Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!
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  1. #1
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    Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

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Size:  45.4 KBpicsHi Folks,

    I will post a few pics when i can but I have been playing with most settings - voltage, gas flow, gun angle, travel speed, etc and still can't get a well defined cleaning line on the sides of the weld.
    - Using XMT 304, and an older XR15 push pull feeder and gun
    - Argon flow - tried anywhere from 40 to 50 cfh
    - started at 24V but also tried going down as low as 21V
    - Tried adjusting wire speed fast enough not to get too much spatter or too long of a spray / arc cone, but not so fast that it really felt like it was shooting out to fast. Can't easily measure wire speed, as I have it set to a slower run in speed, so the real welding arc speed does not start until I get an arc - I can't just count out 6 sceonds, measure the wire that comes out and multiply by 6 - as this would measure my run in speed only (if you know how I can measure it, please let me know.)
    -Had wire speed at around 7 to 8 on the gun control -
    - Pushed gun from right to left, trying anything from about 10 degree gun angle to maybe 30 or 40 degrees
    - Contact tip recessed about 1/8" behind gas cup
    Based on experienced advice here, I did increase wire speed and decrease voltage in order to reduce splatter and have a shorter spary arc cone than earlier practice - so I could see more unmelted wire before it turned to spray, and this worked. Just not getting the cleaning line.

    Although my welds need work in other apsects as well, the main thing I was trying to work on today was getting the cleaning line to be more prominent. In a couple of welds there was a somewhat more defined white line, between the edges of the weld and the black soot. Most had little to no white line though.

    I realize there are big craters, and the welds are not consistent - I was not trying to fil lcraters today, and was alll over the place with e patterns, c pattens, etc.
    If anyone could explain the secret to getting this white line, or at least the factor that lead towards it, I would appreciate it.
    Last edited by Northeaster; 01-25-2014 at 07:00 PM. Reason: pics

  2. #2
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    How thick of metal and size of wire? On 1-8 to3-16 inch metal with .035 4043 wire try around 21 volts and the dial around 6-7 . I set the tip about 1-4 inch back and push about 30 -40 degree angle. I riun the gas about 35 -40 on the flowmeter .
    Miller xmt304, Miller S22 p12, Miier Maxstar SD, Miller 252 w 30A, Miller super32p12, Lincoln Ranger 9, Thermal Arc 181I with spoolgun, Hypertherm 10000 ,Smith torches.

  3. #3
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    Sorry, forgot those facts:
    - 1/4" 5052 material
    - 5356 .047 / 1.2mm wire

    Thanks for the help. I will try recessing ti pa bit more.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    turn gas down to 30cfh (thats your main problem too much gas causing it to run really hot) . do a whip technique but dont whip out of the puddle or you'll leave crater cracks . at the end of the weld trigger in 2 or 3 times to fill the crater.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    Thanks, I will try 30 on the gas, hopefully tomorrow.
    It was actually your pics on another thread, as well as some from others as well, that got me trying harder to improve this aspect today. I have never seen a white line anything close to what's in your pic, not to mention the rest of the consistency and results.

    When you say whip, which I have a general idea of whipping the puddle as in some vertical / stick welding, when I try to tie in the edges and not spend to much time in the middle.
    In this case are you really making backward C s , where you lead up one edge, whip back around the back of puddle, then up the other edge, steph ahead a bit and whip back around? if not please expaling abit more please! Is its OK to make cursive e s ?

    How about thoughts on voltage for butt welds and filet welds on 1/4" 5052 and on filet welds between 1/4" 5052 and 3/16" 6061 - both using 5356 .047/1.2m wire?

    Finally, what should be look at for travel speed roughly?
    Last edited by Northeaster; 01-25-2014 at 08:31 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    to make it easier the weld i posted was welded from right to left . to get the ripples i whip ahead a little to dig in for penetration then i whip back and let it fill in then whip back ahead and so on and so forth. this makes the ripples you see. just make sure you stay in the puddle while doing this. not all aluminum welds will look as clean as mine it all depends on how clean the material is. sometimes youll get black soot down both sides of the weld, it will wipe off or brush off aslong as the weld itself is not black you are good. for your heat settings im not too sure because all machines are different i used a miller cp300 with xmt pushpull gun with .062 4043 wire running 30volts on 3/8 6061. if you are in true spray mode with no spatter and good wetting of the puddle then you are good. if you are getting crackling noise and spatter either turn heat up a little or cut wire speed back some.

  7. #7
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    OK. So a straight whipping back and forth, like step, backstep a bit, still in the puddle, then step again. Practicing last year, I did try some straight welds, with no side to side movement, or e or backward c patterns. But, I found that doing butt welds, or even filet welds, I didn't think I was tying in the edges enough (maybe the bead was too narrow from my settings being way off though). Anyway, after that started using trying some side to side motion or pattern.

    I am definitely in spray mode, last time having too long of a spray arc cone (almost back to the gas cup, but not enough to burn back), and this time trying to have a short arc cone (maybe 1/8" -1/4" and the rest of the wire still solid before melting in the spray cone.

    I do have another question ( for anyone..)- was just re-watching a Mig-aluminum video by Jody at Welding tips and tricks and he mentions getting good cleaning action to break up the aluminum oxide .... I am confused - I always use a dedicated stainless hand brush (or now wire wheel) to remove all of the oxide off, for a distance way beyond where I am welding. Will I still get a nice, well defined white cleaning line if there is no oxide there and it is all brushed well and cleaned with acetone?

  8. #8
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    Was he talking about the TIG process , where your AC current gives a cleaning action? You will still get the white line after cleaning since some impurities are still in the metal.
    Miller xmt304, Miller S22 p12, Miier Maxstar SD, Miller 252 w 30A, Miller super32p12, Lincoln Ranger 9, Thermal Arc 181I with spoolgun, Hypertherm 10000 ,Smith torches.

  9. #9
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    if it is cleaned real good you should get a white cleaning line. i use stainless brush and rag of thinner

  10. #10
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    No, I have seen the AC cleaning of Tig in other videos In these videos, he definitely was usng Mig (with a spool gun in one, and a new python push pull gun in the other) and entioned the cleaning. I know it is Mig - DC only but have read or been told that the hot argon does clean the metal, although I am sure not to the extent of the AC portion of Tig, which I think will burn right through the oxide layer...I have no experience with Tig on aluminum.

    Yes, I am cleaning well with dedicated stainless wire wheel (smallish .014 knotted wires as not to drag or smear dirt or oxide), dedicated stainless handbrush and acetone wipe.

    Thanks to both of you for the advice. I will try turning gas down a bit and recess the tip bit more. And practice some straight whip beads.
    If you think I should try anything else, let me know

  11. #11
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    Ran some beads this morning, with contact tip recessed about 1/4", and gas set at 30cfh.
    23 and 24Volts with the .047/1.2m 5336 wire.
    Used straight step, backstep pattern.

    Still no white cleaning lines. Normally alot of back soot on the sides of welds but not on weld face itself. Is it possible that I am getting the cleaning but that the whote lines are being just covered in black soot?

    By the way, tried filling craters a couple of times by pressing trigger after stopping - I am used to doing this on mig on steel on thin stuff - but here blew holes in the 1/4" 5052 material.

    Sometimes, as in the last bead, the smoke on the sides is more gray than black. I has to brush soot off I as went ,except for the bottom one, so I could have clean material.
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    What should I try next?? More help would be appreciated!

  12. #12
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    to me it looks like either your wire or argon is contaminated

  13. #13
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    I guess there is a chance, but figured it is likley I am doing something wrong!
    Wire is about 2 years old, and is kept in the feeder cabinet. I know it likley oxidizes some in there, but would have thought it would only be on the oustide layer or two of wire. Thought that would get burnt up pretty quickly.

    I have never used 4043 wire as I need the 5356 for building a boat for saltwater use. I have read that 5356 is harder to use and make look good than 4043, but I know that does not account for poor look and quality of my welds.

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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    On your last pic it looks like the plate is getting very hot. If you run multiple beads on a piece of plate it will get hot enough to burn through easily. 5356 welds are generally not as smooth or pretty as 4043 welds but 5356 is the right wire for your application.

    John
    A few welders
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    A whole lot of C-clamps

  15. #15
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    That is exactly what running 5356 on 5052 is going to look like. Perhaps turn down your voltage, and pull your contact tip back out. Puti was right on with 30 to 35 cfh. There is a good chance your argon is dirty.

    5356 is the right wire.
    "Nothing welded, nothing gained."
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  16. #16
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    Cleaning action with MIG welding is very poor, not nearly as noticeable as A/C TIG. I'd also say it is pretty rare to get no soot on that particular weld. Make sure you are pushing the gun, and have a fairly long stick out. Check your was, should be about 360ipm, and you should bump up your volts a bit to 24-25. Also I think your technique needs a bit of practice, but you are on the right track.

  17. #17
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    Thanks very much for all of the replies and advice.
    Yes, the plate was getting very hot - I would not weld that much all at once, on something more important. I know that travel speed has to generally increase as things heat up, but still don't have the experience yet, to see all of the signs.

    Definitely have to work on technique and consistency. Will likely cut a bunch of pieces from scrap and pratice butt and filet welds rather than just running beads on flats.
    Last edited by Northeaster; 01-27-2014 at 07:14 PM. Reason: sp

  18. #18
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    yeah weld on a piece and let it sit and cool and go on to another. but I run 23V and number 3 on wire speed on gun handle off my trailblazer out in the field on 1/4" material
    -Mobile Setup-
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  19. #19
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    won't be able to practice till the weekend, but should get some time in then.
    If I want a bit of side to side movement, to tie in the edges more than I can reach with a straight patterm bead - is it ok just to move a bit side to side, while advancing, sort of a small zig zag? Or, should I do cursive e or bacward c ?? If the butt is beveled on edges, I don't find that a straight pattern reaches far enough into the edges - I am sure experienced guys can make it work.
    Last edited by Northeaster; 01-27-2014 at 08:02 PM. Reason: sp

  20. #20
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    you can try it but if ya don't keep your speed up gonna get too hot on ya
    -Mobile Setup-
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    Spoolmatic 30a
    Lincoln LN25 feeder
    WP17 tig torch/RFCS-14HD foot control

  21. #21
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    Here's my setups
    047 5356 wire
    40cfh argon
    Tip is set 1/8inch back from nozzle and keep the nozzle clean even a little bit of spatter will mess up your weld.
    Same welder and feeder as yours just diff gun length
    For 1/4 inch butt joint 23volt 5 on wire cap at 23.5v ( note if you can't touch mat with bare hand don't weld it's to hot)
    1/4inch to 1/4 fillet 23.5v 5-5 1/2 wire speed

    3/16inch butt joint 22.5v 5 wire
    Same for fillet
    As for weave pattern I may back step or do straight pull but practice without weave ing or back stepping
    Gun angle is critical you push the weld never pull 7deg is the max angle I do unless the boat or situation won't allow it then do the best you can.
    I will take some pics of some welds today for you and do my best to discibe it in more detail

  22. #22
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    Abec- thanks very much for your settings. I had tried my gun wire speed lower, around 5 or so, but thought I got too much splatter. I wonder if my lack of technicque may have added to this. ie having too little or muchcontact tip to work distance.

    Anyway, I will try again and make sure to use several pieces of scrap tpo keep them cooler.

    Would love to see some pics, as you have the same filler wire, etc.

  23. #23
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    This is one of my cwb tests pcs set is 40cfh argon 27.5v 7wire
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  24. #24
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    This is a 1/4inch chine to 1/4inch hull and 3/16inch side plate the inside weld is full weld inside back cut outside inside welds are 22.5v 4.5wire I weld the 3/16side first to preheat the 1/4 to 1/4 on the side you see I back cut both joints to the first weld then the 3/16 corner is 22.4v 4.5 wire the 1/4 to 1/4 is 23.5v 6wire root pass and 24v 5 cap
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  25. #25
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    Re: Help me with getting better / larger white cleanig line on aluminum Mig please!

    This weld is 3/16side plates butt welded together I weld the inside at 22.5v 4wire the outside you see here is back cut and welded on pulse I set it at 9 and 3 wire
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