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Tungsten sharpening

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  • #31
    SLOW in the cordless drill, dull part of the belt on the belt sander. Dull area because the sharp areas will break off the point.

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    • #32
      I have always used a 6" bench grinder with a carborundum wheel for sharpening. (no tool rest) It was about 20 feet from the welding table. The trips back and forth to the grinder got old pretty fast, forcing me to be a better welder. I still dip the tungston fairly often, especially when welding "out of position", so purchased a Sharpie from Arczone. I like having it handy to grab without having to get up. It produces consistant points, and the diamond wheel reportedly doesn't collect metal, so you can grind for alumimum or steel welding with no cross contamination. It is not a must have tool, but saves a lot of steps over time. Battery operated would be even more convenient. (no cord to burn or clutter up the table)
      Russ

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      • #33
        Belt sander works for me

        Guys - I'm a hobby welder, I've been sharpening my 2% thoriated tungsten on a 4 x 50 belt sander made for edge sanding wood. I hold the tungsten with a 1/2" Ericson drill extension w/ 3/32 collect.

        I work in an aerospace shop where we weld aluminum, titanium, various nickel alloys. The welders in the shop use a 1 x 42 belt for tungsten used in hand welding and a mechanical sharpener for the bigger tungsten used on the machines.

        The belts on both are aluminum oxide. The weld engineers don't seem to worry about the grit type. Each weld is x-rayed.

        Are we doing something wrong? Should I never fly again?

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        • #34
          sharping

          I bought a sharpening tool to get mine sharp..I went to Arczone.com its not cheap.. but when Im out inthe field dragging a bench grinder around just wasnt handy. its about 200 bucks for it but makes sharping simple

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Steve View Post
            Just below the carbide grinder is another grinder with a 6 in x 3/4 stone on it that has off center a groove from twirling tungsten. I just use at least the diameter to diameter and a half the size. I have broken the tip off, used a belt sander, the front side of side grinders, Hmmm, never rubbed on a point on the concrete yet nor tried chem sharp. What other methods have we all used and still got good results to our surprise?
            CUTTING TORCH

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            • #36
              Its funny how much of a personal preferance this is. I started with a belt sander, but i guess as a shaky noob it quickly became a nuisance to set it up (hand held unit) and it was kinda slow. I use a diamond flatlap now and love it. In a TIG class we were using a bench grinder. I found it slow and dangerous especially as the tungsten got shorter. I also found that i couldn't get as pointy of a tip or a clean square flat (inverter alluminum). I used grinder sharpened vs diamond and i seem to weld better with the diamond. Maybe its because i use lanthanated, since it requires a point for both steel and alluminum i have to sharpen twice as often. I also think its harder than thoriated so may be thats why it feels slow to me. I didn't have a drill in class so sharpening the shorties was also scary. I think if your happy with what your doing it's not worth the effort to change, but i think if you tried a diamond wheel of somekind you would not want to go back

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              • #37
                is there a right way

                Ant1277,
                yes there is a right way, the one that keeps you safe. You can see from this thread that there are alot of ways to get the same job done.

                In the end for a good quality arc from your tungsten there are a couple of things to remember.
                the first thing is that the electrode will carry the current until it tapers enough that it's is over its capacity, that is when the current will leave the electrode. We like to call it an arc, sometimes if we aren't careful it is a shock, been there myself. Since the current is going to leave the electrode at some point we try to control it by grinding the tip. As we reduce the cross sectional area of the electrode we are determining where the current will leave. Try this experiment, sharpen the tip to 1 1/2 the diameter of the electrode. The grind on a 1/8" diameter would be 3/16" long for example. Make sure the grind is even (the same length) all the way around the tungsten, keep the finish smooth so the cross section is consistent. Leave the tip pointed. Now start welding will a very low current, if there is enough to start an arc it will be coming from the bottom of the electrode right next to the tip. It will come off of the electrode evenly aroung the cross section. Now raise the amperage and notice that the arc is coming off the electrode higher up than before. You can keep it going until you over power the electrode and need a larger diameter.
                When you finish that test, grind it again to 1/2 the diameter of the electrode. So for the 1/8" it would be 1/16" taper and try the test again. You will see that the arc is very controllable by just how we grind the tungsten. By changing the taper we can change the width of the arc.

                Now is blunting the electrode important? yes AND no. By running these tests you will find the part of the electrode you won't use, your amperage won't go that low. So instead of having it hanging down there waiting to dip in the puddle, just grind it off. Again evenly and smooth.

                Following the manufacturers recomendations of current capacity and preparing the electrode with an understanding of why it is critical will help you make better welds. It has worked for me.
                Last edited by diamondback; 06-22-2008, 04:34 AM.

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                • #38
                  And the light goes ON.

                  I finally understand 'truncating' the tip. Dip clearance.

                  Diamondback, Thanks.

                  Craig
                  Last edited by Craig in Denver; 06-16-2008, 01:14 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Fred Smith View Post
                    Guys - I'm a hobby welder, I've been sharpening my 2% thoriated tungsten on a 4 x 50 belt sander made for edge sanding wood. I hold the tungsten with a 1/2" Ericson drill extension w/ 3/32 collect.

                    I work in an aerospace shop where we weld aluminum, titanium, various nickel alloys. The welders in the shop use a 1 x 42 belt for tungsten used in hand welding and a mechanical sharpener for the bigger tungsten used on the machines.

                    The belts on both are aluminum oxide. The weld engineers don't seem to worry about the grit type. Each weld is x-rayed.

                    Are we doing something wrong? Should I never fly again?
                    A dedicated tungsten grinder will offer a consistent taper, for example, which will eliminate at least one variable in an automated welding application... Also some of the machines also offer dust collection which may be a concern in some shops. For some folks, a machine like the Sharpie (which is our most popular, btw) is just a terrific tool for convenience-- its not that you can't prep your tungsten with other methods.

                    That said, I always say, if it works don't fix it... :-)

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by RWC View Post
                      I have always used a 6" bench grinder with a carborundum wheel for sharpening. (no tool rest) It was about 20 feet from the welding table. The trips back and forth to the grinder got old pretty fast, forcing me to be a better welder. I still dip the tungston fairly often, especially when welding "out of position", so purchased a Sharpie from Arczone. I like having it handy to grab without having to get up. It produces consistant points, and the diamond wheel reportedly doesn't collect metal, so you can grind for alumimum or steel welding with no cross contamination. It is not a must have tool, but saves a lot of steps over time. Battery operated would be even more convenient. (no cord to burn or clutter up the table)
                      Russ
                      Sounds like my story. I too like the convenience of having the Sharpie right at the jobsite.

                      BTW, I've gotten terrific support from Arc-Zone on replacement parts too.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        tungsten

                        if it's worth it I'll try to keep one end for aluminum and the other for carbon pipe,I use a soap stone and a little arch flash for undernieth the pipe. Would like a see through or florecsent stone if you know where to find one,also anyone ever try those pen's they sell on ebay for turning the tip's.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                          There are loads of times I don't do hardly ANY prep whatsoever on the base material. AC cleans good enuff to lay down acceptable welds in many situations. Not everything is the freakin' space shuttle
                          heheh ain't that the truth.

                          i hand-hold my tungsten and grind on an alum/ss/steel loaded bench grinder, rotating the tung with my fingers. i've even done it on little shorty tungs with my fingers just a few mm's from the grinding wheel. whatever though-- it works, the arc is plenty stable enough, and my alum welds don't break.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by CarmenElectrode View Post
                            A dedicated tungsten grinder will offer a consistent taper, for example, which will eliminate at least one variable in an automated welding application... Also some of the machines also offer dust collection which may be a concern in some shops. For some folks, a machine like the Sharpie (which is our most popular, btw) is just a terrific tool for convenience-- its not that you can't prep your tungsten with other methods.

                            That said, I always say, if it works don't fix it... :-)
                            I purchased a Sharpie 3 weeks ago and I am impressed with the tool. Thanks Arc Zone.
                            I had developed a very good touch using a belt sander but I like the Sharpie better. Also, I can tell a difference in the initiation of the arc on DC and AC.

                            Griff

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                            • #44
                              The only thing that makes the Sharpie useless is when you have a big bead of "dip" on the end of your tungsten. If I'm patient, I'll stick my tungsten into the side of Sharpie and grind it down and if I'm impatient, I'll just break it off.

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                              • #45
                                FusionKing and Ridesideways:
                                LMAO!! Sometimes, there is NO mystery.

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