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  • Tungsten sharpening

    Hi guys, I'm on the site alot reading , but never posted much. I've been around drag racing for many years now and also race. I do some tig welding in my home shop, have a dedicated grinding wheel for my tungstens and sharpen them vertical to the wheel. I've been in alot of chassis shops (some well known) and see the tungstens held horizontal to the belt sander. The same belt sander they use to debur, remove chrome moly, mildsteel etc. and their welds come out beautiful. Here's the question, what's the right way and does it really matter.
    Last edited by ant1277; 04-05-2008, 07:25 PM.

  • #2
    I'm a little curious too, i have alays sharpened mine along the length with a belt sander or diamond wheel. recently i started a TIG class and the instructor sharpens his on a grinding wheel that is not dedicated, he uses a slight angle from parallel and has clear spirals. Another welder who is a certified AC welder with over 40 years of experience showed my friend the same technique and makes his point slightly convex. They both use a very long taper. I have always gone by the Miller/diamond ground reccomendations. I wonder if there is any advantage to each method.
    Dynasty 200 DX
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    • #3
      We've always used a bench grinder to sharpen the tungsten, personally I point my tungsten up into the wheel, resting my hands on the table, I also use a twist drill holder to grip the tung. and rotate it.

      I like to take mine to a fairly decent needle point, also when sharpening with the point "up" into the wheel the material removed goes away from the finished point instead of down and collecting on the point if you held the tung. down.

      Holding the tung. level/ perpendicular to the wheel is the way I use to do it, but I found I could do a better job vertically.
      pull-do

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      • #4
        The text book answer is grind it in the direction of the rod not perpendicular to the rod.
        But it comes down to this One is the grit of the abrasive you are using. Too course will foul things up either way you grind it. so if there is a fine enough abrasive it wont matter much. Then there is the matter of what you are welding and how many amps you are using. The more power put through the tungsten the less the grind matters.

        Either way I use a bench grinder and grind it like the book shows, Inline with the rod and always finish it up on the fine wheel.
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        • #5
          I am ready to get a freakin' Sharpie. I spend way to much time grinding my tungsten. I guess I don't have a steady enough hand but it's been years since I last sat at a table.
          Miller Maxstar 200 DX
          RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
          Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
          Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
          Hitachi 4.5" grinder
          http://mhayesdesign.com

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          • #6
            Here is my take on tungsten grinding technique...the shape matters more than the method.
            Once you get so good that the only area you could improve your welds is the little inconsistencies in your tungsten surface then you would be wise to spend your time on that.


            I have laid down some of my best beads ever, that nobody will ever see, using a 4 1/2" grinder loaded with aluminum with one hand and tungsten in the other because I was simply too wore out to crawl out from under the boat on a trailer and use a better method. SAFE? NO! PERFECT SHAPE? NO!
            BUT... perfect enuff to get done and get paid

            www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
            Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
            MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
            Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
            Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

            Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
            Miller 30-A Spoolgun
            Miller WC-115-A
            Miller Spectrum 300
            Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
            Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

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            • #7
              http://millerwelds.com/education/tec...ps/setup.html\

              There information is itself on this site you just need to look for it. I myself have a wheel that all it is for is shaping nothing more. Vert or horiz. Makes a big difference when your welding AC in my experience DC its makes a difference but for myself not noticeable. For the guys using Flapper wheel or belt sander you stop preppin your welding material as well cause your loading your tung with what ever is on the belt of flapper so why put forth the effort for a clean weld when you cant go the extra step in your tung prep.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Champagneracing View Post
                http://millerwelds.com/education/tec...ps/setup.html\

                There information is itself on this site you just need to look for it. I myself have a wheel that all it is for is shaping nothing more. Vert or horiz. Makes a big difference when your welding AC in my experience DC its makes a difference but for myself not noticeable. For the guys using Flapper wheel or belt sander you stop preppin your welding material as well cause your loading your tung with what ever is on the belt of flapper so why put forth the effort for a clean weld when you cant go the extra step in your tung prep.
                You really aren't that far off...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 and not everybody is willing to pay you to screw around with laying perfect beads. They just want it to be welded strong and look reasonably well at a reasonable price.
                There are many times I have gotten everything absolutely perfect only to dip tungsten right off the bat
                I can get as persnickity as anybody...but....I only get paid for the jobs I finish. I normally sharpen both ends of my tungsten in a cordless with a dedicated bench grinder btw.
                I still have a ton of work from as far back as November left to do. Every stinkin' time the sun shines my phone goes crazy. My customers LOVE my dirty unprepped welding
                Truth is if I could weld things and make them look as tho they had NEVER been welded (ie undisturbed patina) I could charge a bunch more

                www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                Miller WC-115-A
                Miller Spectrum 300
                Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                  I have laid down some of my best beads ever, that nobody will ever see,
                  Awww...c'mon....
                  PICS!
                  PICS!
                  PICS!
                  PICS!
                  I'm not late...
                  I'm just on Hawaiian Time

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                    I have laid down some of my best beads ever, that nobody will ever see, using a 4 1/2" grinder loaded with aluminum with one hand and tungsten in the other because I was simply too wore out to crawl out from under the boat on a trailer and use a better method. SAFE? NO! PERFECT SHAPE? NO!
                    BUT... perfect enuff to get done and get paid
                    x2 on the pics. I cannot visualize this, and now I'm curious.
                    Miller Maxstar 200 DX
                    RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
                    Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
                    Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
                    Hitachi 4.5" grinder
                    http://mhayesdesign.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tasslehawf View Post
                      x2 on the pics. I cannot visualize this, and now I'm curious.

                      You cannot visualize laying good beads with improperly ground tungsten??
                      Or me grinding tungsten freehand with a 4 1/2" grinder?

                      One thing is for sure I'm a whole bunch better at running a welder than running a computer.

                      www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                      Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                      MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                      Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                      Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                      Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                      Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                      Miller WC-115-A
                      Miller Spectrum 300
                      Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                      Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                        You cannot visualize laying good beads with improperly ground tungsten??
                        Or me grinding tungsten freehand with a 4 1/2" grinder?

                        One thing is for sure I'm a whole bunch better at running a welder than running a computer.
                        Now I see what you're saying... grinding down the electrode with your aluminum-caked grinder. Heh. I have been doing that lately.
                        Miller Maxstar 200 DX
                        RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
                        Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
                        Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
                        Hitachi 4.5" grinder
                        http://mhayesdesign.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                          I have laid down some of my best beads ever, that nobody will ever see
                          Fusion: Tasslehawf and I were talking about THIS comment you made. But now I think we took it out of text. You mean no one will see it, 'cause that's the part underwater!!! If I'm wrong...SHOW US THE BEADS, MAN!!!!
                          I'm not late...
                          I'm just on Hawaiian Time

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                          • #14
                            4 1/2" Aluminum Wheels

                            Originally posted by tasslehawf View Post
                            Now I see what you're saying... grinding down the electrode with your aluminum-caked grinder. Heh. I have been doing that lately.
                            I have two 4 1/2" wheels, one coarse and one fine. The coarse is marked stainless and alum. I can't read the fine one, it's rubbed off. But I can push really hard on either one, without it ever loading up. The fine one is my aluminum mill. If you haven't tried either, they're worth finding. Got them at the LWS.
                            RETIRED desk jockey.

                            Hobby weldor with a little training.

                            Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

                            Miller Syncrowave 250.
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                            • #15
                              Anyone ever use chemsharp? I have been using it since I was in the Navy
                              (89-93) and it gives you a great point.
                              Last edited by 1974nova; 04-11-2008, 11:23 AM.

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