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.