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  • ant1277
    started a topic Tungsten sharpening

    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.

  • HAWK
    replied
    I sharpened tungsten for many years on a dedicated grinder, but finally switched to a unit made by Diamond Ground Products. Great stuff. Check them out: http://www.diamondground.com/

    I use the Piranaha III, LRamberson uses the P II, and KB Fabrications uses the P III as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Seaman
    replied
    Turboglenn the marks should cause no major effecgt except when you grind further up the tungsten later. I the marks are really deep it could cause an issue with tightening the collet onto the tungsten but otherwise NO PROBLEM.

    Peace,
    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • turboglenn
    replied
    I'm not near as goos as some of you pobably area ( i'm only 31..migging for 12 years tigging for a few here and there until i bought my 200dx a few months ago)

    The Rep from my welding store came to hook it up and use the functions (never had access to adjustable frequency, pulsing etc..)

    ANYWAY... HE ground my tungstens on an old dirty 4 1/2'' grinding wheel and layed beads just fine.. I continued this for a day or two until i read up on using a grinder. Now i have the "rough" wheel for de-burring, grinding etc... But have teh smooth wheel for sharpening when i'm at the shop or home. Then i final dress the tungsten with a sanding wheel on the same 4 1/2'' Grinder so there's no "scratch marks" left on the tip and it works beautifully.. I found that if you can't see teh grind marks from dressing the tung then arc stability and welds improve.

    But in the real worl, when I'm out on a job and have to get things done i use whatever is available as long as i don't see chunks of foreign metals on it and the beads are just as good..the sharpening isn't as perfectly shaped but it works just as if i used the "stand alone" setup i have at the shop and home.

    The biggest differences i've noticed is the shape of the tip, the flat on then end and if there are any grind marks on it. Where i contaminate with a blob or some AL wicks up the tung, even when i just try grinding it off the tung just breaks where teh wicking or blobbing stops so i just go ahead and break them off... You can tell its weak anyway because it takes very little effort t break it where it contaminated and a whole lot more force to break it where it's not.. At least in terms of force used to break a tungsten that is.

    One question though...Someitmes i "slip" and the tungsten slides off teh side of the grinder leaving scratch marks about an inch up the side of the tung past the point...Does this hurt anything

    But in all reality

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  • FusionKing
    replied
    Originally posted by fun4now View Post
    When you dip your tungsten into the puddle and have to regrind it won’t the dipped on metal contaminate the grinding wheel you are using?
    Is this scenario a good reason to break off the tungsten instead of just regrinding the contaminated end?

    i always cut off the glob on the end when i dip my tung. but i don't know if its needed. i just went by the thought it would contaminate my diamond disk i sharpen with.
    i'm no pro, so i could be wrong. i just went with better safe than sorry.

    maybe one of the pro's will step in and let us know for shore????

    If you are welding on the space shuttle then you must cut the contaminated area of the tungsten off.
    If you are doing "average" jobs working for me I would prolly show you to grind it back so it sparks on all the surface on a belt. IOW grind all the aluminum off untill you hit all new metal. The belt works best for dipped tungsten IMO because it doesn't load up like the wheels do.
    If you grind dipped tungstens on a bench grinder then you need to have a place you take off the aluminum before you do the final grind. I have a bench grinder wheel with 2 grooves wore into it and one has a bunch of aluminum and one doesn't.
    I actually like the belt sander best and I use the cordless drill to hold the tungsten almost all the time nowadays...it just works so slick, whether using wheels or belts or flapdiscs or a freekin' rock (not really)

    Leave a comment:


  • fun4now
    replied
    When you dip your tungsten into the puddle and have to regrind it won’t the dipped on metal contaminate the grinding wheel you are using?
    Is this scenario a good reason to break off the tungsten instead of just regrinding the contaminated end?

    i always cut off the glob on the end when i dip my tung. but i don't know if its needed. i just went by the thought it would contaminate my diamond disk i sharpen with.
    i'm no pro, so i could be wrong. i just went with better safe than sorry.

    maybe one of the pro's will step in and let us know for shore????

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy
    replied
    I like using roloc sanding discs on a die grinder. I remove the disc and store it in my small tackle box of tig consumables. This keeps the shop idiots (sometimes including myself) from contaminating it. If it does get contaiminated, a new one is only about $1. They're cheap enough to keep a dedicated one for steel and one for aluminum. Sometimes I chuck it in the cordless drill. Sometimes I freehand.

    Leave a comment:


  • 10x
    replied
    When you dip your tungsten into the puddle and have to regrind it won’t the dipped on metal contaminate the grinding wheel you are using?
    Is this scenario a good reason to break off the tungsten instead of just regrinding the contaminated end?

    Leave a comment:


  • Craig in Denver
    replied
    FusionKing and Ridesideways:
    LMAO!! Sometimes, there is NO mystery.

    Leave a comment:


  • tasslehawf
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • griff01
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • ridesideways
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • mark4561
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Randy Forbes
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • CarmenElectrode
    replied
    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... :-)

    Leave a comment:

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