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    I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    First, to get this out of the way: This project is not structural...not only will it not be supporting anything, it will actually be supported BY a steel frame. Also, aesthetics are absolutely not a consideration.

    Now, I'm welding 1/8" aluminum panels together. There's going to be between twenty and forty 2"-long beads run. Not a big project in itself, but the physical size is fairly large and the two shops I like to use have both already quoted me over $200 for labor ~ significantly more than the project is worth.

    So...I have a 100 amp flux core wire welder and I have some solid core aluminum wire. These are the materials I have on hand: Is there a way I can make them work? Can I just slather some flux paste around where I intend to weld to shield the bead?

    I have access to a 90 amp stick machine and could purchase some of the aluminum sticks. Has anyone here used the sticks? How well do they work?
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    Senior Member SamR's Avatar
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    Solid wire won't work without shielding gas. If you have an argon supply you could try and rig up a nozzle to shield the weld, or build a box around the weld area and flood it with argon. Not ideal but it's the only way it will work. This also assumes your feeder will push the wire through the whip without piling up, some welders just won't do it without a push pull or spool gun.

    I've used aluminum stick before I got my TIG. It works but doesn't make the nicest welds. The biggest issue I had was the work heating as I welded. If I started hot enough by the time I got to the end it was burning through, and if I was cold enough for the end the beginning wasn't hot enough to weld properly. If you're only doing two inch welds that might not be a problem

    The stuff burns FAST. Like 2-3 times as fast as steel. Takes a bit to get used to feeding it that quickly. Also clean, clean and cleaner. Wire brush the metal till it's shiny and if you re-start a stick clean the slag off the end of the rod and the old weld before you get going again. Any contamination makes it harder.
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    I didn't know if using liberal amounts of flux paste might diffuse the oxygen as it burns off like with aluminum rods...I suppose that's what I was hoping for.
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    With what you have I would say no, might be able to rig up a cheap spool gun but there a couple hundred plus you need argon. if it's not structural and you don't care what it looks like bolt them together ether overlap or but together with small square pieces bolting them together
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    Curious, why the need to weld? What type of joint is it (but, overlap, fillet)?
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    Senior Member poordad's Avatar
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    I messed with alumaweld sticks before and for non structural pieces it can turn out nicely with a good bit of practice. They sell at HF for cheep and only require a propane torch to use.

    Look up some videos on YouTube but dont believe all the hype, good luck.
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    I want it one layer on the exposed surface so I can't overlap...if I do bolts/rivets there will be backing. If it's welded, though, it'll make it one continuous sheet. Basically I'm stitching together five or six pieces into roughly a 4x6 sheet. Rivets would require a far more complicated support structure underneath it.
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    Quote Originally Posted by poordad View Post
    I messed with alumaweld sticks before and for non structural pieces it can turn out nicely with a good bit of practice. They sell at HF for cheep and only require a propane torch to use.

    Look up some videos on YouTube but dont believe all the hype, good luck.

    The problem is I have a hard time getting my aluminum up to the 750* working temp. I just tried it. All I have is a propane torch...I may go and grab a map gas torch and see if that works. The alumaweld would work and would actually let me stitch everything together instead of just doing 2~4" beads if I could get the temp high enough.
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    Why not just purchase a 4' X 6' sheet?
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    Re: I need to weld aluminum, only have a flux core wire machine. Options?
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    I'll show you in a couple days
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