster pace & getting the knowledge for the parameters to apply a good weld.
Anyway, if I can provide any more suggestions or opinions, don't hesitate to ask...... Denny
05-22-2008, 03:35 PM
Sorta what I had in mind when I bought the 180.I've worked oilrigs most of my life so have been around welders and have done plenty of stick.On the last 2 jobs my company was on when we needed some steel welded I did it.
I really can't afford the overhead of a shop so I would have to be moblie.
Here is my bedroom and in front of my apt. where I've been practicing with the 180.Also worked as a Millwright for awhile.
By iamvince (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/iamvince)
See my welding table...a old washer lol
By iamvince (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/iamvince)
On the islands space is very limited most house's don't even have a yard
p.s. ah yea I know ...your mobile rig is cleaner then my bedroom.
WOW...I'll NEVER complain about space again:eek: