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115 welders, stick welders, aluminum...

ask these guys: http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/index.php?

It's a great welding forum. Some of the guys have run AL wire through their 110v, but you do have to change the liner to a Teflon coated one so that the soft AL doesn't bind up. Someone over there will have the answer for you.
 



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i have a wire feed welder.... it says its a mig but there is no gas.... its a harbor freight one... works well... will not do aluminum.... basically to due alluminum you need TIG
 






Jim, your welder is probably set up to be a MIG but you have to buy the gas regulater, tank/gas and connect it to the welder. Some wire feeders don't have the option so they are a little cheaper.
 






ExplorerOfDaMud said:
we get alot of our stuff from FasenAll or somthing like that and some from that harbor freight but we get like 10-15 rolls of mig wire at a time
http://www.fastenal.com/web/home.ex ? nice place I get some of my stuff there when I need something and dont feel like ordering it via web or phone =) but they dont carry much in stock for welding stuff (least the one I use)
No matter what if you are thinking of getting a Mig box be sure that it CAN use gas even if you dont plan to use it off the start its a real plus down the road
 






iv never seen a mig without gas you need the gas when your running a mig. and you do have to buy a oxygen tank or rent one and regulators. look at where your gun comes outta the welder sometimes there is a clr hose that runes into it somes built diff. somes inside but you should have a gas hook up
 






the fastenal that we use here stock mostly welding screws bolts.... so on they keep our shop stocked up on everything they come like once a week or everyother week depends if we order anything
 






NO OXYGEN FOR MIG!!!! BOOM!! you should be running straight C02 or a C02/ Argon Mix. The gas provides a clean welding area for the arc to strike and melt the metal. When you use Flux Cored Wire the wire is coated with a flux that burns off and creates the clean area. The benefit of Flux Core is that the wind will not blow away the gas and you can weld thicker material with a 110v machine. The benefit of running C02 and straight wire is the ability to weld thinner material and a much cleaner weld.
 






Broccoli1 said:
The benefit of running C02 and straight wire is the ability to weld thinner material and a much cleaner weld.

So a flux cored wire welder isn't gonna do thinner stuff than my stick welder? If so, there goes half my reason for buying on. It's beginning to look like I'm gonna have to get a real MIG gas welder for the stuff I'm want it to do. I know how much the welders themselves go for, but how much is the gas and how often do you need to refill it?
 






Yeah, for the thinner gauge material you're going to have to go with the full MIG conversion but once you get set up I doubt you'll go back to the stick. I run 023 wire w/ straight CO2 and that set-up covers a lot of material sizes for me. I know I should probably use Flux Core for some of the thicker stuff I do, but so far everything has worked out. I'm not bulding race cars or roll cages. It's hard to say on how much gas because of course that depends on how often you are welding- I have never figured out the exact flow rate/consumption time. I have 2 15lb tanks because they are easier to go and exchange and I know when I'm low on the regulater about how much gas/ time I have left. Here are some pics of my set-up and I have experience with just this welder so I don't know how any of the other brands compare, although I have heard nothing but good reviews of the Hobart Handler 140 that comes with the regulater for about 450.00.
You can see from the chart on the inside of the welder the material range and wen you would use Flux Core or GAS.
 

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Front of welder with controls that match the chart:
 

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yosh18981898 said:
So a flux cored wire welder isn't gonna do thinner stuff than my stick welder? If so, there goes half my reason for buying on. It's beginning to look like I'm gonna have to get a real MIG gas welder for the stuff I'm want it to do. I know how much the welders themselves go for, but how much is the gas and how often do you need to refill it?
My Lincoln 110v (SP-135T) recomends a minimum thickness of 18ga using .035 flux core. I have tried welding exhaust with flux core and it wasn't fun (though I didn't have any material to test on first)

I am now running solid wire & gas and it is much better :thumbsup: If I remember right my 80 cu ft C25 tank cost me about $150, and I think its about $20 to refill. Of course then if you want to weld aluminum you need to get an argon tank as well.

Broccoli1 said:
You can see from the chart on the inside of the welder the material range and wen you would use Flux Core or GAS.
Heh, I was just about to post that same chart.
 






My cart is overkill but it was from another project. You mentioned portabilty and as you can see with the smaller tanks and the size of the welder it's a pretty small package.
some more pics of material 3/16th with some beveling for better penetration since it is on the heavier side for this little welder.
 

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Yeah, the 110 welders are definately cheaper. They have a lower duty cycle (usually), so you can't weld as hot for long periods of time with them. We paid about $800 for our 220 lincoln with the gas setup. It looks similar to the ones pictured above. As far as refills, dad just takes it to work with him the day the supply truck comes.

As stated about by many people CO2 works fine. We just upgraded to the 75/25 for, hopefully, a little cleaner welds. I have not used it with that gas yet, but thats almost exclusively what they use at the shop now. I know none of this is not answering your question about aluminum flux-core wire, but most of us have never used it on aluminum.

Edit: We gave away our arc welder after we started using the mig at home. In fact the shop only has one functioning arc welder left and they use it for arc gouging. Everything else is MIG and some TIG.
 






:thumbsup: good looking bead there
 












I'd love to get a gas welder, but I won't have the funds for one for quite a while. From that chart you posted there, it says that flux-core can be used down to 20 gauge. That's pretty thin. The conduit I'm looking at making my roof rack out of is 0.049" wall or 18 gauge (I think). Thats about the thinnest stuff I'd ever use it on. 18 gauge would be tough with the stick welder, but 20 gauge would be near impossible.

Also, can someone who has experience with both the stick and flux-core tell me which one is easier for overhead stuff? I've heard that DC (which is what the flux-core welder is according to that chart) is alot easier for overhead than AC (which is what my stick welder is).

Maybe I miss read the ad on that flux-core welder about aluminum. It was a MIG gas or flux core welder. Maybe they meant it would do aluminum with argon gas and solid wire, while it will only do steel with the flux-core...?
 






I'm not a welder... keep this in mind, I do weld, and my steel welds are pretty darn good, but I only use arc, can't afford another tool yet.. my point is in my search for more information on how to weld better, I found that there were 3 types of rod that were ARC welding rods, according to the sites... these are
e1100,
e3003
e4043- is sold on http://store.cyberweld.com/alel40.html who is an advertise in the tag at the top

now, I wouldn't use them, but, more than a few websites advertise these sticks, all say they are for ARC DC neg, so its possible it does exist. now how strong is it? I don't know, I would "try and see" before putting my life on the line.

I have always thought Savage wolf was right, but I did want to point these things, as well as get the rods # listed so we could get a definitive from some one who has books or paper work or can call a trusted supplier... cuz I cant!

here is an MSDS sheet for it where its called ALUMARC (e4043)
http://www.amfiller.com/pdf/aluminummsds.pdf
 






Major edit: I think I said them backwards. The smaller machines are indeed AC (looked at lincoln website). The aluminum electrodes listed in the above post are DC. It has been a long time since I used an ARC and I think I remembered backwards. I appologize.

Anyway, I assume you can weld aluminum with a DC machine, I have personally never done so.
 






I guess I have a rare welder then. It's definately an AC welder. It says so right on the front. It doesn't make any weird noises though, just a solid buzz when an arc is taking place.

I'm home on spring break now so I went down and talked to my neighbor who is a professional welder who has his shop right next to his house. He answered all my questions. He didn't think much of the flux cored stuff. He said it wont be much different than a stick welder.

On the other hand, he had some aluminum rods for stick welding aluminum that he showed me. However, he said they were 21 bucks/pound :eek: :eek: . Apparently they only work in a DC stick welder though, so my AC welder couldn't use them even if I wanted to blow 21 bucks/pound on rods.

He explained to me why I was having problems welding over head as well. It turneds out I've been using 1/8" 6013 rods for work on exhaust pipe :confused: . He gave me some 3/32" 6011 and some tiny little stainless steel rods to try. Those 3/32" 6011s make all the difference in the world. Basically he tought me what the numbers mean. Like "60" is 60,000 lbs tensile strength and "13" =full of slag and "11" =little slag and "10" =almost no slag.

Thanks for all the help guys.

Oh, and my brother and I just completed a prerunner style tube bumber for his '92 dakota. I'll be posting pics soon :D
 



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hehe, I think I said somewhere I could be wrong :p looks like I was, granted that I never saw/was told about alum rods for a stick when I took my welding classes
heck I might have to get some and try them out, from everything I was taught Alum is only done A/C current Tig or with a Mig so I'll have to give it a shot
 






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