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working with stainless and aluminum

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/22/2010 at 00:31
cowski View Drop Down
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in my shop we do almost all  our metal work, from repairs to fabrication .but until lately we worked mostly with steel and cast.the only aluminum or stainless was tanks. generally with aluminum we braze cracks or holes with a oxweld torch.with stainless i have found it welds good with certainum rods. i have a big miller mig, 2 little miller stick, and a 400 amp dc lincoln welders.the problem i am having is that stainless can not be cut with a torch, it makes it real aggravating to cut . so i have been looking to up grade some of my equipment. how well does a plasma cutter cut stainless? welding aluminum we have used a aluminum spool in the mig,but are considering a high freq. tig unit . has anyone used one?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/22/2010 at 08:24
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i used a plasma cutter a lot when i was in high school, but i never cut stainless with it. i know they will cut the heads right of an oil field drilling bit though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/22/2010 at 09:39
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Plasma is the only way to cut stainless! It is really slick and easy. The company I work for is doing a lot of work at a dog food plant, that has to be food grade stainless(go figure), and the plasma torch is the only way to go on the heavier stuff. The Tig welder not oly works on stainless, if you round your tungsten by striking an arc on a piece of copper first, it very effective at welding aluminum.


edit for fat fingers.


Edited by billyburl2 - May/22/2010 at 09:40
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2010 at 22:42
cowski View Drop Down
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thanks bb2 .what kind of machine would you get?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2010 at 23:18
billyburl2 View Drop Down
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I will get the name off the machine at work and post it tomorrow.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2010 at 07:12
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You can also use a die grinder with an abrasive cutting wheel or a radiac abrasive saw cutter for cutting stainless, if you're dealing with tubing, relatively small diameter rod, or narrow plate.  They will give you a "cleaner" cut-off than plasma, if that matters.  Of course, if you have access to one, a metal band saw works great too and you can more precisely control length, but it's slower.

Aluminum on the other hand, tends to plug up the pores of grinding wheels.  The band saw is the way to go for aluminum cut-off.  Or, depending on the thickness of your stock, a "Saws-all" works well if you don't need a precise cut-off length.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2010 at 23:11
cowski View Drop Down
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rifledude is it better to weld thin aluminum with a mig or tig?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/26/2010 at 20:46
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Plus one on what Rifle Dude said about cutting the thin stuff. The plasma we use is a Lincon pro-cut 80. I believe it is rated up to 1/2" but 3/8" cuts pretty good. Hope this helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/26/2010 at 23:05
cowski View Drop Down
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thanks bb2
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2010 at 13:27
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Originally posted by cowski cowski wrote:

rifledude is it better to weld thin aluminum with a mig or tig?
 
I have zero experience at welding aluminum, but our welders at work tell me that they prefer TIG, although both will work.  They said they felt TIG produced a cleaner weld and that it was easier to get everything setup right and produce a good strong weld with TIG.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2010 at 08:16
cowski View Drop Down
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thanks rifle dude,your answer was like my fathers.he was head engineer at his plant ,he designed  but others built .but he ordered the equipment he always bought miller .the only trouble they had was circuit boards burning out on the plasma cutters.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2010 at 08:53
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miller makes fine welding equipment i think.
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