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Scratch-Start DC TIG

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  • Scratch-Start DC TIG

    Anyone have any advice on using a Dialarc 250P AC/DC (non HF) machine with a scratch-start DC TIG set up for mild steel? I have an argon regulator already so the set up cost will not be extensive. I'm contiplating this set up for thin metal work under 0.083" wall (14 gauge) and wonder how easy it is to use and if you can get quality welds down to 18 or 20 gauge? I'm just getting back into welding after being away from it for 25 years so I'm not as polished as I would like to be. With a 3/32 7018 stick I can do OK down to about 0.065" wall (16 gauge) but I do get the ocasional burn through if I don't run the bead fast enough. Also wonder how good this set up would be on stainless. Would appreciate hearing your opinions. Thanks

  • #2
    Scratch-Start DC TIG

    I learned to weld stainless with a scratch start machine. 18 ga easily, 20ga and thinner with some practice. Get yourself a 17v or 9v (with the gas valve) torch and you are good to go.


    • #3
      I assume your welder has DC capabilities.

      Then you need a air cooled torch, What is normally your ground for arc welding will now be the lead that gets connected to the torch and the electrode holder will be the ground.
      Good luck.


      • #4

        I'm guessing your Dial Arc doesn't have a remote control.

        I have had to use scratch starting on a DC inverter welder when I only had 120 volts available. The 120 volt welder had a max of 80 amps which was ok for the job.

        One item which saved my sanity and lots of cussing was a piece of copper plate about 1/8" thick. I put it next to my work area and started the arc on the copper as the tungsten didn't stick as it did on the steel workpiece.
        In addition, I could let the arc stay on the copper for a few seconds without worrying about burn thru before I ran the beads.

        I also use a piece of graphite plate to start the arc and I find I can leave the arc on the graphite for as long as I want ( got bored after 30 seconds as a test) without damaging the graphite. The tungsten will also not stick to the graphite when scratch starting.

        good luck
        Miller Dynasty 350, Dynasty 210 DX, Hypertherm 1000, Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, etc.

        Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !


        • #5
          I used scratch start DC tig for 40 or so years on stainless tube mainly .065 wall, works fine just takes some getting used to if your used to HF start.

          I do have a Dynasty 200 dx that I bought after I retired, and it took some time to get used to the HF start and no manual gas valve, I weld tuned exhaust systems for model boat engines these days, .022 thick, it takes a bit of practice but can be done.
          14 - 16 gage is no problem.
          mike sr


          • #6
            Burnt Hands, Back when I used to scratch start which was only a couple of years ago I never needed anything but the material I was welding on to scratch off of.

            However, I love my Maxstar 150 STL, No more running back to the truck to turn the power up or down and the lift arc is really convenient.


            • #7
              Portable, how do you like the lift start? Is it acceptable to think it could be used on apprearance grade stainless or other critical work? How does this effect the tungsten, if at all?