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  1. #1
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    Cast Alum welding?

    what are guys using for welding cast alum up to .250 and .020-.250 pontoon stuff, snowmobiles, dirtbikes , boat lifts, skeg chunks, Bike frames, props,etc....
    1. mfg. lincoln, miller, esab, etc.....
    2. models? syncrowave, dynasty, invertech, diversion.....etc
    3. type. multi process, single purpose, tig, mig.....inverter, transformer,
    im looking for home, single phase 30amp , portable? run on generator 7500watt 30 amp.
    lot of opinions out there and huge price range $1500-$7500
    just looking for some input to chew on and hands on experience with these applications above.
    i have just started research so my comprehension level is solid but need good explanation of your opinion.
    thanks for any input you can share.
    C.B.

  2. #2
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    All depends on what you want to do the most. Tig= a precision quality weld on any metal in the right hands , Mig=a good weld on steel but not so much for precision aluminum welds, yes it will blast stuff together for production but its not for intricate work on aluminum. I have a Miller synchrowave 250 and love it.. I still like the Old school transformer type welders..They last for ever but down side is they are big and heavy. The inverter welders are much smaller and have more weld control but have alot more electronics... more prone to fail in my book. Cant go wrong with a Miller or lincoln..Dave

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  4. #3
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    syncrowave 250 is what my local miller guy suggested but not portable and needs more than 30 amps input....not a big deal but need to upgrade.
    $5900 bucks is not bad deal for new, found a good used one complete water cooled with misc consumables@ $3800.... but stuck on idea of "portable"
    like the syncrowave 210dx or dynasty 280dx? both inverter style and prone to electronic failure as you mentioned? some argue inverter style is reliable but there is the dilema! so i need 2 welders? wtf.
    thanks for response
    Last edited by RIVERRUMMER 70; 12-27-2017 at 09:35 PM.

  5. #4
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    I have a Lincoln square wave Tig 355. Not cheap but a great machine. I'm not even close to using all it's capability.

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  7. #5
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    I recently purchased a Lincoln Tig 200 Square wave. I am amazed what this little machine can do for around 2k with all the extras. Fine for anything we have come up with so far. Holes in blocks, and fin, cavatation plate repairs. We have also stick welded some pretty heavy steel with it also, and got good results.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umassot50 View Post
    I have a Lincoln square wave Tig 355. Not cheap but a great machine. I'm not even close to using all it's capability.
    yes its a good one from all the research ive done and not much negative feedback as well ...similar to the miller syncrowave 350 and not cheap looks like $7200 new and 3k 4k used with goodies ... what did you pay for yours? new or used? need 100 amp input so i think i would need to upgrade power in my garage even the sync 250 is power hungry. you have 100 amp or 200 amp service? read guys using it on 60 amp breaker but only on low amp outputs. for less than 3/8 alum.?

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cali kid View Post
    I recently purchased a Lincoln Tig 200 Square wave. I am amazed what this little machine can do for around 2k with all the extras. Fine for anything we have come up with so far. Holes in blocks, and fin, cavatation plate repairs. We have also stick welded some pretty heavy steel with it also, and got good results.
    yep, read good things also ...did you buy new? h2o cooled torch? using it on 110v or 230v ? when welding o/b blocks "cast alum" are you preheating or just zapping away cold? prob not gonna use it much for that app but never know ..... thanks for your input!

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVERRUMMER 70 View Post
    yep, read good things also ...did you buy new? h2o cooled torch? using it on 110v or 230v ? when welding o/b blocks "cast alum" are you preheating or just zapping away cold? prob not gonna use it much for that app but never know ..... thanks for your input!
    Purchased new, air cooled torch,. Preheat depending on thickness.

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cali kid View Post
    Purchased new, air cooled torch,. Preheat depending on thickness.
    Oh, only 230v so far.

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  14. #10
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    I bought a Lincoln Tig 200 square wave a couple months ago and really like it so far. I've been running it on 110v so far and it seems to do a pretty good job on anything up to 1/8". Just haven't had time to wire up a plug to try it on 230v. Biggest complaint so far is there's no post flow control adjustment so it waste more argon then something like the Lincoln Tig 225 precision I've used but other then that performance seems pretty comparable.
    Last edited by Lil' Blue Rude; 12-29-2017 at 05:47 PM.

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  16. #11
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    I have been in metal fab./welding 25+ years. Many years welding aluminum from .062 to 1.25 thickness. A tig welder has to have high frequency start or it will not weld aluminum. Mig a push pull gun is a must and stay away from .035 wire its too thin and has alot of feeding issues 3/64" works well. 4043 wire welds clean but 5356 is needed for anodized finish. Pulsed mig is the way to go for aluminum IMO will achieve tig quality welds with a mig welder but are pricey. I recommend a miller 350p. Good luck.

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  18. #12
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    Anyone have a lead to a push pull gun for my welder?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVERRUMMER 70 View Post
    yes its a good one from all the research ive done and not much negative feedback as well ...similar to the miller syncrowave 350 and not cheap looks like $7200 new and 3k 4k used with goodies ... what did you pay for yours? new or used? need 100 amp input so i think i would need to upgrade power in my garage even the sync 250 is power hungry. you have 100 amp or 200 amp service? read guys using it on 60 amp breaker but only on low amp outputs. for less than 3/8 alum.?
    I bought mine cheap from a friend who passed away. His family sold off everything. I think I paid $2k for it. With a cooling cart. I have a 200 amp service. I use it to weld aluminum castings. Works great. I also use it to build thin steel two stroke exhaust pipes. Also great for that. Probably the last Tig welder I'll ever need.

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  21. #14
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    Buy a water cooled torch set up , a 250 amp water cooled torch is much smaller than 150 amp air cooled. It will allow you to get into much tighter spots and still a good angle on your torch. With aluminium your torch needs to be looking right at the base metal.
    The modern inverter machines weld so nice, I have seen guys that have never welded aluminum start with a new dynasty and pick it right up. You get what you pay don't go cheap. Get 350 machine for aluminium you will need the extra power. The inverter machines need less amps on the supply side.
    On cast it all ways help to preheat to cook some of crap out of it. Cast seems very porous and toon that has had water in can difficult too.
    Aluminum = lot of heat, long arc, keep your filler rod in the cover gas, filler directly to puddle, on the thin stuff 0 gap fit up with a lot of tacks and filler wire same thickness as base.

    Troy

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  23. #15
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    Cast aluminum sucks to weld clean. You spend a lot of time burning impurities out of the parent metal. It comes out black. The impurities that is. Some die cast aluminum has too much zinc in it which is even worse. I tend to like 4047 filler. It has higher silicon content. Flows better to fill porosity. Good on castings.

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