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Stick welding aluminum

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  • ASKANDY
    replied
    Another thing you can do with DC Aluminum is run it Electrode Positive. It will clean the aluminum fine but will not give great penetration. It's a fine alternative for thinner aluminum. You will also have to oversize the tungsten as most of the arc energy (approx 70%) will be on the tunsten.
    But as everyone else stated.....AC is the way to go.

    Have fun!

    Andy

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  • Bob Sigmon
    replied
    Kenny,

    Thanks for the info. I've been watching the aluminum that I've been practicing on and making sure that what I get is weldable. I don't need any other problems with learning aluminum, I cause enough of my own problems, I sure.

    Bob Sigmon

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  • kennyrichmond
    replied
    Bob,

    Automotive paint stores carry pre-primer Aluminum Prep "Alumiprep" (Sp?) made by Ditzler or DuPont. Its a mild acid solution that gently etches aluminum. (Remember, not all Alum. alloys are weldible, but those that are can be welded beautifully with MG 400. It's just expensive.

    Kenny Richmond

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob Sigmon
    replied
    Use aluminum etcher to clean up just before welding and you'll be amazed.
    Kenny,

    What do you use to etch the aluminum? I usually brush and wipe with a solvent and let dry. But if there is something easier, I'd like to try.

    Thanks,

    Bob Sigmon

    Leave a comment:


  • kennyrichmond
    replied
    Stick Welding Aluminum

    Using a Dynasty 200 DX with MG400 Aluminum rod with fantastic results on 1/2" aluminum butts. MG400 is about $.75 a stick and sucks in really fast. Use aluminum etcher to clean up just before welding and you'll be amazed.

    Leave a comment:


  • HAWK
    replied
    Birchum,

    If you can get a tig machine that offers AC/DC you won't regret it. I would try some aluminum stick and DC tig before I purchased a DC only machine with the idea of doing much aluminum work. Let us know what you decide. If you run some DC tig and get the hang of it on aluminum, post some pictures. I just traded in my 90 helium for another argon bottle at the shop. If I have to do it, then I'll rent helium - hopefully no time soon. You can DC tig with argon, but helium is the textbook recommendation. From experience I agree.

    Good Luck

    Leave a comment:


  • Birchum
    replied
    Thanks, Hawk!
    I'm just trying to figure out wheter or no I can get by with a DC only TIG machine.

    Leave a comment:


  • HAWK
    replied
    Patience as in it's difficult to master. You have to run fairly fast because the helium burns so hot. If you do it right, the penetration will be unbelievable. There is a fine line between unbelievable penetration and meltdown. Also on DC tig with helium all the impurites will float to the top of the puddle. The helium is used to raise the arc temperature relatively close to that of the AC arc with argon: In a DC weld mode the heat is distributed approximately as 1/3 at the negative and 2/3 at the positive. Typically the electrode is negative to prevent overheating. However, the electrode negative does not provide any real cleaning action. This is achieved by the electrode being positive. However, running electode positive will only cause meltdown and headaches. With an AC sinewave or squarewave you get the best of both worlds: You get the electrode positive for a portion of the cycle providing the cleaning action and electrode negative providing lower heat and little chance of meltdown. This is why AC is typically used for aluminum because it cleans the clingy surface oxide film during the welding process. Therefore, be sure to clean really well with a chemical cleaner prior to DC tigging aluminum. Let us know how the welds turn out. I think DC tig on aluminum is a lot of fun, but I usually reserve it for 3/8" to 1/2" material.

    Good Luck

    Leave a comment:


  • Birchum
    replied
    Thanks for the replies.
    I have TIG welded aluminim AC with very nice results.

    Why is it important to use 100% Helium when DC welding Aluminum as opposed to say...THE25?
    Also, what do you mead by patience? Is it slow to puddle?
    Explain.

    Leave a comment:


  • MAC702
    replied
    I have stick welded aluminum, back when it was all I had and wanted to experiment at the same time. I only had 6 sticks: (3) 3/32" and (3) 1/8". I welded some 1-1/2" x 1/4" structural angle to 2" x 1/4" structural angle to make shelf brackets for my garage from some scraps laying around. Anyway, they held great, but I'm not going to brag about the looks, though two of the beads came out rather nice. In hindsight, I think I should have preheated a tiny bit with the torch. And of course, before you start the process, use a NEW stainless wire brush (or one used only for aluminum) to clean the area well.

    Leave a comment:


  • HAWK
    replied
    Birchum,

    What you are wanting to do goes against of the grain of probability, but is possible. Stick electrodes are made for aluminim just as for ss and carbon steel, etc. They are very difficult to burn. The best I've been able to achieve is a good sturdy joint with aluminum stick, but nothing to brag about as far as looks. Just follow amperage range and polarity listed on the box. This is DEFINITELY a last ditch effort in my book!

    For DC tig you need 2% thoriated tungsten sharpened to a point, 100% Helium shielding gas and appropriate filler rod. I would try first on the 1/4" or thicker material. The thinner the aluminum, the more difficult DC tig becomes. The main ingredient in this recipe is PATIENCE.

    AC tig with argon is the recommended method in most cases

    Good Luck

    Leave a comment:


  • Birchum
    started a topic Stick welding aluminum

    Stick welding aluminum

    Can someone please tell me how,if possible,to stick weld aluminum?
    I need to know how to set up and what materials to use.
    I'm not even sure this can be done but I've heard of it somewhere,I think.

    Also,I need the same info on DC welding aluminum.

    The material will be up to 1/4" thick.

    The reason I need to know is that I have found a DC only TIG welder that I might pick up but I' don't know how to DC weld aluminum and I'm also curious about SMAW aluminum for outdoor use.

    Thanks.
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