What I basically want to know is, is it at all possible to weld aluminum with this welder? I tried to weld a piece of thin guage steel the other day, and at 40 amps I blew a huge hole in the piece of steel. So, my concern is, what would this welder end up doing to aluminum? This is only going to be a "once in a while" type thing, so I don't want to purchase a ReadyWelder or anything like that. I just want to know if it is possible to stick weld with this particular welder.
Yes it is quite possible to stick weld with that machine.
For thin guage steel, like 16 ga, you would need a 1/16" 6013 electrode, running around 30-40 amps.
Aluminum stick rod does work, but it is UUUUUGGGGGLLLLYYYY.
Definitely in the emergencies only category.
I know I can stick weld with it, as it is a stick welder machine. :) Plus, I have been working with it for a few months.
Okay, I will need to keep this in mind. I don't know what I was using. Probably 1/8" or something. :)
Well, as I said, it was just a question. I don't currently have a need for it, but in the event I came across free aluminum welding rods or anything, I just want to know if it would be worth it to bother with stick welding aluminum.
When was the last time you used alu rod?
I get to use it fairly often on odd repairs and I think that modern alu rod runs amazingly well, with a very nice appearance.
Is this something you have heard, or are you basing your comments on real experience?
2 weeks ago. 1/8" Alstate Smoothcote
Ah see there you go. The stuff we have at school is pretty old. The smoke plume off this stuff will curl your nostril hairs and make you wish didn't have a nose.
Well I tried it several times. I was able to get a strong weld, but the welds never looked very presentable, and penetration was variable.
I haven't seen anybody recommend a modern version, and everybody I have asked about it has agreed that it is ugly at best.
What brand have you used that worked well? I'll see if the local suppliers have some. I am always willing to learn something.
I have stick welded aluminum with the Miller Thunderbolt. It worked pretty well.
If you are only making short welds or just a few welds you need to preheat the aluminum. If you start out cold it leaves a big blob. Once it warms up, it works fine. I used an OA torch for the preheat.
That one project was the only aluminum stick welding I have done.
Pick one, my guess is there is one, maybe two manufacturers. They usually say for cast alu. We repair alu stuff as it's brought to us, usually it is cast but we get asked to patch tanks some times. The welds look very presentable. Nothing ugly about them, we sell them with pride. This is field expedient work, that is in the course of our regularly scheduled duties, someone will come up and say, "hey can you fix this?" We say "maybe." Grind it out, put some heat into it, and weld away. Nobody that works for my little outfit does anything that can be classed as "UUUUUUGGGGGGLLLLLLYYYYYY", or even "ugly", we don't alow it <g>.
My particular welder is AC only. Which is why I am asking. I know OTHER welders can weld aluminum, but it is MINE I am concerned about here. :) Not that I need or want to be welding it. I just want to know if the time ever comes that something aluminum needs to be welded, if I can do it myself or would be wasting my money purchasing aluminum electrodes.