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Old 09-04-2017, 03:05 PM   #1
javelinadave
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Default Welding Aluminum

I have a Miller 211 mig welder. I am wanting to learn to weld aluminum and am at a crossroad. Do I get a spool gun for the 211 or do I buy a tig? Anybody have any expertise on the subject?
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:13 AM   #2
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Depends on the quality of welds you need. If you want to weld tanks or thin AL sheetmetal, then by all means, learn tig. If you just want to weld this and that misc aluminum stock, a spool gun works great. I have a Ready Welder II that I have hooked up to my Millermatic 185 (DC) and it works great for some stuff, not great for others (basically a spool gun). Most the time it works just fine. You will need another bottle of gas (pure Argon), but the regulator is the same. What are you intending to weld?

FYI--the Spool gun is way quicker than typical TIG. That said, TIG is next on my list to learn and get a new welder. They are pricey. FYI--not all tig welders do aluminum...
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:26 PM   #3
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I bought a used spool gun for my millermatic 252 to do repairs on my rear tub, it worked out but certainly was pushing the limits of what's possible with the thin aluminum, even though I was mainlu doing plug welds. I ended up using copper heat sinks behind every plug. Once you get a bit thicker it works pretty darn well, but as mentioned it's crazy fast.

Not sure about the 211 but with my 252 you can have both there spoolgun and standard whip hooked up and can switch between the two for different jobs.

If you can afford tig it's the better way for he thin stuff for sure.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:39 AM   #4
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Dredging up an old thread. I'm looking at a Hobart EZ Tig. Anybody have any experience with one?
https://store.cyberweld.com/hotigweez16.html

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Old 11-16-2018, 01:23 PM   #5
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Seems to have good write ups, one day I'll upgrade my Lincoln buzzbox.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:51 PM   #6
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I would think Pirate would be the place to research this (then post your findings here). My understanding is that a spool gun for a Miller 210 kinds of sucks.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:47 AM   #7
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Spool guns don’t suck. But there are downsides, of course. I have a Ready Welder hooked up to my Millermatic 175 and I love it (it’s a Spool gun for all intents and purposes). A Spool on 210/211? even better.

But not good for thin stuff or welding tanks of any sorts. So depends on what you are doing. All that said, after spool gunning for years, a dedicated tig is also on my list. If you want to just zip something together outside of sheet metal, then spool is great.

Can you use a spool on sheet? Yes. Sign companies due it routinely. But you need an impressive box to start with the 210/211 being borderline unless you nail the wire to just the right size. I’d still want one for that machine and I’d due that first, but the tig would still be on my list. I’d use the mig w/spool to tack it together and the tig to finish weld...

NOTE: not all Tigs do aluminum— pay attention to if they are AC, DC or AC/DC. I’ve been eyeballing the Dynasty 280 personally...

Might watch this too. http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/...g-welders.html
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