Bunnings Ozito MIG Welder... DOES NOT WELD ALUMINIUM!

I bought one of these and love it. Great welder for steel. Really pleased with my purchase, but I bought it to weld steel, so it really is a great little unit for THAT job. (Building my first trike, which will be steel.) I bought it from Bunnings online, Linda did the collect and when it got home, on the box it says it can weld steel or aluminium. You can imagine a maker like me would be pretty stoked by that, so I checked out the manual before looking at any other part in the box. The manual has this to say..

The problem is, flux cored aluminium wire, at 0.8 or 0.9 millimetre, is actually unobtanium. There is no such thing because it can't be made stiff enough to not jam or crush in the wire feed pinch roller. Ye cannae change the laws o'd pysics, Jim. To claim this welder could weld aluminium with aluminium cored wire is not only a misleading statement, it's possibly quite dangerous. What you can buy is 0.9mm aluminium "solder"/brazing wire, which is only suitable for argon gas MIG machines or for butane or MAPP gas heat torches. Without the flux core, this wire in a MIG welder will spatter excessively, make weak welds and possibly damage the welder. As per Weld It U.

If you need to weld aluminium in a handyman context, get a basic propane torch and some 1.2mm aluminium rods that Bunnings sell in a 5 pack. Also, and "brazed" or "soldered" aluminium joint will be strong at the joint, but you will need to get the work heat treated and artificially aged to restore the temper of the metal itself. Alternatively, if you're loading is not great, select material that is 25% to 33% thicker than you'd need for a heat treated and aged job, which is quite a technical process. You still get a weight saving of half that of the same thing in steel and better corrosion resistance, but at twice the cost.

I've dropped a review on the machine's page, because they don't have an easy way to make a formal complaint. I've done this article in the hope that it will provide a public service to Australian makers and handyfolk.

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