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22 Guage Sheetmatal Help

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  • 22 Guage Sheetmatal Help

    I am new to welding trying to get the hang of tig welding thinner steel am using the Dynasty 200 dx have tried amperages from 10 to 50amps DC using 20 cfh argon tried 3/32tungsten and 1/16 tungsten I scuff sanded metal quickly and used brake cleaner before welding, my problem is before i can get a puddle going almost as soon as the torch hits the metal the edges of the metal roll back and a hole forms the heat affected zone is also spread out and not concentrated I also get intermittent bright flaring of the arc even with new unused tungsten the joint type is a butt weld the gap between the two about the thickness of two sheets of paper. the metal is mild steel 22 guage of the shelf from the hardware store any help would be appreciated Thank You

  • #2
    my first thoughts are your torch is too far away from the work, and or you may have a plated steel. be it galvy or some other plating like zink.
    are you shour its untreated steel ??
    how far off the work are you holding the torch ??
    steel is prity simple and usuealy flows togather rather than apart. you could lay your filler in the seam and start the arc there, just be shore to maintain the puddle long enough to get good fution.
    a backing plate is also helpfull with thinner matereals.


    • #3
      It's all in the prep

      Mild steel tends to behave pretty well, as long as it is clean and the joint is tight. However, thin stuff is trickly. I don't have experience with brake cleaner as a prep solution. I imagine it does evaporate quickly, but does it leave behind a residue? I've had pretty good luck with using only a stainless steel wire brush as prep. If the metal looks questionable I'll use one of those metal cleaners in a "handy wipe" type dispenser. Some of the guys in my class thought I was overly concerned about preping metal before welding, and had a good laugh. Then we compared welds. Now who's laughing...

      When painting, the painting part is easy. It's the prep work that takes time. Same goes for welding. Make sure the metal is as clean and close fitting as possible before striking an arc.

      Fun4Now is right about the puddle. Start it, then keep it going by adding filler rod. The puddle will bridge the gap and join the two sheets, unless there is too much heat which will blow a hole. Also agree with Fun's observation of the arc distance. Too much distance means more area is heated before anything will melt, then all of a sudden EVERYTHING does melt; blowing a hole. The trick is to keep the heat localized, and intense. This means keeping the tip right in the puddle, almost to the point of crashing into the puddle. Control the amount of heat by constantly riding the pedal up and down, once every second (or whatever interval you find works). This keeps the puddle fluid, but heat to the surrouding metal to a minimum. My instructor calls it "Threading the Needle", riding that fine line between the metal melting properly and too much (or too little) heat. That Dynasty 200 DX is a SWEET machine and has some cool pulsing and frequency features that might be worth investigating if you don't want to ride the pedal constantly.

      For thin metal I find it is best to tack along the seam about every inch or so, then come back and connect them with one long bead. If I only tack each end, then the metal will begin to warp (one sheet rises while the other lowers) in the middle of the bead, the gap widens, requiring excessive filler, producing an ugly seam, or blows a hole. If you notice the warp early, just shut-'er down and let it cool. Then add some extra tacks, and continue.

      I would suggest 1/16th tungsten, with 1/16th rod max. (I would prefer smaller rod...) I like to use smaller rod for thin metal, but it's not always readily available. I use MIG wire (solid, not flux-core) in a pinch. If the rod diameter is too large it will come off in a large chunk, cool the puddle too much, which will raise the level of the puddle, which will crash into the electrode constantly, which causes you to keep the tip farther away, causing long-arcing, heating too much surrouding metal, and blowing a hole. Like the man said, Threading the Needle.


      • #4
        22 ga with any gap between them is hard to start. Does there have to be a gap? or is that as close as you could get them? If i have a little gap to jump on thin metal, i feed alot of filler in and sort of bridge over to the other piece. THen you can sorta move the puddle along from the little "bridge" you made. Also I wouldn't clean it with brakleen, very nasty fumes not good for you also it leaves a residue. Even though it says it doesn't. Flap disc or wire brush should be good, shouldn't be very dirty if new. The other guys made some nice points Good luck
        Last edited by HMW; 07-04-2007, 05:30 AM.


        • #5
          22 Gage material

          Well I agree with these guy's when dealing with such thin stuff you really don't need a gap because your tig weld should produce a bead under the
          steel when you weld the top. Unless you can not avoid it(the gap) then you might consider using a piece of brass behind your metal and do the bridge thing it should work.


          • #6

            Thank all of you for the advice I will re read all replys again before attempting more 22 guage in the next few days and hopefully the results will be better.Thank You


            • #7
              a small pice of copper pipe hammerd flat will also make a good backer plate forthe job.
              sorry i missed the break cleaner part, just read right over it. i would recomend you not use break cleaner, some thing to do with one of the chemicals in it being verry bad for you to breath when heated, cant remember the chemical sorry.a serch should find you the resulting info on not useing break cleaner. but its a bad option, grab a bottle of rubbing alcahall out of the bathroom if you need but if its clean it should not need much, heck i have used orange clean befor, all you are doing it takeing off any oil residue, rubbing alcahall dose a great job and its cheap.
              good luck on the job.


              • #8
                I would lay down the filler and keep heat on top of filler!


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