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TIG or MIG on Aluminum

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  • TIG or MIG on Aluminum

    Another planning ahead question, semi-related to TIG. If I had a D200DX sitting next to me, and I needed to weld, say, 1/4" and up aluminum, I would want to MIG, right? That seems to be the consensus here. So, say I also had a MM251 (or PM255), do I have to use a spool gun for aluminum, or will either of those MIG's feed the aluminum correctly using the correct liner and rollers (and gas of course)? Am I right to think that the cheapest spool gun I can get for the MM251 is roughly $800? What is so special about spool guns that they cost so much?
    I am 99% set on a D200DX, but considering the price of a spool gun, maybe a D300DX would be better in the long run... I can live with slower, as this is for personal use in a garage (or large personal shop in the future). Most aluminum and or SS I may weld will need to be rather pretty as well...
    Thanks for any input ideas...

  • #2
    The purpose for a spoolgun is to feed softer wires a shorter distance to reduce birdsnesting. Mainly used for aluminum but I've done SS with mine to avoid changing over a 30# spool from the main unit. I would recommend the mm210 w/spoolmate3035 as a kit it comes all ready to rock and roll, dual cylinder rack,solonoids,regulators, everything for around $1800{I think, but I haven't priced it lately} this is the setup I own and Bang for the buck its the hands down winner. I also own a D200DX and love it, it is a soft subtle machine and the mm210 is more aggressive and kinda bold.

    I have welded well thicker than the spec's on the 210 allow and will tell you I get tired before it gets overworked. I believe you can save a few bucks and get the same setup I have and still get all you want and need. A while back I posted a picture of my rig its listed as {D200DX cart} do a search and you'll find it.


    • #3
      Thank you pjseaman,
      I guess I have not really considered the MM210 much, due to the tapped voltage controls. Maybe I am disillusioned. The price is definitely better, but is the tapped voltage output a hinderance? Is the maximum output too low for what I want? I have read that the MM210 is easier to setup, but I kind of feel I want the extra power and adjustability. I currently have a tapped output 110V MIG, the Red HD3200. It works great for sheetmetal, but I find myself wanting a variable output at times. Maybe there is a huge difference here, but it seems like the tapped output means the output current is even less finely adjustable than what I have now.
      I will have to research this issue further. I have also used my dad's very large Red MIG, I forget which model, but it is a huge power supply with separate wire feeder, and probably weighs ~400#. I can set that machine up fairly well, so I think I have decent enough experience to get started with a MM251 (maybe not though).
      Thanks Again,

      I just don't want to regret buying a D200DX, wishing I had spent the "extra spool gun money" on the D300DX instead.


      • #4
        If you are concernd with appearance stay with GTAW. Tig welding is slower than mig, but appearance makes up for it. A nice machine to look at is the Syncrowave 250DX; for a personal use you can get by without getting the watercooled version with helps out the $$$ considerably. I have a spool gun for my MM210 and I find that I just run a little short on the power supply at times.