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View Full Version : Welding stainless or alluminum??


RockRunner
11-12-2013, 10:36 AM
I have a hot dog cart, the kind you see on the corners downtown. I want to add some items to it, a canopy, shelving, storage and some other small things. The cart is made of SS all around which is standard to prevent rust, cleaning and strength.

So the items I want to add on can be from either SS or Aluminum, I prefer aluminum for several reasons. It is lighter of course, cheaper than SS easier to work with (drill etc.) and I can color it vs. SS.

So her is the question, I have a MIG welder and am OK with normal steel just need more practice/repetition. So if I want to well SS if I understand right all I need to do is change my bottle and get SS wire. To weld aluminum I would need to buy a spool gun, bottle and wire, obviously more expensive.

Now several questions, how hard is it to weld either product? And I think that by the time I buy my material I will spend more SS material than aluminum thereby getting a new too for sort of free :rolleyes:

What would you do and those who have welded one or the other, what are the differences from normal steel? The other thing is that I plan on buying a P30 or some big delivery truck to build my own food truck. Some bodies are aluminum so ..................

Please any help is greatly appreciated :thumb:

art hog
11-12-2013, 06:53 PM
Stay with the stainless, and tig weld it. it will look better and you may need the stainless for health codes. If you can't do it, I can, but Im in Rollinsville.


Terry

RockRunner
11-13-2013, 10:15 PM
Thanks, I am checking with Denver health codes what I need to use. I too think it is stainless, oh well. Understand I can do it with a tIG but I don't have one and the are pricy. Can I convert my Mig to burn SS? Thanks for the offer I should be able to handle it I hope.

kurtnkegger
11-14-2013, 03:06 PM
Looks like it can be done...I've never tried it, just did a quick search.

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/communities/mboard/showthread.php?13332-Can-I-mig-weld-stainless-steel

HTH

Beater
11-14-2013, 04:17 PM
any mig can run stainless. there are even flux core stainless consumables for you to use if you need.

RockRunner
11-15-2013, 07:30 PM
Is it easier to weld SS or Aluminum to SS? Like I said I would like to use aluminum but if that is not the best way of doing it I will use SS.

Beater
11-16-2013, 08:19 AM
aluminum is one giant pain if you ask me. It takes a lot of amps, and cleanliness borders on fanatical - all that for tig -

For mig, you would need a spool gun, which makes life easy, but is costly for the home user unless you have a lot to do, plus only the pro-sumer boxes will accept them. Cleanliness is still important, but not as much so.

I would mig stainless all day if I could. virtually no difference in technique and such from mild steel. PS - the heat bluing comes off chemically, no need to sand it.

RockRunner
11-18-2013, 10:26 PM
Well SS it is I guess. No cost for equipment but more cost for material. I am sure it will equal out in the end.

RedCreeper
11-19-2013, 04:51 PM
The last shop i worked in they did MIG stainless. Not sure what the settings were they had one welder set up for it. Would love to hear what you come up with. Good luck. Need any help TIGin the stainless shops a little packed but the TIG welder is easy to get to.

RockRunner
11-23-2013, 05:43 PM
Thanks for the offer, this is going to be a slow process and then all of a sudden it will be "hurry up we are running out of time!!"

coax
11-23-2013, 08:59 PM
any mig can run stainless. there are even flux core stainless consumables for you to use if you need.

aluminum is one giant pain if you ask me. It takes a lot of amps, and cleanliness borders on fanatical - all that for tig -

For mig, you would need a spool gun, which makes life easy, but is costly for the home user unless you have a lot to do, plus only the pro-sumer boxes will accept them. Cleanliness is still important, but not as much so.

I would mig stainless all day if I could. virtually no difference in technique and such from mild steel. PS - the heat bluing comes off chemically, no need to sand it.

Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but any chance you could expand on the flux core mig wire topic a bit? I recently replaced my exhaust with a borla/magnaflow hybrid and I think the resonator in the system is junk. (Made out of T-304 stainless). I had considered buying a new one and taking it to a shop to have put in, but if its possible to weld stainless with a mig welder, that intrigues me! I have a smaller 120v lincoln promig 140, but no gas for it. If a company sold flux wire for stainless in a small enough spool that may be an option! :cheers:

Edit, I did find this but thats awfully thick wire for exhaust tubing. http://www.usaweld.com/Flux-Cored-308-Stainless-Steel-Wire-p/308lfc-0-035-1.htm

RedCreeper
11-27-2013, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the offer, this is going to be a slow process and then all of a sudden it will be "hurry up we are running out of time!!"

Thats the way it always goes. I will be laid up next week for a while. Surgery! yuk. 4-6 weeks with no lifting. Then only 10lbs. So we have time. Offer is there if you need help.

Beater
11-29-2013, 07:03 PM
any decent welding store can sell you flux core stainless consumables. from stick to mig. There is an entire world of welding out there besides .30 er70s wire and 75/25 gas. Just do a little investigation, and it's out there. Remember though, flux core burns a lot hotter, and stainless has a very narrow working window for heat.

buy the miller slide rulers they sell for cheat sheets on process vs consumables, there the schnizit to have on your rack.