fine art

home & garden


work in progress


3-d printer
ahp tools
engineering kinetic sculpture
everlast tools
finish work & patinas
focus on art
how to create a sculpture
longevity tools
milling machine & metal lathe
public art
shop math: measuring & leveling
studio tour
tools for the studio
transporting & installing videos
arc welding
bending & shaping
cutting & grinding
general welding
health & safety
mig welding
other techniques
specific projects
tig welding
tool how-to's

  * How to Develop a Successful Art Career: Marketing, Part 1
  * How to Line Up Parts Perfectly for a CNC Table
  * Introducing the Everlast MTS 275 Lightning
  * Why Do I Need a 3D Printer?
  * Cool Improvements to AHP's TIG Welder

more ...

"Your work is an inspiration to me.... Someday I?ll retire from the railroad and build a shop and create, too."
--David S. Ludlow, Executive Director, Wilmington & Western Railroad, Wilmington, Delaware

Bookmark and Share

< Back
Next >

How to Use a Spool Gun

Kevin is working on a large aluminum stand for a sound sculpture. Instead of TIG welding the aluminum structure, Kevin decides to use a spool gun. Kevin contacted Everlast and was able to get a spool gun to fit the Everlast PowerMTS 251si, which is a multiprocess machine.

The spool gun has:

  • A spool of 1 pound aluminum welding wire, which is light enough to handle easily

  • A drive roller assembly

  • A tension adjustment with a spring on it.

Next he shows how to adjust the settings. On the control panel he selects “Spool gun” without pulse. He then checks the synergic setup, in which you tell the welder what size and type of welding wire you are you using. The machine sets the rest up by itself.

Next step for setting up the spool gun is to add some argon gas. Kevin is using straight argon since he uses it when he TIG welds, but he has heard if you use 90% argon and 10% CO2 your weld won’t have a smoky look.

It’s important to make sure you have a welding gun that is the right make and model for your welder – you can’t just use this spool gun, for instance, with your Miller or Lincoln welder. If you’re handy, you can adapt a spool gun by changing the wiring, but you’d need schematics for both the spool gun and your welder to even start.

The voltage settings and the wirefeed settings for a spool gun are not necessarily the same as you would use for steel, so it took Kevin a while to adjust the settings to get it to work the way he wanted.

He sets up some aluminum and runs a bead. The spool gun does pretty well. There is a smoky film on the weld, although it wipes right off.

Kevin likes using the spool gun for this sculpture because of the amount of welding he has to do - if he were to TIG weld it, the job would have taken another 2-3 weeks to complete.

Don’t miss the end in which, with his looming deadline, Kevin shows that he is consumed by welding with a spool gun ….

Watch more videos now