A friend let me use his Argon bottle, I'll pay him for at least 4X the amount of Argon I use. I washed off the fender, the welds are on the inside of the fender, there's a little dirt under the fenders... Then I used one of those spongy abrasive stripper/surface conditioning drill wheels, and the final cleaning was by hand with a new SS wire brush. Since I haven't welded with this machine in a long time, I practiced running some beads on scrap aluminum.
So I get the arc started, the aluminum starts looking sweaty, then a bright shiny puddle, added filler and moved the puddle across the scrap. Worked like I remembered..
Then onto the trailer, the weld is a lap joint, I started heating where the metal was doubled, got the base all melty but never got the bright shiny puddle on the surface. Maybe contamination on the surface? Maybe I should have cleaned with solvent such as alcohol or MEK before the SS wire brushing?
But before I got any further, the welder started acting up. It's a Miller
330A/BP and it seems the weld output became unstable. The HF arc gap would go on and off, the weld arc would go on and off, very erratic. I would suspect the HF but I would think the arc would hold even if the HF went out. When I quit welding for a while to check it out, it would start working again for a minute or so after I re-started trying to weld. Would it be likely that a fan in the unit quit working and would shut down from over heating? Just wondering if it was overheating and shutting down like it might if you went over the duty cycle, I wasn't using over about 30% of rated power but if a fan wasn't working it seems it could cause problems. Any ideas what would make the output erratic like that?
I'm ready to get a Syncrowave 250 and sell the 330A/BP for the scrap copper and use my torch, water cooler, and argon flow regulator on the Syncrowave. I've been strongly considering ordering a brand new Syncrowave 250 welder only, found them advertised for $2590 + $7 shipping + Taxes. It would be nice to have the current version with warranty and all. I have found no stores in the area that stock them but they say they can get them in a couple of days.