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What am I doing wrong? Spoolmate 100, Al, Argon Millermatic 211

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  • What am I doing wrong? Spoolmate 100, Al, Argon Millermatic 211

    I am recently unemployed and figured I would start using some of the tools I had acquired when I could afford them.

    I've managed to get pretty good welding mild steel with my 211. I decided I would play around a bit with aluminum. I know mig welding aluminum is hard, but my problem is this: I keep burning out the tips on my Spoolmate 100.

    I set everything up 'by the book' for 1/8" AL, got a tank of argon, some AL wire and carefully set my machine up according to the table on the side. Pretty much the only two things I am unclear on are the polarity (there is nothing on the setup sheet about that) and the flow rate of Argon. I left my polarity as it is for mild steel, solid core wire.

    I prepare the surface with a stainless steel wire brush on my hand grinder. The best I can get is an ugly blob and a lot of black soot.

    Usually, within a few seconds I end up with the tip all burnt up and have to replace it. This happens with 0.030 and 0.035 wire and tips. Its not only kinda expensive ($2.00 per tip for a few seconds welding) I just can't get a weld.

    I have tried flow rates from low to 20 lpm, I can hear the gas coming out of the spoolgun. Its a new tank and its pure argon. I've tried fiddling with the wire feed rate and voltage, but I always end up with nothing that looks like a bead, and a fried tip. Now my nozzle is kinda screwed up as well.

    Please help!

  • #2
    Burnt tips

    Make sure your leads don't cross each other all the way up into the machine should have a picture inside the cover of the machine on polarity or look for owner manual on miller website push away from your puddle don't pull your gun leads crossing makes wire stick to to the tip like when you are stick welding and you stick to the metal don't get to close when you are welding 1/2 inch to 3/8 inch i use millermatic 140 and run on 10 on wire 10 on volts take a lot of heat and wire speed to burn the wire stay with 035 tip on 030 wire if your burning holes in it clamp piece of metal behind it to keep from blowing out til you get use use to it if I had a bigger machine I would run hotter than can with our 140
    Last edited by Kpack; 04-28-2012, 06:44 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mingy View Post

      Usually, within a few seconds I end up with the tip all burnt up and have to replace it. This happens with 0.030 and 0.035 wire and tips. Its not only kinda expensive ($2.00 per tip for a few seconds welding) I just can't get a weld.
      Welcome to the real world with a bad design in a spool gun. Miller got it right with the bigger spool guns. I modify the spool mate 100 and 3035 barrels for the standard Miller mig tip @ .50 cents a pop and they work 100% better than the stock spoolmate tips ever did. I can run .035 aluminum wire thru a .030 tip and do it all day with just one tip. Look here for some good reading
      http://www.thefabricator.com/article...mize-weld-smut ...Bob
      Bob Wright

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      • #4
        I have the spoolmate 30. The polarity has to be electrode + or reverse. about 25 cfh. I also keep 3/4 in stickout. Possible faster wire speed and less voltage. Once the puddle is established then you can fine tune your setup.

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        • #5
          Try setting it by the book for the setup you have then add 20 to the wire speed and slowly back it down as you weld till it smooths out. that should help get a decient bead without burning up to many tips. I modified mine and put the HD 3035 barrel on it.
          "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

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          • #6
            why don't miller fix this problem ? instead of selling some thing you have to buy and modify

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            • #7
              Originally posted by walker d. View Post
              why don't miller fix this problem ? instead of selling some thing you have to buy and modify
              That i can't answer...Bob
              http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48
              Bob Wright

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              • #8
                Thanks for the suggestions

                Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                And the step by step. I don't have a metal lathe, so drilling the tube is going to be a bit tricky ...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mingy View Post
                  And the step by step. I don't have a metal lathe, so drilling the tube is going to be a bit tricky ...
                  Yes it will. Don't try to drill it without a lathe because there is a good chance of runout or breaking thru the sides. I have done about 50 for members here and its only a 10 minute job. You are in Canada?...Bob
                  Bob Wright

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                    Yes it will. Don't try to drill it without a lathe because there is a good chance of runout or breaking thru the sides. I have done about 50 for members here and its only a 10 minute job. You are in Canada?...Bob
                    Yep. Near Toronto. Any suggestions?

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                    • #11
                      Same Spool gun w/ 211, same problems

                      I found it quite challenging to get a good looking aluminum weld also, after hours of adjustments and a barrel of scraps, I found I had to go hotter than expected and a quicker travel speed than I wanted. Finding and controlling the puddle took practicing a long time. I cranked the AR up to 25-30. Finally got there but still have too much side soot. Am finally happy with the welds but took a roll of wire to get there! Pushing with more than 15 degrees tilt set me back also because my hands were autocontrolling the gun like it was a steel hold position. Hard to change the steel habits. Good luck!

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