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Thread: What type of welder?

  1. #36
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    You can weld aluminum with a Oxy-Acetylene torch...

    Many years ago (like 50) when i learned that those beautiful aluminum fuel tankers were all torch welded, I just had to learn how to do it... and I made a lot of motorcycle parts after that.
    Many custom aluminum car bodies were all torch welded it takes flux a razor sharp eye and a steady hand. The fact that aluminum doesn't change color before the puddle drops into the hole can be disheartening.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    You can weld aluminum with a Oxy-Acetylene torch...

    Many years ago (like 50) when i learned that those beautiful aluminum fuel tankers were all torch welded, I just had to learn how to do it... and I made a lot of motorcycle parts after that.
    Many custom aluminum car bodies were all torch welded it takes flux a razor sharp eye and a steady hand. The fact that aluminum doesn't change color before the puddle drops into the hole can be disheartening.
    What does one use for rod/flux? I didn't know this.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #38
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    Default Re: What type of welder?


  4. #39
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    Though beware if you're thinking of modifying or repairing aluminum castings from engines or machinery, i) it's not pure aluminum, it's some alloy, and ii) the casting is probably porous so it's soaked up engine oil, transmission fluid, grease or god knows what over the years, so you have to boil it, and use harsh cleaners to get it in a fit state to weld.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    Well that makes sense. I've seen it, but always figured it was for TIG. Something new to try! Thanks
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  6. #41
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Well that makes sense. I've seen it, but always figured it was for TIG. Something new to try! Thanks
    You can also stick weld aluminum with the proper welding rod, but I’ve found that TIG gives the best results. I work in food processing, and clean, tidy welds are an absolute requirement.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    Last time I looked into that it was about $5 a rod or something ridiculous.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Recon1342 View Post
    You can also stick weld aluminum with the proper welding rod, but I’ve found that TIG gives the best results. I work in food processing, and clean, tidy welds are an absolute requirement.
    I've got a friend who is a food grade welder. Picky stuff! He said nuclear certification was a piece of cake in comparison.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  9. #44
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    I have only used OFW on relatively thin pieces. Like 1/4" and less. Aluminum is such a heat sink it would seem impractical with a torch.
    MIG works, but I always used the Cobramatic wire pulling gun...

  10. #45
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    If we could only pick one machine it would be the AC/DC TIG - you could use this for stick welding bigger materials.
    Cheers,
    Mark

  11. #46
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    I have long wanted to learn O-A welding for aluminum. I knew there was a flux needed. Thanks for the pic showing the right stuff. I have also heard that a special goggle lens is needed for aluminum. Cobalt blue lenses? Is that true? I have searched everywhere and cannot find blue lenses, or reference that says they are needed. What lens do I need? I learned to weld with O-A and have done sheet steel car parts by this method.

    As to the original posted question, the "best" welder depends on what you wish to weld. What materials? How thick? What power source is available? Like boats, welding outfits all do a different variation of the same thing. Each is best for something, and each has limitations. I play with old cars, bicycles, and light framing. For me, a MIG machine was the best choice. The 110 volt and 220 volt machines were considered. The 110 welders put sheet steel car body work in the middle of their effective range. But I also weld angle iron and such for other things. The 220 V machines have sheet steel in the lower 1/3 of their range, still plenty effective. They also had a higher range, upwards of 3/8" for framing work. The 220v machine was my pick for versatility of material use, at the cost of limited places to plug it in. But I use it in my garage, so it works best for me. If I have to road trip to weld something, I take my O-A bottles and old tech skills.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    UK does have an advantage though that standard household electricity supply is 240V/13A at a standard wall socket so arc and wire feed welders can be a bit more powerful than the basic ones in North America. However this probably makes the base models of such more expensive.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    This may be of some help with aluminum welding. TM Tech has Al welding lenses and aluminum flux. Disclaimer -- net search, sounds reasonable, but TM Tech is not familiar to me.

    Aluminum Welding


    https://www.tinmantech.com/education/articles/aluminum-welding-using-oxy-fuel-welding-on-aircraft-aluminum-sheet.php

    Using Oxy-Fuel Welding on Aircraft Aluminum Sheet
    from Experimenter Magazine, April 1996
    See TM Technologies Aluminum Gas Welding System
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  14. #49
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    Default Re: What type of welder?

    I may be late to the party and I haven’t read the entire thread, so forgive me if I’m repeating someone or have missed more of the brief than was in the OP.

    But for what it’s worth a few years ago I bit the bullet to upgrade from my old stick welder and bought a multiprocess Lincoln Powercraft 180i gas/gasless mig/tig/arc welder and I absolutely love it. It really is a superb piece of kit and I find myself looking for any excuse to roll it out and use it.

    I’ve been using it primarily gasless mig since I’ve had it (why would you bother with gas on mild steel when this is so good?) and played with a bit of tig welding on it (when I was able to beg a bottle of argon for a few days) but it gives me the opportunity to do a lot more with it as I get more time in the future.

    So if you’re still looking and are after something versatile I can highly recommend the Lincoln Powercraft multiprocess welders.
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