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Is a spool gun mandatory?

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  • Nipper
    replied
    Thanks ~Ole...... I think. : )

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  • ~0le
    replied
    Nipper, In the long run, the reality of it is, aluminum is a BIG step for a hobbyist. The capability will be expensive. Think long and hard about whether you want to go down this road. If your decision is to go for it, jump in with both feet and go big to start with. If you are thinking about much production aluminum, then a push-pull gun will be the hot setup. A spool gun needs loading one one-pound roll of filler wire at a time. Plus, it is heavy and difficult to get into tight spaces. If you are going to do much aluminum welding beyond "hobby" (read occasional and thin), then you probably will find the 210 a bit under powered. It probably won't give you sufficient voltage to be able to spray and even if it does, it will be only on 240 volts and it won't be for very long before you come up against duty cycle. Think about a 250 class machine minimum. It will be less expensive to purchase the spool gun or push-pull gun with the machine as part of a "deal" than to buy the two separately if you are going new. Hey Nipper, you don't have to thank me for spending your entire hobby-equipment budget for the next 10 years. On the other hand, if you decide you like doing aluminum with your spool gun and HH210, then you'll have to upgrade and the small equipment you bought will be just money sitting on the shelf unused. Here is something to think about: get a square wave TIG outfit (with AC capability). Search for used transformer-based from the late '80s or early '90s. Something with the torch, water cooler, and a handful of consumables from a hobbyist who is downsizing and doesn't use the equipment enough to justify keeping it. This purchase will still blow out your equipment budget, but less so. Your knowledgeable friends and associates will say (with awe), "Nipper does TIG." That statement is much more valuable than "Nipper tried to MIG aluminum, but it didn't take". Hang in there buddy. ~0le

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  • Andy578
    replied
    Originally posted by Northweldor View Post

    Why not describe the jobs.? And what does" fine" mean? Fix a leaky boat? Do any structural work? Bend any welds? Repair a casting? ......
    some cast but mostly smaller things like pins, and weight sensors. like i said small one off jobs.

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  • Northweldor
    replied
    Originally posted by Andy578 View Post

    yes i've done it and it's been fine. like i said small occasional jobs.
    Why not describe the jobs.? And what does" fine" mean? Fix a leaky boat? Do any structural work? Bend any welds? Repair a casting? ......

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy578
    replied
    Originally posted by Northweldor View Post

    Have you ever used stick aluminum? AC-GTAW is the best alternative. But you can achieve fair results if you are willing to change to a nylon/plastic dedicated liner and clean your machine and gun before any attempt, and lay out your cable as straight as possible. You will still experience feeding problems that can be overcome by using a spool gun, You will
    only be able to do quality consistent aluminum welding if you enable all of the above factors.

    "Small Jobs" = Non-Welded - stuck together, porous, partial fusion???
    yes i've done it and it's been fine. like i said small occasional jobs.

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  • Northweldor
    replied
    Originally posted by Andy578 View Post
    i've never done it but have heard it's fine to go without for small jobs. if you find yourself doing bigger jobs or welding aluminum fairly often it's probably better to get the spool gun. the bigger issue is having to buy the gas. i suppose you could always get a very small cylinder for occasional use but it's still an extra expense. would maybe be better off turning to stick for aluminum
    Have you ever used stick aluminum? AC-GTAW is the best alternative. But you can achieve fair results if you are willing to change to a nylon/plastic dedicated liner and clean your machine and gun before any attempt, and lay out your cable as straight as possible. You will still experience feeding problems that can be overcome by using a spool gun, You will
    only be able to do quality consistent aluminum welding if you enable all of the above factors.

    "Small Jobs" = Non-Welded - stuck together, porous, partial fusion???
    Last edited by Northweldor; 02-28-2019, 08:39 PM.

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  • Andy578
    replied
    i've never done it but have heard it's fine to go without for small jobs. if you find yourself doing bigger jobs or welding aluminum fairly often it's probably better to get the spool gun. the bigger issue is having to buy the gas. i suppose you could always get a very small cylinder for occasional use but it's still an extra expense. would maybe be better off turning to stick for aluminum

    Leave a comment:


  • oldguyfrom56
    replied
    Originally posted by Dale M. View Post
    According to "some"...NO........ But if you want best experience and more trouble free, less problem plagued weld I think spool gun would be best....

    TO make it work without spool gun you probably need a aluminum alloy wire that is pretty stiff, need to keep gun lead pretty straight, and if you have flex tip on gun make it pretty straight.... Also gas choice (argon) is going to be critical with or with out spool gun...

    Dale
    I don't always quote people, but I'm in agreement. I'm also "some" people.

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  • Nipper
    replied
    Thanks Dale.

    I don't need to weld any aluminum right now but someone told me the same thing you just said. Was just curious.

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  • Dale M.
    replied
    According to "some"...NO........ But if you want best experience and more trouble free, less problem plagued weld I think spool gun would be best....

    TO make it work without spool gun you probably need a aluminum alloy wire that is pretty stiff, need to keep gun lead pretty straight, and if you have flex tip on gun make it pretty straight.... Also gas choice (argon) is going to be critical with or with out spool gun...

    Dale

    Last edited by Dale M.; 02-28-2019, 12:06 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nipper
    started a topic Is a spool gun mandatory?

    Is a spool gun mandatory?

    Just curious. Do I have to have a spool gun to weld aluminum with a 210 MVP?
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