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TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

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  • #16
    You guys are awesome, Im gonna have to put these techniques to use as soon as i get my rear jeep hatch open its delaying projects cause i cant get the door open so i cant get any material

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    • #17
      A couple of tips/techniques to mess with;

      (1) Make the fitup as good as you possibly can as poor fitup, especially with aluminum, is tough to deal with, particularly for beginners.

      (2) Try getting your arc started on whichever piece of metal is the thickest piece of metal (but not too far from the joint) and where you are farthest from an edge, then sort of pull it along to where you are wanting to weld. This may give you a little more time to get control of the heat you are using and have the right amps ( hopefully NOT "full stomp"!!) before you get to the joint and, therefore, you will put less heat into it to let the puddle get away from you and melt back any. One thing to keep in mnd is that, say you are making a "T" joint, the piece that is having the heat applied to the edge is going to want to melt back a lot easier that the piece where you are welding further away from any edge is going to melt.

      You mentioned that you were going to get bigger pieces when you can, but if you are going to weld anythng together that is not just for practice, I would recommend that, when you cut stuff up to make whatever it is you are making, save some scraps to practice on before you try to do the final "keeper" pieces. That way you can sort of get a feel for how that particular metal reacts to heat and your filler choice is right, play with the actual type of joints you are going to make, and in the process get your settings and welding speed the best you can before making bird cr*p on the final piece you are making. One more thing to keep in mind is that, if you have one of the pieces you are working on clamped flat on a big metal surface, that piece is going to conduct heat away a LOT faster that any piece that is not clamped flat on, say, a big, flat piece of steel like most tables are made of. This can make a pretty big difference as to how the puddle forms and on how you can manipulate the puddle and control the heat.

      But, in general, TIG welding just requires two things: PRACTICE and lots of it; and having your (particularly aluminum) metal CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. Oh....and did I mention having your metal CLEAN?

      Good luck and have fun...there aren't a lot of things that are more satisfying than learning to make nice alumimun TIG welds!!
      Last edited by dondlhmn; 04-02-2012, 10:14 AM.
      Don J
      Reno, NV

      Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

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