Welding Aluminum Tube 6061 T6 0.065 wall

I tried welding some aluminum tube last night without any luck. For one
it was the first time I ever tried AL welding with the exception of when
the machine was demoed to me years ago. I am welding 1 3/4" 0.065"
wall 6061 T6 tubbing using a Lincon Square wave TIG machine. Problems
seam to be.
1) I am usually unable to tell when the metal is molten, It doesnt glow,
dance flow or do anything it just stays there until you touch it with a
rod, at which point you polk a big hole in it.
2) OK so I sort of think I know when its molten but getting it to flow
seems impossable. It seams like I need more currernt but I started at 30
Amps and went to 70 Amps could I possibly need more to weld 0.065 wall tube.
3) It also seams like the metal does not want to fuse together but just
stay to itself. Filler metal tends to just form a ball and stay on top.
4) I'm thinking maybe its dirty but I cleaned it with a scotch bright
pad on a angle grinder. I havent cleaned the inside of the tube so I
will try that next.
I was last using about 70 amps AC TIG mode, Gas was Argon as high as 20
CFH. filler 3/32 4043. I dont have anything thinner at the moment. I was
using 1/16" 2% Thoriated tungsten flat and chamfered tip.
Can anyone post some tips and a recomended setup.
Thank You
John Roncallo
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If you have not welded aluminum for a long time, I would practise on some flat stock. Just try getting a puddle on some 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick flat stock and then moving the puddle along. And use Lantheumated , Ceratied, or pure tungsten. Ball the tip.
It sounds as if you don't have quite enough amps to me.
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Sounds likely you don't have things clean enough.
Clean with a stainless steel brush, never use the brush on anything but clean aluminum just prior to welding.
There, that exhausts all my knowledge of Al welding!
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Al is like that:-) Look for the shiny 'wet' appearance.
70 amps should be about right. Pedal controlled?
See comment at the end.
Make sure that you wipe the surface with Acetone or equivalent prior to welding. It's also useful to run the torch back and forth over the weld area a couple of times at half power or so to further clean the surface.
The filler rod you're using is pretty big for the application, and will make things unnecessarily difficult. Try some 1/16". Thoriated tungstens aren't the best for AC either, but the biggest reason is that they are prone to spitting pieces of themselves into the weld. Try some Lanthanated instead, it's better for general work. Try searching through backposts for Enrnie's TIG FAQ. Lotsa good info there.
Keep practicing!
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Pete Snell
Thanks for all the replys. I have to get more gas so I will pick up some smaller rod, I have Ceriated and I will also try Lanthiated tungstens. I will give the Acetone cleaning a try and also clean the inside of the pipe.
John Roncallo
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It sounds to me like you may be trying to weld anodized aluminum. Make sure to use raw aluminium. These folks may be able to help you:
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