I am happy to report.......

That I am happy. I tried my first welding of aluminum today.
Setup: Millermatic 200, Miller Spoolmatic 1 gun, wire: .030 4043 (that is
all that they had), material 1/8 plate of scrap aluminum, unknown alloy,
pure argon @25 cu. pr. hr.
I ran one inch and burned a tip. I then got extremely lucky and ran a (to
me) beautiful bead of about 8 inches.
Then, burned another tip. Adjusted gun wire feed and diddled around and
some looked like I had been doing it forever and some looked horrible.
All in all, I am extremely pleased and elated with this process.
Naturally, I need a lot more practice but it is much, much easier than I had
Thanks to all who gave advice and especially to Ernie as I peppered him with
I don't know whether 5356 will be easier or tougher but I will get some
spools of it soon.
Now, watch my luck, I will never run beads as good as I did today!
Some were sooty, is that too much current/wire feed?
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The soot is normal, it is just burnt aluminum oxide. Remember to always weld forehand, so you are pushing the bead ahead of the gun, not dragging.
Burning a tip quickly means you have either too high a voltage or too little wire.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Hi Ernie,
All I did today was pull or drag the gun and the weld followed the gun.
So, I should have been pushing, with the weld trailing the gun?
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Never mind, Ernie. I read the article on aluminum welding at Miller's site and found out the answer about drag vs. push. With drag, incomplete gas coverage leads to dirty welds according to:
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