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Thread: Tips for using no spool gun on Aluminum

  1. #1
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    Default Tips for using no spool gun on Aluminum

    Ok main point for spool gun is for the feeding of aluminum wire right? I loaded my I-mig 140 with some .030" aluminum wire and it feeds just fine. I know there will some contamination from the drive roller and torch liner but I really just wanna fool around to see if I can weld with it. Any tips I should do? I am just going to practice in maybe .080-.080 aluminum tubing. Do I set wire speed and voltage way low since its aluminum?

  2. #2

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    Not really following you on the title versus what you are asking. If you are talking about the sizing of the tip, then you need to oversize the tip of the spool gun or use a special aluminum tip. Otherwise, it will gall to the wire as it heats up. Welding with a spool gun or through the main feeder itself isn't really for anything under 1/8". When you are properly welding (with 100% Argon of course) Aluminum with a spool gun or MIG torch, you should be in spray mode. If you use a short circuit mode, you will get inclusions and flaws and it will not flow well.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavetim View Post
    Ok main point for spool gun is for the feeding of aluminum wire right? I loaded my I-mig 140 with some .030" aluminum wire and it feeds just fine. I know there will some contamination from the drive roller and torch liner but I really just wanna fool around to see if I can weld with it. Any tips I should do? I am just going to practice in maybe .080-.080 aluminum tubing. Do I set wire speed and voltage way low since its aluminum?
    Aluminum takes more power since it dissipates heat faster. Volts will be high as well as wire speed. Start with the wire speed at or near full and slowly turn it down while welding until you get a smooth transfer. The arc will be close to silent with no spatter. Use 100% argon.
    Start with 1/8 flat material volts 21-22 wire speed 350-400. There's not much chance for success starting on .080 tube. Watch some videos first.

    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

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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

  5. Default

    Make sure you are using 4043 and "NOT" 5356 wire. Though 5356 is stiffer, it's very, very hard to get 5356 wire to spray compared to 4043 with a machine of your size. And yes, I would open up the nozzle hole to .040 or .045 if you are running a .030" nozzle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Default

    all great advice, thanks guys. and yes I will go one size above on the tip. Didn't know about the wire between 4043 and 5356 so i'll get the 4043 stuff.

  7. #7

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    When I started using my Miller 30A spool gun I ruined a lot of tips until I went to the next size larger tip so whatever the book tells you for wire size and tip size either drill out your tip like has already been said or just use the next larger size.

    Mark
    Garage stuff

    Everlast 255 EXT

    Miller 251 mig
    30A spool gun

    Miller 211 mig

    Lincoln SP 250 mig

    Lincoln buzz box

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    Pakmaster 75XL plasma

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleblu72 View Post
    When I started using my Miller 30A spool gun I ruined a lot of tips until I went to the next size larger tip so whatever the book tells you for wire size and tip size either drill out your tip like has already been said or just use the next larger size.

    Mark
    The trick is to always use a tapered tip. The less frontal area on the tip the less heat it absorbs. I haven't needed to oversize the contact tip since switching to tapered, spraying steel or aluminum.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama View Post
    The trick is to always use a tapered tip. The less frontal area on the tip the less heat it absorbs. I haven't needed to oversize the contact tip since switching to tapered, spraying steel or aluminum.

    Its been awhile since I've used the spool gun Zoama but I don't believe I've heard of a tapered tip I'll have to look them up. I did find out when you burn a tip on a spool gun while welding aluminum you usually trash the tip.

    Mark
    Garage stuff

    Everlast 255 EXT

    Miller 251 mig
    30A spool gun

    Miller 211 mig

    Lincoln SP 250 mig

    Lincoln buzz box

    Thermal Dynamics
    Pakmaster 75XL plasma

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleblu72 View Post
    Its been awhile since I've used the spool gun Zoama but I don't believe I've heard of a tapered tip I'll have to look them up. I did find out when you burn a tip on a spool gun while welding aluminum you usually trash the tip.

    Mark
    They look like this... 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

  11. Default

    Wow,

    I'd never noticed tapered ones before, although I haven't done any MIG welding for about 20 years now.

    But if I do MIG anytime soon, I'll undoubtedly shop for those tapered ones.

    I suppose you could just add a taper to existing ones with a flap disc on an angle grinder, too.


    Quote Originally Posted by zoama View Post
    The trick is to always use a tapered tip. The less frontal area on the tip the less heat it absorbs. I haven't needed to oversize the contact tip since switching to tapered, spraying steel or aluminum.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama View Post
    They look like this... Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	13714

    Thanks Zoama I'll have to locate some of these tips. First I'll have to repair some of the wires in the spool guns wire harness, I was rolling my 251 out to do some welding and there was a little to much slack in the spool gun lead and the front caster wheel rolled over it and broke 3 of the wires in the lead, should be fun to fix as those wires are small.

    Mark
    Garage stuff

    Everlast 255 EXT

    Miller 251 mig
    30A spool gun

    Miller 211 mig

    Lincoln SP 250 mig

    Lincoln buzz box

    Thermal Dynamics
    Pakmaster 75XL plasma

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