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Old 12-01-2012, 01:12 PM
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Default Gas conversion!?

I figured if anyone knows it will be you boys, I have the 90 amp HF welder which is great for 90% of my projects but I came across this video that shows how to use aluminum wire in a standard MIG-



this is my welder-

http://www.harborfreight.com/welding...lux-68887.html

I just realized, regardless of whether I wanted to weld aluminum or steel, does anyone know how to convert this type of welder to use gas?
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:44 PM
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IF the conversion parts are available, you'd need- A solenoid to turn on/off the gas flow depending on whether you're pushing the trigger, a gas diffuser nozzle for your gun, the gas regulator and gauge package, a cylinder of gas, the right size drive roller, contact tip, and wire.

Please note that if your welder was sold as a flux-only unit, your gun and cable assembly may be incapable of delivering the gas.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:47 PM
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I just got back from HF, I looked at their gas models carefully and thankfully between all of them there were enough disassembled parts for me to inspect, maybe I can get the parts from this welder to put on mine

http://manuals.harborfreight.com/man...8999/68886.pdf
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4E25AF40-EA88-4F1B-8978-4AD13692048C-208-00000041FDF919C7.jpg   C32ACCE4-BEDC-4B4B-A088-4840D755CE16-208-0000004200DE109A.jpg  

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Old 12-02-2012, 09:05 AM
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I done some more research, you can not simply order parts from HF's new line of welders, however I can get these 2 for about $65 total, I believe they would satisfy all the requirements as the torch appears to have the solenoid plus nozzle plus tip and the wire feed includes the appropriate roller (related to the welder) you mentioned, what do you think?
Attached Thumbnails
torch.jpg   wire.jpg  

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Old 12-02-2012, 09:07 AM
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i have the same welder and want to do this but don't know if it would be worth it
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supermanotorious View Post
I done some more research, you can not simply order parts from HF's new line of welders, however I can get these 2 for about $65 total, I believe they would satisfy all the requirements as the torch appears to have the solenoid plus nozzle plus tip and the wire feed includes the appropriate roller (related to the welder) you mentioned, what do you think?
I think you'll find that you still need the solenoid. It'll be a 120v unit that mounts INSIDE the welding machine, and ties into the trigger circuit to turn the gas on/off.

EDIT- Probably look something like this-
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Gas+Solenoid+Kit.jpg  
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:03 PM
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just spoke with my old welding instructor, he pointed out that while there would be a little gas lost, I could use a simple ball valve and manually turn the gas on and off, I think I'm going to order the parts
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toystory_4wd View Post
I think you'll find that you still need the solenoid. It'll be a 120v unit that mounts INSIDE the welding machine, and ties into the trigger circuit to turn the gas on/off.

EDIT- Probably look something like this-
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermanotorious View Post
just spoke with my old welding instructor, he pointed out that while there would be a little gas lost, I could use a simple ball valve and manually turn the gas on and off, I think I'm going to order the parts
You'll also need the appropriate regulator w/ flow control, tank and hoses to connect it all..... And while a ball valve (rated for gas applications) will work, it has the potential to be more hassle than you might think.....
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:27 PM
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If you're straight-out burning, great. But If you're doing positioning tacks, then it would either be a big-time PITA, or you'd lose quite a bit of gas. IIRC, the regulator/flowmeter will cost you quite a bit more than the solenoid. He//, any solenoid oughta do it as long as it's capable of being driven from your board voltage, and is appropriate to the material. It's not like it's on the high-pressure side.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:10 PM
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Hey, Chris, (TS) I have a question; at what point does it become more cost effective to just break down and buy a new machine with the desired features?

Tank, regulator/ flow control, gas solenoid valve, appropriate hardware and fittings for the torch, plus what ever wiring it takes to integrate it all......

I know hole-in-wallet syndrome is a fact of life for a lot of us; but still... when are you throwing good money after bad?
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:31 PM
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That point is probably right here. At least, it would be for me. Here's the issue as I see it-

You can buy a low-buck wire feed for maybe $100-200. Then, you have all the aforementioned goodies to add if you want to run MIG. Bottom line, $300 if you're lucky. Now- If'n you don't mind an off-brand (HF?) I would think you can get one good to go for that price. Me? I'd be very, VERY patient, and wait for the right deal to come along. And I did.

I got lucky. After my beloved lunchbox died, I waited MONTHS! Then, along came a Moonlight Madness sale at TSC (Tractor supply, Canada). $200 for a Century 100 wire feed. Part for part, and even made in the same factory as the Lincoln 100, simply branded Century for a lower retail price. Regular retail was $400, I got it for half that. Had to get up quite early and drive for 30 mins, then late for work. It is sold as Flux only, but is completely convertible using Lincoln 100 parts, which I already had from my dead welder. Presto-bingo... Done!
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:59 AM
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Throw some 5356 and a bottle of argon on a MIG and you're good to go.. no real need to change the liner our unless you're running 4043 or softer filler..
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:08 AM
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i was just working on doing the same thing yesterday. i got a 90 cubic foot cylinder with gas and regulator for $246 bucks at airgas. was going to use the HF small air blow gun to on/off the gas after the regulator, maybe foot pedal or mount it to the torch. you can drill through the bottom of the torch into the aluminum block that the torch head is mounted in and gas will flow out of the wire feed tube fine,BUT, i then realized when looking at the wiring to change the polarity of the clamp and torch(necessary) that the little bastard is ac output. it works ok for flux core but i don't think it will do too well for gas. me and my buddy with a 180 amp hf mig split it so he's letting me use his since he rarely uses it. you could rectify the ac input but thats more than i'm wiling to do.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:44 AM
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yup i checked it with a meter, ac output.it doesn't make sense. you can get a full wave bridge rectifier at radio shack for like 5 bucks but the biggest one i saw was 25 amps. might last for a while but id try to find a bigger one. it all can be made to work though. while your at it get a heavy duty potentiometer and be able to lower the power for thin stuff. i'll post wiring if i actually do it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:13 PM
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All wire welders are DC output, it's a constant voltage machine. Not sure how you got AC coming out of there.
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