View Full Version : New to Welding
07-20-2004, 02:50 PM
Hello Everyone. I am new to welding. I decided I wanted to learn how to weld, so I went out and bought a welder. I got a mig welder that will run gas and/or flux core wire.
Most of my welding has been fairly simple stuff. Built a steel bracket to hold my spare tire in the bed of my truck. I also welded up a custom exhaust for it.
My question is, What all materials can be Mig welded? I am looking into some other projects. Although I am not a great welder, I can weld steel fairly well. But not sure about aluminum, or stainless? I was told that Tig is required for those two metals, but was also told that with the right gas and wire, it can be Mig welded.
Thanks in Advance.
BTW, just a warning, I am sure I will be asking alot of questions in the future. I want to get good at welding. I know it takes lots of practice, but I don't have anyone that can diagnose what I am doing wrong. So that makes it hard to learn the right way.
07-20-2004, 05:49 PM
Welcome Shawn! You will find alot of knowledgable folks willing to help you out no matter what the question. You are right in being told that you can mig aluminum and stainless with the right wire and gas. Although I will say that aluminum mig almost needs a spoolgun. You can mig aluminum with a push system if you get the right cable liner, use 5356 wire (stiffer than 4043) and keep the cable real straight. As far as not having any help diagnosing your welds, if you have a digital camera or access to one. Post some pics and we will help you along
07-21-2004, 02:03 AM
Thanks for answering my questions. I do have a digital camera, so I guess the next time I weld something up, I wll snap some pics.
Now when you talk about spoolgun and push system, Greek to me. LOL.
So basically changing the wire will allow me to weld those other metals. Now, what if I am welding aluminum, to aluminized steel? Can that be done?
I will admit, I am fairly new to welding, all its lingo, etc. Safe to say I in the IDIOT category when it comes to that stuff. But I figured the only way to learn, was to jump in with both feet.
Most of my welding to is for modifications to my truck. I am gonna be redoing the inlet and outlet manifolds on my supercharger. So that is mainly gonna consist of probably 1/4" aluminum plate, and some aluminumized steel tubing. I didn't want to use steel for everything, because of the weight.
On a side note, I see you are from DesMoines. I am from Mason City. Not sure if you know where that is at, but its about 2hrs north of ya.
Again Thanks for the reply
07-21-2004, 01:20 PM
A spoolgun is basically a spool of wire at the gun instead of the spool of wire in the mig box. The only thing the cable is used for is shielding gas and current. Less travel for the spoolgun means you can use any size, ductility wire without the fear of birdnesting (when the wire bends instead of being pushed through the cable). As far as welding aluminum to aluminized steel, you got me there, I have never done it so I can't say if it can be done or not. About the manifolds on your supercharger being 1/4" aluminum plate, you are going to need alot of heat for that and would recommend preheating to assure fusion, that is if you even can weld aluminum to aluminized steel. As far as a process recommendation for that kind of work, I would say preheating the piece and tig is the best process. Also, aluminum has to be VERY clean to weld. That means stainless steel wire brushing and a good acetone bath, aluminum can never be too clean. I know where Mason City is but never been there. Good luck on your project, let us know how things work out for ya!
07-21-2004, 02:01 PM
Cool. I will let ya know. I guess if worse comes to worse, I can take it to a shop to have done.
Thanks for the info.
07-21-2004, 02:41 PM
What machine do you have?
07-22-2004, 03:02 AM
Sberry, not sure if you are asking me, but I have a Century 155GS. Nothing special. Something I picked up cheap at a local Fleet Farm under $400.
07-22-2004, 10:31 AM
You wont be able to weld alum with it, at least not wery well. It wont take a spool gun.
07-23-2004, 02:34 AM
Ok, gonna mess around a bit with it anyways. Never hurts to try. I might just tack it in some spots and then take it somewhere to have to fully welded up.
07-23-2004, 07:23 AM
I would do the fitting and take it to be welded. It takes another gas, argon to weld alum. Welding alum with that type of feeder can be extremely frustrating and isnt worth the expence to set up. Use it for steel and you can get some use out of it.
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