Aluminum stick welding question.
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  1. #1
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    Aluminum stick welding question.

    Hello, I wonder if there is any advice for doing small repair work in aluminum with these rods I picked up from Airgas. Mainly I would like to know which polarity works for Alum 43 rods.
    http://www.airgas.com/browse/product...2&WT.svl=80552
    I was told to use reverse polarity, is this correct?
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
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    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  2. #2
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    DC reverse is correct. Electrode positive, ground negitive...Bob
    Last edited by aametalmaster; 06-07-2007 at 05:31 PM.
    Bob Wright
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/southbend10k/
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    1999 Miller MM185 w/ Miller 185 Spoolmate spoolgun

  3. #3
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    Thank you very much, Bob. This could explain the first results! I'll let you know if there is an improvement.
    Danny.
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  4. #4
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    keep a short arc and practice a bit with it, it really is possible to do quality work with it but it takes some effort and practice
    Brian Moyer
    Moyer Welding & Fabrication
    LaSalle MI

  5. #5
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    Some people can work well with aluminum rods - gererally better suited for thick aluminum.

    In most cases, think of your crappiest looking steel rod weld bead - that will be a good aluminum rod weld.

    Keep at it, just experiment with amps, distance and rod angle (be fairly vertical). Rods go quick and you can't linger at any time or you're blowing holes.
    Last edited by Snidley; 06-08-2007 at 11:57 AM.
    Here in the Great White North
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  6. #6
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    Does anyone have any pics of an AL stick weld? It seems as if these posts are on here weekly but there are never any pics.

  7. #7
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    Hey i just tried the same rods on a small engine intake manifold. Man all i can say is practice practice practice wayyy before you even attempt the repair. Its real finiky. I'm difinatly not the world greatest welder but here is some things i found.
    Travel speed is critical to not blowing holes.
    When you think your going fast enough go faster.
    Preheating helps alot, try a slight leading angle.
    If your welding thin stuff (like 1/8 or smaller) use the 3/32 rod at about 45 - 50 amps DC+. This rod is very flimsy so break off some flux around the middle to hold the electrode or just practice with it untill ist down to about 6 in then use this rod for the repair. It easier to controll a smaller rod, you don't have as much flex (yes flex- not flux) in it.
    Also remember to break off the flux off the end of half spent rod or it will be hard to start the arc, as if it wasn't hard enough already.
    And don't worry much about putting metal down The heat will fuse most of parent metal together with little filler metal needed.
    Wait till its almost totaly cool before you chip the slag off, try to have it cool slowly.

    Good luck and enjoy the show ( the arc is really cool looking-- kinda like a White and Blueish color).

    I've never welded aluminum before till the other day, if you have then maybe some of this stuff is reduntand. Hope some of this stuff helps.

  8. #8
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    When welding thin stuff(1/8th or thinnner) try to use backing if you can, and yeh it burns fast , you feel like you cant feed it fast enough. Welded cable tray(1/8th sides) for a few months and got pretty good with it. Have fun and yeh it took some practice finding the right angle and amperage. Finicky rods. Your in the right amperage range. Try to do it with out shortening rod, they can be expensive lol.
    Latest Toys Miller 180 Mig and Elite Mask!!
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  9. #9
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    Boy I'll say! I barely muddled through that stuff this morning. It could have been harder but I don't know how! Sorry no pictures, I haven't got a digital camera, I've only had this computer for 6 months.
    The only DC stick machine available to me is my Honda powered gen set/DC 170Amp welder that has been sitting unused for near ten years! It still runs but the voltage adjusting knob had taken a set where it was, that cleared up after a few cycles. The welding had to be done in place on a corner of the slide out frame of a fifth wheel travel trailer. Paneling and carpet on the inside of the framework! It will be covered up within the wall when complete.
    At first I tried a few practice runs on some scrap. I had only a package of 1/8 and a package of 3/32, 7 rods in each package and an average cost of over a dollar each rod!!! So I gave up on the scrap very quickly, not much rod to play with and then went right at the repair.
    All I can say is, it is very fortunate this repair attempt will be hidden within the wall! I hope it holds up as this is a high stress point. What a mess, sign me up for the fall semester TIG class!!!
    Thanks for the suggestions,
    Danny.
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  10. #10
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    Here are some practice stringers I ran a while back using Forney 1/8" 4043 AL rods, second shot is penetration on back of the plate, it ain't perty! Make sure your work is clean and shiny before you weld it. The Forney package recomends pre-heat 400-600*, I did not I was just playing around as we never had a unit of AL SMAW in school.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by Bobsawelder; 06-09-2007 at 12:44 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    I'm gonna have to try this Monday..
    Never did stick aluminum..

    Should be interesting..

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

    Just because I'm a dumbass don't mean that you can be too.
    So DON'T try any of this **** l do at home.

  12. #12
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    We always cleaned with wirebrush but we never preheated them. It's takes awhile to make em anywhere new passable looking, never mind pretty LOL
    Latest Toys Miller 180 Mig and Elite Mask!!
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    Shop OutFitters 20/20 Bending System
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  13. #13
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    I finally got my 35mm pics back. This time I had them burn a photo CD so I could show the aftermath!

    There was no bead across the face of the joint. I ground off the muck to make clearance for the patchwork, and to hide the disgusting results before the photo!!

    Good, bad, or UGLY, we have to get this job done, so we prepared for cosmetic repairs.

    The patch proved to have a weakness along the right vertical edge, which we bolstered with flat head screws that got countersunk flush. There are more pictures, but I only post these with a focus on the stick welding. First-time-ugly! At least we could hide it behind resin, bondo and paint!
    Thanks for the help! See you in the fall semester TIG class!!
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  14. #14
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    I can recall being new to these boards when I posted this question, concerning this job.
    Well, it failed. It came back as a warranty job for us, meaning...yours truly.


    Two years ago on the day after I passed my steel certs., I get an aluminum job dropped in my lap. "Well, Mr. expert?", the boss says.
    So this time around, as soon as I heard it, I knew it was time to take the new/used E-tig to work with me. I dunno, call it intuition!

    Sure enough. It broke.
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    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  15. #15
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    I should mention, that I only last week got green tip tungstens for the transformer based tig machine.
    I had no time to try aluminum with the new tig. aND i HAtE aLUMinUM!!
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  16. #16
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    Re: Aluminum stick welding question.

    The forklift test was a success, despite the elephant-man-like-bead-appearance. "Yuk!" The rest is an excercise in body shop class, but i digress.
    Did I mention that........ i hATe aLUmiNUm?
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

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