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  • MIG welding finicky-ness

    I am welding up some 1" square aluminum tube... I am making an arch for my boats bow, and I am welding in "trusses" for strength. so I had done about 5 and finally the welding got smoother and flowed way better.... seems that I had bumped my wire feed dial on the spool gun SLIGHTLY....

    I have the power setting on about 193 ish... and the wire feed on the spool gun was between 3 and 4...

    I could see the 3 easily, but none of the 4.

    I soon discovered that an EVER SO slightly change.... made a BIG difference in welding...

    I started laying down really nice welds FAST...

    so my question is:

    is this spool gun setting REALLY that touchy?? if you think about the amount of turning to go from 3 to 4.....just 1/10th of that total amount make a world of difference in my weld.

    low 3 and I get some gobbing of cold filler.... at 3.6 ish( guess) I am getting some blow throw if I pause just a little...3.4- 3.5 ish....welds like a dream...

    but it is so easy to bump that dial when welding in odd positions

    is MIG welding that finicky???


    thanks


    dvice

  • #2
    Originally posted by dvice View Post
    I am welding up some 1" square aluminum tube... I am making an arch for my boats bow, and I am welding in "trusses" for strength. so I had done about 5 and finally the welding got smoother and flowed way better.... seems that I had bumped my wire feed dial on the spool gun SLIGHTLY....

    I have the power setting on about 193 ish... and the wire feed on the spool gun was between 3 and 4...

    I could see the 3 easily, but none of the 4.

    I soon discovered that an EVER SO slightly change.... made a BIG difference in welding...

    I started laying down really nice welds FAST...

    so my question is:

    is this spool gun setting REALLY that touchy?? if you think about the amount of turning to go from 3 to 4.....just 1/10th of that total amount make a world of difference in my weld.

    low 3 and I get some gobbing of cold filler.... at 3.6 ish( guess) I am getting some blow throw if I pause just a little...3.4- 3.5 ish....welds like a dream...

    but it is so easy to bump that dial when welding in odd positions

    is MIG welding that finicky???


    thanks


    dvice

    Wall thickness and alloy of tube..??

    Wire Guage and alloy???

    joint design..?? preparation ??

    welder model..?? spoolgun contact tip size..???

    Argon flow rate..?? CFH..??

    Pics....???

    Last edited by H80N; 09-02-2015, 09:05 AM.
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

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    • #3
      well... I am butt welding I guess.... end to a side.

      brand new 6063, I think....

      wire is .03"....4043





      these are the better welds...
      none of the welds will be seen so they really don't need to be pretty, just solid

      .

      so is...mig welding on most machines this finicky? I mean just a slight increase in feed and it makes a mess of the weld??

      dvice

      Comment


      • #4
        Gas flow and tip size will make a big difference...

        Aluminum expands a lot.... so a larger tip is required..

        with enough gas flow to counter breezes in the shop

        while aluminum is shiny ... it still needs the clear oxide layer ground off just before welding... (MIG has no cleaning action like TIG does) I like ScotchBrite ROLOC disks on a diegrinder for prepping aluminum joints
        .

        *******************************************
        The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

        “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

        Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

        My Blue Stuff:
        Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
        Dynasty 200DX
        Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
        Millermatic 200

        TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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        • #5
          now Ill start by saying IT DIDNT APPEAR it made a difference.

          but I started by grinding all the surfaces to be welded, and then wire brushing with a SS brush...

          but eventually I welded spots that were not prepped. and they welded fine...so I just stopped prepping the square pipe or the new equal leg angle I used... and it welded just the same!!!!!

          this pipe has been sitting in the basement for 4 months!!


          what is the nozzle you are talking about??? is that the end of the spool gun??

          Id say mine is at least 3/4" ID or more...

          I only got one with the gun anyway.

          The gas is argon and I am running 30 psi....welding inside the basement garage door...about 8 feet in!!

          when its running right...MIG is so easy.... its hard to weld accurately FAST...but the weld come out better, with the setting I am using...if I just weld fast!!....no burn through...if I slow things down, and try and slow my welding down...I get blotchy gobby welds, and burns throughs at times

          bob

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dvice View Post
            now Ill start by saying IT DIDNT APPEAR it made a difference.

            but I started by grinding all the surfaces to be welded, and then wire brushing with a SS brush...

            but eventually I welded spots that were not prepped. and they welded fine...so I just stopped prepping the square pipe or the new equal leg angle I used... and it welded just the same!!!!!

            this pipe has been sitting in the basement for 4 months!!


            what is the nozzle you are talking about??? is that the end of the spool gun?? Contact tips

            Id say mine is at least 3/4" ID or more...

            I only got one with the gun anyway.

            The gas is argon and I am running 30 psi....welding inside the basement garage door...about 8 feet in!!

            when its running right...MIG is so easy.... its hard to weld accurately FAST...but the weld come out better, with the setting I am using...if I just weld fast!!....no burn through...if I slow things down, and try and slow my welding down...I get blotchy gobby welds, and burns throughs at times

            bob
            Contct tip NOT nozzle

            Attached Files
            .

            *******************************************
            The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

            “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

            Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

            My Blue Stuff:
            Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
            Dynasty 200DX
            Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
            Millermatic 200

            TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

            Comment


            • #7
              Mig welding Aloominum is definitely finicky. Mild steel, not so much.

              As you have noticed

              All the planets have to line up- it's a PIA when you bump one parameter and all goes to sheite.

              Mig AL requires speed- again as you have noticed- and a lot more control due to the fact that AL heats up quickly so the "heat" required at the beginning of the weld is different by the time you get towards the end.
              Ed Conley
              http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
              MM252
              MM211
              Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
              TA185
              Miller 125c Plasma 120v
              O/A set
              SO 2020 Bender
              You can call me Bacchus

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              • #8
                Originally posted by H80N View Post
                Contct tip NOT nozzle

                I am confused a little...

                there is only one tip size I can use...it has to match the wire.. .030"

                I have that now..

                unless there are different styles ..mine are collet style straight dia... copper..maybe 1.5-2" long max...

                I have welded the wire to the tip a few times and Have filed the face of the tip over again...square as can be by eye....

                would that matter??

                dvice

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dvice View Post
                  I am confused a little...

                  there is only one tip size I can use...it has to match the wire.. .030"

                  I have that now..

                  unless there are different styles ..mine are collet style straight dia... copper..maybe 1.5-2" long max...

                  I have welded the wire to the tip a few times and Have filed the face of the tip over again...square as can be by eye....

                  would that matter??

                  dvice
                  Aluminum expands a lot.... so many folks run a size larger tip so the wire does not seize up in the tip when it gets hot...
                  .

                  *******************************************
                  The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                  “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                  Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                  My Blue Stuff:
                  Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                  Dynasty 200DX
                  Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                  Millermatic 200

                  TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MIG welding finicky-ness

                    Also pay attention to your gun angle and stick out. With mig aluminum I always use a push angle and I actually lengthen my stick out a skosh.

                    What machine and spoolgun are you using?

                    Aluminum prep and joint fitup is critical. While you may think you're getting penetration in your joints, with mig--especially aluminum--you may be getting nothing much more than cold lap.

                    TIG is a much better process for aluminum welding if you can. But if you can't get your hands on a TIG machine, I prefer to use the largest diameter filler wire I can. I push 3/64th 5356 filler wire through a short whip I made for my MM250. That's about .047-ish wire, so for a contact tip I use...I think it's .053? Sound right guys? Anyway, somewhere in that ballpark. Go ahead a buy yourself a bag of contact tips too, they're cheap and you're gonna melt the wire to the tip plenty of times.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      on really hot summer days, late in the afternoon, if you are welding a , as you say, a fineky metal, you may notice that your puddle will not be as fluid as it was earlier on in the day. this is caused by the increased usage of the power grid. i havent noticed this as much where i am, now, country setting, single phase. but back when i was in an industrial park, with 208 three phase, you could set your watch to the drop in voltage in later afternoon, hot as **** days

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Broc summed it up, It can be fussy and head south all of a sudden. A change in angle or stickout without realizing and its a problem.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                          Broc summed it up, It can be fussy and head south all of a sudden. A change in angle or stickout without realizing and its a problem.
                          with time and practice, this wont be an issue, it will come second nature, also you will learn to vary the angle and stick out to increase your capabilities of welding with the mig. example, welding this sheet, afraid of blow thru, give it a litle more stick out, if running cold, reduce stick out, keep gun perpicindicular to work

                          Comment


                          • #14


                            yeah went home last night with a part to my boat that needed a piece of aluminum bent up and welded on. the shop I took it to, just tacked the piece in place. I mig ed it at home...went fast....I am picking it up...I welded about 40" of aluminum in about 10 minutes or less.....went back and touched up about 5 or 6 spots, and am real happy!!

                            I tried tigging it at work, but it was going slow, ( see other thread about machine set up) and then I ran out of ARGON!!! ha ha ha

                            bob

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                            • #15
                              MIG welding finicky-ness

                              TIG is certainly not as fast as mig, especially in aluminum. But...it's a nicer job, looks better and is almost always a sound weldment. Even if it looks like poo, if you watched the base metal and filler metal come together, it'll probably be fine.

                              The heavier line of soot on the one side of the bead makes me think your gun isn't dispersing the shielding has adequately, or at the very least evenly.
                              It could be the angle the metal is together there, but it's hard to tell from the picture. It would be worth your time to look into that a little more.
                              Last edited by ryanjones2150; 09-04-2015, 12:16 PM.

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