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mdred68
05-20-2009, 11:32 PM
I have a lincoln sp-170 and i want to weld some aluminum with it. I bought the aluminum wire and the liner for aluminum. What wire speed and heat setting should i use? I know the aluminum has to be real clean. Any other tips? Thanks.

fredf
05-21-2009, 11:56 AM
I have a lincoln sp-170 and i want to weld some aluminum with it. I bought the aluminum wire and the liner for aluminum. What wire speed and heat setting should i use? I know the aluminum has to be real clean. Any other tips? Thanks.

I believe that you need pure argon not C25. Clean with a S/S brush that is used ONLY for Al. Don't grind with Alum oxide disks. Keep the gun straight as possible (the al wire likes to crumple where its fed). I am not yet doing Al so cant advise re feeds etc. but have been trying to pick up info here and there. Might check http://weldingweb.com/index.php there is a lot of activity over there

--fred

biometrics
05-21-2009, 12:52 PM
and make sure there is no plastic protective coating on the aluminum or you will end up with a real mess once it gets hot, and it is heck to clean up.

bhjones
05-21-2009, 03:45 PM
My tip would be to save yourself the headaches and buy a mig welder that will support a spool gun or a tig welder if you want total control of the weld. If you're able to get the machine to feed the soft wire smoothly, you will find your machine is of marginal amperage for material of any thickness (1/16, maybe 1/8 max). If your experience is anything like mine and others I've know, you have many burn backs, fouled tips and birds nests to look forward to.

If your successful setting up the machine (and I truly hope you are), the issue of the low amperage on thicker material can be dealt with somewhat by preheating the parts to be welded. Stick them in the oven if they fit, or use an O/A rig to heat them in place.

Carm
05-21-2009, 05:26 PM
I'm a great fan of Lincoln equipment but am not familiar with your machine. The advice about a spool gun or other push/pull set-up is valid, but slick liners and attention to straight cable feeding can overcome the lack, with careful adjustment to drive rolls and reel brakes too.
You want to spray aluminum with a forehand technique, and that will require high ratio argon gas, better pure. NO CO2, helium can help if it's a low amp machine.
Be advised that spray welding gets hot enough to destroy equipment not designed for it, especially if you violate duty cycles.
Cleanliness and prep is important, as noted. I've always had success with the chemical preps and an abrasive wheel designed for looneyum.

wmgeorge
05-21-2009, 07:47 PM
I have a lincoln sp-170 and i want to weld some aluminum with it. I bought the aluminum wire and the liner for aluminum. What wire speed and heat setting should i use? I know the aluminum has to be real clean. Any other tips? Thanks.

I built a aluminum go kart using my Miller 175 MIG welder, argon, and more than likely the same wire you are using. I used a brand new liner, oversized tip and made sure the stinger lead was straight as I could make it. Cleaned the metal with a SS wire brush and 5 minutes or so before welding cleaned again with acetone.

Sure if you are going to do a lot of this, spend the $500 or so for a spool gun, but for a project that maybe you do one time... give it a try.

Practice before doing anything important. I think I just ran mine all the way up on heat and learned to hold the torch straight up and down, and watched the arc. Moved fast. It turned out pretty nice, it was way to much power for the grandkids, ended up selling on eBay. Good Luck!

NickH
07-10-2009, 04:33 PM
Persist with liners & setup before quitting, I have a 25+ year old ESAB Smashweld 180 that does a great job of Ally welding if you use a nylon liner, & keep the torch hose fairly straight, I'd go TIG if I had a contract that paid but for the occasional job my setup works great, good luck with sorting yours,
Regards,
Nick

Jim Stabe
07-10-2009, 05:07 PM
I built a aluminum go kart using my Miller 175 MIG welder, argon, and more than likely the same wire you are using. I used a brand new liner, oversized tip and made sure the stinger lead was straight as I could make it. Cleaned the metal with a SS wire brush and 5 minutes or so before welding cleaned again with acetone.

Sure if you are going to do a lot of this, spend the $500 or so for a spool gun, but for a project that maybe you do one time... give it a try.

Practice before doing anything important. I think I just ran mine all the way up on heat and learned to hold the torch straight up and down, and watched the arc. Moved fast. It turned out pretty nice, it was way to much power for the grandkids, ended up selling on eBay. Good Luck!
Any chance you could post some pictures of the beads you ran on the go kart? I've never seen the finished product from the MIG process on aluminum.

Thanks

Jim

doctor demo
07-10-2009, 10:24 PM
Aluminum fuel tanks on diesel trucks (18 wheel) are a nice example of mig welding, and that reminds Me of an episode of Dirty Jobs where Mike was learning how to weld fuel tanks. Of course they were using a slightly biger welder than the SP170.

Steve

Ozcad
07-11-2009, 03:16 AM
I have a lincoln sp-170 and i want to weld some aluminum with it. I bought the aluminum wire and the liner for aluminum. What wire speed and heat setting should i use? I know the aluminum has to be real clean. Any other tips? Thanks.
This may help with the settings
http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/calculators/mig_solid_amperage_calculator.php
Hope this helps;)

Jim D
07-11-2009, 10:31 AM
Here's a link from Lincoln about welding aluminum with a small mig.
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/content/compactmig.asp

Peter.
07-11-2009, 10:45 AM
Any chance you could post some pictures of the beads you ran on the go kart? I've never seen the finished product from the MIG process on aluminum.

Thanks

Jim

I read that '90's Suzuki GSXR750/1100 motorbike frames were MIG welded with aluminium.