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Old 08-03-2004, 08:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can I MIG weld Aluminum?

I have a lincoln power mig 200 with 0.35 wire and 75% argon 25% CO2 mix. On the inside cover there is a wire speed temperature diagram for steel stainless steel and aluminum. Do I need to change anything to weld aluminum? Is it the same as steel? I just use the welder to fix junk on the farm, it is a good machine for this job, but thought it would be neat to try aluminum.
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes you can, but run straight Argon only. Pull the weld rather than push.
[edit] forgot to mention you need aluminum wire [edit]
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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spool gun is what u need.

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Old 08-03-2004, 10:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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aluminum wire... DAMN. well next time i get the bottle filled (in about 8 months) i will consider getting argon and a small spool of aluminum wire. What is a spool gun and what does a spool gun do? Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-03-2004, 11:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A spool gun holds the spool of aluminum wire at the end of the gun instead of down in the welder chassis. It's tough to feed all the way though the wire sheath, roller pressure will distort the wire. I think you can get a sheath lined with teflon that feeds smoother but I don't know if they have something better for the rollers yet.
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Old 08-04-2004, 08:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have the M200 and I think it needs some kind of adapter kit too. I don't think its like the Miller where you just need the spool gun. Anyway, the spoolgun + adapter kit lists for $621 on the lincoln site. Seems like it needs a different gas solenoid too (included in kit). A little pricy for me. Sometime Miller throws the spoolgun in for free on year end sales (for you guys interested in buying a Miller welder).
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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FWIT, Ive welded aluminum with my little hobart 135. no spool gun. but i used 75-25. i only had a little bit to patch up on my tcase. it was a little tricky but it worked. if i had to weld anything more than that i would have used one set up properly with a spool gun and staright argon. 75-25 will work for aluminum but you cant get the penetration you can get by using straight argon. also be sure to pull the puddle like stated above, youll get better penetration that way. like i said, i didnt do it the "right way" but i got it done

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Old 08-05-2004, 05:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is possible to find aluminum welding rod and just gas weld, you need to have stuff super clean either way. Aluminum takes a lot of heat compared to steel, the conductivity pulls heat away faster. For the most part MIG aluminum is expensive and hard for most people to justify. You might pick up a small TIG machine that plugs into your welder, we have a Miller TIG but I don't know about Lincoln. I tend to stay away from Lincolns unless they are powered by a Detroit diesel.
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Old 08-06-2004, 12:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If the 200 is like the lincoln 255, then you don't need a spool gun at all..just a new liner, some different drive plates, different gas and al wire. My 255 doesn't use traditional rollers and there's no room for it to birdnest. I hear it's about $400 total with the new bottle..i was going to buy it for my Mig, but my buddy bought a TIG so we just trade now...
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Old 08-07-2004, 09:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout Dude
If the 200 is like the lincoln 255, then you don't need a spool gun at all..just a new liner, some different drive plates, different gas and al wire. My 255 doesn't use traditional rollers and there's no room for it to birdnest. I hear it's about $400 total with the new bottle..i was going to buy it for my Mig, but my buddy bought a TIG so we just trade now...
I hope you caught onto this post...one of the most important things was mentioned here...a new liner, if you try to run it through the same liner you are running you steel through you are gonna end up with contaminated wire, and no matter how clean your area is its likely gonna weld like shit...

get some 4043 wire and straight argon and a new liner, new rollers depending on size of wire and you are all ready to go ...if you are just going to do it for "fun" then its gonna be expensive but if you actually have a project to do then its totally worth it...
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Old 08-08-2004, 02:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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back at school we had a lincoln cobramatic dedicated to aluminum only. pulsed mig, and it was setup to feed off a big spool on the machine. it made welds that looked almost as good as tig

when welding aluminum of any kind, the rule of thumb is to keep it CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN! any kind of contamination or oxidization on your aluminum will fawk up a weld.
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