Hello all. I am new to tig welding. Mig welding and mild steel (some aluminum
with a spool gun) is something that I commonly work with. Tig is something that
I would like to work with as I am trying to broaden my working knowledge using
aluminum and chromoly.. . I will be picking up a sycrowave 250 dx with tig
runner shortly as it appears this is the best choice of machine for overall use.
I am looking for a good demonstrational video on tig welding or a good book
demonstrating techniques for various types of metals. Any help or direction
would be appreciated. Specifically need help with welding round 4130 round
chromoly wall thickness varying from .035-.120. From what I've gathered here,
the best filler rod choice would be ER80S-B2 . What type of flow settings
should I be working with? What type of tungsten should I consider? I have read
that a sequencer may be a good choice for continued workloads of which I will be
working with once I "master" the tig welding techniques. I will also be
working with aluminum (6061T and a variety of other so any recommendations would
be great. The best place I've seen price wise for the machine is from
cyberweld.com but if there is anywhere else that has better pricing etc..please
inform me of your price-findings.
So far from the posts I've seen, this is a very informative board that I hope to
really improve my skills. Thanks in advanced!!
Yes I have had one for about a year.
Make sure to get the pulser.
I recommend getting the sequencer as well, but it is another $300 so
only if you can spare the cash.
Well I am working on that.
Yes you can buy it by the pound from
I will attach my normal lengthy response below
Just buy 1.5% or 2% Lanthanated and use them for everything AC or DC.
Maybe some Zirconiated tungstens for high amperage AC.
Sequencers allow very consistent beads on repetitive welds.
I am a complete sequencer junkie.
I bought mine from Central Welding
Base machine $1900
If you get the TIGrunner package it is more like $2700.
Oh we have our moments.
Here are some quotes from my past answers to your question about basics:
A basic selection of TIG Rod should include Steel, Stainless steel,
aluminum, and bronze.
The basic TIG filler for steel.
It comes copper plated to prevent rust, but keep it in a tube or bag
0.045", 1/16", 3/32", 1/8"
308L is the standard filler for 304 SS which is the most common type.
309L is a better filler for joining any kind of stainless to steel.
316L is the best for marine work.
0.045", 1/16", 3/32"
4043 is the most common aluminum filler rod.
It works well for most situations, but...
5356 is stronger, better corrosion resistance and better color match
for polishing or anodizing.
4047 is my favorite for welding castings, but it is kind of hard to
1/16", 3/32", 1/8"
Silicon Bronze is excellent for joing other copper alloys such as
copper, brass and most bronzes.
It can also be used to TIG Braze Weld steel and stainless steel.
TIG Braze Welding is very useful for stianless steel since it doesn't
actually melt the base metal so there is no chromium oxides formed on
the back face of the metal.
0.045", 1/16", 3/32"
An advanced selection would include:
Some aerospace alloys like Inconel, Hastelloy, or Haynes alloys.
They are my favorite alloys for joining odd things and are extremeley
Pure Nickel is excellent for joining cast iron..
Pure Copper is good for TIG welding copper where it will be seen.
ER80S-B2 is the current top choice for TIG welding Chrome-Moly tube for
planes, cars, motorcycles and bikes.
As to a vendor.
The only guys I know that even list TIG rod on the Web are:
Great outfit, they carry all things TIG.
You can also mail order from Central Welding at :
Just call them and they will ship it to you.
Here is an exercise to practice when not welding.
Take a 3/8" steel washer.
Place it on a piece of white paper.
Take a nice sharp pencil.
Place the tip of the pencil against the paper inside the washer.
Now start swirling the pencil tip around the inside of the washer to
draw a circle on the paper.
Keep circling the inside of the washer, while nudging the washer across
Try to end up with the washer traveling in a straight line across the
You should end up with a long swirl pattern acrosss the page.
Keep parcticing until the swirl pattern is even and in a straight line.
Same setup, with one change.
Once again slide the washer across the page while swirling the pencil
tip around the inside of the
washer, but now DON"T touch the paper with the pencil tip.
This means being able to hold the tip of the pencil within a 1/16" of
the paper without touching it
and without lifting out of the washer.
Do Level 2 while standing next to the table without any part of your
arm resting on the table.
Move to a 1/4" washer.
This exercise comes from a welding textbook from 1929, and it still
works quite nicely to train your
muscles for floating the torch.
Normally I do not swirl the torch while TIG welding, but this still
works as an exercise to build up muscle control.
A pulser is a device used to interupt a welding arc.
Mostly used on TIG, but can also be used for MIG.
The idea is to cycle the arc from high amperage to low amperage.
The metal melts at the high amperage and solidifies at the low amperage.
There are 3 settings for a pulser.
1. Background amperage
This sets the low amperage and is usually set as a percentage of the
So if you main amperage is 100 amps, and the Background Amperage is set
for 50%, then you Background Amperage is 50 amps.
2. Percentage of On time.
This sets how much of each pulse cycle is spent at the high amperage
and how much a the low level, once again by percentage.
A setting of 50% evenly splits the cycle betwen low and high amperages.
Less than 50% on On time gives a Spike Pulse.
Greater than 50% gives a Soft Pulse.
3. Cycles per second.
This is the really confusing one, because it has the most profound
Older TIG pulsers only allow up to a maximum of 5, or less, Cycles Per
Second (Hertz - Hz), but the newer Inverter TIGs allow much higher
My Maxstar 200DX goes up to 200hz.
The lower pulse frequencies are for traditional pulser use, where you
run between 1 and 2 hz on the pulse. adding filler metal on each pulse
or every other pulse as you progress across the weld.
The higher frequencies have a much different efect, in that they tend
to make the metal super-liquid, allowing it to flow and wet out much
These higher settings work very well with autogenous welds where no
filler metal is added at all.
These are also caled Fusion or Flow welds.
I also found these higher frequencies worked well for vertical welds in
heavy Silicon Bronze.
Now the reason for all this pulsing is rather simple.
Lets start with a piece of 16 ga steel.
At 0.062" thick the proper amperage would be 1 amp per 0.001" of
thickness or 62 amps .
You could easily TIG weld a seam in 16 ga Steel using a continuous 62
However a spike of high amperage will melt the metal much faster than a
low amperage, so you could weld faster at 80 amps than 62 amps, but at
that heat you risk overheating the metal and causing undue warpage or
burning of the steel, so you mix an interval of 80 amps with an
interval at 40 amps.
The low amperage interval allows the puddle to congeal back into steel,
without allowing the arc to break.
By pulsing the weld acoss the bead you get a very orderly row of
rings, that give that distinct stack-of-dimes look to the weld bead.
You adjust the exact pulse frequency to suit your style and speed of
welding as well as the thickness of the metal.
The other benefit is that over all, you have put less heat into the
metal, so you have less distortion.
A more smaller, consistent weld bead is often stronger than a larger
inconsistent weld bead.
The more consistent a weld is the more the stresses apply along it's
Any peak or valley in a weld becomes a stress point for failure to
Whether you choose to add filler metal on every pulse, every other
pulse, or not at all is dependant upon your own welding style and the
circumstances of the weld.
Where pulsers become bewildering is when you start messing with the
percentage settings for the Background Amperage and percentage of On
The number of possible combinations is huge, and there is little or no
guidance given in the welding world as to application.
Pro-Fusion has an excellent series of webpges with online calculators
that allow you to punch in the overall required amperage you want and
how fast you want to weld and it will generate pulser settings for you.
It still gives no guidance as to when you want a Spike pulse, or a Soft
pulse, but it gives you something to play with.
50%, 50% and 1.4hz, is a setting that works for most sheet metal.
All I can say is that until somebody puts out some really authoritative
research showing what pulser settings are best for what combination of
weld and materiel, we will all be out there experimtenting on our own.
I have searched for such a book for 5 years, and given up.
Hopefully some day soon the welding engineers will decide to enlighten
us lowly welders.
Subject: Re: New Maxstar 200 DX ... Setup?
Date: Sat, Nov 30, 2002 10:46 PM
What does a sequencer do?
Well pretty much everything except make your coffee.
A sequencer is gods gift to repeitive welding jobs.
Most machines with sequencers have this series of events that are
controlled by it.
This sequence is initiated by one button tap.
1. Preflow gas - This will purge air from the line and torch before the
2. Arc initiation via high frequency.
3. Initial Amperage - This is the amperage the machine starts at once
the arc is initiated.
4. Up Slope - this is the amount of time the machine takes to ramp up
from the initial amperage to the working amperage.
5. Working amperage - the amperage needed to weld the materiel.
5. Pulsed weld amperage.
Then a second button tap when the weld bead is complete.
6 Down Slope - the time it takes to get from the working amperage to
the final amperage.
A longer down slope prevents a pit from forming in the end of the weld
7. Final amperage - what the machine slopes down to before terminating
8. Post flow gas - This shields the tungsten and weld area as both cool.
So all that with just 2 button taps.
To give you an idea of settings, my machine is currently set up for
tack welding together stainless steel picket railings.
1/2 second preflow gas, 2 amps initial amperage, 1 second up slope, 80
amps working amperage, pulser is set to 40% on time, 50% background
amperage and 1.8 pulses per second, 3 seconds of downslope to a final
amperage of 3 amps and 10 seconds or postflow.
I adjust the working amperage a little up or down depending on how the
welds are going.
(some aluminum with a spool gun) is something that I commonly work
with. Tig is something that I would like to work with as I am trying
to broaden my working knowledge using aluminum and chromoly.. ?. I
will be picking up a sycrowave 250 dx with tig runner shortly as it
appears this is the best choice of machine for overall use. I am
looking for a good demonstrational video on tig welding or a good book
demonstrating techniques for various types of metals. Any help or
direction would be appreciated.
Please do a search on Ernie Leimkuhler's post in this newsgroup...
better than a book (and even a video link!). The url should be:
varying from .035-.120. From what I've gathered here, the best filler rod
choice would be ER80S-B2 . What type of flow settings should I be working with?
About 15-20 cubic feet per hour, maybe less with a gas lens.
Sequencers do the start and end of a weld automatically: press button
once = gas starts to flow, HF ignition, Amps ramp up, then you weld.
press button an other time: Amps ramp down (for crater filling), arc
stops, gas stops after postflow time (cooling).
Sequencers are built in modern inverters.
As a beginner, I find aluminium surprisingly more difficult than
steel. Because of its hich thermal conductivity, nothing happens
before your whole workpiece gets very hot, and then the whole thing
melts on you. I find that a foot pedal is a great help (to reduce the
amps when things start to get hot), but maybe I should just weld
Instant advice for aluminium: get it very clean and well fitted.
Thanks for both of you posting your comments!! I appretiate any advise that was
I will be checking out the company central welding.
At cyberweld.com's price for the sync 250 with runner is about 3400.00 which is
what was mentioned
"If you get the TIGrunner package it is more like $2700."
For anyone interested, I did find a post made that pointed to downloadable
are informative for differnt welding, cutting, forming procedures.
The link is
If you get the TIGrunner package it is more like $2700.
Thanks for everyones help! I appreciate all advice. I found an interesteing
link that has some i
nformative videos... This is reposted from a few minutes ago as I messed the
at any event, the link is:
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