My First TIG Weld - 304 Stainless

I picked up an AHP201 AC/DC pulse rig a while back. Its mostly sat on the cart, and other than a few plays at making some beads and trying to
understand the 40 billion possible settings I have not welded anything with it. For most things the Miller 212 does the job on the table, and the Lincoln ProCore does the job (if its small) outside.
Well, a couple days ago I had a customer who wanted pull pins for a mold I made with a T-handle. Normally I either just put an L bend on small pull pins or on bigger ones I use the lathe to make a pull ring on the end, by using the lathe and a mandrel to (manually) spin the mandrel. In the past with much larger pull pins I've threaded the pull pin and tapped the T handle. It works pretty well and looks good.
I pretty much always make these pull pins out of stainless. In fact in some sizes I just use stainless TIG wire. In some rare instances I'll use teflon because it doesn't transfer heat, and allows castings to fill better, but 99.9% of the time I just use stainless.
These pins were 3/16 inch. Not a great size to thread and I know I don't have a 3/16 tap. I had the TIG wire on hand, and a fair amount of 304 stainless rod from 1/8 inch to 1-1/2 inch. I actually have owned stainless TIG wire a lot longer than I have owned a TIG welder. I've also picked up some other TIG wire for planned future projects as I develop my skills. ER70S(x), 308, 5356, 4043, etc.
Anyway, 3/16" pull pins with a 1/2" handle with a 3/16 hole drilled through. I got it all setup on the table, tried some settings, grabbed a piece of 1/16 rod (trying to start small) and give it a go. It was terrible, and when I tried to clean it up on the belt sander most of the filler just fell off. Half of the weld looked ok though. This should have been my first clue.
When I walked back over to the welding table I realized I had grabbed a piece of 5356 aluminum. Not stainless. Oops. So... I grabbed some 308 and gave it another go. It welded better, but it seemed like I needed more current. The weld are is small. I wasn't crazy about using larger filler. My son suggest I just push the pull pin through a little further and use it as its own filler. I cranked the machine up to 150 amps and tried it. By the 4th pull pin I got a good weld. Oh, it still looks terrible, but it looks like it did the job. I went back over the first three, cleaned them up on the belt sander, and they look like one piece of metal.
Am I proud of those welds? No. Absolutely not, but I have the start of a feel for how to do it, and I'll get better.
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On 8/5/2020 11:25 AM, Bob La Londe wrote:











The longest journey begins with a single step ... I once did the opposite of what you did , tried to weld some aluminum with a piece of 1/16" 308L filler . That didn't work either .
--
Snag
Illegitimi non
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On 8/5/2020 5:44 PM, Snag wrote: > On 8/5/2020 11:25 AM, Bob La Londe wrote: >> I picked up an AHP201 AC/DC pulse rig a while back. Its mostly sat on the cart, and other than a few plays at making some beads and trying to understand the 40 billion possible settings I have not welded anything with it. For most things the Miller 212 does the job on the table, and the Lincoln ProCore does the job (if its small) outside. >> >> Well, a couple days ago I had a customer who wanted pull pins for a mold I made with a T-handle. Normally I either just put an L bend on small pull pins or on bigger ones I use the lathe to make a pull ring on the end, by using the lathe and a mandrel to (manually) spin the mandrel. In the past with much larger pull pins I've threaded the pull pin and tapped the T handle. It works pretty well and looks good. >> >> I pretty much always make these pull pins out of stainless. In fact in some sizes I just use stainless TIG wire. In some rare instances I'll use teflon because it doesn't transfer heat, and allows castings to fill better, but 99.9% of the time I just use stainless. >> >> These pins were 3/16 inch. Not a great size to thread and I know I don't have a 3/16 tap. I had the TIG wire on hand, and a fair amount of 304 stainless rod from 1/8 inch to 1-1/2 inch. I actually have owned stainless TIG wire a lot longer than I have owned a TIG welder. I've also picked up some other TIG wire for planned future projects as I develop my skills. ER70S(x), 308, 5356, 4043, etc. >> >> Anyway, 3/16" pull pins with a 1/2" handle with a 3/16 hole drilled through. I got it all setup on the table, tried some settings, grabbed a piece of 1/16 rod (trying to start small) and give it a go. It was terrible, and when I tried to clean it up on the belt sander most of the filler just fell off. Half of the weld looked ok though. This should have been my first clue. >> >> When I walked back over to the welding table I realized I had grabbed a piece of 5356 aluminum. Not stainless. Oops. So... I grabbed some 308 and gave it another go. It welded better, but it seemed like I needed more current. The weld are is small. I wasn't crazy about using larger filler. My son suggest I just push the pull pin through a little further and use it as its own filler. I cranked the machine up to 150 amps and tried it. By the 4th pull pin I got a good weld. Oh, it still looks terrible, but it looks like it did the job. I went back over the first three, cleaned them up on the belt sander, and they look like one piece of metal. >> >> Am I proud of those welds? No. Absolutely not, but I have the start of a feel for how to do it, and I'll get better. > > The longest journey begins with a single step ... I once did the opposite of what you did , tried to weld some aluminum with a piece of 1/16" 308L filler . That didn't work either .
A several years ago one of my friends told me a story about how he and one of his high school buddies struggled to weld up a trailer jack using aluminum wire. They burned and burned and burned and finally it stuck... somehow. Just a month ago his high school buddy who manages the local Praxair store told me the exact same story.
I think I figured out how they did it. LOL.
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"Bob La Londe" wrote in message ... These pins were 3/16 inch. Not a great size to thread and I know I don't have a 3/16 tap. ...
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You probably do have a 3/16" tap, labeled #10-24 or #10-32.
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On 8/6/2020 10:31 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:

Maybe, but I do have a couple 3/16 repair dies labeled as 3/16. I don't recall the pitch off hand.
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