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Suggested settings to mimick this bead?

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  • Suggested settings to mimick this bead?

    I thought I was coming along ok until I saw this weld. I can't generate anything like this, although this is identical to something I'm going to attempt soon. Similar flange and a tube of similar thickness (~16 gauge) and diameter. The flange is obviously much thicker aluminum than the tube. If I could make mine come out this good, I'd be a happy man.

    So my questions to all those more experienced are, what are good settings to play with for something like this?

    Primarily, is it very high heat and very fast moving or very low heat and take your time?

    Also, would this maybe have been done with MIG aluminum wire? What about frequency settings (I have been using 120Hz)? What about balance (I have been using 20%)? What about tunsten size and point shape?

    So basically, gimme all the answers and skilz so I can make mine look this good. Hahaha... Ok, ok. I know, I know.


  • #2
    what you need, grasshopper, is experience controlling the puddle, not a bunch of machine settings. that is definitely tig and not alum mig wire. by a "balance of 20%" i hope you mean 80% EN?

    that is a decent looking weld, but definitely not perfect. there is undercut at the corners, the filler was added slightly unevenly. looks to be a strong weld though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ridesideways View Post
      what you need, grasshopper, is experience controlling the puddle, not a bunch of machine settings.
      How did I know I would get this answer.

      However, I'd say experiene controlling the puddle AND settings. Of course, figuring out the settings for myself I suppose is the other part of what you meant.

      that is definitely tig and not alum mig wire.
      Aye. I know it was TIG'd, although I've heard some folks say they use MIG aluminum wire when TIG'ng for tight/small areas.

      by a "balance of 20%" i hope you mean 80% EN?
      Yes. My welder uses the EP value as the setting.

      that is a decent looking weld, but definitely not perfect. there is undercut at the corners, the filler was added slightly unevenly.
      Indeed. However, it is much better than I could do at this point, so I guess I'll try and get that good first. Then after that, I'll try to exceed it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Where's the picture?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by spotsineyes View Post
          Where's the picture?
          Can't you see it? It is inline with my first post. I'll post it as an attachment to this post as well.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Root, I think he means where's the pic of your welds.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by root View Post
              How did I know I would get this answer.
              Yeah, but you didn't get it from me.

              FYI: your inline pic didn't work for me either.

              Re-read this thread, I learned a lot. You posted there but I don't know if you know how important those points are. Especially FusionKing and diamondback.
              http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ad.php?t=12431

              I've learned more. Read recently about 1/16" filler. If it's melting before it gets to the puddle (me too), your torch is too angled, pointing the heat out ahead of the puddle. Steepen your torch angle, now we'll be able to 'sneak' the 1/16" into the puddle. I've always used a #8 cup, just to give me more gas coverage. Maybe a smaller cup is in order, to contain the heat. This will make keeping the filler in the argon shielding impossible; something I didn't worry about anyway.

              OK, going into joke mode here: (you know it, others wonder)
              I just finished my basic oxy class. I know you don't care. But TIG is just electric oxy welding. I know, you know.

              OK, serious again:
              Root:
              "Primarily, is it very high heat and very fast moving or very low heat and take your time?"


              The answer lies below:
              What I learned is: that stack of dimes comes from dipping at the same time of the puddle formation. I.E. the same size keyhole at every dip. Keyhole size is KEY. Timing is crucial, it's like being a robot.....watch keyhole..dip..watch keyhole..dip..watch keyhole..dip..forever. No blinking, no breathing.

              Each dip is a dime.

              And another thing: filler size determines weld size. If we want a tiny weld with a small face, 1/16" is mandantory. This is pretty easy on steel, and really pretty. 3/32" = larger weld. The caveat here is the 1/16" fillered alum weld strength.

              Ramble done.

              Comment


              • #8
                Welding a thick section like that to a thin shell is always tricky, you need lots of heat for the block but not much on the shell so torch angle is always going to be critical. Your 120 Hz is about on the ball for fillet welding, I would use around 125 Hz but that's just my personal preference.
                You've got a couple of options you can either use high amps or preheat the block with the oxy. If you go for the high amp option you'll need to start at 170 amps or even more if it doesn't get a weld pool forming quickly.
                If it were me I start with high amps and knock off 10 amps on every side as I weld around so if I start with 170 I'll finish with about 130 amps.
                The heat buildup is quite slow to start with but it accelerates quickly which is why I prefer to knock off the amperage as I move around the heavy section to be welded.
                Regards Andrew.
                Last edited by awill4x4; 03-07-2008, 06:48 PM. Reason: grammar

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Craig in Denver View Post
                  Yeah, but you didn't get it from me.
                  If only because you are getting slower in your old age, someone beat you to it.

                  Re-read this thread, I learned a lot. You posted there but I don't know if you know how important those points are. Especially FusionKing and diamondback.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ad.php?t=12431
                  Yeah. Thanks. I was going back and thinking about stuff in that thread. I am able to get some reasonable dime (or maybe more like nickel) beads on a straight aluminum t-joint when both pieces are the same thickness. When one is twice the thickness or so, I end up with no definition and it basically ends up looking like the thick piece is melted on to the thin piece. It is strong (enough) and wouldn't leak, but it certainly isn't pretty and I end up using a ton of filler.

                  If it's melting before it gets to the puddle (me too), your torch is too angled, pointing the heat out ahead of the puddle. Steepen your torch angle, now we'll be able to 'sneak' the 1/16" into the puddle.
                  Yep. For my practices of this I do frequently run into this problem. I will try playing with the torch angle a bit.

                  I've always used a #8 cup, just to give me more gas coverage. Maybe a smaller cup is in order, to contain the heat. This will make keeping the filler in the argon shielding impossible; something I didn't worry about anyway.
                  I have been using a #6 cup because that was the largest my welder came with. I ordered a simple gas lense which arrived today, so will give that a try as well.

                  OK, going into joke mode here: (you know it, others wonder)
                  I just finished my basic oxy class. I know you don't care. But TIG is just electric oxy welding. I know, you know.
                  You're losing it. But seriously, very cool. I wish I was able to pick up a class or two right now. Ain't gonna happen though. Maybe someday.

                  What I learned is: that stack of dimes comes from dipping at the same time of the puddle formation. I.E. the same size keyhole at every dip. Keyhole size is KEY. Timing is crucial, it's like being a robot.....watch keyhole..dip..watch keyhole..dip..watch keyhole..dip..forever. No blinking, no breathing.
                  When you say this, do you mean basically that you are wanting the aluminum to just begin to burn through and a small hole has just opened up, and if you waited any longer, you'd have a nice huge hole on your hands?

                  This is pretty much exactly what I tried to do yesterday with my butt welds as, per some other thread, I said I tend to weld a little on the cooler side because I'm worried about putting huge holes in the aluminum. So yesterday I tried to force myself to wait longer before putting in the rod, trying to dare myself to find how long it can go before the hole appears. That actually did help me I think and I'm definitely getting better penetration.

                  The problem here though is the two different thickness of metal. I'm having a hard time finding the right way to attack. That's sort of why I was thinking I might need to crank the heat way up, raise the frequency, and adjust the balance (to increase EN) in an attempt to be more surgical. My first try with those settings was miserable.

                  Although, I guess, ultimately maybe the problem isn't any different. Maybe I just need to focus on first, finding a way to get a keyhole to form consistently. Screw worrying about the filler for the moment, and just try to get the right keyhole consistenly.

                  And another thing: filler size determines weld size. If we want a tiny weld with a small face, 1/16" is mandantory. This is pretty easy on steel, and really pretty. 3/32" = larger weld. The caveat here is the 1/16" fillered alum weld strength.
                  Aye. I am using 1/16" filler, although it certainly likes to melt too early (per above). I'm trying to keep it as far away from the heat as I can but still keep it in the gas, but I guess wasn't using a good angle, and, well... I also picked up some 0.030" MIG wire out of curiosity, but haven't tried it yet. And given the melting issues I had with 1/16", figured I'd better solve that first.

                  Ramble done.
                  Thanks for the ramble. You were surprisingly lucid and helpful.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by awill4x4 View Post
                    If you go for the high amp option you'll need to start at 170 amps or even more if it doesn't get a weld pool forming quickly.
                    Wow. OK. I definitely wasn't anywhere near that high. I was worried about the 16 gauge tube. I will give that a shot. Thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by root View Post
                      When one is twice the thickness or so, I end up with no definition and it basically ends up looking like the thick piece is melted on to the thin piece.
                      That's where I am. And I was happy til I found this site.
                      I end up using a ton of filler.
                      If your not melting through, leaving a droop on the inside; that's just how much filler you need. I think it takes a LOT of 1/16 to make a weld. Unless you're vaporizing it before it gets to the puddle; which I do. The Hobart brazing video shows about a 3/16" 'push' per dip; which I thought was like alum welding.
                      I will try playing with the torch angle a bit.
                      I think this will help us a lot.
                      I ordered a simple gas lense which arrived today, so will give that a try as well.
                      Rocky D said that the AC or HF (I don't remember) will kill a gas lense and is unnecessary for alum. They aren't all that expensive I guess and they are supposed to help make prettier welds. Anyone have input on this?
                      But seriously, very cool.
                      Thanks.
                      I wish I was able to pick up a class or two right now. Ain't gonna happen though. Maybe someday.
                      BTDT. My someday finally got here.
                      When you say this, do you mean basically that you are wanting the aluminum to just begin to burn through and a small hole has just opened up, and if you waited any longer, you'd have a nice huge hole on your hands?
                      Pretty much.
                      This is pretty much exactly what I tried to do yesterday with my butt welds as, I said I tend to weld a little on the cooler side because I'm worried about putting huge holes in the aluminum. Trying to dare myself to find how long it can go before the hole appears.
                      This is a good time to jump on the pedal, momentarily; remember that heat build-up is imminent.
                      The problem here though is the two different thickness of metal. I'm having a hard time finding the right way to attack.
                      Guessing from the pic, the thick block was fitted to the round, so the thin edge was 'up under' the block. Back to torch angle, lay it over and point it at the block. You should be able to pedal 'er up and melt the corner edge of the block before the tube burns through. Once the block is puddled, let the heat puddle the tube. Dip. Maybe.
                      That's sort of why I was thinking I might need to crank the heat way up, raise the frequency, and adjust the balance (to increase EN) in an attempt to be more surgical. My first try with those settings was miserable.
                      I can't help with this.
                      Although, I guess, ultimately maybe the problem isn't any different. Maybe I just need to focus on first, finding a way to get a keyhole to form consistently. Screw worrying about the filler for the moment, and just try to get the right keyhole consistenly.
                      It's not that simple. The filler, applied at the right nanosecond, makes the weld. No filler and you've got your dreaded burn thru.
                      but still keep it in the gas
                      IMHO, can't be done, I don't worry about it. I will however, Scotchbrite my filler, as a concession.
                      I also picked up some 0.030" MIG wire out of curiosity, but haven't tried it yet.
                      OH, I WANT TO BE THERE FOR THAT!!

                      Thanks for the ramble. You were surprisingly lucid and helpful.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by awill4x4 View Post
                        If it were me I start with high amps and knock off 10 amps on every side as I weld around so if I start with 170 I'll finish with about 130 amps. The heat buildup is quite slow to start with but it accelerates quickly which is why I prefer to knock off the amperage as I move around the heavy section to be welded.
                        Regards Andrew.
                        Andrew:
                        Isn't this what the pedal is for? This is me in the student mode and is a sincere question.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Craig in Denver View Post
                          Rocky D said that the AC or HF (I don't remember) will kill a gas lense and is unnecessary for alum. They aren't all that expensive I guess and they are supposed to help make prettier welds.
                          I'm curious for input on this as well. They weren't overly expensive, so worth a try. Although if there is no point with AC aluminum or AC aluminum welding will destroy them, then I'd best save the money.

                          OH, I WANT TO BE THERE FOR THAT!!
                          You just like it when I fail. It's ok. It doesn't happen often.

                          Yeah, I know. I must have been drunk when I wrote that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Craig in Denver View Post
                            Andrew:
                            Isn't this what the pedal is for? This is me in the student mode and is a sincere question.
                            Sorry Craig, yes if you use a pedal get it hot fast and back off but I don't use a pedal at all for my welding, I use the switch on the torch and use the 4t trigger selection.
                            A lot of my welding is in tricky hard to get to places and the pedal would be of no use to me. I've thought of using a finger amptrol unit but I seem to get by pretty well with what I've got.
                            My new Kemppi tig has a nice feature called "minilog" which will back off the amps to a predetermined (by me) amp setting and hold it there for as long as you want till you hit the trigger again and go back to your welding current.
                            It allows me to keep the heat in and maybe shift position slightly and then continue.
                            Regards Andrew from Oz.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by root View Post
                              Wow. OK. I definitely wasn't anywhere near that high. I was worried about the 16 gauge tube. I will give that a shot. Thanks.
                              Don't be afraid to use heat especially on Aluminium but you have to be prepared to back it off as the workpiece builds up in temperature as Aluminium is a massive heatsink.
                              To get welds like the one below you need the heat to get that nice wetting in at the weld edges. (Not 170 amps in this particular job of mine)
                              The problem you have is the thick block on thin tube so make sure your torch angle puts the greatest amount of heat to the block and not the tube.
                              Regards Andrew.

                              Last edited by awill4x4; 03-08-2008, 04:17 PM. Reason: text addition

                              Comment

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