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Tig welding mild steal, weld cracking.

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  • Tig welding mild steal, weld cracking.

    I just got a Diversion 180. Been doing lots of practice welds in straight lines on 1/8" angle iron cut from bed frames. Im use 2% thoriated 3/32 tungsten, argon set to 15 cfh, 3/32 ER70S-2 filler rod and amps set to the recommended 75 amps on the chart for metal thickness. Welds look uniform and getting penetration but Im getting small cracks riding down the center line of the weld, not along the edges, but directly in the middle running the length of the weld. Does the same thing with 1/16 2% tungsten with all the same settings. If I set to less amps, say 50, it doesn't do it but its under the recommended setting and doesn't get full penetration. How do I prevent the cracking or am I doing/using something wrong?

  • #2
    Originally posted by WickedWrenches View Post
    I just got a Diversion 180. Been doing lots of practice welds in straight lines on 1/8" angle iron cut from bed frames. Im use 2% thoriated 3/32 tungsten, argon set to 15 cfh, 3/32 ER70S-2 filler rod and amps set to the recommended 75 amps on the chart for metal thickness. Welds look uniform and getting penetration but Im getting small cracks riding down the center line of the weld, not along the edges, but directly in the middle running the length of the weld. Does the same thing with 1/16 2% tungsten with all the same settings. If I set to less amps, say 50, it doesn't do it but its under the recommended setting and doesn't get full penetration. How do I prevent the cracking or am I doing/using something wrong?
    Bed frames are VERY high carbon content and are crap to weld...

    and will be prone to cracking... just like some tool steels..

    try some other metal... bet you get better results...

    BTW... you don't want to use Thoriated with an inverter like the Diversion...

    you will be happier with some 2% LANTHANATED...

    Here is a Tungsten Guidebook you might find informative...

    http://www.diamondground.com/TungstenGuidebook2013.pdf
    Last edited by H80N; 07-17-2014, 06:00 PM.
    .

    *******************************************
    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”

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    • #3
      Thank you for your input, Ill grab new tungsten tomorrow and some different steel.

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      • #4
        Is the material painted?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cgotto6 View Post
          Is the material painted?
          Was painted, I stripped it of all paint to bare metal with a wire wheel and wiped it clean with acetone.

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          • #6
            You probably need to do more than just wire wheel. Actually flap disk or grind to fresh metal. Then hit it with a-tone.

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            • #7
              I just ran a bead on a different piece of steel and again on the bed frame steel. Only the bed frame steel cracked, and the other did not under the same settings. Now I know not to use angle iron from a bed frame for anything do to structural concerns for any home projects. Something new I learned today..Thanks!

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              • #8
                You can use it all you want. Just don't expect it to weld good.
                Plenty of things made out of bed frames that do just fine.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                  You can use it all you want. Just don't expect it to weld good.
                  Plenty of things made out of bed frames that do just fine.
                  +1......

                  You do not want it in critical structural places...

                  it is spring tempered because of the bouncing nature of bed frames...

                  So the metallurgy gets all goofed up along the HAZ when heated and welded...

                  This is why you often see cutting tools or spring steels joined by brazing or silver solder.. that require much lower temps..
                  Last edited by H80N; 07-18-2014, 07:07 AM.
                  .

                  *******************************************
                  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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                    You can use it all you want. Just don't expect it to weld good.
                    Plenty of things made out of bed frames that do just fine.
                    I have lost count of all the welder carts and other items I have made from bed frames. Not easy to weld or cut, but works fine, and often the existing holes are functional.

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                    • #11
                      I have used old bed frame angle for a few projects and have also noticed that it seems more brittle than plain 1020 steel.

                      H80N:
                      Thanks for the info on high carbon content and heat treatment.
                      Wouldn't have thought of heat treating the bed frame but it makes sense to not have it break during "use".

                      My projects using bed frame angle have not had cracking welds but this may be due to me using stainless wire when I tig carbon steel.
                      I have a lot of stainless and nickel alloy wire but little carbon steel tig wire.
                      Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, Miller Dynasty 350, Hypertherm 1000, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, etc.:

                      Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !

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