spool guns

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red450r
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spool guns

Post by red450r » 16 May 2011, 18:52

Do any of you do your own repair work if so how do you weld it MIG or tig? I have experience with both but none with aluminum, I currently have a miller 210 and thought about trying a miller spool gun. My first project is going to be a tunnel in my 1652 g3. Any information is greatly appreciated,

Ethan
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Bugpac
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Post by Bugpac » 16 May 2011, 19:10

Tig looks prettier for sure, but for what your doing a spool gun will be very adequate.

jamrozy
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Post by jamrozy » 16 May 2011, 19:28

spool guns are great but can be expensive. if you can afford it that is the way to go. you can get a drive wheel and liner kit for the lead you have allready for alot cheaper but they have problems with jamming in the liner somtimes if your not carefull.

red450r
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spool guns

Post by red450r » 16 May 2011, 19:42

I was thinking that the tig would be a lot harder to add material to fill a hole than the spool gun, I've heard of the horrors of using aluminum wire through your existing lead, and I don't have the patience for that, tig would look a lot better though
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flintcreek
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Post by flintcreek » 16 May 2011, 20:21

Well personally I never was that good with a tig. I sold it and bought a old Miller 200 with a spool gun. Best welder I have used so far. I tried on my old mig using a teflon liner and pushing it through, it worked if you kept the lead straight, but the spool gun is so much better. I think you will be very happy with a spool gun for your Miller.

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red450r
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Post by red450r » 16 May 2011, 20:45

Flinkcreek, what series is your gun? The 200 is $728 and 30a is $1224 will work with my welder, I don't wanna get something that's not going to last
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bassboy1
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Post by bassboy1 » 16 May 2011, 22:45

The spoolmatic 30A is probably the best readily available spoolgun for a machine your size. That being said, for not quite so strenuous use, the 200 shouldn't be a bad choice either. If I'm not mistaken, Ranchero50 on this site uses that spoolgun on the same power source you have.

That being said, if that job came to me, I'd be TIG'ing it.

red450r
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Post by red450r » 17 May 2011, 00:52

tig sounds like a great choice for new work with no gaps but how would it work for fixing a rip in the bottom of a boat, example 1/2in wide 3in long?
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ckr74
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Post by ckr74 » 17 May 2011, 07:21

The tig will work as well as spool. Just a little slower and more of a possible burn through. Mig is definitely faster but won't look as good.

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crazymanme2
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Post by crazymanme2 » 17 May 2011, 07:30

The tig will work as well as spool. Just a little slower and more of a possible burn through. Mig is definitely faster but won't look as good.
True tig is slower,but if you know what your doing gaps are no problem.Tig is alot stronger weld also.Faster isn't always better. #-o
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red450r
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Post by red450r » 17 May 2011, 09:27

Can yall list some of the tig machines you use, its a pile of welding shops, welding suppliers around, i could probably snag a deal on an used one
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linehand
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Post by linehand » 17 May 2011, 14:27

As far as tigs go 180a or larger Miller Lincoln Hobart Esab. All good machines. Stay away from import units. I've found the best for just tack and go welding is something like a miller xra push pull controller on a 200 or so amp power source. Fast and a monkey can do it. All around I'd say should have both. I use the mig to tack and if something needs a nice seam Tig.
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Post by bassboy1 » 17 May 2011, 23:30

crazymanme2 wrote:
The tig will work as well as spool. Just a little slower and more of a possible burn through. Mig is definitely faster but won't look as good.
True tig is slower,but if you know what your doing gaps are no problem.Tig is alot stronger weld also.Faster isn't always better. #-o
I wouldn't say TIG is a stronger weld. There are times where it will produce a stronger weld, and there are also times that it will produce a weaker weld (or rather, a weaker HAZ - Heat Affected Zone). In that case, faster is better, as the lower overall heat input does less damage to the surrounding metal, and creates a stronger overall piece, or produces less weldment distortion, and so on.

While there is a decent overlap in what both machines can do, neither can be a complete replacement of the other.
red450r wrote:Can yall list some of the tig machines you use, its a pile of welding shops, welding suppliers around, i could probably snag a deal on an used one
Add Thermal Arc to the list in the post above. One of my machines is a Thermal Arc 185, and aside from being on the small side (which you can't fault the machine for - a 185 amp class machine is going to be a 185 amp class machine on all sides of the board), it has been an absolute excellent machine, and is very comparable to the Miller Dynasty 200DX.

I'll be trading it for a Dynasty 350 in a few years. I'm having to push the little machine to its limits a bit more than I wish.

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Post by MrSimon » 18 May 2011, 15:44

I asked this same TIG/MIG question to the owner of the fab shop that is fixing the cracks in my boat. He has 20 years of experience in aluminum fabrication and will only use a TIG when working on boats. He feels it gives him more control and provides a cleaner weld.

As far as filling in holes, he prefers to cut our a nice even square around the bad area and weld in a patch piece.

With all that said, he told me a good MIG with the right gas, wire, and spool gun set-up will work fine too.

I don't have either, and I don't know how to weld. For me, its a heck of a lot cheaper, faster, and better to just let the fab shop do my welding. Its only costing me $100 to have four cracked ribs and a 12 inch seem split welded up.
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crazymanme2
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Post by crazymanme2 » 18 May 2011, 16:33

Everybody has their own opinion.Some with book smarts with no experience & others with no books & years of hands on experience.
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