Need Some Tips on Welding Aluminum

Need Some Tips on Welding Aluminum
I'm about ready to make a major investment in my hobby. I've tried the
torch welds stuff, and they are really only suitable for small joins or
filling small holes. In their defense they do work, but only for those
things. Becasue of the long time required to heat the metal even with the
use of a heated iron heat sink the metal expands and contracts too much to
make long welds with aluminum and stich and fill method don't work as the
attempts to fill heat and melt the original stich jouns.
Anyway. I'm about ready to shell out big bucks for a decent MIG welder to
try my hand. After reading much about welding and playing with my cheap MIG
welder I've decided there are a couple questions I have.
I have heard there is a certain filter or special filter for my mask that
allows you to see the conditions when your puddle is about to fall or melt
out on you. What is that?
What is the best inert gas to use when welding 5000 or 6000 series aluminum?
What is the best wire to order?
Vertical work may be involved in the project(s) I have planned. I hope to
lay most of it out to avoid any overhead work.
Tentatively I have decided on a Hobart IronMan 250 with a spool gun for my
aluminum. I figured I would only use my spool gun for aluminum work and
switch back to the regular nozzle for any steel work, or if its small work
just use the small cheap MIG I already have for that.
Yes, I have read that TIG welding is often more affordable and easy to learn
for welding aluminum, but I would prefer to take the time to learn how to
use a MIG welder for this as some of the projects I have in mind will
require some very long continuous welds.
I've got a pile of assorted aluminum scrap to practice on.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
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You might want to think about what type of projects that you would be working on , if you plan to build alum. truck bodies or large water tanks with hundreds of feet of alum. weld then the MIG is your answer , if you are going to repair small gas engines and put together misc. small projects then I would think that the TIG process would do best , I had a welding business for about 20 yrs. and wasn't set up for Alum MIG , only remember farming out a couple of items to another shop that I couldn't do with the TIG , the cost and learning time is really moot if the system doesn't work . Best Wishes , Phil L.
Reply to
"Ernie Leimkuhler" wrote in message
This bit of comment inspired me to try something stupid a couple weeks ago. In the past I always just used impact resistant glass safety glasses when cutting with my torch. I've got a couple sets of goggles for torch work, but the crappy elastic bands always fail, and I find myself pitching them in favor of my glasses instead.
Recalling some smidgeon of this thread I decided to give my welding hood a try. It was a disaster. Between it switching on and off, and the level of darkness I found myself basically cutting blind when a large piece cam loose and I lost my grip on it. In order to prevent a fire and worse damge and burns I grabbed the piece and tossed it out into the sand. In the process the freshly cut molten end burned all the way through my glove and into my thumb.
I'm going back to my impact resistant glass lens glasses.
It sounded neat, but obviously my hood is not suitable for this.
Reply to
Bob La Londe

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