On 7/22/2021 10:48 PM, Richard Smith wrote:
> Hi all
> Burn-back to contactor tip on pulling trigger is my big problem at the
> Wire feed is smooth.
> I clean out the contactor-tip frequently with an oxy-acetylene nozzle
> cleaner - the set of serated wires.
> Yet - often - very quickly - burns back in fraction of a second so
> arc'ing off a blob on the contactor tip.
> I'm trying things like holding a greater stand-off on start-up.
> Will try snipping off wire at shroud so wire-feed has time to come up
> to speed (?) before wire touches job.
> Best wishes,
> Rich Smith
I'm absolutely not an expert or even a good apprentice at any kind of
welding, however your experience mirrors mine in the few dozen feet of
aluminum bead I have laid down with a spool gun. There are a couple
little tricks that helped.
* 3/4 inch stickout. Yes, really. That much.
* Shorten the inner tube the contact tip screws into. I shortened the
inner tube about 3/16 inch and threaded it deeper for the tips. This
helps you maintain stick out.
* Clip the bead off the end of the wire every single time I stop. I
found if I had a ball on the end of the wire burn back was much worse
than if I clipped it off every single time.
* Some sort of gas lens inside the nozzle to better unify the gas flow.
One youtube welder (I don't recall who) used some sort of very porous
scrubber material. I use a piece of screen.
* Don't trust the table on the flip card on the welder. (On my 212 I
almost universally needed slightly higher wire feed rate.) The flip
card values are only good for a starting point before making some
* Buy bulk tips off of your domestic import seller platform like Ebay,
and don't be afraid to swap them out and throw them away many times in a
modest large job.
* Don't be afraid to adjust the gas flow away from that suggested on
the tables. I haven't really needed to do this, but your mileage may vary.
* Look up information on line for travel speed and try to do a couple
cold runs at what you think is that travel speed for practice.
* if possible always make a hot practice weld or two on the same size
material as the job you will be doing. If you can make the practice
weld push it to the point of failure (usually drop out) so you know when
to stop, and always stop in half that time or bead length in your real
* Tack and fill switch areas allowing heat dissapation between short
welds if needed.
* Start and finish on a previous weld or tack.
* It might be possible to weld larger than 1/4 inch (6.35mm), but it
takes lots of preheat and maybe some non approved wallowing around with
* Remember that while aluminum dissipates heat fast (problem with thick
stuff) it doesn't necessarily dissipate it as fast as you are putting it
in to a local area (problem with thinner stuff).
These things allow me to almost (but not always) make barely ok aluminum
welds even with my low hours on the gun. An experienced welder such as
yourself should be able to do better.
I have welded upto 3/8, but it was bad and took lots of work and
preheat. I found 1/8-1/4 was pretty easy to accomplish with down to .08
being within the capability of the machine if not necessarily within my
skill level. I did actually make one (1) very very short weld on .043
wall tube that was ok, but I had to whip the gun around the joint almost
as fast as I could move it.
These are ignorant beginner suggestions based on my limited experience.
Nearly all of them were learned from other welders on this group.
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