Aluminum welds

--Long story short: I went looking for wire I could bend into shapes for an artsy-fartsy project. I settled on 1/8" dia aluminum welding rod. It takes 5 rods to do one wire frame and I decided the best way to attach one to the other would be to overlap them a bit and weld the intersection. Well it wasn't easy, but I figured out a method that sort of worked most of the time. Using my Econotig I found (after much trial and error) that I could crank it down to a little more than zero power; maybe 4% and, by repeatedly stomping and releasing the pedal, get to a point where I could do a tiny fusion weld. I then marched down the intersection with repeated stomp-and-release, to avoid getting the wire too hot. --Sooo there's *got* to be a better way, yes? Would a welder with a programmable pulser do the trick? I'm thinkin/ it's finally time to upgrade to a machine that can finesse this sort of thing a little better...

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sounds like your machine already has a "programmable pulser" :>

But seriously, my machine has a pulser, and yes, i do use it when welding real small stuff like that, although ive never done exactally what your talking about, it would eliminate the foot mashing.

The problem ive had with pulsing with real low amps is my helmet going dark and light with the pulses, its not a big deal, just annoying.


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"steamer" wrote: (clip)--Sooo there's *got* to be a better way, yes? Would a welder with a programmable pulser do the trick? I'm thinkin/ it's finally time to upgrade to a machine that can finesse this sort of thing a little better... ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You'll go to ANY lengths to justify a new tool.

Reply to
Leo Lichtman

Sounds like 1/8" aluminum MIG wire would be better for what you're doing.

Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX

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Wayne Cook

You have really run up against the limitations of the Econotig. That low end limit of 30 amps is what is causing your trouble.

Sell the Econotig and upgrade to a Thermal Arc Prowave 185TSW and you will be much happier.

Or you could just use Nicopress cable sleaves to join your wire frames.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

Yup.... Spring for a Dynasty 200DX I love mine to death. I still hold it in comparison to my Aerowave but it's so portable and full featured it sells itself. C'mon, you know you want a new tool too.... The Econotig foot thing will surely work as you have found but why wear out a good shoe when you can program it in :) You can always auction the Econotig to offset the Dynasty but having a few extra welders around the shop is rather comforting. I just happen to have my Dynasty running in the kitchen at present on some headers. All the other stuff is in storage.


Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL. Long Beach, CA.

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Steamer -

Think Ohms law. I = E/R Current = voltage/resistance.

Increase the resistance of the GND wire. Current can't flow if there isn't a return allowing it to flow.

Keep the current down as low as reasonable - the resistor used might just be an iron wire - or nichrome if needed -

There will be a voltage offset from ground but I doubt if it would make much difference to the high voltage or such - as it would be very small.


Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH, NRA Life NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder

steamer wrote:

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Martin H. Eastburn

I made a wire frame heart from my wife this year for valentines day. used a nice tig machine and had similar troubles you are describing.

You probably don't have a 75 kVA resistance welder on hand, but this is what i ended up using. With a small round file I modified a set of A-nose electrodes. this did a beautiful job of welding 1/8" aluminum filler wire. I used a set of vice grops to turn the heads for differing angles of intersection.

Perhaps if you are doing a lot of this type assembly you could put together RSW set up with a simple PS and clamp

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