gasless to gas conversion

  1. williamz Member

    Posts: 56
    Hey guys, i'm new to the welding industry and bought myself a gasless wirefeeder from sears on christmas.

    I've been practicing on scrap metal and wanted to try aluminum but have heard that i need argon for that and my welder does not have a plug or anything for gas.

    Is there a kit out there that i can hook up to my welder?

    It's a craftsman gasless wire feed MIG welder Model 20568

    Any ideas?
  2. Haze

    Haze is it can be hugs tiem ?

    Posts: 640
    West London
    probably have to change the torch depending on the model, the gas is controlled by a gas valve inside the torch, which is connected directly to a gas bottle, so the welder has no say on the gas side of things, you might have to change the polarity too, from what I heard.
  3. shenion

    shenion Tool Pack Rat

    Posts: 7,600
    Stone Mountain, GA USA
    Looks like sears does not sell a gas conversion kit for that model.

    Welding Al is difficult with MIG. I have fought mine. The wire is soft and does not feed well. The best option is to use a spool gun. Really for AL, TIG is the best option.

    What do you need to weld that is Al? I have used AlumniWeld with good results (needs careful use and practice.)

    You would probably want a higher-end welder that already has the gas option.
  4. arceye Banned

    Posts: 10
    To weld aluminum the torch has to be positive polarity and earth return negitive pure argon gas or boc alushield must be used.Best to use a teflon liner,aluminum mig wire push the torch forward when welding .
  5. Alex Member

    Craftsman are made in the same factory as Clarke, can you show a picture.

    A lot of people may recgonise it to a familiar Clarke model.
  6. shenion

    shenion Tool Pack Rat

    Posts: 7,600
    Stone Mountain, GA USA
    When I checked Sears, they showed extra tips that were labeled Clarke.

    Look inside, if the wires from the gun and the ground come to terminals that can be swapped, then it can probably be converted.

    Post some picts of the inside and gun. I bet weldequip would recognize it and may be able to find the appropriate Clarke gas conversion.

    It looks real low-end, many of those do not support conversion.
  7. MigTig

    MigTig Maintenance Welder

    Posts: 303
    East Sussex
    And use an oversize tip. 0.6 will need a 0.8 tip, 0.8 will need a 1mm :)
  8. williamz Member

    Posts: 56
    wow, i didn't think i would get so many responses :)

    I will borrow my girlfriends camera and take some pictures.

    I wanted to weld aluminum intercooler pipes and suchs for my car. Would be extremely awesome to build things for my baby.
  9. williamz Member

    Posts: 56
  10. Alex Member

    Looks like the 85EN.
    • 010110085.jpg
  11. williamz Member

    Posts: 56
    Yep, does that have a conversion kit?
  12. Alex Member

    Electrically it would be a simple job to change the polarity on the feed and ground clamp, to add a gas tube fine, you then drill a hole in the unit and mount a gas type socket or take it straight out to the cylinder but you may not be able to get a gas solenoid to fit in the existing torch, which means new torch. Unless you can find a second hand torch its probably not viable financially.

    On second thought its quite likely that they only make one mould for all torches. and just put a solenoid in if the model uses gas, so it could be ok.
  13. williamz Member

    Posts: 56
    Cool, any pictures of a conversion done?
  14. Alex Member

    Take the torch apart and post an image of the insides to see if a gas solenoid can be installed
  15. williamz Member

    Posts: 56

    So what do you guys think? convertable or no?
  16. Alex Member

    I'm not too sure, looks like it could be, from the torch image posted, maybe somebody else would know better. I'd rather not take my torch apart to compare unless something breaks.

    Start a new thread with that image and you'll probably get more answers.
  17. shenion

    shenion Tool Pack Rat

    Posts: 7,600
    Stone Mountain, GA USA
    You would need a new torch.

    I see no connections to reverse the polarity.

    Could probably be done, but you would spend $130 for a new gun, $20 for gas lines, probably $45 for regulator; then spend time hacking the box to reverse the polarity and feed the gas line through the feed assembly (no solenoid needed if you use a gun with a valve.)

    Then you have a gas-only setup and still a low-end MIG. I would sell it on eBay and get another.

    Check out the Clarke's by WeldingDepot on eBay. That is who i got mine from, complete with gas setup.
  18. williamz Member

    Posts: 56
    Yeah, was thinking it would be much to convert it if possible. I was actually looking into the clarke units.

    Would be cool to sell and get a gassless/gas unit.
  19. malcolm

    malcolm Bob the builder

    Posts: 8,388
    Bedford UK
    The polarity of the welder could be an issue - the gasless welders run torch positive and earth negitive. Nothing to do with the torch itself - you'd need to find the big thick output wires inside the welder to the torch and earth clamp and swap them around.

    From there you'd need to attach the gas tube, so new torch with a tube for the gas, and a solenoid controlled gas valve inside the welder which switches the gas on when you press the trigger.

    Whole load of hassle and cost, so I doubt a kit is available, but others on the forum have taken on such projects in their madness.
  20. williamz Member

    Posts: 56
    True, i would rather spend the money on another machine now. Should have asked around on this forum before i spent the cash on this one.
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