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Long range plan - welder choice

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  • Long range plan - welder choice

    I'm a newbie to welding. I didn't jump in too far to start with and have a 125a flux core welder (an asian beauty). It fits my situation great because I have to weld outside of my small garage and with wind/flash blocking panels the flux core works for me. i found it is a blast to weld and now am planning for the next step by getting a TIG machine and learning that. The projects for the future will involve alum, SS, steel and copper. I really like the Diversion 180 from a cost point for what it offers.

    The project with copper involves schedule 40 soft copper tubing (1/4 thru 3/4 dia) with minimal cold working hardness from bends being made. I want to have a water tight (at 60 psi) joint to a part made of copper. How well will a Diversion 180 weld copper? Are there weld settings needed to tweak for copper that machine can't offer?

    BTW- brazing with silver solder is probably the better route but there are a lot of small joints close together to do at once and i think i would be chasing my tail with reflowing previously made brazes. (not sure if a problem or not)

    Thanks for the help
    VK

  • #2
    what exactly are you trying to do?

    regular old acid core soft lead free solder and a propane torch will hold 60 PSI with NO trouble.... though the propane will be slower than death on 3/4 tube/pipe. a bottle of MAPP gas and a MAPP torch would be much quicker, and a air/acetylene even faster still.

    You need an air/acetyl torch to silver braze.

    you can weld it, gas, or tig.


    so long story short.... what is the point of the project... to make something you want, or to learn new skills? all of the above processes will join copper to withstand 60 psi pressure.
    Bobcat 225NT
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    • #3
      Provide more info. Whats going through copper? Is copper best choice of material ? There are compression fittings, propress fittings, brass fittings, etc. for copper. No problem soft soldering sweat fittings butted up.
      As far as soft tubing goes , it is "L" being the thinner wall and "K " being the heavier wall. Hard copper is "M" , "L", and "K'' .
      i never heard of "soft schedule 40'' .

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      • #4
        As long as you flux the copper joints or use flux core solder, the joints can be practically touching. The flux will suck the solder into the joint. Just solder all close joints at the same time, using the same "heart cycle." As said, mapp gas would work great. This would exceed 60psi with ease. Standard residential feed is at out over 100 psi.

        From your post though sounds like this might also just be a project to hone tig skills. I am also curious how/if the diversion 180 would weld an "uncommon" metal like this.
        Last edited by Cgotto6; 04-12-2012, 05:47 PM.

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        • #5
          I got my terminology wrong. It is flexible L type tubing. I mistakenly think of L type as same thickness as schedule 40.
          I mentioned the hardness of the copper when I should have said temper thinking it might make a difference in the welding process.
          I said I was newbie to welding, did not say I was a genius.

          Water for a brewing chiller is running thru it. Fully understand there are many different methods of joining. For this application brazing or welding is what I would like to do. Regular solder reflowed when it got too close to the heat and a joint leaked. Compression fittings could work for the project I'm playing around with but learning to TIG and applying it is the fun part.

          Like everyone else that can't afford toys right away, I have the time to make a decision to what to buy. Tigging copper is something i would like to have the ability to do with the machine I end up buying. At least to know ahead of time if it can or can't do it well.

          Thanks for the input, maybe my question is more clear below.

          Does the Diversion 180 has the right stuff to make copper welds with materials in the .030-.050 thickness?

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          • #6
            Dumb question, what's a brewing chiller ?? Does this mean that what goes through it is going to be consumed by humans ??? Intoxicating beverages ??
            If so you need to think about contamination. This would be a perfect process for PROPRESS FITTINGS and Cleaned and capped copper.

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            • #7
              I know this is still off topic a bit, but when soldering an old trick I learned was to wrap a wet rag around joints you wish to stay solid.

              Like I said earlier, I too am curious about the diversion 180's capabilities...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BD1 View Post
                Dumb question, what's a brewing chiller ?? Does this mean that what goes through it is going to be consumed by humans ??? Intoxicating beverages ??
                If so you need to think about contamination. This would be a perfect process for PROPRESS FITTINGS and Cleaned and capped copper.
                No contact in this case.

                A chiller cools the wort (liquid before the fermentation begins) after the boil so you can add yeast.

                Thanks

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by weld on View Post
                  Regular solder reflowed when it got too close to the heat and a joint leaked.
                  Originally posted by Cgotto6 View Post
                  I know this is still off topic a bit, but when soldering an old trick I learned was to wrap a wet rag around joints you wish to stay solid.
                  Maybe I misunstood your comment; The joint leaked during use of the chiller from the burner being used not when soldering the joint. The reason for looking at TIG weld.
                  -----------------------

                  Here is the little I have found, welding copper benefits from pre-heating because of the excellent thermal conductivity or lots of power.

                  I'd appreciate hearing if the Diversion 180 would handle .030-.050 thk copper. Or is it on the light side from a power standpoint.

                  Thx all

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                  • #10
                    Got ya. I was misunderstanding you.

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                    • #11
                      I will say that it its not easy for a beginner to tig around a 1/4" copper tube. You better be good.
                      CG
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                      • #12
                        yep, i imagine so. since i've never tigged before i don't assume any of it to be easy, but it can't hurt to try can it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BD1 View Post
                          Dumb question, what's a brewing chiller ?? Does this mean that what goes through it is going to be consumed by humans ??? Intoxicating beverages ??
                          If so you need to think about contamination. This would be a perfect process for PROPRESS FITTINGS and Cleaned and capped copper.
                          leadfree soft solder is used in potable water systems all day every day at far less cost than propress fittings.
                          Bobcat 225NT
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                          '07 Kawasaki ZZR600

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by weld on View Post
                            yep, i imagine so. since i've never tigged before i don't assume any of it to be easy, but it can't hurt to try can it.
                            If you've never tigged before... I'd suggest getting some copper sheeting and practicing on that. otherwise you're just going to ruin a whole bunch of tube and fittings learning....

                            as far as reflowing an adjacent joint with solder.... I'm guessing a propane torch was used.... (not enough heat to get one side of the fitting up to temp before the other side) use mapp and wrap the otherside of the fitting with a rag. OR... you can prep the whole fitting and sweat it all to once.

                            sometimes welding isn't the solution....
                            Bobcat 225NT
                            Cutmaster 52
                            Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 buzz box
                            Caterpillar TH63
                            '07 Kawasaki ZZR600

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bretsk2500 View Post
                              leadfree soft solder is used in potable water systems all day every day at far less cost than propress fittings.
                              Yes , I know, have been doing it for 40 years. I said propress and cleaned and capped copper for a more impressive clean results. This would be a leak free installation in the hands of a unexperienced person with instructions on propress usage. We have done many a job where propress was specified only because it is neat, clean,no solder build up on inside, and no worry about open flame. Those fittings really shine when polished.

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