View Full Version : Aluminum pics

02-04-2008, 12:37 AM
Great forum. I've learned a lot. I wouldn't call myself a welder, but I'd like to be good someday. I've been trying to learn Al in my spare time. I'm kind of in the boonies here (not a lot of places to learn) and don't really have the time to take an all out class at the U. I'd appreciate some feedback on my welds. I've been building boat parts, etc. I'd like to get good with 3/16-3/8" stuff. I have a Lincoln powermig 255 with a Prince spool gun. I seem to do best with 21-23V (.030 and .035) wire and about 25cfh on the argon. I've tried all kinds of weaves and whips but I seem to get better results by just pushing straight.

So, how am I doing? I try to do everything horizontal, but I would like some tips on vertical and overhead. Someday I'd like to build a boat.

Also, since I've been looking at welds, I see some boats with really nice, uniform dime stacks. Are those made with a pulse machine, is there a technique, or do I need a lot more practice? What about stopping and starting. I try to circle at the end of a weld, but blow out corners and either leave holes or humps... What's the best technique for butting 1/4" plate vertically?

Thanks in advance for the help.



02-04-2008, 12:51 AM
Nice. I would love to be able to do boat work. I don't do aluminum or stainless work, even though I took tig in school last fall. I'm only trained in and work with steel, but practice, practice, practice.

David R
02-04-2008, 06:07 AM
The beads look good from what I can see. That fillet is close and good in some spots. Just steady down and run the bead. It looks like you had the heat right.

If You want the un needed dimes, move ahead and back a little with the gun. Just a little. Better yet, just lay down a nice smooth consistent bead.

Pause at the end of the weld and count. Find out what you have to count to for a full crater with out making a mountain.


02-04-2008, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the tips. I just can't go any further on my own... Would I do anything different for other than flat positions? I tried uphill, it was a mess. Downhill looks better than my flat, sometimes, and pen. looks about the same. Is there a reason to go uphill?, Should I turn my voltage down?

David R
02-04-2008, 05:19 PM
Can you weld other processes uphill? Mig?


02-04-2008, 08:46 PM
I'm can run uphill with stick, but haven't really done a lot with Mig. The little bit I have done with steel I ran downhill because of the location. That looked pretty good. In fact, with steel, that machine is really pretty sweet... much easier than I expected. I haven't done a lot of practicing with Al. I'm just wondering if there are any big differences. Someone told me that the spool gun wasn't really very good for anything but flat welding. He's wrong, right??

David R
02-04-2008, 09:28 PM
In Spray mode, I don't think you can weld out of position with anything. In short circuit, I have never tried it with aluminum.

Learn mig vertical up with steel, then try aluminum. I can pulsed spray aluminum vertical up and overhead, but that is a different process.

Note, I just bought 20 1 lb rolls of aluminum for less than $6.00 each from welding depot.com.