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How to Use a Spool Gun to Weld Aluminum



Kevin is scrubbing the edges of some 16 gauge aluminum with a stainless steel brush so he can weld it with a Parker spool gun. He's never used this spool gun with this machine before. Let's see how well it works!

This spool gun has a couple of nice features. It has an onboard wire feed control right on the gun so you don't have to walk back to the welder to adjust it. Inside, the gun feed has a clamp and an idler wheel. Kevin shows the feed roller and the aluminum welding wire barely sticking past it. The aluminum wire feeds off of the spool, down through the gun. It's tightened by pulling the idler against the feed wheel. Now the aluminum is pinched and will feed when you pull the trigger.

Another nice feature is a break on the spool that keeps the wire from continuing to spool when you don't want it to. That prevents a big rat's nest inside the gun.

Next Kevin shows the control screen on the Everlast Lightning MTS 275 multiprocess welder. To set up the spool gun, scroll through the menu until you get to MIG aluminum. Another window pops up. Press your left arrow to go to "control." You see "spool gun," "2T" and "4T." You can use either 2T or 4T with the spool gun. (Kevin Caron uses "spool gun" and "2T.")

Then Kevin selects "home" on the screen. Now the spool gun is live and ready to go.

Next just set up whatever other parameters you want, including preflow, starting wire feed speed and burnback, which Kevin has turned off. There's also upslope, which he has turned off. The spot stitch timer is also turned off. Downslope is set to zero. End wire feed is at 60, and post flow is set at .7. The wire feed is now adjusted on the gun. Voltage is set at 16.3.

Kevin puts on his welding safety equipment and holds together two pieces of aluminum. He tacks the two pieces of metal in place, then runs a bead.

He shows the weld. It started out shaky and burned through in a few places - his fault. Then he sped up a bit with a little faster forward motion, which looks a little better. Still, Kevin wants to adjust some settings, dropping the voltage from 16.5 to 15.5 and playing with the wire feed. He also pulls the weld instead of pushing it.

Kevin shows the results. He's happier with the weld this time, but still thinks the settings could use some more adjusting, including the conductance.

Once he gets more comfortable with it, though, Kevin thinks this spool gun on Everlast's MTS 275 Lightning will really help with Weeping Tree, the big aluminum sculpture he's working on. Using the spool gun will allow him do some long runs and not have to TIG weld overhead.

So that's the Everlast MTS 275 Lightning with the Parker spool gun for welding aluminum. He's Kevin Caron, and you're his very favorite people because you're out here watching.

Before you go, stick around for another moment to see him slide into movie mode ....

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