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  • #16
    Originally posted by josterbauer View Post
    The alum thickness is a .102 thickness on the material. As for photo's, just looks like a pile of melted plastic beads.
    Like Ed suggested, photos are always helpful for us when we try to offer help.
    I have just recently learned to weld aluminum with my 120 volt Century, both globular transfer and spray transfer. I have the argon gas supplied at 20 cfh. The settings I use for globular transfer on 0.08" irrigation pipe are 50% voltage and 5/8 speed. I suspect globular transfer would be useful in your application, but we don't know what you are welding, other than your boat.

    Are you patching a slit, or other defect?
    Are you welding in the horizontal position?
    Have you cleaned with a stainless steel brush?
    What are the actual settings you are using for voltage and speed?
    What wire (5356?) and diameter are you using?
    How far is the ground clamp from the weld area?
    Last edited by Goodhand; 09-06-2008, 01:04 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Laiky View Post
      correct me if i'm way off here. The upper limit for a 110 machine on steel is about 1/8". He is doing .100" alluminum, and a large piece too (boat hull??). I don't think you will have the power available to do the job, sounds like your not melting into the base metal. What type of joint config? is it on the hull? post some pics of the area to be welded and your results.
      I weld 3/16", 1/4", and on occasion 3/8" steel with my 120 volt Century mig. Outcome depends on proper prep work before the arc is struck (same as in s(e)x), and technique (superior skill & cunning). Don't think power is the problem with his application, more like operator error. I, initially, fell into that hole, since aluminum is so much different. Hopefully, he'll get on track with a bit more practice, then come back with some photos of his success.
      Last edited by Goodhand; 09-06-2008, 01:07 AM.

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      • #18
        That's one heck of a 120v mig you got there.

        Spray transfer???? More like blowing smoke up a wind tunnel.

        OP,

        Mig welding aluminum presents a totally different set of challenges than does steel.

        My first reaction is you're trying the wrong process (mig vs tig) and the machine you have is not the right one for the job.

        Thin (.10) aluminum is tough, even for an experienced welder, and your machine makes it even more of a challenge. Not saying it can't be done, but suspect you'd be better off finding someone who could tig it for you.

        Photos would help us give better advice.
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        • #19
          Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
          That's one heck of a 120v mig you got there.

          Spray transfer???? More like blowing smoke up a wind tunnel.
          vice.
          Funny how one that thinks he knows all of the answers will dis the achievements of someone else, even though he has never seen the results. Methinks this is a definition of ignorance.

          Farmers/ranchers repair thin (0.08") aluminum irrigation pipe every day with their mig machines. No need for tig, here.
          Last edited by Goodhand; 09-06-2008, 11:20 AM.

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          • #20
            Goodhand,

            When I read posts such as your's, I just shake my head and say, "Where the He11 is this guy coming from".

            I won't take the time to fully disect your comments but here are a couple.

            I weld 3/8" with my 120V mig. You may think you're properly welding 3/8" material with a 120v mig (hardwire & C25). You're NOT. No amount of prep or "superior skill and cunning" is going to make up for the inadequacies of that machine. In a previous posting you mentioned that you welded up a drawbar for your trailer using 3/8" material and your 120v mig. Comments like this scare the bejebas out of those of us who've been around awhile. I have a basic premise here. "If it goes down the highway, it doesn't need to be welded with a 120v machine".

            You want to elaborate on how you got a 120v mig to spray. Aluminum with 100%Argon I presume. Using 4043 or 5356 wire? Any "hot gas" mix?

            Globular transfer is "THE LAST THING" the OP needs for this application. Might as well stand back and shoot aluminum bb's at the crack.

            Maybe you don't realize how ridiculous your post sounds to a guy who works with aluminum/marine applications every day.

            The reason I didn't provide more information to the OP was because it didn't seem he had the background or equipment to be taking on the job. On a boat if the aluminum split, there's a reason for it. Repair has got to be "stronger than the original" to insure that it doesn't just split again.

            Just my .02.
            Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
            Dynasty 200 DX
            Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
            Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
            Hobart HH187
            Dialarc 250 AC/DC
            Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
            Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
            PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
            Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
            Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
            More grinders than hands

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            • #21
              Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
              Goodhand,

              When I read posts such as your's, I just shake my head and say, "Where the He11 is this guy coming from".

              I won't take the time to fully disect your comments but here are a couple.

              I weld 3/8" with my 120V mig. You may think you're properly welding 3/8" material with a 120v mig (hardwire & C25). You're NOT. No amount of prep or "superior skill and cunning" is going to make up for the inadequacies of that machine. In a previous posting you mentioned that you welded up a drawbar for your trailer using 3/8" material and your 120v mig. Comments like this scare the bejebas out of those of us who've been around awhile. I have a basic premise here.

              You want to elaborate on how you got a 120v mig to spray. Aluminum with 100%Argon I presume. Using 4043 or 5356 wire? Any "hot gas" mix?

              Globular transfer is "THE LAST THING" the OP needs for this application. Might as well stand back and shoot aluminum bb's at the crack.

              Maybe you don't realize how ridiculous your post sounds to a guy who works with aluminum/marine applications every day.

              The reason I didn't provide more information to the OP was because it didn't seem he had the background or equipment to be taking on the job. On a boat if the aluminum split, there's a reason for it. Repair has got to be "stronger than the original" to insure that it doesn't just split again.

              Just my .02.
              Yup... you have once again confirmed that you are in a rut, and cannot think "out of the box." You think your way is THE way. You responded to a guy, posting here for help, by telling him he should just take his boat to someone who could tig it. I'm surprised you didn't tell him to buy a new boat. Looks to me like he has a boat in need of repair, has equipment to do the job, and wants to learn how. Then, you come along and tell him he can't.

              BTW... I undertake my projects with thoughtful planning, and full consideration for the demands of the metal and fabrication, not on platitudes, such as, "If it goes down the highway, it doesn't need to be welded with a 120v machine". It appears you have never taken the time to learn how to use a 120 volt machine.

              That my fabricating a tow bar scares you without your ever having seen it and knowing how it was built reveals loads about your poor judgement. I suppose you are afraid of ghosts, too. Boo!

              I suppose you think the others, who have posted info to try to help this guy, don't know what they are doing, either. Also, I suppose I'll now have to tell my farmer/rancher friends that they can't weld their irrigation pipes with their migs anymore... that they'll all have to purchase tig machines.

              $0.02 would be overcharging for your advice.
              Last edited by Goodhand; 09-06-2008, 04:41 PM.

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              • #22
                Here are the crappy welds that I have attempted in practice with settings. Let the advice begin, tell me what I am doing wrong. Thanks in advance. I am for warning you on the non quality welds. Just need some help here.



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                • #23
                  are you welding with the correct polarity? It should be DCEP. Something is definitely not set right in your set up. Hope you get some better results soon. Good luck.
                  Welders do it hotter!!
                  www.Munsonworks.com

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                  • #24
                    I have it set to positive polarity on the welder. What is it supposed to be. I have used the negative for flux core welding.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by StillBoostin View Post
                      Here is an old pic of my first attempt on my MM180 with the Spoolmate 100. 1/8" Al.
                      James, are you kidding me, your first attempt? Ok you melt by trade don't you? I have to give you credit your first attempt kick the he11 outta mine, pretty nice lookin beads.
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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by josterbauer View Post
                        I have it set to positive polarity on the welder. What is it supposed to be. I have used the negative for flux core welding.
                        Okay, you've provided some photos; that does help a bit. Now, since we can't see what you are doing in your shop, it would be helpful if you would provide us with some more information. Would you mind referring back to post #16 and supply the requested info. Thanks.

                        BTW... when you say you cleaned the area to be welded, just how did you accomplish that?
                        Did you buff the area with a stainless steel brush? It may be just poor lighting, but I don't see brush marks on your practice strip.
                        Last edited by Goodhand; 09-06-2008, 07:51 PM.

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                        • #27
                          I did clean it with a brush, I guess I do not know if it is SS. Does the SS make that much of a difference?
                          As far a post 16-


                          Are you patching a slit, or other defect? Welding in Riv-Nuts to bolt down a blind on a duck boat
                          Are you welding in the horizontal position? Yes
                          Have you cleaned with a stainless steel brush? Don't know about the material on the brush
                          What are the actual settings you are using for voltage and speed? Voltage on D speed on 4
                          What wire (5356?) and diameter are you using? 4030 wire .035 dia
                          How far is the ground clamp from the weld area? About 4 "
                          Last edited by josterbauer; 09-06-2008, 08:20 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Not familiar with the dial settings on your machine. Can you post a close-up photo of the front of your machine? And... a photo of a rivnut.

                            Yes, getting rid of the aluminum oxide coating with a stainless steel brush is best done before starting to weld. The aluminum oxide acts as an insulator against maintaining a proper arc, and since the oxide melts at about 3 times the temperature of the aluminum underneath, works against you. Trying to weld without removing the oxide produces beads similar to the ones in your photos.

                            I'm getting close to going out to the garage to see if I can duplicate your beads, then I will know what to do to eliminate the condition.

                            I wouldn't be continuing to take the time to try to help you, if I didn't think we can, eventually, get the dilemma solved.
                            Last edited by Goodhand; 09-06-2008, 09:01 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Speaking stricly from an amatuer postion it looks like a shielding gas issue to me. I'm new to the whole aluminum MIG but the spatter looks alot like a gas issue what is your gas set at?
                              MILLER 180 W SPOOL GUN
                              MIller CP 300 w/S22-A Feeder
                              Miller Syncro 200
                              Miller 375 X Plasma
                              Miller Elite Hood
                              JD2 Bender
                              Tube Notcher
                              Horizontal/ Verticle Bandsaw
                              Makita Angle Grinders
                              Arsenal of handtools
                              Evolution Raptor dry saw
                              Single Stage 60 Gallon Compressor
                              Delta Drill Press

                              "No fear to learn by doing", and a degree in Redneck Engineering

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                              • #30
                                I think I'll just sit back and let our new aluminum "expert" and "Master of the 120V Mig" figure this one out. Just know one thing, there's a big difference between welding on a boat and welding irrigation pipe. I don't weld irrigation pipe, I weld aluminum on boats (and have for about 40 years). I don't need to go out to the shop "to figure it out".

                                I will say this in closing, the OP's last posting just confirmed my previous suspicions. He doesn't have enough machine for the filler (.035--4043) he's trying to use. Better to take it to someone who knows what he's doing than keep trying and blow holes in his boat.
                                Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                                Dynasty 200 DX
                                Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                                Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                                Hobart HH187
                                Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                                Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                                Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                                PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                                Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                                Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                                More grinders than hands

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