Gas to wire - nth time, I'm sure

Gas to wire - nth time, I'm sure... i.e. I'm sure this question has been
asked 1,000+ times ... but...
I'm an old Oxy/Acet brazer... been doing it for years... and do some pretty
good joints brazing... never was too good with welding....
now, I want to do some just occasional, around the shop, work to some better
steel welding and join aluminum.. (For example I wanted to repair a broken
Al connecting rod from my air compressor) ... I tried some of those magic 3
in 1 sticks with oxy/A, and although the jointslook half decent... a 2 year
oldcould break them apart...
So, I want to get a wire machine of some sort and learn to do better steel
welding, and be able to do some aluminum work also... I don't expect I'll
ever weld like Jesse James in Monster garage, but I learn well on my
own...just need a kick start ...
Where do you guys suggest I start? for the nth time?
Thanks, Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Klein
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If you can braze, you can do better than the work I have seen while zoning out on the tube. The couple of times I have seen James hold a torch and weld has not impressed me. The application of body filler however has!! The "guests" on these shows are selected not for their ability but for their audience draw. The only welder I was impressed with was a lady welder who instructed. I was NOT impressed with the pipe fitting. If you have the dollars I would invest in a TIG unit. I am guessing that you don't need the speed of aluminum wire feed. The TIG would give you the ability to join just about anything metal. You wouldn't be able to repair a small con rod with wire feed. If you have a local welding supply house I would suggest you go there first. Occasionally they have used equipment they will warranty or bite the bullet and buy new. Randy
Gas to wire - nth time, I'm sure... i.e. I'm sure this question has been asked 1,000+ times ... but...
I'm an old Oxy/Acet brazer... been doing it for years... and do some pretty good joints brazing... never was too good with welding....
now, I want to do some just occasional, around the shop, work to some better steel welding and join aluminum.. (For example I wanted to repair a broken Al connecting rod from my air compressor) ... I tried some of those magic 3 in 1 sticks with oxy/A, and although the jointslook half decent... a 2 year oldcould break them apart...
So, I want to get a wire machine of some sort and learn to do better steel welding, and be able to do some aluminum work also... I don't expect I'll ever weld like Jesse James in Monster garage, but I learn well on my own...just need a kick start ...
Where do you guys suggest I start? for the nth time?
Thanks, Jeff
Reply to
R. Zimmerman
No, you don't. You want a TIG. The "hard" thing to learn with TIG is coordinating separate control of filler and torch but, from the above, you've already learned that. The *only* disadvantage of TIG is that it is slower than MIG but for "occasional, around the shop, work" do you care? You can weld any metal that's weldable (and some that aren't suposed to be) including those that, if you could even get wire, you'd never get it to feed.
Ted
Reply to
Ted Edwards
OK guys, you're 2 for 2 - TIG.. I know that means "Tungston Inert Gas", thats all..
I read "The Basics" at
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see there is an electrode and a torch in one and then a filler rod.
So if I equate this to my brazing where I hold a Oxy/A torch in my right hand, and a rod in my left ... with TIG, would I do it the same way. Torch/electrode in right, holding it just close enough to material to "arc" and then "fill" with rod ?? Do I have the picture ??
Some reading indicates "Lincoln" is the benchmark... suggestions on a unit to get started? approx cost?
Your help is and will be appreciated!
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Klein
It's tungsten with an "e". I am just correcting because if you try to use google on "tungston", it won't work...
Right.
You have the picture. It is just that with tig the "flame" (the arc) is much smaller and much hotter than with gas. I tend to find this much nicer than flame with steel. OTOH, aluminium is much more difficult than steel (but flame can't really weld aluminium as you noted unless one uses "zombie" flux).
Warning: I am a complete beginner myself, so please bear with my ignorance. Best advice: go to google, try "advanced group search" and search this newsgroup on the keywords "tig aluminum" or "tig aluminium", you will find the best source of hands-on info on this planet. ;-) Count a few evenings to read it all.
For aluminium, you need a unit capable of AC welding. They cost more. You also need 40 Amp per mm of thickness (or in inches, 125 Amp for 0.125", 250 Amp for 0.250", etc. I never understood US units). You'll need the machine, a torch (with all its tiny parts like cups and gas lenses in different diameters), tungsten electrodes (most preferably lanthanated), something to grind them, a cylinder of Argon and a helmet (preferably autoswitching).
Before you choose a particular machine, I suggest you inquire on "pulser", "sequencer", "foot pedal" and "inverter". Not that you necessarily need those (they usually cost extra), but you want to know what can be bought. And if the dealer is not capable to explain right away, you know that you need another dealer. Of course, you can try those words in the same google group search...
Reply to
jerry_tig2003
Hi Guys Try lincolnelectric.com or millerwelds, they have some good descriptions on weld processes. You are correct in that TIG is similar to Gas welding but more pecise. I also second this is the process to use for all around welding on various metals,especially Al. Good Luck Tom
Reply to
Thomas A.Dixon
Yeah, the technique is just like gas welding, except the torch "flame" is a lot hotter and more concentrated, and shielded from atmosphere by an inert gas.
Miller is the benchmark maker for TIG machines (Lincoln is the benchmark in MIG, in the US anyway).
For straight DC TIG welding steel, one of the Miller Maxstar inverter machines would be dandy (150 or 200 amp). If you want to do aluminum too, you also need AC capability and HF. The Miller 180SD transformer machine is an excellent small shop machine for that. It also doubles as an *excellent* stick welder. This is one really sweet machine.
Lincoln does make a machine in that class, the Squarewave 175. It is an Ok TIG machine, but it is pretty pitiful as a stick machine (OCV is too low).
As to cost, remember that *no one* pays list in the welding business. "Street" price for a new 180SD or SW175 will be in the $1400-$1600 range depending on how motivated the dealer is to move some machines. That price should include everything you need except a bottle of gas and a helmet. There's a fairly active used market as well. I paid $1,000 for a nearly new 180SD with a full set of accessories, and a bottle of Argon.
Gary
Reply to
Gary Coffman

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