Originally Posted by sonoronos
I recently redid my sw sides with plug welds using TIG and new 1/8" 3000 series aluminum. Plug hole diameter was 9/16", which allowed enough space to get the TIG arc onto the base aluminum with 1/8" tungsten sharpened to a point. Welds were performed at 120 amps. Clamping was very important.
It's possible with MIG, but you have significantly less precision in where the heat goes. My guess is that you'll have to have larger plugs, probably around 3/4" or so.
I highly recommend you perform 10-20 test panel plug welds with various plug hole diameters. You will have to experiment. It's altogether possible that you can do very precise plugs - it really depends on a lot of variables. The real issue is getting sufficient penetration and fusion (wetting) of the base layer before letting the pool fuse with the plug hole.
The end result won't look factory, nonetheless.
One note: I have been experimenting with spot welding aluminum using a cheap harbor freight spot welder and sandwiching the aluminum between strips of cheap mild steel. I have gotten varying results but I think that the technique is totally viable, especially with 3000/5000 series aluminum.
This is all great info and food for thought.
Im going to have do some experimentation for sure.
Interesting about the spot welder I've got a Aklands and Grainger (rebranded Miller) spot welder sitting in my storage container but didn't think it would be powerful enough to tackle the aluminum. Maybe I need to rethink that.
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