Got my tig welder working

Very, very nice. It's like oxy/ace with a wah-wah pedal.
I can see it's going to take some practice to get good at it.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Stewart wrote:

I got one 7 days ago. I got nowhere. Today I got a lesson. What I learned: 1) Put the big piece on top, and melt the bigger piece down onto the small piece. 2) Don't move until a puddle forms on both pieces. 3) Move when a puddle forms on both pieces. 4) The length of filler rod that gets used up is almost equal to the length of the joint. 5) Even with only two 1/8" thick pieces being joined, get it up to 185 Amps. 6) Wrap the hose around my neck so it doesn't get hung up on the bench. 7) Get the pedal under my right foot, which is more sensitive from gas pedals. 8) If the electrode is to be ground, grind until the bulge is gone. 9) Start the arc further out, but get the arc down to 1/8" 10) Wear my reading glasses under the hood when welding.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
11) Also, a fairly bright halogen light to illuminate the work. Tig doesn't make much light, and the hardest problem I have is actually seeing the operation. JR Dweller in the cellar
Clark Magnuson wrote:

--
--------------------------------------------------------------
Home Page: http://www.seanet.com/~jasonrnorth
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JR North wrote:

Huh? I have to keep the cup of the torch in the way of the arc or it blinds me and I can't see ANYTHING but that bright dot! But, if I shield my eyes from the direct arc, then it lights up the work like a floodlight. This allows me to run with the helmet filter set about one notch lighter, and I can really see the surface of the aluminum, and tell when it is developing a puddle. You don't have to see really well, to weld steel, the glowing puddle tells you a lot. But, for aluminum, you have to really be able to see the surface to know how hot you are getting it.
If I have bright lights on the work, then it fools my cheap helmet and everything goes black.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My experience is the TIG arc stops down the lens to where I can't see anything but the arc. Don't have this prob with SMAW. Solved the problem with the floodlight. It doesn't trigger the lens by itself, unless I look right at it. I suppose there is a considerable difference in lens performance though. JR Dweller in the cellar
Jon Elson wrote:

--
--------------------------------------------------------------
Home Page: http://www.seanet.com/~jasonrnorth
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JR North wrote:

I have an auto-dark lens with a variable setting, and I put it at about 9 for light TIG work. If I do move such that the arc is directly visible, it is bright and distracting, but not so bright as to be really uncomfortable on the eyes. But, when I shade the arc with the cup so I can't see it, then the surface of the work gets much more visible. I have seen a gadget that is a dark plate that clips onto the torch, made for this purpose. It is like 1/2 of a standard filter plate, so maybe 2 x 4". I suspect TIG welders used it for the same purpose, expecially before auto-dark lenses.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jon Elson wrote: But, when I shade the arc with the cup so I

Jon, Your two posts helped ME. I can see the puddle of metal better if the torch is between me and the brightest light.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Stewart wrote:

I was capable of doing small projects with an AC stick welder, but hated the smoke and all the spatter, and it was hard to start the arc and control it.
I got a Lincoln Square-Wave TIG 300, which is a pretty fantastic machine, and was doing assorted steel projects in a couple of days, and finding it MUCH easier than horrible stick. I can weld indoors, get up close to the work and see what I'm doing, without the smoke getting in the way. (The stick flux really messed up my sinuses, which was a major problem.)
I did a little project with some 1/4" copper parts, and the only interesting thing was it took a while to pre-heat, and then you had to weld fast to keep the whole piece from melting. But, for the first time EVER I welded copper, I got a really nice bead!
I still have to get the hang of aluminum, but I have actually made a couple servicable, but truly UGLY welds! I need to keep trying.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The aluminum base metal must be pefectly cleaned and degreased before welding, otherwise you will get a mess. Tricloroethylene (sp?) is the best solvent for cleaning it before welding, but this is pretty nasty stuff. Avoid skin contact and breathing it. Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

One thing I've noticed at shops that don't specialize in tig is the length they stick the tungsten out. Get used to having the tungsten as short (in the torch) as you can stand. Several friends that couldn't run a decent bead were all welding with way too much tung. length. Dixon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Use of a "gas lens" helps when you need a longer tungsten.
Gunner
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gunner Asch wrote:

If you've never used one, I highly recommend it. You can see the difference by holding the torch at arms length with a bright light behind you, and checking the shadow of the torch when you trigger the gas. Argon is so dense, it makes a visible shadow due to the refraction of light at the boundary between air and Argon. You can see the pronounced turbulence with the standard torch and cup, and a much more laminar flow with the gas lens. They will save you their cost in Argon on your first tank, as you can often cut your Argon flowrate in half and still have less contamination of the weld.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dav1936531 wrote:

I've used a new stainless steel wire brush, and it helps a lot. i have also trued cleaning with denatured alcohol, it didn't seem to help. I will try acetone, but I think I will skip the Trichlor! I also have to make up some copper clamp plates to keep the aluminum from sagging.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jon Elson wrote:

Try hot water, 409 and a 3m abrasive pad. The water should be hot enough that the part air-drys when you remove it from the water and shake it. It's always a plus when your cleaner can go down the drain.
Come to think of it, 409 is such a nasty witch's brew, I surprised you can put it down the drain....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dav1936531 wrote:

I use a wet lacquer thinner wipedown to degrease aluminum and then use a stainless steel wire brush for mechanical cleaning. The best results were gotten using a rotary wire brush in a cordless drill. The cordless drill I was using had lots of low speed torque so it would crank the brush pretty well but not be running so fast as to be uncontrollable. Unfortunately the garage sale cordless drill died and I have not wanted to spend real money to buy a new one for a single purpose.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.