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Thread: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

  1. #26
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    yofish,

    got some scrap and ran 047 diameter 5356 through my 20ft Anaconda. Keep in mind as you look at the pics, while my welds might not meet your standards, that's not to say that the technology/machine are not up to par. In the hands of someone who does aluminum MIG day-in-day-out, they can likely get better results than I. It's a wee bit cold and of course sooty due to the magnesium in 5356, but none the less it works just fine as push-only IMO. I used my ProPulse 300 with the 4-roller geared setup so all 4 rollers are grooved and are driving the wire down my custom MIG gun with a carbon graphite liner.



    That soot is called smut. Clean it off immediately before it crystallizes and sticks hard to the metal.
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  2. #27
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Well dang it, Louie! Now you've gone and done it!

    Until now I wasn't interested in welding aluminum or silicone bronze with the Multimatic 255 but if I can get into the game for the cost of a short gun and feed rolls then I'll have to give it a try sometime.

    Now the questions come.... Would a single short gun work for both aluminum and silicon bronze with maybe a liner change for those of us who rarely use either wire? Can silicon bronze and aluminum be run through the same liner without contamination issues? And what liner to use anyway? Hmm.....

    Like many things in life the more I learn the more need to learn.....

    Best regards to all,
    Lance

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  4. #28
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    I reached out to Miller for info on the silicone bronze gun (MDX-100) and whether you can run bronze wire through the supplied MDX-250 and what exact part number the 200 amp Bernard Q BTB gun is and got this back from one Dustin.... Who was very patient with my inexact questions on the way to an answer......

    The part about messing things up is in response to a questions about possible cross contamination and whether using a different liner for bronze was advisable.

    Good afternoon,

    I did call over to our MIG division and they said you should have no issue running silicon bronze in your MIG stuff, the tips and consumables will remain the same as long as the wire size is the same, it should not mess anything up as the consumables and liners are made of hard metals and monocoil liners. They did mention some will run it shorter though like a 10 foot mig gun and just use that one particularly for just silicon bronze.

    The auto body package is a new set up that we teamed up with our sister company Bernard, they specialize in MIG guns more than anyone, standard machine use we always try and run the spool gun or push/pull but Bernard does do some very special things with them, the auto body package does include a 12 foot mig gun for aluminum with an entirely different set of consumables for it I believe, but will plug and play in a MM 255.

    If needing to contact Bernard directly for more information their email over there is MWAParts@millerwelds.com and they can assist with the aluminum gun package.

    Thanks!


    A MDX-100 gun like the one supplied with the Autobody package is in the $160 range if one wished to go that way.....

    I have to make a hit and run trip to Annapolis, MD tomorrow so it will be at least Wednesday before I can reach out to Bernard. I'll report back when I have an answer as to the exact part number of the supplied gun.

    Best regards,


    Lance
    Lance

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    Multimatic 255 w/MDX-250 EZ-Select gun
    9" Evolution circular saw

  5. #29
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    I have a feeling the only reason they include the MDX-100 gun for the SilBro is just because the SilBro doesn't require a lot of amps and many users would appreciate a gun that is easier to maneuver and not as unwieldy as the 250 amp gun. The Bernard BTB 200 amp gun has an available polymer liner especially designed for aluminum

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  7. #30
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    I have a feeling the only reason they include the MDX-100 gun for the SilBro is just because the SilBro doesn't require a lot of amps and many users would appreciate a gun that is easier to maneuver and not as unwieldy as the 250 amp gun. The Bernard BTB 200 amp gun has an available polymer liner especially designed for aluminum
    I suspected the same as to the MDX-100. Given the large assortment of handles, necks etc on the BTB guns I'm not sure what/why they picked what they did other than a reference to less bend in the neck for better feeding.

    At any rate, until I get a better handle on all the MM 255 does for mild steel I'll likely hold off on bronze or aluminum so it'll be a while yet before I did anything anyway. So this is still somewhat academic for me.

    Best regards to all,


    Lance
    Last edited by LanceR; 04-12-2021 at 06:15 PM.
    Lance

    Miller/Smith heavy duty torch set
    Multimatic 255 w/MDX-250 EZ-Select gun
    9" Evolution circular saw

  8. #31
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    I'll likely hold off on bronze or aluminum so it'll be a while yet before I did anything anyway
    I would say to buy the bronze and just start messing around with it, but only if you have 100% argon on hand. Other than the gas change, it should work without having to buy anything extra besides the wire.

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  10. #32
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    [QUOTE=Oscar;8809962]yofish,

    got some scrap and ran 047 diameter 5356 through my 20ft Anaconda. Keep in mind as you look at the pics, while my welds might not meet your standards, that's not to say that the technology/machine are not up to par. In the hands of someone who does aluminum MIG day-in-day-out, they can likely get better results than I. It's a wee bit cold and of course sooty due to the magnesium in 5356, but none the less it works just fine as push-only IMO. I used my ProPulse 300 with the 4-roller geared setup so all 4 rollers are grooved and are driving the wire down my custom MIG gun with a carbon graphite liner.

    Oscar, thank you for the reply, I really appreciate it. I appreciate it because you actually took the time to show something (a product) when asked specifically. That is tip-top to me, so many here just yap.

    I use an Everlast 275P these days hooked to a Miller XR box and gun and am very, very happy with its performance - single pulse, no BS happy horse pucky with all the latest greatest POW! stuff. I've used some of the 'synergic' things and I just shut it off. I know what I want and that is only volts, pulse, and wire speed as I want them, and not from the computer. With this Everlast I spent a lot of time doing my best to make it do what I wanted it (hoping) to do with push only. Alas the best was using 1/16" wire, only.

    Your example weld would be just fine for this or that but not a visible weld on a boat, your result is like mine using push and not adequate. Again, thank you.

  11. #33
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Yofish View Post
    Your example weld would be just fine for this or that but not a visible weld on a boat, your result is like mine using push and not adequate. Again, thank you.
    So the main concern is aesthetics then, because it would visible and it has to be appealing to the eye?
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  12. #34
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Oscar's result would be fine for commercial boats... outside corners on thin sheet are tricky with MIG at the best of times. If he showed us a fillet weld I'm sure it would look way better.

    If looks are so important then it would be TIG anyway.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Inside corners do look a little better but not too much seeing as how smut will always be produced with 5356 due to the magnesium I believe. Also, that is an unknown grade of aluminum I joined. Literally random scrap.

    If I had more time I could dial in some manual double pulse and aesthetics would go way up in that department, once the smut is removed.
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  14. #36
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Inside corners do look a little better but not too much seeing as how smut will always be produced with 5356 due to the magnesium I believe. Also, that is an unknown grade of aluminum I joined. Literally random scrap.

    If I had more time I could dial in some manual double pulse and aesthetics would go way up in that department, once the smut is removed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Inside corners do look a little better but not too much seeing as how smut will always be produced with 5356 due to the magnesium I believe. Also, that is an unknown grade of aluminum I joined. Literally random scrap.

    If I had more time I could dial in some manual double pulse and aesthetics would go way up in that department, once the smut is removed.
    Do it! Then I will post my minimums. I really want to see others' efforts too but I won't hold my breath. Mig AL on WW is like something that happens only on Pluto. It's all tig, tig and tig.

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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    Oscar's result would be fine for commercial boats... outside corners on thin sheet are tricky with MIG at the best of times. If he showed us a fillet weld I'm sure it would look way better.

    If looks are so important then it would be TIG anyway.
    Bull. No one does long welds on boats with tig unless you are Kevin Morin with cold wire. And why he does that I have no idea!

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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Yofish View Post
    Do it! Then I will post my minimums. I really want to see others' efforts too but I won't hold my breath. Mig AL on WW is like something that happens only on Pluto. It's all tig, tig and tig.
    Hopefully I have more scrap that is receptive to 5356. Some of the scrap I have doesn't like it at all, and it is very obvious that it is not meant to be welded with 5356, but probably 4043. The result looks like DC TIG on aluminum with argon. So yea, we'll see.
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Yofish View Post
    Bull. No one does long welds on boats with tig unless you are Kevin Morin with cold wire. And why he does that I have no idea!
    That's my point exactly. TIG welds are for fancy looking tuna towers and sports boats any long welds are MIG.
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Miller XMT and single pulse Optima, from a few years back. 5356 wire, push through 3m gun, to 1/4" treadplate and 1/8" channel.




    Not the tidiest work ever, but it was all hidden biggest problem I had was those crater ends. Even tailing it back to fill em in, wasn't perfect. A machine with digital crater fill and hot start makes it a lot easier.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

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  20. #41
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    Miller XMT and single pulse Optima, from a few years back. 5356 wire, push through 3m gun, to 1/4" treadplate and 1/8" channel.




    Not the tidiest work ever, but it was all hidden biggest problem I had was those crater ends. Even tailing it back to fill em in, wasn't perfect. A machine with digital crater fill and hot start makes it a lot easier.
    Now try 6 meter push-only. Just messin witcha
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  21. #42
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    Re: Millermatic 255 aluminum without a spool or push/pull gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    Miller XMT and single pulse Optima, from a few years back. 5356 wire, push through 3m gun, to 1/4" treadplate and 1/8" channel. Not the tidiest work ever, but it was all hidden biggest problem I had was those crater ends. Even tailing it back to fill em in, wasn't perfect. A machine with digital crater fill and hot start makes it a lot easier.
    Munkul, that's about I got with my Everlast with 1/16" wire only. As far as the cratering goes, I completely cut it out with a burr and start again from the stop; never back stepping. Two stops on mig AL at the same point is bad. On a fuel tank say, welded outside corner only, there would likely be a leak at that spot. Even doing it the way I do I still tig over starts and corners on fuel tanks to burn out the inevitable hydrogen bubbles.

    The biggest problem I think with push only is that the wire is spiraling through the conduit like a spring and like a spring, gets held back by friction and then springs forward, unpredictably. I've been tempted to make a whip that I can experiment with length but how is gonna build a boat with, say, a 4 ft whip?

    The best controlled feeding device I ever used was a Hobart Linear. However, it was finicky as heck but when it ran it was superb.

    Thanks for showing, I always appreciate that! Lets see some others efforts...
    Last edited by Yofish; 04-15-2021 at 11:58 PM. Reason: clarity

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