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aliminum weld setup

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  • aliminum weld setup

    recently purchases a maxstar 150 stl but cannot find out how to set this machine up for aluminum welding. Can anyone help me?

  • #2
    Awandrews,

    I looked the Maxstar up in my Miller catalog and from the specs all the voltages are listed DC. TIG welding of aluminum requires AC voltage. You're not going to be able to weld aluminum with this machine unless someone else knows of a way to weld aluminum with DC. I'm not going to say it's impossible because I don't know everything but in my experience I've always TIG welded aluminum on AC settings and have been told that AC is required to weld aluminum. I've MIG welded aluminum with DC but it's an entirely different method than the TIG welding. I do remember years ago a friend tore the axle off his Ravens aluminum trailer and he did weld it back on with a DC machine but he used aluminum electrodes and the welds looked like goose poop on a pump handle and in a few months he tore the axle off again and had to bring it to me to MIG weld it back on again. I don't know how effective the aluminum elecrodes are in the hands of an experienced welder, myself I've never tried them. Perhaps HAWK has tried them and has something to say about them.

    Sorry to burst your bubble about the Maxstar doing aluminum TIG welding. Good luck in finding a solution to your problem. Perhaps the dealer you bought it from will give you a decent trade in price towards a Synchrowave or a Dynasty (if you really need an inverter type machine). HAWK will vouch for the Dynasty.

    Blondie
    Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

    Colt the original point & click interface!

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    • #3
      awandrews,

      Blondie is on the money. However, before you get too upset lets look at some options. Aluminum can be welded with DCSP which is how the machine should be set up for TIG anyway. This procedure requires 100% pure helium and considerable patience and practice. You can get deep penetration and a good looking bead when it all comes together.

      With the MS150 you will be limited to around 1/8" aluminum. Helium shielding gas is rather expensive and usually available in 90CF bottles and larger. If this is a one time or occasional project, you may be able to fuse the aluminum by reversing your polarity and running DCRP. It won't be pretty, but may serve the purpose.

      If aluminum is what you are after on a regular basis, then I recommend the Dynasty 200DX. I cannot say enough good things about this machine! I have been and continue to be amazed at what this 45 pound AC/DC GTAW/SMAW machine can do. I honestly think it has unrealized potential that even Miller has not tapped. I am continually learning new ways to weld just because this machine will do things that now other GTAW machine is capable of doing!

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      • #4
        awandrews,

        Do you think your dealer may take it back and trade up to the Dynasty if that is what you want to do? Most of the Miller dealers I do business with are pretty forgiving and will take back a low hour machine if it still looks new. Best of luck!!! It happened to me one time and I returned a low hour engine drive in order to upgrade because the Bobcat I purchased fell short of what I really needed.

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