OK, just for fun... But I bet you have found the problem with the bad
I'm not positive this fits, but one saying I try to keep in mind:
"It's not what you don't know that gets you, it's what you think you know
"Brian" wrote in message > My big question is what
makes the puddle jump up and bite my electrode? I
I've had the same experience. Wonder what's happening or IF it's happening
the way I think I see it...
| My third session resulted in a series of revelations.
| First and foremost among these is, I AM SUCH A DUNCE!!!
| I cobbled together an air cooled torch from a pile of parts I bought on
| ebay. From among these pieces, and for no good reason, because I had
| others, I used a top cap that had a broken end. I don't know what to
| call it. But it's the black thing that to me, makes a tig torch look
| like a pterodactyl.
first of all 2% T tungsten should be sufficent for all welding. They
should be ground with the grain parallel to the tungsten not
horizontal. MOST important the base metal should be CLEAN. Ground shiny
clean, wiped down and excellent fit. Your gas should be around
20-30cfm. My 2% T electrodes usually last me months. Happy welding
The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of
"loyalty" and "duty."
Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute -- get out of there fast! You
save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed. " Lazarus
Carl, Fatumsch and all the others.
Thank you for your always valuable, and often humorous, insights.
If the weather's good today I'll give it another go. During a recent
welding course I quickly got pretty good doing gas welding. Not ready
to build airplanes yet but I FOUND THE GROOVE!
WIth TIG welding, in addition to the previous problems, I'm having
trouble seeing under that cup. Even when I pay attention I have
trouble seeing the end of the tungsten. Therefore, it's hard to know
whether I've contacted the puddle widdit.
At this point I'd have to say it's at least one full notch more
difficult than gas welding.
But being at heart a precision control freak I'm pretty sure it's going
to supplant stick as my favorite process.
Thanks to everybody.
It's precisely because of the "no health issues with lanthanated
tungsten" that I just bought two boxes of these (1.5%) from Praxair.
The 3/32" box (ten) was fifty two bucks and change!
However, both boxes (ProStar brand made in China just like Wal-Mart!)
disclaim that "these tungstens contain small amounts of thorium, a
radioactive substance..." or words to that effect.
I don't know if those words were left over after they recycled the
label from their thoriated products or if even LANTHANATED tungstens
But for anybody who has an interest in this subject, a doubt STILL
exists in my mind.
Hopefully another joke.
There are no known health issues with grinding any tungstens other than
If you don't grind the tungsten to a pencil point, you will get no arc
control to speak of.
With a lift-arc start you have to touch and hold the tungsten to the
metal for a full second before lifting.
If you don't pause for that second you are achieving a scratch start,
which is much more damaging to the tungsten.
Lift-arc does speed up the erosion of your tip.
The grind taper you want is that of a classic #2 pencil fresh from a
All scratch lines need to be inline with the tungsten.
The tungsten should extend 3 times the tungsten diameter on a standard
collet body, and up to 8 times the tungsten diameter on a gas lens
On a gas lens anything more than 15 cfh will cause turbulence and is
This is pure Argon tight?
Sounds more like aluminum.
OH MY GOD, you did not just say that!!.
ALL METAL MUST BE GROUND CLEAN!!!
No rust, scale, paint, grease, wax or anything else.
Clean clean clean.
Grind off anything that doesn't look like smooth round tungsten.
Dirty steel is useless to try and TIG, you will get tons of porosity.
No just pull out a grinder and clean your steel.
Well, finally, the King is back on his Throne!
I've been talking about (and for!) you while you've been gone. Damn,
I'm such a kidder.
But seriously, welcome back and thank you for your response. In
another post you'll see that the TOWERING problem turned out to be that
I didn't realize that a frickin' broken cap might let some AIR in.
But I admit the process has been humbling. When my wife and I took a
welding course together recently at Austin Community College I learned
to run a pretty sexy gas bead. I thought TIG would be a snap.
Rem "Oh, that's "horse radish". Be careful. It's really hot!"
Well, at that time, being a veteran of several trips to Mexico I knew
hot sauce! Hot sauce doesn't scare ME!!!
So I piled about a cubic yard of it on a cracker and threw it down the
Holy Moses! This is no stinkin' chile pepper!!!
And that's my take on TIG welding.
It's a whole 'nuther echelon of hot!
Thank you, Ernie. You're one of the crown jewels of this news group.
I recently bought 3 boxes of 3/32 thoriated, 1 box of 1/8" thoriated
and 2 boxes of 3/32 1.5% lanthanated tungstens from a gent in Louisana
the total came to $15 plus $6 shipping
We were both terribley surprised. Me quite happily..him not so happy.
I'll jump on the reverse polarity bandwagon. I run a Miller
SD180 at 160 amps on a 3/32 lanthanated electode and only
have to regrind the tip if I dip it in the puddle when
welding 3/16" aluminum plate or "L" . (Not too
often now!) I can make 10 12" long passes with the same
electrode, nice shiny ball on the end of it.
I do ball the electode using reverse polarity on a steel
plate if I do regrind. I'm using 10CFM without a gas lens.
Slightest breeze does kill things though. I have a 3 ton
wall mount A/C unit in my garage and if I forget to turn it
off I can tell within the first inch of weld as its
contaminated. This is very easy to see on aluminum, not so
easy on steel.
I always clean 1/2" either direction of the intended weld
area to bright metal before I start welding. The
contamination could be gunking up your electode as well.
I like to use MIG on steel as you get better build of the
bead and burn right through any crap on it. All other metals
I prefer TIG for the control and smaller welds.
Bart D. Hull
my Subaru Engine Conversion
Tango II I'm building.
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Vern> My third session resulted in a series of revelations.
Thanks for your informative reply.
I haven't had time to putz around with TIG in the last few days. But I
hope to attempt a real weld the next time I do so.
I am aware of the need for cleanliness when welding. However, I
figured the rust wouldn't matter since I was just playing with holding
Moreover, I did not know, until Ernie explained this, that the "lift
start" feature of my welder REQUIRES you to hold contact between the
electrode and plate for a full second before initiating an arc.
To do otherwise, (which is what I was doing) constitutes a scratch
start, which erodes the tungsten. Add to that the fact I had a broken
cap, a flow rate that was blanketing the planet (but not the weld), the
rust, and my inexperience, all conspired to being pretty hard on the
However, unless my welder is cross wired (doubtful) reverse polarity
was not the culprit.