Common welding related questions that we hear. Part 6
New customers always are curious about what they need to weld aluminum. MIG is one of the best solutions outside of AC TIG, of course, as it offers speed and economy. But in many situations, MIG is not practical, nor is TIG, so another process must be found to handle certain repairs and fabrication projects, particularly if they are out in the open where breezes prevail. In this case, stick welding would make a viable choice.
Again, it is not meant for anything thinner than 1/8” and really works better on thicker metals. It offers a solution by providing a flux covering of the aluminum. This method takes a lot of practice to perfect, and is very expensive, when electrodes are bought by the pound.
For the occasional aluminum welder though, this may be just what you need. Keep in mind though that it is not as precise and it also isn’t something that likes to be done out of position. It’s not as pretty or as clean, but in a pinch, will get the job done.
You have to move fast and watch for flux. It’s by far the fastest welding I’ve ever done. Also, after you open the package of aluminum welding rods, they must be used quickly or put in a rod box to keep them dry. By the next day, the flux will be disintegrating and will be wet if the unused portion of rods are not immediately stored. Flux removal must be done according to directions as well, or corrosion will take place at the weld over a period of time.