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Thread: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

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    Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    I just ran across a video of a guy mig welding aluminum with a old pipeline welding machine and a ln25 wire feeder i always thought you had to have a special set-up.

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    I've done a little aluminum when at the Ambulance, we had a little 120 vold Lincoln 140 mig, the 4043 wire didn't feed well, but the harder 5053 did better, keep the lead as traight as possible and learn to cuss till you get it down, it was just a slide out battery tray, it looked like crap, it was my first attempt at aluminum, but on the other side of the coin was the fact that it was still holding about 10 or 12 years later.
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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    All my welding in aluminum was with wire feeder.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Jwelder86 View Post
    I just ran across a video of a guy mig welding aluminum with a old pipeline welding machine and a ln25 wire feeder i always thought you had to have a special set-up.

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Looks almost like a cobra gun push/pull set up which is basically a big spoolgun imo.
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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    There's mig welding AL and then there's mig welding AL......You will notice that there are no close-ups of welds. Heck, just about any feeder will splash weld AL. The outcome would likely have not been posted if he tried 4043 wire. This is the sort of vid I normally would have stopped after about 1 min. if that long. A guy yapping because he likes to hear himself yap.

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    There are a lot of variables in play here. The type/size wire, how long/straight the whip is, how effective the wire feeder is at pushing, etc. Spoolguns came about because aluminum wire is soft and doesn't feed reliably in many situations using a normal wire feeder...but it's not an absolute. I'm sure there are other folks welding aluminum with a normal wire feeder and whip, but they're probably being careful to keep the whip straight an only run 5056 wire (it's a bit stiffer).

    While this method seems to have worked I wouldn't want to rely on it for anything other than occasional, or emergency use.

    I will say that torch sure does look like a push/pull setup as N2 mentioned.
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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    In the video he said it was just a regular straight gun that it wasn't a push pull gun

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    He showed the gun in the video and said its just a regular straight through gun

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Push pull guns have the feed come in the back of the gun in line with the tip like this one he has. Regular guns have the feed come in the bottom of the grip.

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/...8/post-1833570

    This is my Lorch S3, they have a perfect setup for welding aluminium without a pushpull or spoolgun. This configuration has no problems with 5356, 4043 or even pure 1050/1080 wire.

    I was first put onto Lorch when we had huge problems with a Lincoln set trying to push pure 1050 wire through a 3m gun. We tried a push pull gun and it didn't work at all. The lorch dealer sent me a video of his S3 pushing 1080 wire though a 4m gun with a knot tied in the whip - no problems. I was literally sold.

    Since then, I've bought both a Lorch TIG set and that S3 MIG set.

    Push-pull guns are invaluable for bigger jobs like boats or trailer bodies etc where a 4m gun is impractical, I'd have one myself but I don't do enough large work to justify it. I also don't like spoolguns, the tiny reels of wire only last 5 minutes, plus, you get used to modern advanced pulse MIG setups with synchronised feeders for hot start/crater fill, double pulse etc. You don't get any of that on a spoolgun.

    This way, all I do is change the liner, tip and driverolls to convert from steel wire to aluminium wire. It's cheap and very effective.
    Last edited by Munkul; 09-06-2021 at 05:22 AM.
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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Thanks everyone for there input I'm going to message the guy and ask him for a better video and see what he tells me.

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Quote Originally Posted by Jwelder86 View Post
    Thanks everyone for there input I'm going to message the guy and ask him for a better video and see what he tells me.
    The video is correct. There is no special set up needed for Alooominum.

    You just need pure argon as the shielding gas and however you can get the AL wire delivered to the part yer working on, you are good to go.

    That being said, some straight guns work better than others based on the wire feeder drive rolls.

    Imma guess that dude in the video has some experience weldin' so he chose what works for him.

    Weekend warriors like myself benefit from a Spoolgun set up as the chances of wire buggering up is eliminated

    AL is hard enough just trying to dial in the correct parameters to make a decent weld.
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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Years ago a member posted his aluminum welding without a spool gun
    . imgineer was the member. There have been others.

    However, i think dude in the video is cheating. I think his gun is pulling. Judging be zero regard for cable straightness.

    Straight cables is consistent parameter amongst those using plain wire feeders. Short whips help too.

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    The Lorch dealer sent me a video of his S3 pushing 1080 wire though a 4m gun with a knot tied in the whip - no problems. I was literally sold.
    This is what I say to people who insist that you have to keep the whip straight.

    You just need a slicker feed setup
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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    This is what I say to people who insist that you have to keep the whip straight.

    You just need a slicker feed setup
    Thanks. I guess the harder wire, 1\16 liner and straight gun were the slicker set up. Otherwise he says everything was "plain jane". 2 of those variables are not common in small home shops.

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Does anybody else have a straight gun like that is not push-pull? Why is it desired? Looks like it would be unnecessarily bulky for general use?

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    Re: Welding aluminum without a spoolgun

    Quote Originally Posted by Jwelder86 View Post
    Thanks everyone for there input I'm going to message the guy and ask him for a better video and see what he tells me.

    Thought you might have tried this already.

    Teflon liners are about $30 , still cheaper than a spoon gun, and spool guns are far cheaper than a LN25.

    What kind of welding machine do you have ?
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