My tungsten keeps balling up institutionsly: Why?

Harbor freight Tig welder
cfm: 20 ( I hear gas flow)
3/32 E3 tungsten
Amperage: 100-120
The welder is not set for stick.
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Reply to
Jacob Myers
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My first guess is that the polarity is swapped. Running reverse polarity puts a log more heat in the tungsten. Can you swap the torch and ground connectors on the welder?
BobH
Reply to
BobH
Try changing the polarity anyway. The tungsten balls on DC when the polarity is wrong. I don't know anything about your particular machine but if it is possible to swap the leads then do that. You can also check the voltage polarity with a voltmeter. The tungsten should be negative with respect to the ground clamp. A DVM may not give you a good reading if the welder is an inverter welder though, so you may need to use an analog type. Eric
Reply to
etpm
Another possibility is that the welder is fried and it is putting out max current all the time. When solid state devices fail, they often fail with a short circuit across them, which would put max current out all the time.
Harbor Freight welders do not have a good reputation. There are reasons that they can sell them as cheaply as they do.
BobH
Reply to
BobH
I had the same problem when I started welding with my Lincoln 175. make sure your shielding gas is on, you have a good ground. Your tungsten is clean and sharp with no contaminants, your amperage is set correctly, your work is clean, and you hold the tip close to your work...without touching it (that is unless it is a scratch start machine). Last thing to check is that your torch is assembled correctly.
As I said, when I first started welding with my welder, this would happen to me every time! That's how I developed that check list above! All operator error!
Reply to
ZFORCE

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