My tig welds look like O/A welds?

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I'm new to tig welding and never got any lessons but I did take a class and
learned how to weld with Oxy/Acetylene, stick, and Mig. For some reason
whenever I do a bead with the tig welder they look just like my gas welds
do. I can't figure out why. Does that matter? When I look at tig welds done
by professionals they look different than mine. I'm doing the tig the same
way that I do O/A except I don't use any pattern, I just move the torch
straight across. What I am wondering is if I'm doing this right or is there
some technique I should be using that I don't know about? Any tips on
Tigging that might help a beginner?

Hawke



Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?


Hawke wrote:
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My O/A welds look like Tig so that isn't necessarily a bad thing :)

Just develop a constant width puddle and introduce the filler at the
leading edge. Add enough to create a bead height that is consistant then
move on.

However, without pictures it is hard to do diagnostics.

Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?
Hawke,

As best I can tell, there is no reason a good (or bad) tig weld should
look any different from an equivalent gas weld.

As the years have progressed, my welds have gone from looking like a
stack of re-fried cowpies, to the proverbial "stack of dimes".  At
least one time in a hundred.

Vernon
Metal working cowboy

Hawke wrote:
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Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?

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Well, mine look like a stack of dimes too but they are so close together
that you can hardly tell where one starts and the next dime begins. I would
describe my welds as looking like a stack of dimes but push them together
until they look like a gas or stick welded bead. What I can't figure is how
to space out the "dimes" so they are not so close to each other.

The other thing is that every bead I do looks different. Is that normal? I
know that welding is like writing so there is a certain amount of variation.
But every bead I do looks somewhat different from every other one. I don't
think I've ever done two that look exactly the same. Is this just me or are
everybody's welds different every time?

Hawke



Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?
Hawke,

Just remember the price you paid for my advice... I'm no expert.

However, I did have one epiphany recently while gas welding.  And here
it is.

When you start your weld bead and are building up that first shimmering
ball of molten metal get it to approximately the size of a bowling ball
before you start to move it.  <joke mode off>

Seriously, before you start to move it build it up with your rod until
it's ready to pop.  Surface tension will hold it together even though
it's fat and roly poly.

Then quickly flick your torch flame about half the diameter of the
ball, in the direction you want to travel.  The ball will be pulled
along.  Add another drop or two of melted rod and then do it again.
Each time get the ball big enough that it really wants to dance before
you lead.

It is the newly added filler metal, cascading down the slope of the
ball that just froze, that creates the distinct ripple of the "stack of
dimes" effect.

The above is for gas welding.  And of course you asked about tig
welding.  And I've but barely begun to learn tig welding.  But that's
the price you paid for the advice you got.

However, I want to believe that the lack of distinct ridges is due to
the same cause:  moving forward before your puddle is fat and jiggly.

Vernon


Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?
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Vernon, as a newbie, I found your statement to be interesting. I will
try looking at the puddle that way tonight. I wonder though, do you
consider these ridges to be a good thing, and why?

i


Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?
Hi Ignoramus,

"Ignoramos".  In Spanish that's "we don't know".

Seriously, I suppose it's a good thing.  That "look" is the outward
manifestation of having made the weld rhythmically and precisely.  In
other words, you did things exactly the same way each time, progressing
forward with a ball the same size each step.   The reason I think this
is a good thing is that there's an infernal amount of "frozen stress"
("when HELL FREEZES OVER!") in a completed weld.  A weld that's the
proper size and UNIFORMITY has that stress evenly distributed.
"Harmonious stress" if you will.

In welding I've only had three epiphanies.  The first one was, Damn,
this is fun!

The second revelation, I published under the title "laying down the
limp noodle".  It documented the first time I ever laid down a perfect
stringer bead with 7018.  Oddly, although I was quite proud of the
post, it brought a single response, by a single reader, who uttered a
single word:  "wow".  For all I know, that's Swahili for DUNDERHEAD!

Whether I'm stick or gas welding, when I hit that groove it's immensely
satisfying.  The only thing that matches the joy is helping others hit
it too.


The third revelation I had was this.  A torch tip that's one size too
big (hot) is better than one that's one size too small.  But the thing
is, as the metal starts to heat up you have to start dancing faster and
faster.  And of course, the best thing is "just right".  But if you're
fighting to get a puddle going hang it up and start over with a
slightly bigger tip.  "Oh dear, this porridge is tooo cold.  Oh my,
this porridge is tooo hot!  YEAH, BABY!  THIS PORRIDGE IS JUST
RIGHT!!!!"

"That's my story and I'm stickin' to it".


V


Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?
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Thanks. I will try to practice that. Did not have time to weld last
night. I want to learn to make extremely nice welds.

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Already had that one.

i


Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?

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I have to say that even though you say you too have barely begun to learn
tig welding I think you may have something. It sounds logical that adding
the rod to the puddle and waiting a bit before pushing it may be what I need
to do. I may be pushing the puddle too quickly for the "stacking" effect to
occur. My beads look good quite often. They just look like I gas welded
them. I'll give that a try and see what happens because as we all know, it's
not good enough to produce a weld that works well, we have to make it purty
too.

Hawke



Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?
Vernon
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Good Morning

Either the stacked dime effect or the smooth bead are good welds and
contrary to some old wives tail the stacked dime effect is not twice as
strong as the smooth weld.

One thing to consider is the in service use of the item. If it is something
that you want too be able to clean easily then the smooth weld may be the
way to go.

The notches created in the stacked dime effect are not going to be helpful
if the structure is dynamically loaded; it will creat stress concentrating
points. End result will be a structure that fails sooner than it would have
with smooth welds.
Mind you this is not the greatest of concerns when welding for hobby
purposes where creating a sound weld is the primary goal; the bead can
awlays be smoothed after the fact if so desired.

John






Re: My tig welds look like O/A welds?
John,

Thank you for those very good points.  If I hadn't read it I'd have
never thought about it.  Indeed, I can see how each ripple could be the
source of the dread "stress riser".

And to 'fess up I've only produced a classic "stack of dimes" while gas
welding and never while stick welding.  Which is why I'm rejoicing in
what you wrote.  The only near perfect stick welds I've ever produced
have been smooth stringer beads with 7018.  Somehow I figured out how
to push the rod into the weld by pushing and torquing my hand at the
same time.  I'm miserable at the fancy manipulation techniques.  But
using 7018 and running really hot I can produce a beautiful stringer
nearly every time.

V

V


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