View Full Version : TIG welding class continues... with aluminum

02-23-2006, 02:48 PM
The TIG welding class is still going strong, and I'm working with aluminum. I sort of skipped over stainless steel, since I rarely use it for anything I make.

Here's some pics of a VERY small part of the practice work I've been doing.

First, the obligatory rod holder. I put off making it until I could make it from aluminum. I wanted it to be different from everyone else's.

Practicing mitered 90* joints on 3" pipe. This is preparing me for welding up a set of soccer goals for the local YMCA.

And joining the 1 1/2" pipe to the 3" pipe, which is some more practice for the goals.

I've already welded up a set of practice goals from the 1 1/2" pipe. My instructor takes on some mighty ambitious projects for his students to work on.


[This message has been edited by winchman (edited 02-23-2006).]

Alistair Hosie
02-23-2006, 03:06 PM
Very nice! are you a beginner? doesn't look like it from here, "That's a compliment". Well done laddie Alistair

02-23-2006, 03:37 PM
Thanks. I've been working really hard in the class, and I'm certainly getting my money's worth. It's been a lot of fun, too.

I did a fair amount of O/A and some stick welding on my own years ago, but this class (which started in January) is my first experience with TIG.

I did over a dozen miter joints on the 3" pipe before I did those in the photo. Some of them were pretty ugly in places.

Two things I've learned about aluminum:
It takes a LOT of heat.
If it looks the least bit like it's going bad, STOP, grind it out, clean it up, then continue.


02-23-2006, 03:54 PM
Nice beads winch!

02-23-2006, 04:30 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by winchman:

Two things I've learned about aluminum:
It takes a LOT of heat.
If it looks the least bit like it's going bad, STOP, grind it out, clean it up, then continue.



Yep, much harder than the steel. When I first started I had some contamination issues that were just painful to get over. In my case, two things really helped. First, surprisingly, I needed to take much more care with grounding. In the school environment this had not been emphasized much. It helped the steel too.

Second, really had to get a healthy and happy puddle before moving out at all. Give the arc and the gas a chance to get real stable.



02-23-2006, 04:40 PM
looks good!

Q. on say the shot where the 3 tubes come into the larger one, how is everything held in alignment? I often use those magnetic triangles on steel or clamps on square tubing and tack weld first, but neither of those would work here

02-23-2006, 05:41 PM
Since it was just a practice weld, the alignment wasn't very critical. I used a center punch to upset the edge of the hole in three places just enough to hold the tube in place while I got it tacked.

We'll have a jig to hold the pieces in alignment when I'm welding the goals together. On each weld, I try to start a little further down on the vertical part of the curve, so I won't have to reposition things so often.