embarrassed and excited at the same time

I've had TIG fever for the last few weeks, and finally broke down and
bought the little harbor freight guy.
I don't normally buy their stuff, but this time I figured I can learn
tig (which I really have no justifiable need for) on the cheap, satisfy
my fever for a tig welder, and avoid plunking down heavy cash for the
thermal arc or miller that I'd really like.
So I'm having great fun sticking bits together and running beads
nowhere. I have to say this doesn't seem to be too bad of a machine for
the money ($180).
But what is the secret to scratch starting? I haven't quite got that
down yet. And it doesn't seem to be lift arc, because if I touch and
hold the tungsten for a second or so it gets quite stuck.
Also my little bottle of Argon is dropping in pressure fast, do these
things really suck up gas that quickly?
Happily pushing puddles,
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Switch to gas lens collet bodies and cups and you can drop your gas use to 10-12 CFH.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
What I did when I had a scratch start unit was to have a piece of copper plate grounded and near the part I was going to weld and would run off the copper plate to the project that was being welded. Is the regulator ajustable for cfm if so try to reduce it. Ed ke6bnl
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Ed ke6bnl
Yeah, embarrassed. But you won't quit despite the shame, will you? That's called addiction.
Re the gas: you may try running a series of simple beads and cutting back incrementally on the gas flow until you reach the threshold at which the gas no longer shields, then bump flow up a bit until it works again. That's your basic flow index for your present torch.
As for gas lense: get them. The advantages are a) reduced gas consumption and b) much longer tungsten stick out. We are not talking about a big expense here, and besides, you'll pay for the lense(s) in the gas you save. You'll also be able to carry the lenses over to your dream tig welder.
Go here to get some basic information:
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Study their catelogue.
If you have a standard torch--I don't know anyting about the harbour freight tig stuff--then you can just get the parts to add to your torch body and bob's your uncle! (You probably have a torch type called "W17" or a Weldcraft-type 17 torch body.) When I switched into gas lenses, I found the learning at first confusing. So ask questions here if you are interested--you'll get all the info you need. (I just thought: you can also do a google groups search on this newsgroup using the search terms "gas" and "lense" and you'll get previous discussions on the topic.)
Best, David Todtman
Reply to
David Todtman
The way I like to scratch start is....place the side of the cup on the metal,rotate until there is about the arc gap you want between the tungsten and metal,then take you filler rod and very quickly pass it through said gap causing the arc to start.Doing this you have your arc gap where you want it to start welding.
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geez i thought that was called a hobby :)
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