What is the easiest aluminum and filler to practice tig welding

Subject says it all. My previous hasty attempts to try aluminum welding ended up in embarrassing failures. So, I would like to hear a
suggestion for the easiest combination of aluminum and filler to start welding. I already have all possible fillers, but not aluminum samples.
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Ignoramus3943 wrote:

I use mostly 4043 filler and weld 6061 and whatever the extruded aluminum tube is. To be honest, I don't see much difference from the materials.
I struggled with aluminum welding by myself until I watched somebody doing it. After seeing how it went, I got to where I could successfully weld aluminum on simple projects fairly quickly. Nobody is going to accuse me of being a master at it, but the welds I have tested tear the base metal while the weld holds. I think the term is gorrila weld.
Fifteen minutes looking over somebodies shoulder who knows how do do it will mke a lot of difference.
Good Luck, BobH
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I guess that was the only straight answer you got. You can't go wrong with 6061 and 4043 rod. here is a basic description of aluminum alloys and their properties. http://www.weldingengineer.com/Aluminum_.htm My most common used alloys are 6061, 5052 and 2024. For rod I usually use 4043 and 5356, 2024 like most 2xxx doesn't weld. We use it for race car body parts where the skin is stressed to be part of the structure, using rivets to attach it. You can get a crappy looking weld but it has no strength. A lot of commercial products are 2xxx series as it machines easily, things like vacuum cleaner parts, auto roof racks, many extrusions, etc, so always test weld a piece of what you found before you design a project around it. You will know it because it just sort of globs together without a decent flow. I am building some odd shaped sheet metal forming projects using 3003, 1100 is similar. Welds great, but is too soft for many applications. I use 1100 rod or strips sheared of 3003
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4043 rod, 6061 aluminum.
My practice drill is to shear some .062" stock into 1" wide strips perhaps 18" long.
Start around 45 to 50 amps. Tack weld them at 90 degree angle, flip it so that the angle is up, start with an outside fillet weld. Minimize your material usage by welding up a square tube ( 6' of weld bead per tube). Weld an edge for about half of the length, stop and inspect. That is about enough length for the weld puddle to get good and warm and out of control.
My personal foible to get used to was to keep the torch perfectly still except in the direction of travel. I am used to an O/A torch where heat control is done by pulling the torch up and down.
Stick with one position and material until you get the puddle control figured out. Take lots of breaks, don't try to do it all at once. You should be able to do a pretty nice tube on about the 3rd one assuming reasonable eye/hand coordination.
Ignoramus3943 wrote:

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RoyJ wrote:

I had the same issue. 20 years of O/A welding and brazing took a while to overcome.
BobH
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I use a collection of fire bricks and cardboard boxes to rest my wrist on when TIG welding small parts on the table. Gets a bit tricky trying to hold still when welding on a frame, my penmanship has always looked like that of a Doctor.
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ignoramus3943@NOSPAM.3943.invalid says...

You probably already know this, but only clean the weld area with a stainless steel brush, and kept that brush only for aluminum.
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wrote:

I think the answer is more how thick the aluminum is than what alloy it is.
It has been a while since I learned aluminum welding, but I think the first thing to do is to get some aluminum about 1/8 thick and just get a puddle and move the puddle. Do not bother to try adding filler until you feel good with getting a puddle and moving it. Try moving it to an edge and also to a corner. See the difference between aluminum that has been freshly abraided and stuff that has not had the oxide removed.
Next put two pieces next to each other and run a puddle down between them. Do not add any filler, but concentrate on getting both sides to have the same amount of melting.
Repeat some of this with thinner and thicker material. When you feel confident with doing this, run a puddle across the end of a pop can.
Now start welding with adding filler.
Ymmv.
Dan
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