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Thread: Help with spoolgun aluminum welds

  1. #1

    Default Help with spoolgun aluminum welds

    I've been practicing with my 200N spoolgun on the I-MIG 250p. I started with 5356 .045 wire on 1/4" 6061 T6 and found there is no setting where it would spray. All I got was smoke and lots of spatter. I tried on some 2" x 1/8" angle with the same result. All material was clean, brushed and oil free. Using pure argon at 10 lpm and a 15 degree push angle. After searching the web for answers I came across another guy having the same problem. His fix was to switch to 4043 filler and all was well. I got some 4043 and now it sprays and makes a pretty nice weld but I have black soot around the outside of every weld. I also get a greenish flame popping from the nozzle every second or two with an odd sound. I cant find any place where air would be getting in the nozzle. The only cause I can think of is maybe the new piece of 1/4" pvc air line I used to connect the argon tank to the mig welder may be out gassing. Any suggestions ? I'd love to hear any tips or advise. I need to get this thing dialed in.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  2. Default

    Some black soot around alum mig welds is normal. It is fine to switch to 4043 but you need to get it to work with 5356 also. 5356 give you a much sronger weld than 4043 and is good to use on high stressed welds like boats and trailer frames. I would send yofish a pm and get his advice but if you do a search he gives Kempy some very good tips and starting points to mig alum. 4043 has silicone in it to make it flow better and for most work it is ok to use but even for high stress tig welds 5356 is the way to go. I have no clue what the greenish flame would be other than some contaminant in the gas or a leak sucking in air. I would try going to .035 spools and see if that helps. I have always used .045 and had no problems but your welder might work better with it. I know my MTS250 does not like flux core wire at all. So far I can not get it to run .045 hobart 21B to save my sole. I can put the same wire in my millermatic 200 and it runs fine and also runs fine in my miller extreme suitcase feeder hoked up to my trailblazer. I hoped to replace the extreme feeder with the MTS but it does not look good for that possibility right now.
    Last edited by TheGary; 07-22-2015 at 10:02 AM.
    Miller 302 gas drive
    millermatic 200 mig
    miller spoolmatic 3 spool gun with 100ft ext.
    2014 Everlast PP60S plasma
    thermal arc 250 GTS inverter
    2016 Everlast 250EX
    miller tig cooler
    2015 Everlast MTS250S
    Miller 30A spool Gun
    Miller xtreme 12VS wire feeder
    Linde CM 85 shape cutter

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGary View Post
    Some black soot around alum mig welds is normal. It is fine to switch to 4043 but you need to get it to work with 5356 also. 5356 give you a much sronger weld than 4043 and is good to use on high stressed welds like boats and trailer frames. I would send yofish a pm and get his advice but if you do a search he gives Kempy some very good tips and starting points to mig alum. 4043 has silicone in it to make it flow better and for most work it is ok to use but even for high stress tig welds 5356 is the way to go. I have no clue what the greenish flame would be other than some contaminant in the gas or a leak sucking in air. I would try going to .035 spools and see if that helps. I have always used .045 and had no problems but your welder might work better with it. I know my MTS250 does not like flux core wire at all. So far I can not get it to run .045 hobart 21B to save my sole. I can put the same wire in my millermatic 200 and it runs fine and also runs fine in my miller extreme suitcase feeder hoked up to my trailblazer. I hoped to replace the extreme feeder with the MTS but it does not look good for that possibility right now.
    I tried everything with 5356 and got nothing but a mess. I have .035 and .045 in both alloys. Both sizes of 5356 give the same results but it's hard to get it wrong with 4043 as far as looks. I'll look for yofish's advise to Kempy. Thanks
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  4. #4

    Default

    I will try to snap a picture or write settings down. We use 4043 all the time with the 250P and the IMIG200. The 250P is a little tricky as I recall, we grease penciled the panel to know where the sweet spot is. Hope my son did not wipe them off.
    Mike R.
    Email: admineverlast@everlastwelders.com
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  5. Default

    zoama, without getting into a useless argument about 'spraying', what voltage are you starting at? Forget the IPM as that is meaningless until you achieve the 'sweet spot'. Strange things happen but it makes little sense that it won't run 5356. Pics would help. Some smut is always going to happen, though pulse reduces it measurably.

    It's funny, I haven't looked at this site in a looong time!

  6. #6

    Default

    I've been working a lot lately is why I haven't updated. I may have to wait til this weekend to do more testing. Here's a pic from my last quick test.
    I know the wire speed was too low but the 4043 made an ok weld on that first setting so I put the 5356 in at the same setting and got nothing but a burned tip. I'll do more thorough testing this weekend.
    I have .035 and .045 wire on hand in both alloys.
    I appreciate everyone's help... Bear with me and I'll learn.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  7. Default

    Ignore the results with 4000 stuff. It seems you have not enough wire for the voltage. These machines that don't have amp/volt meters can be all over the place. Set volts @ 22 and turn the wire up full. It should 'stub' meaning too much wire and no welding happening with wire folding over and 'stubbing'. You can't f__k up a tip that way and I'm guessing perhaps you may have roasted one or two? (Oops edit, you did burn some tips! Too fast read through of your post)) Gradually turn wire down until you get a semblance of a weld, then tune down more until it's minnie-ginny. The first sign that you are going in the right direction is the welds are proud and look like worms, like your 4000 weld.

    Hang in, you'll get it!
    Last edited by Yofish; 07-24-2015 at 05:21 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Glendale Arizona
    Posts
    26

    Default

    I am a rookie at spool gun welding but turned out some pretty good welds so far. What I've had good results with is-3/4" stickout and NO more but works with just a tiny bit less. Slight forward backward motion. Always push the gun when possible (less soot) same size tip as wire. I saw in pics .045 tip with .035 wire. 1/2 " nozzle as a universal size. 18 CFM. Make sure the tip is not a long ways in from flush with the nozzle. Move quickly. Tig welded for more then 30 years and just started with a mig. Certainly not my preferred method.

  9. #9

    Default

    Zoama,
    Work with your arc force control and set it left first. Turn burnback as far down as you can. Keep in mind that these machines can't be measured easily as far as wire speed since the unit speeds up somewhat when arc is sensed. Take a look at the actual output amperage when you have the gun engaged. Use one size larger tip since you are likely using copper tips, the same as you would with steel. This will cause feeding issues as the aluminum will swell up faster than the copper and cause burn back and sticking...even bird's nesting in extreme cases.

    Edit: never mind....I see the picture says you are doing just that. Turn the wire feed wide open to start and back it down till it smooths out.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks for the advise, guys. I'll try to get out to the shop again tonight for more testing.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Glendale Arizona
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Being new to this I'm probably looking at this a different or wrong way. It seems like the wire size should be the same as the tip. There is enough clearance between the 2 for easy slippage and it's called a (contact) tip so it can charge the wire. It just seems like a .010 larger tip then wire may cause a problem. I'm probably off base here but .035 aluminum wire and .035 copper tip seem fine for me so far. These pics are my rookie welds, the one on the right is cold and the left one is preheated to 225 degrees without changing the settings. The part is over 1/2" thick.Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by azsprint6 View Post
    Being new to this I'm probably looking at this a different or wrong way. It seems like the wire size should be the same as the tip. There is enough clearance between the 2 for easy slippage and it's called a (contact) tip so it can charge the wire. It just seems like a .010 larger tip then wire may cause a problem. I'm probably off base here but .035 aluminum wire and .035 copper tip seem fine for me so far. These pics are my rookie welds, the one on the right is cold and the left one is preheated to 225 degrees without changing the settings. The part is over 1/2" thick.
    One size over or drilling .01 over is common and recommended by many. The wire is trying to curl pretty hard from the small diameter of the roll so it makes good contact even with the oversize tip. I do the same for flux core steel wire to prevent feeding problems.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Glendale Arizona
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Thanks Zoama, Mark, I think I'll bump up the sizes as recommended just to prevent any potential problems. Eliminate any equipment failures then just deal with the operator errors. Have a great weekend.

  14. #14

    Default

    No luck so far, just lots of spatter and smoke at any setting with 5356. I start at 22v with the wire speed at full and slowly turn it down while welding. .035 never stubs, it just smokes and spatters as I turn it down until it melts the tip. Arc force doesn't help.
    I've tried two different brands of wire and three different rolls. I burned a small section out of my only nozzle last night and they're not available locally. I think one of the biggest problems is my wire curls hard to the right coming out of the tip and I'm welding to the left. I don't understand why it will weld with 4043 and not 5356, it just doesn't make sense. Does anyone know how to correct my wire curl issue ? Are there any different barrels for the 200n that use common front end parts like Tweko ? I like screw on nozzles because they seal and always stay centered. The slots in these Binzel nozzles will suck air if the nozzle isn't fully seated. It's easy to see by putting a small light inside the nozzle and pulling the nozzle forward about 1/16". You'll see the slots light up.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  15. #15

    Default

    Never had time to get settings, but sounds like it would not matter. We only have used 4043 .030, but never a problem. Maybe I will get a small spool of 5356 and see if we have the same problem. I would think running no pulse or high duty would be better since it is a harder wire.

    We use the normal contact tips with no problem, not the thicker ones Everlast ships with the torch. Even have use the HF ones. Again, 4043 only.
    Mike R.
    Email: admineverlast@everlastwelders.com
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  16. Default

    If .035 never stubs then you do not have enough wire speed to run it. Go to .045 and turn the wire speed all the way up. You should get more metal per inch so you do not need as much speed. If it stubs then start turning the speed down till you get a weld going. In extreem cases I have actually bent my contact tips to correct for the curl in the wire. That was on older guns that had the 4-5 in. long tips that clamp in place so I could spin the tip to the direction I needed to correct for the curl. If your gun uses short tips and or screw in ones you might not be able to do that. You might need to anneal the contact tip first to bend it.
    Last edited by TheGary; 07-27-2015 at 01:50 PM.
    Miller 302 gas drive
    millermatic 200 mig
    miller spoolmatic 3 spool gun with 100ft ext.
    2014 Everlast PP60S plasma
    thermal arc 250 GTS inverter
    2016 Everlast 250EX
    miller tig cooler
    2015 Everlast MTS250S
    Miller 30A spool Gun
    Miller xtreme 12VS wire feeder
    Linde CM 85 shape cutter

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGary View Post
    If .035 never stubs then you do not have enough wire speed to run it. Go to .045 and turn the wire speed all the way up. You should get more metal per inch so you do not need as much speed. If it stubs then start turning the speed down till you get a weld going. In extreem cases I have actually bent my contact tips to correct for the curl in the wire. That was on older guns that had the 4-5 in. long tips that clamp in place so I could spin the tip to the direction I needed to correct for the curl. If your gun uses short tips and or screw in ones you might not be able to do that. You might need to anneal the contact tip first to bend it.
    Thanks for the advise. The curl issue has worked itself out. Seems it changes direction as roll runs down and right now it's straight enough. I'll try more tonight when the shop cools down.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  18. Default

    I know you probably checked this but its worth a shot. Do you have your polarity correct?
    Miller 302 gas drive
    millermatic 200 mig
    miller spoolmatic 3 spool gun with 100ft ext.
    2014 Everlast PP60S plasma
    thermal arc 250 GTS inverter
    2016 Everlast 250EX
    miller tig cooler
    2015 Everlast MTS250S
    Miller 30A spool Gun
    Miller xtreme 12VS wire feeder
    Linde CM 85 shape cutter

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGary View Post
    I know you probably checked this but its worth a shot. Do you have your polarity correct?

    Same for steel, correct ?
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  20. Default

    gun positive, same as steel hard wire. If you reversed it some time to run flux core and did not change it back you that might be your problem. I also presume you are running straight argon gas.
    Miller 302 gas drive
    millermatic 200 mig
    miller spoolmatic 3 spool gun with 100ft ext.
    2014 Everlast PP60S plasma
    thermal arc 250 GTS inverter
    2016 Everlast 250EX
    miller tig cooler
    2015 Everlast MTS250S
    Miller 30A spool Gun
    Miller xtreme 12VS wire feeder
    Linde CM 85 shape cutter

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