The main advantage of using a spool gun is improving preciseness while feeding difficult wire. But why do you need a spool gun to weld aluminum?

Some people think it is compulsory, and some don’t. This article will give you a complete idea regarding this topic.

Welding Aluminum With Spool Gun
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Lets start with a basic question-

Do You Must Need A Spool Gun To Weld Aluminum?

It is not mandatory to use a spool gun for welding aluminum. You can use several alternative methods for welding aluminum

For example, A normal MIG welder gun is capable of welding aluminum effectively if you have the essential welding skills. Some people found better result using mig weld gun by running Teflon liners into it. Actually it depends on the application. For heavy applications on aluminum spool gun provide better results, for small applications, mig welder with mig gun is enough.

aluminum weld through mig gun and liner
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But remember, aluminum is a pretty soft and sensitive material. You must have complete knowledge of this metal’s electrical and high thermal conductivity. Otherwise, you won’t get precise results and may even ruin the entire project. 

Why Should You Use A Spool Gun To Weld Aluminum?

It is common to twist a metal like aluminum out of shape within a blink. After all, it is a pretty delicate material. Besides, the oxidization process swiftly begins once you start the welding session.

It may lead to a lot of problems in the welding of aluminum if not careful enough. However, a spool gun gives a proper backup by feeding difficult wire to prevent untidy and dirty welding.

The feeder is located on the spool gun to feed the right amount at the correct. So if you use spool gun, you can get better penetration and better weld on aluminum than other methods. Lets discuss the-

Benefits Of Using Spool Gun In Welding Aluminum

You may complete welding aluminum without a spool gun.

But this pistol grip style tool gives the following noteworthy advantages.

01. A Stable Arc

You know why arc stability is vital for welding? It allows you to maintain a similar shape of droplets and minimal spatter.

A spool gun will help you keep a stable arc with a constant length. You won’t have to worry about the deposition rate and fusion too.

02. Quicker & Smoother Welding

Remember, steel and aluminum are not the same. If you have not welded any Aluminum in the past, the challenge is vital. A spool gun can save you from the unwanted tangling of the welding wire of the wire feeder. Or, it will keep it minimal.

You will save a decent amount of time for the entire welding session by using spool gun.

03. Neat & Clean Welding

Inexperienced welders who have not used any spool are likely to bulge off weld metal. You may see over-melting problems while welding aluminum. It will cause a consequential overflow on top of the metal.

A functional and compatible spool gun will make welding aluminum more straightforward. More importantly, you will see overlapping. Overall, it creates neat and clean welding. The welding quality will be better too.  

04. A Cost-Effective Approach

A spool gun can minimize your welding cost by up to 30% to 40%. You make minimal mistakes. Making fewer errors means you use fewer resources.

As a result, you won’t have to buy additional items to finish the entire project. Besides, it is eco-friendly since you use it as little as possible.

How To Weld Aluminum With A Spool Gun?

One of the best approaches for welding aluminum with a spool gun is MIG welding. Here are the steps to follow.

  • Step: 01

Grab your spool gun and detach the canister cover and contact tip. Adding the right amount of aluminum wire inside the pistol grip-style gun is vital.

  • Step: 02

Measure eight to ten inches of aluminum wire and fasten it using clips. Create a temporary joint using the wire inside the spool gun. Now, keep the aluminum cable spool in the canister of the spool gun and place the cover on it.

  • Step: 03

Clamp the tensioner arm closed and do an appropriate tighten for it. Wire belts come in various sizes. Select a particular contact tip based on it.

Before adding the nozzle, securely keep the contact tip inside the spool gun. You are ready to go if you ensure a perfect installation of these two items.

  • Step: 04

Correctly adjust the Mig Welder Wire Feed Roller Tension to avoid unwanted strain or flattened problems. It should be neither too much nor too low.

Otherwise, the wire surface will be damaged. Your key aim should be to maintain a consistent and smooth speed to achieve the best quality welding result.

  • Step: 05

A delicate metal like aluminum is likely to form oxides quickly. Keep the welding area free from oxides because they inhibit proper heat transfer and cause contamination within the weld.

Laser oxide removal is the best choice. But if you have a limited budget, you can use Acetone with a stainless-steel brush. This industrial solvent offers better and stronger welding while effectively removing oxides and other items.

  • Step: 06

A 10° to 15° angle is the best choice for wire welding. It offers better penetration on thinner materials at the correct flow rate with minimal porosity. Use the angle for welding aluminum

  •  Step: 07

Excessive heat input is one of the common issues for burn-through weld defects. It mainly happens when the spool gun nozzle gets contacted with the bottom base metal. So keep attention to the nozzle.

  • Step: 08

Connect the spool gun with a bottle of argon gas from the positive base end. It works as a shielding gas. But, if you have a reasonable budget, use argon and helium mix to achieve slightly better penetration than 100% argon gas.

Tips For Using A Spool Gun To Weld Aluminum

  • Use a push angle method in MIG aluminum welding when you use a spool gun. You can achieve a more aesthetically attractive bead.
  • Initially, start with higher feed rates to ensure perfect contact between the weld puddle and the cable. But decrease it gradually once it becomes hot enough.
  • Make sure sometimes to utilize the cutting tool to cut aluminum wires. It will prevent damaging the Contact tips 
  • It is a solid rule of thumb to use 14- to 18-gauge thickness of aluminum when using a MIG welder.
  • Maintaining a perfect bending of the spool gun wire will ensure better quality feeding. Excessive bending will result in wire snagging or hang up

Can You Weld Aluminum Without Spool Gun?

Yes, you can weld aluminum without a spool gun. One of the best approaches is using a MIG welder to weld aluminum without a spool gun.

However, don’t expect to receive a steady, reliable feed of wire unless you have enough experience and welding skills.

Plus, it will be hard to achieve better penetration and consistent welding results.

Closing Thoughts

Are you still wondering why do you need a spool gun to weld aluminum? This pistol grip style tool makes your welding task more manageable and smoother.

Hence, you will be less likely to damage the welding surface, even if you are not a pro.

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Maidul Islam

I am Maidul Shakil and am a welder for more that 6 years. Welding metals and joining them is my hobby and passion. I have learnt all welding techniques, safety issues, fabrication process and rigging from SUNY Westchester Community College . I am now trying to teach beginners about welding to encourage them to come to the field.

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