Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Switching between steel & alum.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Switching between steel & alum.

    Got a Handler 187 for Chrismas. My first MIG. Question is, what do I need to switch between welding steel and aluminum? Gas I know. How about the liner... do I have to change out the gun cable liner? Contact tip?

  • #2
    The only thing you NEED to change is the gas and the wire. You'll still use DCEP and you CAN use the same liner, though using steel wire through it first can bring in contaminants that are more detrimental to aluminum welding. A teflon liner (if available) is preferred by some to make it a little easier for the aluminum to feed through the gun.

    Keep the gun cable straight as possible when using aluminum and using 5356 is easier to feed but 4043 will still be much easier to weld with and would be my choice if I didn't use a spoolgun.

    The Owner's Manuals on these machines (industry-wide, not just with Hobart) are pathetic when it comes to telling you useful information...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
      Keep the gun cable straight as possible when using aluminum and using 5356 is easier to feed but 4043 will still be much easier to weld with and would be my choice if I didn't use a spoolgun.
      I have both a spool of 5356 and a spool of 4043, plus a bottle of straight argon. I have yet to try aluminum with my 187, but feeling both wires, I have no idea how 4043 would feed through the liner. That stuff is VERY soft. I highly doubt I'll even try it. Birds nests are no fun.

      Comment


      • #4
        This is why we run spoolguns.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
          This is why we run spoolguns.
          Shaddup!

          Comment


          • #6
            Gulp, $400 for a spoolgun and another $200 for the control box. I think I'll have to try doing without.

            Comment


            • #7
              5356 should feed ok without the spoolgun.
              4043 should be used with the spoolgun.
              Lincoln Idealarc 250
              Miller Bobcat 250
              Thermal arc Hefty 2 feeder
              Thermal Dynamics Cusmaster 52
              Torchmate CNC Table

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by willness33 View Post
                I have both a spool of 5356 and a spool of 4043, plus a bottle of straight argon. I have yet to try aluminum with my 187, but feeling both wires, I have no idea how 4043 would feed through the liner. That stuff is VERY soft. I highly doubt I'll even try it. Birds nests are no fun.
                I'm on Christmas break, so I figured I'd install the aluminum wire kit for my Lincoln SP135+ and try mig'ing aluminum. The kit includes a teflon liner, plus new rollers and nylon guides for the feed mechanism. I got a complete separate gun too, as I didnt want switch out liners. The teflon liner seems pretty flimsy, I didnt want to risk kinking or stretching it trying to pull it out of the original gun during changeovers. I'll keep this gun set up for aluminum only. I'm using .030 wire, recommendation is to use next larger .035 tips, so got some of those too.

                To initially feed the wire, I took the nozzle parts off the gun, and disconnected the connector end from the welder. Then I fed the wire through the feed rollers, got it started into the cable, then connected the cable to the welder and powered it through the cable. Once it exited the torch I reassembled the diffuser, tip and nozzle on the gun.

                5356 was a disaster for me, massive spatter, soot and sparks, which I expected from reading the archives, just couldnt find any sweet spot in the settings. After messing around with settings, 4350 ran perfect , in fact I think I can spray with it (at least I think it's "spray") as I get a constant hissing sound and a smooth continuous bead.

                No birds nests at all (which was not the case at all when I first got the welder, and with steel wire to boot), but you need to position the welder so the cable run is a straight shot to you and the workpiece.

                Jeff
                Last edited by mendoje1; 12-31-2008, 09:42 PM. Reason: Added .030 wire and .035 tips
                LINCOLN IdealArc Tig 300/300
                MILLER Millermatic 211 Mig
                NAPA Buzz Box
                HARRIS Oxy-Acetylene Torch Set
                MILLER-JACKSON (hybrid) and Harbor Freight AD Helmets
                Harbor Freight Tig, Plasma & Spot
                LINCOLN SP135+ Mig (Sold)

                Comment

                Working...
                X