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mm 211 and spoolmate 100

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  • mm 211 and spoolmate 100

    anybody have any luck welding aluminum with the mm211?

    the one I bought would not weld at all when set at the listed parameters, turn the wire speed to max, and the voltage down, and could get a mediocre weld. had the miller rep out, he got the same results, tried to convince me this was fine, also told me I couldn't use .030 wire, or weld 3/8 with this machine (miller's literature says I can). I got hold of miller, they sent out a new tested spool gun. the salesman called me up when the new gun arrived said the rep is here he tested it, it works great. I went down to the store and the rep is there, he has only tested it on 3/8 and well guess what he says if I preheat the aluminum with a torch I could weld 3/8. so I took the welder back home, to try again, with the same results. I guess if a person is happy with cold lumpy welds this machine works great. I have tried this welder on 1/8, 1/4, and 3/8 inch all have to be welded with the wire speed at max, and the volts lower than the outlined parameters. If the spool gun would produce more wire speed, I think I could make it work.

  • #2
    Crank-er Up !

    Hello;
    I don't own or use Miller welders, But I would think you would want to turn the Volts Up Not down when welding aluminum.
    Aluminum being such a heat sink, turning your votage down would produce the welds you refer to as lumpy globs !!!!!!!
    Crank that sucker Up & giver !!!!!

    .......... Norm
    www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      What kind of gas are you using, I have welded many types of aluminum with my 211 and SM100 with great results. Here is a picture of some 3/8" I welded sat.Click image for larger version

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      "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

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      • #4
        If I up the volts, I don't have enough wire coming out of the gun. my test of the gun gives me 425 in min, should be capable of 625. the rep says you have to be actually welding to get full speed out of the gun.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Diverdude View Post
          What kind of gas are you using, I have welded many types of aluminum with my 211 and SM100 with great results. Here is a picture of some 3/8" I welded sat.[ATTACH]24454[/ATTACH]
          100% argon your weld looks good, the type of weld I know I am capable of with a decent machine

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          • #6
            you might check your polarity on the machine if you were welding flux core before switching to alum. here are a few Click image for larger version

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ID:	508720more results with my 211 and sm 100. Click image for larger version

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            "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Diverdude View Post
              you might check your polarity on the machine if you were welding flux core before switching to alum. here are a few [ATTACH]24455[/ATTACH]more results with my 211 and sm 100. [ATTACH]24456[/ATTACH]
              polarity is correct machine is new never welded (or tried to weld) anything but aluminum. will your machine weld different thicknesses at the parameters outlined on the chart? mine won't, if I set it according to the chart I get a spray right from the tip which wont produce a bead at all, and melts the tip off. what is your voltage at the plug, mine is 243 volts which the rep says is the problem, and miller"s weld engineer says isn't

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              • #8
                i will have to check the voltage, but i find that for most settings I need a little more wire speed than it calls for in each setting and the stick-out must be a good bit more that the instructions say. I normally have about an inch to one and a quarter from the work when welding, way more than when welding steel. Any closer and it will melt into the tip. i have done from 1/8" to 3/8" and even put some small pieces of 1/2" to thinner pieces of aluminum. Is the machine end of the spool gun all the way in, if not it will not let gas out to the spool gun.
                "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  It was millers rep who melted the tip off, I keep about 1 in away. I just got off the phone with miller in wisconsin, apparently they have no idea what's wrong other than to go buy a different welder, so I guess I will go talk to the Lincoln people. Yes your welds look good, I can tell a good weld when I see it unlike the local miller rep.

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                  • #10
                    When I first tryied my Spoolmate 100 with the Passport + I had a similar burn-back problem. Found the mechanism of the spoolgun is "delicate". Turned upside down the pressure on the rollers until found one position that could feed well with canister open and wire spool quite loose. Then put the cover on and tighted slightly, the spool was still free to move. I actually lubed the rubber tube which serves as a drag bushing for the wire spool.
                    When leaving the spool with 4043 loaded, the rollers press against the wire and flaten it in about 24hours. So when I pick up the loaded spoolgun after some time I press de trigger and pull the wire manually with a set of pliers, and discard that portion.
                    When he can feed, the spool works flawesly and welds really well. For the wire feed, honestly I never tested it, but if some mechanical setup is wrong it gets slow.
                    High pressure on the rollers did not work for me, neither the opposite.

                    Good luck!
                    Jerónimo.

                    Traumao è la elètrica.

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                    • #11
                      Just realize you are on the edge of what a 200Amp machine and spoolgun can do - and on aluminum, what you are welding makes a big difference. Maxed out, the internal wire speed is something like 450ipm. I don't think the spoolgun will be much different. You really want more - like 25 or 26. As for the spoolgun .035 wire is on the edge as well (consider 450 or so being max feed speed) Forget about .030 wire. Personally I'd see if I can find drive / tips for .045 wire - your going to need it.

                      First check your input voltage - what is it really? Is it closer to 250, or closer to 210? Are you using the plugs that came with the machine or did you build your own?

                      There is nothing in the owners manual about jog mode or hot start so the wire speed you see is the wire speed you get. Make sure your spool gun connection is good. Keep in mind that at full power, that spool gun's duty cycle will probably be like 15%

                      Hold the gun nearly vertical and keep a relatively short arc. Might want to consider and argon helium mix.

                      Or, get a bigger MIG welder. The upright machines tend to be more powerful. If you are going to be welding 3/8 aluminum all day, get at least a 250 amp machine - probably should go get a 350 amp machine.
                      Con Fuse!
                      Miller Dynasty 350
                      Millermatic 350P
                      -Spoolmatic 30A

                      Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
                      Miller Multimatic 200 - awesome portable MIG (and stick and TIG)
                      Miller Maxstar 200DX - portable TIG and stick

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                      • #12
                        This is the first time I have ever read a negative post on a Miller 211. I did like you did and bought the 211 and the spool gun to get the rebate, but haven't even opened the box on the spool gun yet. If I had some wire I would measure the wire speed at max and tell you what it is. According to the specs it should be somewhere around 625. It will be a couple of weeks before I can buy some Al wire - maybe someone else that has one of these can give you some info,

                        If you have the polarity right and getting good argon flow then it sounds like the welder is the problem. Can you take it back where you bought it and let them check yours against another??

                        Mine works great but like I said I have not tried out the spool gun yet. 3/8 Al at a little over 200 amps does sound like a strech without some pre heat. I know someone above stated they welded 3/8 Al buy didn't say if he had to use any preheat. I would like to know this myself.

                        Put some more heat of them - you paid too much for this welder to get one that doesn't work right.
                        sigpic 6010
                        If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

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                        • #13
                          Please don't be offended by this question, you might be far more experienced than I am but I don't know that from your post, so here goes: have you ever seen what a spray-arc is supposed to look like? I believe that's what you want, and what it takes is voltage rather than wirespeed. My Millermatic 175 has less snort than your machine, but if I remember to connect for reverse polarity, it will happily spray .035" 4043 aluminum on straight argon. IIRC the voltage setting is about at "9", the wirespeed on the machine is turned all the way down (I'm using a Traffimet spool gun with a converter box) and the wirespeed knob on the gun is a little over halfway, or whatever it takes to get a nice spray. An MM175 doesn't have a lot of power, but there's enough to blow holes in thinner sheet until you get it adjusted.

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                          • #14
                            I was wondering the same thing after reading post #7. Aluminum MIG is a spray weld process and requires voltage to accomplish and WFS, proper gas flow and stand-off to prevent burnback to the point of melting tips. If you're looking for the "frying bacon" sound with aluminum MIG you're going about it all wrong. Low voltage and high wfs will only produce "cold lumpy welds".

                            When settings are close it requires only fine adjustment to get it dialed in. And yes, a little preheat helps to prevent a "cold start" bead on thicker materials and isn't unusual at all.
                            Last edited by duaneb55; 09-05-2010, 10:43 PM.
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                            • #15
                              I weld alum every other day with my MM185 and spoolgun similar to yours. Who cares what the door chart reads or even says. I just set it up for what is needed to get the job done. Yes i preheat with a small propane torch when i feel its needed. I have welded from 20 ga to 3/4" plate on small projects. I sure wouldn't try to weld a giant piece but for the small projects i do it works great. Too bad you weren't closer i would come up and give you some pointers...Bob
                              Bob Wright

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