That is because Miller's parent company , ITW, bought weldcraft a few
They do make good torches.
I just prefer CK.
Any collet body can be used on any torch as long as it is the right
A weldcraft gas cup, a CK torch body, a Tec torch collet body, a
Heliarc back cap and a National Torch Tip collet will all fit together
if they are the same series.
Series 2 are 120 amp air cooled, or 200 amp water cooled.
Series 3 are up to 200 amp air cooled and 400 amp water cooled.
Both torch series were standardized back in the 50's by Union Carbide
(later known as Linde), and everybody has copied them since.
The metal has to be REALLY clean to do this with TIG on steel.
1/8" tungsten, and at least a 3/32" filler rod.
I don't weld underwater.
The students do that.
I teach them how to weld when they are NOT in the water.
Willie Wilson teaches them the wet stuff.
Although this week, and next, I am teaching NDT.
Hey, Ernie, I got the CST 280 about 10 days ago but then had to spend
4 days out of town so I have not had much time to play with it. I am
finishing up a smoker and have been using it on that. The first day I
played with the welding machine I just tried my various rods on scrap;
6013, 6011, 6010, 7014, 7018. Everything seemed fine. However I have
a problem now and I wanted to run it past you and the group.
On the "real" welding (on the smoker) I've been using 6010 5P+ 1/8"
rods (Lincoln Electric) and 7018 1/8" rods (Forney). On both rods I'm
getting surface pitting and voids in my weld beads. They are somewhat
similar to what my MIG welder does when it's run with too little or no
shield gas. The 7018 rods are brand new out of a sealed package but
of unknown age (purchased from a business that was closing). The 6010
5P+ are the same rods I've used for a couple of years from the same
package. I have run root passes with the 6010 5P+ which are flat butt
joints, overhead fillets, and downhill fillets. I have run caps over
both the 6010 5P+ and my wire welding with the 7018. The worst I've
seen was yesterday while welding up a stick of 2" x 2" x 1/4" angle
vertically onto a piece of 1/4 inch steel. I was welding the inside
curve of the angle and it should have been easy but at the end of the
weld (where the angle and the base piece terminated) I got a spongy-
looking mess, very reminiscent of a poor MIG weld. Sometimes I even
get a little "egg" growing on top of the welds at the end, similar to
when I run my MIG welder with too little shield gas. And finally, I
have noticed with the 6010 5P+ I am having the arc blow out to the
side and not remain constant from the tip of the stick.
All of this has been done on 1/4 inch thick mild steel. I have been
running the 6010 5P+ at about 90 amps in the XX10 Stiff setting, and
the 7018's in the XX18 Soft setting. I could hook up my old Hobart
welder for comparison but I used the cables from it on the new
Miller. But I never remember having problems like this with my old
Hobart. Could it be the CST 280? I wouldn't think so, it's just a
power supply but what do I know?
Thanks for your time and any advice.
Hey, Todd, sure thing. It was not my intention or desire to be rude
or exibit poor etiquette. As I personally don't mind scrolling
through others' posts (with all the history in each post) it didn't
occur to me do it differently.
90 amps is a bit low for 1/8" 6010, but doable I suppose.
Lincoln 5P+ is the best 6010 I have used.
Have you checked your rods for rust?
Depending on how old and how they are stored, the wire could have
rusted inside the flux.
Just bend one into a U and look at the wire where the flux peels off.
6010 should never be baked as it needs moisture to work right.
Forney 7018 is crap, sorry, but it is.
Even Murex is better and that is crap too.
If you want good 7018 buy Lincoln Excalibur.
Lovely stuff, just keep it dry dry dry.
I have seen similar things to what you describe, but only when dealing
with painted objects or when welding against wood.
When you stop welding the still hot puddle reacts to contaminants on or
near the metal and gets porosity.
The power supply would have no effect on weld contamination.
Thank you, Ernie, for your reply. Your comment about the 6010 being
"doable" at 90 amps indicates it might be too low. My reading online
had (and I double checked, now) indicated that 75 to 125 amps was the
range for that rod. Should I be running that higher in the range of
75 to 125 amps?
I have not checked the rods for rust. I have used the same rods on
both the Hobart (old) welding machine and the Miller CST 280 (new)
welding machine. I will check the rods for rust per your
instructions. Also, I have some extra quick connects (Tweco-style, I
think, but, regardless, I can make a doable setup) and an extra
electrode holder and ground clamp which I will hook up this Friday if
my schedule will allow it and I am going to do some head-to-head
between the CST 280 and the old Hobart; I will feel better seeing
their results side by side. I won't feel better until I see that the
new machine welds as well or better than the old one. Yes, I am
I have been cooking the 6010's in my kitchen oven some (not this
current batch) because they were given to me and came in an opened
package and I feared they might have taken on moisture. Based on your
information here I will not do that anymore.
This is my first batch of Forney 7018's. Previously I was using
Hobart 7018's. I only, as I posted, got the Forney stuff because it
was cheap from a place closing the business. I will see if my local
shop has some Lincoln 7018's. I have rod storage tubes which should
help keep them dry.
What I'm taking from what you are saying is that ONLY weld
contamination would cause the porosity, voids, or similar failures in
my weldments. Therefore, as you say, the power supply would be a non-
I know I'm being uptight about this and panicky, but I'm sitting here
with about 2k paid out and uncertain of the cause of my problems and
nervous. It's just me. Thank you for your time, help, and patience.
Hmmm, I had replied to this earlier today but I do not see my post.
I'm sorry if this shows up twice.
Ernie, thank you for your reply and I'm sorry for the delay in mine.
The local Airgas shop is being slow to respond to my queries about the
TIG equipment and is trying to sell me a Weldcraft WP-17-V-12-2
claiming that is what Miller sells with their TIG machines. I can get
a similar one, the 25 foot model, for a little less than that online.
I contacted Weldcraft and they do have a gas lens for that torch (I've
done a little reading on what one is and does and it sounds cool; I
will read more later but I am in the middle of my projects and only
came in for a moment to check the thread).
I contacted CK and got a list of distributors I can speak with who
carry their products (other than Airgas) so that if you are against
the Weldcraft I can maybe find someone more responsive to my questions
than the local Airgas guy.
I found a Victor tube-and-ball style regulator, it's a HRF1425-580 but
I cannot find it on their site (any of the HRF1400 series
regulators). I found them online for about 100 bucks. I have a
bottle of argon (which I believe is the right gas) that I have on my
MIG machine for aluminum on the spoolgun; since I rarely weld aluminum
I can just yank the twin-dial regulator off that bottle and put that
My desire, currently, for the TIG process is two weldments on the
smokers; the hinge pins for the doors and the hinges to the body of
the smoker. The hinge pins are 9/16 inch hot-rolled steel and I pass
them through 19/32 inch holes drilled into 1/4 inch mild steel. This
leaves a very small gap but insures that they pass through easily and
I sandwich three pieces of the 1/4 inch together, one to the lid, two
to the body of the smoker. I then weld that little gap up on the pins
to the smoker body. I use my MIG for that but as the gap is so small
I wind up, even with the wire speed low, a lot of filler metal left so
it looks like a donut stuck on the side of the hinge. I hate grinding
that off and I was thinking that I could use the TIG to make a
autogenous (I've been reading on Wikipedia.com) weldment there and it
might mean I don't have to grind off my welds (I don't like the work
but, even more, I don't like the look of ground-off welds). The
second weldment is where the hinge pieces contact the smoker tube and
the lid. The materials are perpendicular to one another and are both
of 1/4 inch mild steel or slightly thicker and I use the MIG there,
too, but I wind up welding over tacks and doubling up at the top and
the bottom as I weld both sides and I thought maybe TIG'ing that would
make it look better, especially important since they're so conspicuous
on these smokers.
With that in mind, what size electrodes should I buy? I used to know
a guy who had some scab-on TIG unit and I watched him use it a couple
of times and when he'd stick the electrode he'd pull it out of the
torch and chuck it up in a drill and run the drill and hold the
electrode tip against an abrasive wheel on a running grinder; my
reading (only done lately as I have been considering this machine
(thank you)) causes me to think that is not a good way to sharpen a
tungsten electrode (seems it would contaminate it). I see electrode
grinders for about a grand and I see some "chemical sharpener". I
can't spend a grand on a machine to grind tungstens I'll use about 1
time per month, so what should I do about caring for the electrodes?
I have a guy in oilfield services who told me yesterday that he is
coming to see me with the owner of the company who he has told about
my last smoker which he saw. He claims he told the owner how great it
was and blah blah blah and they're bringing me a check for a down
payment on one that I am currently about to complete. If that
actually happens and they're not just a couple of blow-hards, then
this machine will happen as soon as the check clears. If not, then it
won't happen until I actually do sell at least one of the smokers.
Okay, underwater welding. Let's see, diving is dangerous (how many of
even Jaques Cousteau's kids died doing that?) And welding is
dangerous. And electricity and water don't mix. So, basically, you
train people to jump in the middle of two dangerous tasks with
additional risks of doing those tasks at the same time. I'm
impressed. I would think that would be the welding equivalent of
being a rock star. I've never been diving but I'm not a complete
idiot and I know a few things like it's dangerous because you can run
out of air, you can get trapped under or in something, you can go too
deep and, without sufficient reserve air, not have enough air to re-
surface with the necessary decompression stops and get the bends (see
above about Jaques Cousteau's kid(s)), and that's just the beginning
(leave out all the maintaing all that gear). I'm trying to think what
it would be like trying to do all that *and* weld. You are a better
man than I, Gunga Din.
It's good to have a variety of skillsets. Science fiction author
Robert A. Heinlein is quoted as saying (I had to look this up): "A
human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, con a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new
problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight
efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
What kind of cooking?
Thank you again for your help and advice and time.
Sorry according to Wikipedia I was wrong.
Methyl Mercaptan is a natural substance created by decay, or eating
The stuff they add to gas is Ethyl Mercaptan
Butyl Mercaptan is another related compound
Learn something new everyday , or just die already.
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