View Full Version : I have argon

10-13-2005, 03:09 PM
I just picked up a cylinder and a lb. of 4043 rod. We'll see how it turns out...

10-13-2005, 03:35 PM
Uh. Oh. We'er in trouble now.;-)

10-13-2005, 05:23 PM
This is what I did:

I guess now I need some input on how to actually tig weld instead of help fixing old welders.

I have no idea what amps etc to use. My machine also has a "Hi-freq. intensity" knob and I have no idea what it does...

The pedal works great http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif I'm pretty happy overall!

10-13-2005, 06:19 PM
Looks good, just buff-em up and display
on the mantel http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I suggest cutting up some 16ga. sheet
metal strips (2"x5") and practicing some
weld joints. Some butt, lap and corner
joints. After about 30 to 50 joints you
will become more comfortable with the
torch and machine settings. JRouche

10-13-2005, 06:59 PM
I got a piece of 3" x 4' x 3/16" (I think) to cut up and practice on. I've never done any brazing so this is a little different for me. About the only welding I've done is mig.

I've been reading about it but I'm trying to figure out when and how much to feed the rod and when to move the torch etc. It also seems like the puddle is wider than I thought it would be and fiddling with the machine doesn't seem to have much effect.

At least my mig has a "cheat sheet" inside the cover to put you in the ball park.

I'm waiting for Adrian to weigh in on this one even though his machine looks like the space shuttle cockpit http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-13-2005, 07:04 PM
Hey Hoffman!

Looks good! I've been wanting to make a small video welding some alum but I've been so busy lately building my buggy.

What settings are you using? For 15-16ga alum, and 1/16" alum filler wire try these:

1/16" diameter pure tunstein (green band). #4 cup (1/4" opening), 20 CFM Argon flow meter setting, 55 amp setting, A/C (ballanced), High-Freq always ON, Postflow ~6 seconds or so.

For practice with alum, try this with 15-16ga (~1/16") alum sheet and 1/16" alum filler:

Try heating the Alum until you see a puddle form then wait one more second and dip the filler rod into the puddle and wait 1/2 second, then move over to the edge of the puddle and wait until you see a new puddle form (keep repeating). Adjust the amount of time you wait based on how quickly the puddle forms (If the puddle forms too quickly, either lower your heat with the pedal, or move faster along).

Here is a basic bead using that technique with 1/16" filler, 1/16" alum sheet, and 1/16" diam electrode:


Also, make sure you don't rest your arm on the table when you're TIG welding otherwise you'll have jerky/uncontrolled torch movements. You want to be holding your hand up, and just lightly drag with little/no pressure. It's going to feel very awkward for a long time.

If your arm is not getting tired then you probably are not doing it right. You'll find it easier to rest your arm on the table, but don't do it because you'll develop a habit/need to rest your arm and will have a lot of trouble trying to do most real-world welding (No place to rest your arm).

Try holding your torch like this and just very lightly drag your pinky (just enough for feedback, but nut enough to support your hand):



10-13-2005, 07:21 PM
Hot finger welding is fine, but in order to precisely control the weld I like to walk the cup.

Stick a bit more tungsten out, lay the torch to the side and lightly rest the ceramic cup on the material, then rocking back and forth and advancing at the same time, one can weld all day without arm strain ( or at least as much) and with practice this method can be used on about anything. Saves on gloves and fingers as well.

10-13-2005, 07:45 PM
Dang, that sure is a white clove! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

Those your driving gloves Adrian? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

10-13-2005, 07:46 PM
Boy, I had it all wrong http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif I had it on 150 amps, had my elbow resting on the bench with the torch at a 45 deg angle...

I'm using a 3/32 pure tungsten and 3/32 3034 rod. I'm not sure what size cup but my torch looks about the same size as yours (WP 20) but my cup isn't "necked down" like yours. Looks like about 3/8 ID. I'm waiting on a gas lens because the welding shop didn't have any cups for them.

I'm also a little confused about the sequence of moving the torch and feeding the rod. Do you pull the rod completely out of the puddle then advance the torch, dip, pull out, move the torch?

Also a little story about customer service:

The welding shop I lease my tanks from have some pretty rude crude guys working there. My brother says they're A-holes and says he wouldn't buy anything from them but I've been dealing with them awhile and they're mostly OK.

So today I go in to see if my argon tank is back from testing and they bust my balls for a few minutes (it's not back) but they gave me a small argon tank and about 20 rods with no charge http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

They said was to keep me fron F'ing with them until next week...

They always give me mig tips and cups before telling me to Get the f@#k out so they can deal with real customers.

Swell guys http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Those are some white gloves http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

I want to make some nice beads like Adrian...

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 10-13-2005).]

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 10-13-2005).]

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-13-2005, 08:08 PM
Hoffman, you want to "ball" over your tungstein when welding alum. You can do this by just cutting off the end that you're using now, put your machine on DC+ (DCEP), and zapping it for a second and the tip should ball over.

You also want to get the tungstein as close to the puddle as possible. I can't even see my tunstein when I'm welding, but I do see a reflection of it from the puddle.

I just made a small video for you Hoffman (9mb .wav):

20 CFM, 55 AMPS, 1/16" Electrode (Pure Tung), 1/16" Alum sheet, 1/16" Alum filler wire, A/C (ballanced), High-Freq Always ON, #4 Cup (1/4" opening):

www.bbssystem.com/buggy/tig-weld.wmv (http://www.bbssystem.com/buggy/tig-weld.wmv)


10-13-2005, 08:29 PM
Thanks a million Adrian! I really appreciate that!

I was doing something entirely different...
I had this big long friggin' arc and I was just creeping along with the puddle.

Next week I'm going to get some 1/16 tungsten/rod and a gas lens.

My kids got a big kick out of you sayin my name http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

This is my youngest:

Thanks again Adrian!

10-13-2005, 09:03 PM
Best advice I got was to sit down.
my tig welding abilty doubled after this.
all the best....mark

10-13-2005, 09:24 PM
was the camera behind a welding helmet.
I was told you must not point any digital camera at the sun never mind welding
and i was told damage would happen to it
I then thought after that, all films of welding ..............they must be using specialist cams etc
all the best...mark

10-13-2005, 10:00 PM

very cool! i need to get a TIG welder.

andy b.

10-13-2005, 10:02 PM
Nice video!

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-13-2005, 10:05 PM
I filmed it with my Sony PC100 MiniDV without any shades or UV/IR filters. I'd like to try filming through a light filter so the CCD's don't saturate.

I know the original CCDs were very sensitive, but we've come a long way since landing on the moon I guess http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif


10-13-2005, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the vid "A". Dont forget to dwell abit to fill that crater.

A premature "pull-out" dont make anyone happy http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


10-14-2005, 11:09 AM
I have always thought about getting an inert gas welder of some kind. Never got around to it. I make do with my O/A gear and my buzzbox.

Three pass buzzbox weld with 7018 lo/hi.


[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 10-15-2005).]

10-14-2005, 11:13 AM
Hoff. Don't forget to prep your alum by wire brushing with a stainless brush.
Just thought it needed to be said.

10-14-2005, 11:34 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Rustybolt:
Hoff. Don't forget to prep your alum by wire brushing with a stainless brush.
Just thought it needed to be said.</font>
Yes and a clean stainless brush, not the one you used to remove rust and barnacles from your latest find.

10-14-2005, 07:52 PM
Don't forget the white gloves! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Last Old Dog
10-14-2005, 08:09 PM
Hoffman, Adrian’s video has some good info. Notice the pre-flow of gas (and perhaps water) prior to the arc, most important in ferrous materials but good policy. Note the torch angle, visibility and shielding gas enveloping the puddle and directed ahead of the puddle. His filler rod shallow angle presented to the leading edge of the puddle, and precise short excursion ‘jabs’ with rapid withdrawal, and never allows the hot end of the rod to wander from the enveloping gas shielding. Again particularly important with ferrous materials, lest the hot rod oxidize and introduce contamination into the weld.

Additionally, with ferrous materials, do not pull away prematurely. Allow the gas post flow to continue shielding the weld, rod and the electrode. If you pull away too soon the weld will oxidize blue and you know what that means. Keep dykes close to you to snip off the end of the rod each time you complete a pass. Always start with a clean end of filler rod. If you are making multiple passes, always use a brush (I use a little Ingersoll Rand air grinder with a dedicated brush) to clean the area and remove oxides prior to the next pass. Cleanlyness is close to you know what. Certain contaminants will outgas below the surface of the puddle and create a ‘Swiss cheese’ interior. This condition MUST be ground out before proceeding lest the situation worsen with each pass. Keep in mind, for thin material, where you will achieve drop through, cleanliness of the back side is just as important, and a post weld inspection of the back side will disclose a lot about your technique. Also, take time with fit up, proper clamping and positioning. You must be comfortable in your seating and work area. Soon you will be able to progressively advance the rod in your finger tips so you do not have to stop to get a new grip on the rod.

Maintain separate brushes for ferrous and non ferrous materials to prevent cross contamination. Same with the Tungsten grinder, just as you don’t sharpen HHS tools on your green wheels, obtain a small grinder dedicated for just this purpose. Notice his lighweight glove, protection against thermal and radiation exposure, it must be light so you maintain 'feel'.

Heli-arc can be a lot of fun and very satisfying, from a former NASA certified weldor in the Space and Missile field. . . . . . Last Old Dog

Not a member of the ‘Your Old Dog’ clan

10-14-2005, 08:26 PM
I went out this evening and ran a few beads. My work bench is either too short or my stool is too tall http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Anyway I wasn't very comfortable hunkered over so I'll have to remedy that. I also need a stainless brush. I'll probably just buy a dedicated die grinder and keep one on it. I've been cleaning the al with chemical prep and it's a pain to have to rinse it off etc.

I cut my friggin' air line clean in two with the bandsaw while cutting some coupons http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif It's on a hose reel in the ceiling so I messed that one up. "What in the hell is that hissing...?"

Gotta love it...

Left for work at 2 am and got home at 6 pm. Doin' it again tomorrow so I'm not in the best shape to be fooling with it tonight.

I did have a little fun though! Even though my welds are crappy I do have a machine that was saved from the scrap pile that is now capable of it. If I can get up to speed on it this will be a kick-ass capability to have.

I also need some good gloves.

Thanks to all you guys for the help and encouragement!!!

Oh yea LOD, what does the "spark intensity" pot do and what is the application? It's about the only thing adjustable on the hi-freq. besides the "soft start" and "Start only/ continuous" switches.

I'm guessing that from your backgroung you're a great resource on old school TIG machines. (Mine's from 1970!)

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 10-14-2005).]

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-14-2005, 08:50 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hoffman:
My work bench is either too short or my stool is too tall http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Anyway I wasn't very comfortable hunkered over so I'll have to remedy that.</font>

After I had finished building my welding table, I had the same problem (except my stool was too short). I also just got my TIG machine and was looking for things to weld so one of the first mild-steel things I welded with TIG was this modified chair. I just cut the old chair in half, sanded the paint off, and welded some 1/4" bar extensions so I could get just the right height.



10-14-2005, 09:16 PM
I see it now, Adrian moonwalking across his shop floor wearing that white glove when no one is looking.

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-14-2005, 09:30 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BillH:
I see it now, Adrian moonwalking across his shop floor wearing that white glove when no one is looking.</font>

That would be foolish! I only wear my white glove and moonwalk for an audience. There is no point if nobody is looking.... That would be like me asking you to pull my finger, then I run away and go into another room, close the door, and let one rip.


10-14-2005, 09:59 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BillH:
I see it now, Adrian moonwalking across his shop floor wearing that white glove when no one is looking.</font>

Cmon, post a video of that http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I remember when you did the chair mod.

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-14-2005, 11:15 PM
BTW, don't look directly at the video unless you're wearing your welding helmet http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

Last Old Dog
10-15-2005, 12:58 AM
I have the feeling Adrian is passing off this chair mod as a simple mast extension. However, could it really be a camouflaged attempt to comply with an obscure OSHA requirement for an energy absorbing ‘crumple zone’ to deal with high impact lateral loading? This cover up looks suspicious to me. . . . . Last Old Dog

Not a member of the ‘Your Old Dog’ fraternal organization.

10-15-2005, 10:56 AM
one other thing you guys might try is what i call a "gas lens" it is a collet holder with a screen built in and uses a bigger ceramic nozzle that is easier to drag or "walk" across the weld. PLUS with the screen in the collet holder the argon flows out in a bigger or better pattern for the welder that sometimes holds the torch at the wrong angle or pulls the filler rod away from the weld a little too far hopes this helps mike