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Welding/aluminium welding

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Question
QUESTION: what is your opinion on push pull gun for aluminium welding and which is the best on the market

ANSWER: In the United States the best push-pull systems are made by Miller and MK.
The MK Cobras and, more recently, the Pythons have held the lead for decades.
Miller's XR-Edge system is also very good and forced MK to update the aging Cobramatics and come up with the more modern Python guns.

They all work and when combined with a pulsed MIG power supply they can weld aluminum like buttering bread.



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QUESTION: thank you for your answer
i have a boc 250R mig welder 240v (its not a pulse machine) but its quite new.i have been using it with steel and silicon bronze wire.
it has a separate wire feeder.with 6 mtrs of extension.gun line is 4mtrs long
i would like to set up for welding aluminium
what is the most cost effective way
1.purchase a push pull gun to attach to it
2.purchase a new wire feeder that is set up for alluminium.
3.puchase another machine
i have had some problems using other poeples machines that have long gun leads that is wire keeps banking up at the push rollers in the wire feeder.
your opininon would greatfully appreciated

Answer
Push-pull systems are for production welding aluminum on a large scale.
The systems are very expensive, even used, and if they break the parts are equally expensive.
When they are happy, they run great, but if you buy a used unit with some wear and tear, they can be a nightmare to keep running.

If you are not planning on welding aluminum all the time I would opt for a Spoolgun.
Spoolguns use smaller spools, but they are very portable, and can get further from the power supply than a push-pull system. Spoolguns also work well with steel and bronze wire.

BOC lists a spoolgun that is adaptable to many machines

http://www.boc.com.au/shop/en/au-boc-industrial-store/lincoln-magnum-100sg-spool

At $500 it is probably not a heavy duty gun, but would work for the occasional aluminum job.

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Ernie Leimkuhler

Expertise

Questions about Oxy-Acetylene welding/cutting, MIG, TIG, Flux-core, Stick welding, brazing and soldering, bike frames, air frames, motorcycle frames, structural welding. Also questions about Welding Certifications and Inspections. All questions about fabrication of metals (stainless steel, steel , aluminum, brass, bronze, copper). Basic questions about underwater welding. TIG is my strongest subject.

Experience

Extensive background in most welding fields. 18 years fabrication of metal theatre scenery, 16 years structural steel, 2 years pipe welding, 9 years as a Welding Instructor at South Seattle Community College, and 5.5 years as a Welding Instructor at the Divers Institute of Technology. 16 years Industrial Welding Consultant for fabrication shops in the greater Seattle Area. 11 years Architectural Metal Fabrication. 8 years in Film/TV; SPFX/construction/set-deco/props/. 33 years Blacksmithing and Knifemaking. Currently a Field Welding Inspector for Otto Rosenau and Associates.

Organizations
American Welding Society - Certified Welding Inspector Washington Assoc of Building Officials (WABO) - Special Inspector - Structural and Reinforcing Steel.

Publications
Do a search on google groups for "Ernie Leimkuhler" in the rec.crafts.metalworking and sci.engr.joining.welding groups. http://www.stagesmith.com/ http://www.metalwebnews.com/ Blacksmith's Gazzette - Anvil Making

Education/Credentials
BA Theatre Technology - Purdue University.

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