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Old 08-29-2012, 08:43 AM
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sure the econotig is not the best machine, but the price is good and makes acceptable jobs in most light situations, though I have even welded up a cracked head.

I don't like the torch withouth cooling, it gets too hot to handle even after a few minutes, that's what I would change the most.

.125 aluminum should get welded pretty well with the econotig.

For aluminum you need to prepare the electrode to a ball point, not a pencil tip, in order to do this you'll need a piece of copper, any copper scrap will do, I have this 2x2 inch piece of 1/8 thick copper stock, that I use for this task.

first off you grind the electrode to a tip, not very pointy, say 45 degrees is ok, then you strike an arc over the copper piece and keep the torch very straight up, don't move it, just keep the arc lit, a short arc is better, a nice ball point will melt and form in the tip of the electrode, now you are ready to start welding aluminum with it, remember you must do this in AC mode, the ball point will not form in DC mode.

Pencil tips are for welding steel and stainless steel only. and you grind them holding them up to the face of the grinding wheel, not the sides, if you don't grind them correctly the arc will jump to the sides and will not let you weld rigth.
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