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Scratch start TIG Aluminum?

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  • Scratch start TIG Aluminum?

    I've used my TIG setup many times for stainless and mild steels but haven't for aluminum. Anyone else on here do it this way?

  • #2
    Scratch start TIG Aluminum?

    Since you need high frequency AC to weld aluminum I don't think you will have much luck with scratch start. But I'm not perfect.

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    • #3
      I always thought you had to have HF too, but I recently saw a forum (which I can't seem to find now) that was talking about it. I can't be for sure but I think they were saying to use Helium for the shielding gas???? Would like to know for sure on gas, tungsten, etc...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JWDESIGNS View Post
        I always thought you had to have HF too, but I recently saw a forum (which I can't seem to find now) that was talking about it. I can't be for sure but I think they were saying to use Helium for the shielding gas???? Would like to know for sure on gas, tungsten, etc...
        Yes you can...TIG weld Aluminum with DC..... but it is better done on thick sections like plate or castings... and it is a pretty imprecise process... no AC to jiggle the puddle or HF to provide cleaning action..

        and as said you need helium..

        here is an outline

        http://mewelding.com/tig-welding-alu...rode-negative/

        For thin sections and sheet metal... you will still need AC-HF
        Last edited by H80N; 02-05-2014, 02:45 PM.
        .

        *******************************************
        The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

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        • #5
          You can lift arc aluminum on AC, if you have a dynasty.

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          • #6
            I started out using my ac/dc buzz box with an add on freq box to scratch start a/c aluminum with no pedal. Do yourself a favor and just save your pennies for a real machine.

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            • #7
              I don't know what your TIG setup is but I would guess that most any AC machine with an optional Hi Freq unit could do aluminum. This is what Lincoln used to say about the Idealarc 250 AC/DC :The Idealarc 250 with the optional Hi-Freq is an inexpensive equipment combination for part time production or repair TIG welding of aluminum, magnesium, thin stainless steel and many space-age metals.
              It's not scratch start but it's less investment than a Dynasty if you're just trying it out. Of note Lincoln doesn't seem to still supply their Hi Freq unit any longer but Miller does and there are many available in the used market. I expect the inverters have done away with much of the demand for this type of setup.---Meltedmetal

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              • #8
                My setup is just a tig torch and hose/regulator... hook direct to power supply... About how much is a HF unit I can run off both my Bobcat 225 and buzz box?

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                • #9
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...ies/frequency/
                  Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by walker View Post
                    I started out using my ac/dc buzz box with an add on freq box to scratch start a/c aluminum with no pedal. Do yourself a favor and just save your pennies for a real machine.
                    I agree..... my first couple of years TIG welding was done that way (1968-70)

                    you learn to adapt... but it is a crude and tough way to go..

                    the cost of a decent HF-251 HiFreq box will put you most of the way toward the cost of a decent used Sync 250... and halfway to a Dynasty..

                    pretty sure you will be happier in the long run...

                    even with a HF-251 on the Bobcat... outdoor TIG at the mercy of the breeze to blow your Argon away with no AC balance or 14pin for a pedal is just plain no fun...
                    .

                    *******************************************
                    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                    My Blue Stuff:
                    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                    Dynasty 200DX
                    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                    Millermatic 200

                    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JWDESIGNS:316964
                      My setup is just a tig torch and hose/regulator... hook direct to power supply... About how much is a HF unit I can run off both my Bobcat 225 and buzz box?
                      Ha I'll sell you a 251d HF box for $400. It just sits around... I have seen them sell for 400-700 depending on the sucker. They sell for a lot brand new. I bought one a while back thinking it would be useful. It mostly just takes up space. Might be nice if I had and engine drive, but dealing with shielding gas and a breeze is not what I want to deal with.
                      MillerMatic 251
                      Maxstar 150 STH
                      Cutmaster 42
                      Victor Journeyman OA

                      A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

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                      • #12
                        Seems like a pretty good deal, if I wasn't strapped to tight for money right now I'd jump on it... Most of y'all talking about the breeze blowing argon away, I'd be using it mainly in the shop anyway. I was just wondering what I could use on both power sources I already have without buying another machine and still be portable...

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                        • #13
                          Scratch start TIG Aluminum?

                          Elvis, ship it this way and I'll pay pal you...

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                          • #14
                            We ask that no selling or solicitation of equipment or services take place on the forums. Thanks for your cooperation.

                            http://www.millerwelds.com/about/terms.html#q

                            Miller Welding Forums Administrator

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                            • #15
                              Whoops. I wasn't seriously trying to sell. Just make a point.

                              Traumajunkie I pm'd ya.
                              MillerMatic 251
                              Maxstar 150 STH
                              Cutmaster 42
                              Victor Journeyman OA

                              A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

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