Instructables

Can a stick welder Weld aluminium ??

my dad has a mig welder and i dont want to buy a gas kit for that so ive been thinking of buying a cheap stick welder WIll it be able to weld aluminium angle or box aluminium

Stick with the kit. The time, material cost, learning curve, and frustration of stick welding aluminum is not worth the $200 you spend on a cheap "Buzz Box" stick welder. Aluminum is going to rust without shielding gas. It is as simple as that. Period. A spool gun from Lincoln will save you a lot more overall work and money down the road.
vincenc2 years ago
I realize this is a rather old thread, but in hopes someone finds it useful here's a link I've had on the subject for a few years. http://www.hildstrom.com/projects/stickaluminum/index.html
No. You HAVE to have an argon blanket. Mig works quite well on ali. TIG is much better, but an AC/DC Tig  will set you back nearly 800 quid even for a cheap Chinese one.

Steve
Harbor Freight has a TIG/Stick model for $200.00, but you still need an argon tank for TIG.
Did you just say Harbor Freight?! I would never buy any power tool from them ever. Buy your last welder first. I would spend the extra money on a new Lincoln TIG because it will pay off in the years of not having to replace it.
Well hey, I bought their cheapest gas-less MIG for my first welder and it works fine. And if it goes sour, I'll just make a portable 110v stick welder with the transformer. If you had just a couple projects in mind for it, harbor freight has a few fair welders. - Dr. 0'Neil
No worries. I just have something against Harbor Freight.
I'm not gonna lie though, harbor freight does have some pretty trashy stuff!
MT-LB4 years ago
Yes, there are stick welding rods for aluminum. I've never used them though. Look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KELLTrgnUhc
yes a stick welder can weld aluminum...the rods consume very quickly...it's best to use a pronounced weave...you'll never see the puddle as there is a lot of slag/smoke...it's easier to run it  at smoking hot heat levels...once you get it  just trust that you're moving along correctly...when you've figured it out they run pretty easy and look very slick...i've made a lot of repairs in the field on aluminum castings and tanks...and never had a problem...
Steelsmith14 years ago
Despite what some others have said, yes you can weld aluminum with either an AC or DC stick welder.  Go to the library and get a book on it.  To get the correct rods for what you want and your welder go to a welding supply and tell them what you want to weld and the type welder you have.  To make sure you purchase a welder that will do what you want you might go to the supplier and ask first.  (you can buy an import, don't feel pressured, but ask at the welding supplier to find the specs on the machine you need.  A good supplier can give you a lot of information.  Make friends with the person there and they willl help a lot)  You can find information of the Miller welder site and probably on others.  Do a web search.  The people who make welding machines will be glad to help you.       The fumes from aluminum stick rods are more dangerous than most steel welding rods, so make sure you have proper ventillation
Wesley6664 years ago
Yes, like almost everyone else has said, a small MIG welder would do it, hard as it may be, but thickness also plays a factor.  If its a little on the thicker side, it would be easier, but if it is fairly thin half assed stuff, you'll probably just burn right through it.
like the others have said. I would suggest Mig, or Tig welding.  I've never heard of alum. stick welding.   and once again like the others have said it is hard to weld.   When heating steel it turns red and obviously glows, meanwhile  Aluminium (least when I have welded it) seems to basically be either solid, or liquid and can quickly melt and drop away if to much welding is done in one area until it cools a bit. 
seandogue4 years ago
A pro could probably use a stick welder to weld aluminum.

But you? I'll  suggest that you rethink the problem and reconsider buying the insert gas kit to upgrade your dad's system.
Re-design4 years ago
You can gas weld aluminum but it's really tricky.  It has a tendency to drop out as it melts instead of welding unless you are very careful with the torch.
Having seen guys gas welding it, and having some experience of Tig welding it, I have to say gas welders have a lot more skill than me to NOT melt the whole job to scrap !
My highschool shop teacher taught me a lot of things that were not in the book.  One of them was how to well aluminum with an acetelene torch.  I didn't learn so good but he could sure do it.
lemonie4 years ago
Aluminium is tricky, much harder than steel. Steve' is right, but even if you have the right kit it's not an easy job for a beginner.

L
Yes, not much difference from weldable to melted.
This has to be old: but my grandmother managed to melt a big hole in the bottom of an Al kettle. Perhaps at one point in history Al was either cheap or fashionable, but that is an oddity for me.

L