No announcement yet.

Spool guns???

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Spool guns???

    When I purchased my Millermatic 135, I assumed it was roughly equivalent to the Lincoln SP135 Plus. In reading the manual, however, I notice that where the Lincoln has an Aluminum wire feed kit, the Miller requires a spool gun. Is it possible to use a teflon or nylon wire sheath and push Aluminum through the Miller like the Lincoln? Seems like the Miller has enough wire speed - greater than the Lincoln, anyway. I don't intend to do large volumes of Aluminum, just hobby-type stuff.

    Please advise.


  • #2
    pushing aluminum

    Steve the short answer to your question is both brands suffer the same problem; but for occasional use either can be used. It's like putting a length of cooked spagetti on the table and then trying to push it where you want it. If you try it (welding that is), use a short gun cable, keep the cable as straight as possible,use the correct size liner ,tip etc. and use one of the harder aluminum wires. Almost forgot don't tighten your drive roll down so much that it starts crushing the wire or for sure you will get a birds nest. On the brighter side it can be done. Just my opinion. Harold
    Craftsman Colormatic AC
    Victor Journyman Setup
    Syncrowave 180 SD
    MM210 With Spoolgun
    Dynasty 200 DX
    Spectrum 625 Plasma Cutter
    Miller HD Tape Measure


    • #3
      Yeah, what Harold said.

      Lincoln overrates and overqualifies their machines, even to the point of making accessories to make you think the machine was really designed to do aluminum.

      Truth is, any machine designed to MIG aluminum is going to have a spoolgun or a push-pull system, and will not be the size of a Millermatic 135.

      But, that said, hobbyists can do aluminum with their Millermatics and little Lincolns by following Harold's advice.

      Of course, the MM135/175 only has one option of gun length, anyway, the 10-footer; just keep it straight, use 100% argon and go to town. If it's an older machine, you may have better luck with a new liner, also.


      • #4
        I agree with Mac, Lincoln, and some other manufacturers overstate the ability of their equipment.

        If you go way back in the history of 110 volt Mig machines. When Miller first brought out the Sidekick, it was never advertised as being made to weld aluminum. Then along came the Cricket. By this time Lincoln, among others, started offering Aluminum Kits for their 110 welders, implying that they were suitable for aluminum welding. So, Miller bit the bullet, and for a time, offered aluminum kits, even though they knew it wasn't the best way to weld aluminum. I don't know when Miller stopped offering these aluminum kits, but I suspect it was about the time they brought out the SGA 100 spoolmate adaptor that lets you adapt a Spoolmate spoolgun to the Millermatic 135 or 175, which is a legitimate way to weld aluminum. I applaud Miller for NOT offering a misleading "aluminum" welding kit that is a compromise, at best.

        That being said, if you do everthing just so, short gun, clean or new liner, oversize contact tip, proper drive roll tension, you can weld aluminum with your Millermatic, or a Lincoln, with or without the aluminum kit. BUT, you can only do so under ideal conditions, a straight gun, and with 5356 wire, no smaller than .030, preferably .035. 4043 wire is too soft to feed reliably and if you make too much of a bend in your gun cable, it will most likely cause a birdnest.


        • #5
          I have the mm210 with spoolgun and I've run Al through a regular mig gun. The feeding quality and lack of hassels make spoolguns a good choice. I ran several pounds of 4043 on my first project with the spoolmate3035 and other than learning curve I only had one bird nest.

          The welds not as pretty as tig but with practice they look better.



          • #6
            Small Aluminum with 135

            I have a MM130 (slightly older verson of the 135) and have welded AL with it through the gun. You can tell it's giving all it has when doing it as the wire feed rate must be all the way up to make it work. Get a separate liner and change them out when you want to push Al. Push rather than drag. A slight weave may be in order. I've only ever used .030" 5356 simply because I had it. Even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then.

            I repaired a Al boat (a truely unpleasant thing given how dirty the thing was. They tried some manner of chemical goo on it before I got there. And, I'm not exactly an salt at this stuff to begin with) with the little "hot glue gun". It's stil working. It is possible, but not the best option. Unless, like my dad used to say "when you have two options, little or none, take little".

            I've since blundered into another acorn...a use Synchrowave 300 in perfect condition. Haven't shot Al through the 130 since.