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filling a gap with a spool gun

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  • filling a gap with a spool gun

    Been running the day lights out of a 30a over the last couple weeks doing a modification to a fleet of aluminum dump trucks. I’ll try and remember to get a picture of it tonight, but what I’m doing is a lap joint down the length inside on each side of the dump bed for a what’s essentialy a Z-bar that holds a plastic liner in the bottom and up the sides a bit. This bar was either screwed in or just stitch welded. The problem is asphalt is getting between this strip and the side of the box, so I’m welding the length of each side to close that seam up. So far, on every single truck. There are several spots where the box has been bowed out creating a gap in my lap weld. As it is, I have to dig that junk out and then use a board and a BFH to close the gap. I have a thought and was wondering if any of you guys have tried it.....lay a stick of tig rod on the length of the gap and run over it with the spool gun to help add filler. I’ve done something similar when stick welding steel....beat the flux off some 7018 and jam the rods into a gap and weave across it.

    Opinions welcome. Nonsense is ok too, as long as it’s either funny or interesting.

  • #2
    Can't see why it wouldn't work - sounds a bit like "Texas Tig" where they use a stick welder with one in the stinger and another in the other hand. Presumably the strip and bed are stretched so clamping or bolting it down tight will create a wrinkle or otherwise not desirable?
    Maybe some 1/8x1 flat or similar would work better? I can imagine an 1/8 filler not adding too much, volume wise, to fill the gap.

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    • #3
      At the worst, the gap has been about 3/8. The problem is if I can’t push them completely together because there’s junk behind it, to fill the gap my travel speed slows up and I run the risk of that so attractive 100% penetration scar looking scab on the backside. Which in this case is a polished surface that I’d prefer to not have to grind on. All I need is to zip it up so it keeps the trash out.

      I’ve heard the Texas tig term and seen it done, but I’ve had better luck beating the flux off the rod, I’d be afraid of slag inclusions and such otherwise.

      This is a nearly brand new 30a and I frickin love it. It’s been the best spoolgun I’ve ever used. I’ve used the older ones and they were fine, but man, this new one is just so smooth, dialed it in almost right away, gas coverage is excellent, I couldn’t be happier with the machine.

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      • #4
        If you had a Pro Pulse with remote amperage control, you can simply dial it down exactly where you need it, since it runs on aluminum on pulsed-spray (whether it be a MIG gun, spoolgun, or push-pull gun), fusion is not sacrificed for puddle control. Super easy to fill in gaps.

        FF to 5m40s


        HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
        HTP Pro Pulse 300 MIG
        HTP Pro Pulse 200 MIG x2
        HTP Pro Pulse 220 MTS
        HTP Inverarc 200 TLP water cooled
        HTP Microcut 875SC

        Comment


        • #5
          That thing makes such wild sounds.

          I don’t think I’d agree with just filling in a half inch gap like he did on that trailer. Certainly wouldn’t have taken any mire time to cut a piece of angle to make a fish plate of sorts.

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          • #6
            That's pretty cool - all the independent variable control of TIG with the speed of MIG. I always just extended the stickout if things were getting too hot, but that has limited range and other consequences. I wonder if the "TIG Button" would work on one of these machines and how you would control both wire speed and voltage with one hand?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Fix Until Broke View Post
              That's pretty cool - all the independent variable control of TIG with the speed of MIG. I always just extended the stickout if things were getting too hot, but that has limited range and other consequences. I wonder if the "TIG Button" would work on one of these machines and how you would control both wire speed and voltage with one hand?
              It does. Same as a slider amptrol, where the signal controls the synergic setting on the fly. Slider is easier to actually use, IMO

              I didn't feed any wire as you can see, but the display shows the amperage change based on pressure signal from the button. Depending on how you set it up, you can either A) use the trigger as the on/off and only have the button control the synergic settings (as I did on the video) or B) use the button as both on/off & as the signal for the synergic curve.


              Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
              That thing makes such wild sounds.

              I don’t think I’d agree with just filling in a half inch gap like he did on that trailer. Certainly wouldn’t have taken any mire time to cut a piece of angle to make a fish plate of sorts.
              While the method is obviously not to everyone's liking/standards, it none the less can work if that is the desired outcome.
              Last edited by OscarJr; 09-18-2019, 09:53 PM.
              HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
              HTP Pro Pulse 300 MIG
              HTP Pro Pulse 200 MIG x2
              HTP Pro Pulse 220 MTS
              HTP Inverarc 200 TLP water cooled
              HTP Microcut 875SC

              Comment


              • #8
                Ya, whatever it takes to get the job done, that’s for sure.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by OscarJr View Post

                  It does. Same as a slider amptrol, where the signal controls the synergic setting on the fly. Slider is easier to actually use, IMO

                  I didn't feed any wire as you can see, but the display shows the amperage change based on pressure signal from the button. Depending on how you set it up, you can either A) use the trigger as the on/off and only have the button control the synergic settings (as I did on the video) or B) use the button as both on/off & as the signal for the synergic curve.




                  While the method is obviously not to everyone's liking/standards, it none the less can work if that is the desired outcome.
                  That's cool - Will have to look into something like that. I tried all different kinds of sliders on my TIG torch and anything that required movement always ended up moving the torch a lot as well. The TIG button is perfect for me as I can hold my position as necessary and just vary the force on the button to vary the current. I also hold the TIG torch like a pencil so all my fine motor control is in my fingers/wrist so that may be the reason. How some guys hold the torch like a baseball bat and get such good results is amazing to me - they're fine motor controls must be in their biceps/shoulders.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As long as [email protected] can get the appropriate schematics, he can likely build you a TIG button for any machine.
                    HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
                    HTP Pro Pulse 300 MIG
                    HTP Pro Pulse 200 MIG x2
                    HTP Pro Pulse 220 MTS
                    HTP Inverarc 200 TLP water cooled
                    HTP Microcut 875SC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think tig rod is going to help much. Its probably going to melt away too easy and make a mess. Is there any way to use a dog and wedge to close up the gap? Otherwise maybe jam some scraps into the gap with a little more meat.

                      And ya... A push pull gun with pulse is a world of difference but I doubt your gonna run out and spend 10k on that setup for the one job? Even better then straight pulse is lincolns pulse on pulse, it's all I use and its simply amazing the things you can do with it. Im not sure if miller has a similar program but I would definitely want to demo one if I was in the market for a 2nd machine.
                      www.silvercreekwelding.com

                      Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
                      Miller extreme 12vs
                      Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
                      Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

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                      • #12
                        For thin aluminum aka light fab work, you can get a proven double-pulse push-pull gun setup for about $5000 (machine and push-pull gun). Another $2000 and the thickness capability can be increased with a larger machine.
                        HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
                        HTP Pro Pulse 300 MIG
                        HTP Pro Pulse 200 MIG x2
                        HTP Pro Pulse 220 MTS
                        HTP Inverarc 200 TLP water cooled
                        HTP Microcut 875SC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've only ever filled gaps with MIG on steel and it was no different than TIG.

                          I've done it on aluminum a thousand times over with TIG, patching holes.... not holes that I created of course, because I drill the right hole in the right place every time.... and I never burn through...

                          Can't you just skirt around the edges and build it up towards the inside? Just have to keep it from getting too hot so it doesn't just droop or fly at you.

                          I've done Texas Tig before but never with MIG, I've done it another way with stick where I'll put a piece of metal in the gap to act as a spacer, not trying to make it strong, just trying to close the seam and then weld over it, helps keep it from just expanding the hole since you can move across it rather than skirt the eges. Even just a washer or something and weld the living crap out of it.

                          You know what I mean?
                          if there's a welder, there's a way

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I’ll try the tig rod trick, but it might be a few days, we’re having this hurricane harvey 2.0 here. I’ll report back with how it goes. I might try to remember to snap some before and after pics. It’s T&M, so I’ll probably forget.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Olivero View Post
                              I've only ever filled gaps with MIG on steel and it was no different than TIG.

                              I've done it on aluminum a thousand times over with TIG, patching holes.... not holes that I created of course, because I drill the right hole in the right place every time.... and I never burn through...

                              Can't you just skirt around the edges and build it up towards the inside? Just have to keep it from getting too hot so it doesn't just droop or fly at you.

                              I've done Texas Tig before but never with MIG, I've done it another way with stick where I'll put a piece of metal in the gap to act as a spacer, not trying to make it strong, just trying to close the seam and then weld over it, helps keep it from just expanding the hole since you can move across it rather than skirt the eges. Even just a washer or something and weld the living crap out of it.

                              You know what I mean?
                              You meant a skilled weldor such as yourself who has the sense to plan the job thoroughly before striking the first arc rarely if ever needs to resort to slopping it on to cover fugups because planning and skill will always overcome flinging barrels of wire at the job and blaming poor results on the grinder..

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