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  • New to forum and have quick question

    I am looking at the Miller MAXSTAR 150 STL TIG.

    My question is - can nonfurous metals like brass, copper or nickle metals be welded with this machine.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jim

  • #2
    TIG away

    Howdy Jim, welcome to the forum.

    If the metal will conduct electricity, then it can be TIG welded. Make sure you use a rod that is compatible with the base metal.

    If you are welding dissimilar metals (like mild steel to stainless use 309L rod vs. stainless to stainless use 308L rod) then you need to make sure the rod will be compatible with both metals. Otherwise there will be cracking and general frowny faces down the road.

    The flavor of electrode may make a difference. I would try Lanthinated first, but your mileage may vary.

    That MAXSTAR 150 is hard to beat for portability! Love that inverter technology.
    Dynasty 200 DX
    Coolmate 3

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jim moyer View Post
      I am looking at the Miller MAXSTAR 150 STL TIG.

      My question is - can nonfurous metals like brass, copper or nickle metals be welded with this machine.

      Thanks in advance.

      Jim
      Yes, those metals can be welded with DC TIG. You will not be able to weld aluminum or magnesium.

      The brass will give you fits because of the zinc content.

      Copper (and brass for that matter) takes alot of amperage to weld. You are kind of stymied with a 150 amp power source. You will be very limited to the thickness of material you will be able to do with the Maxstar 150. Like .062 at the maximum. The amperage range for .062 copper is 130-150 amps.
      Rich Ferguson
      Sales Technician
      Jackson Welding Supply Co.
      "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
      www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not trying to be difficult jwsrep, but aluminum can be welded with dc tig though ac is preferred for it's self cleaning action. DC TIG actually works better when welding heavy aluminum than ac does, but it is virtually impossible to use on the thinner stuff. I found this out when welding some alum I was having a very hard time getting and keeping enough heat into. I went and checked in my Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding and that was the recommendation. Tried it and it worked like a charm. I highly recommend that anyone who welds be it as a hobby or as an occupation get a copy of "The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding" from The Lincoln Foundation. It's about 15 bucks and I have yet to come across a problem it didn't have the answer to.

        As for copper, there is one alloy that cannot be welded by any means, so be sure you are not buying it. I can't remember the nomenclature for it because it was several years ago and yes I found out by trying to weld it.
        Lincoln: Eagle 10,000, Weld-Pak HD, Weld-Pak 155, AC-225, LN-25 wirefeeder
        Miller: Syncrowave 250DX Tigrunner
        Westinghouse: 400+ amp AC
        ThermalArc Handy wirefeeder
        1 Harris, 3 Victor O/A rigs
        Arcair gouger
        Too many other power toys to list.

        Do it right, do it once. And in all things ya get what ya pay for.

        Comment


        • #5
          don't you use helium in DC TIG. seems like i herd that. i think jwsrep just said you need AC for aluminum as he only has 150 amps to offer. a lot of people were talking about it on the ask andy site a few times. seems like in the 1-200 amp range AC is really the best option.
          thanks for the help
          ......or..........
          hope i helped
          sigpic
          feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
          summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
          JAMES

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jolly Roger View Post
            I'm not trying to be difficult jwsrep, but aluminum can be welded with dc tig though ac is preferred for it's self cleaning action. DC TIG actually works better when welding heavy aluminum than ac does, but it is virtually impossible to use on the thinner stuff. I found this out when welding some alum I was having a very hard time getting and keeping enough heat into. I went and checked in my Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding and that was the recommendation. Tried it and it worked like a charm. I highly recommend that anyone who welds be it as a hobby or as an occupation get a copy of "The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding" from The Lincoln Foundation. It's about 15 bucks and I have yet to come across a problem it didn't have the answer to.

            As for copper, there is one alloy that cannot be welded by any means, so be sure you are not buying it. I can't remember the nomenclature for it because it was several years ago and yes I found out by trying to weld it.
            You're right about being able to weld aluminum with direct current, it's not a very practical method, however the point I was trying to make was for the size machine he is looking at (Maxstar 150) aluminum is not at all practical. DC on aluminum is generally used in automated process' on thick sections of aluminum. In fact it is hard to weld aluminum in DC on material much less thinner than .157. In addition DC does not do a good job at all of breaking down even the lightest of oxides. Where with AC , especially the newer machines of today, where you can adjust your wave balance to provide better cleaning action.
            I don't want him thinking he can buy a Maxstar 150 and start welding .093 aluminum like a pro. If he is looking to make aluminum welding part of his arsenal of skills he should look at another machine besides the Maxstar 150. Perhaps either the Syncrowave 200 or Lincoln Precision TIG 225.
            Rich Ferguson
            Sales Technician
            Jackson Welding Supply Co.
            "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
            www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you everyone for your informative responses.

              Since I only make custom knives and do table top metal sculptures along with some wall hangings this looks like it will do the job for me. The portability is a key feature for what I do with sprawled out work areas.

              Thank you again.

              Best regards,

              Jim

              Comment


              • #8
                You are correct jws. You do have to get it really clean. I never attempted dc tig on aluminum thinner than 1/2 inch. You get a lot of heat really quick. I couldn't get my boss to just let me get some sticks and get it over with. If I remember correctly I also had to use a different tungsten. I'm still getting used to TIG machines that are smaller than 400 amps even existing. Every shop I worked in that had a TIG all had the exact same model Miller, and they were all so old all of the lettering and numbers were gone, LOL.
                Lincoln: Eagle 10,000, Weld-Pak HD, Weld-Pak 155, AC-225, LN-25 wirefeeder
                Miller: Syncrowave 250DX Tigrunner
                Westinghouse: 400+ amp AC
                ThermalArc Handy wirefeeder
                1 Harris, 3 Victor O/A rigs
                Arcair gouger
                Too many other power toys to list.

                Do it right, do it once. And in all things ya get what ya pay for.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jim, Hope you're enjoying the responses. Just a quick followup on the good advice from Rich-The-Jackson-Rep, if you run into some copper and you're worried about having the recommended amperage for the job, you might consider using copper brazing rods with plumber's flux paste (a little dab'll do ya for this) and using about 100Amps on your tig to melt the brazing rod. In other words, using a torch on a wooden or bone knife handle might get worrysome, but you can use your TIG torch with a 2% Thoriated Tungsten electrode to provide the heat into your base metal (copper) to melt your brazing rod.

                  I've used this method a dozen times or more to repair hard-line hydraulic hoses/pipes on agricultural equipment where I didn't want flame around the diesel/hydraulic fill tubes. I've tried flux-coated brazing rods and bare rods with and without flux-gel. You won't get (or at least, I didn't get) pretty weld-like beads using this method, but it works very well for joining/repairing copper and copper-zinc blends.

                  Back when someone told me I couldn't use 100% pure Argon to weld thin aluminum on DCEN, I had to go out and try it....with relatively predictable results: the weld beads look like cr*p, but at 110 Amps, DC -, and 100% Argon, I stuck a piece of 1/8" aluminum to a piece of 1/4" aluminum with a 4" long filet weld and it's still holding together today (a year later!). I keep it on my shop wall as a reminder. Yes, using even a 2% Helium blend with my Argon would've given me greater control of the arc and slightly less penetration, and kept my tungsten cooler to boot, but I would've never been able to live with myself just by taking someone else's word for it (At this point SundownIII is ROFLHBO about my foray into TIG'ing with CO^2 and wondering where my "blue flame" was coming from...).

                  You'll be amazed at all of the things you'll find to do with your relatively small welder....whether you report them back to us for scrutiny on this board is up to you.

                  Good Luck!
                  sigpic
                  Clint Baxley
                  Baxley Welding Service
                  Rembert, SC 29128

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the post Clint. Like you I love to push the envelope with my equipment. Sounds like your innovative ideas also have there ups and downs.

                    The responses have been extremely helpful on this post. So much it is bookmarked in my favorites.

                    I have a call in to order this model TIG with my favorite industrial sales rep. However he won't be back until tomorrow as he is out hunting. Hope he gets a nice buck as I get his antlers for knife handles and sculpts.

                    I make my own pattern welded Damascus and Mokume Gain and plan on using the TIG welder for creating some unique patterns in both that can not be accomplished with the normal methods. So will be happy to share once I get some practice under my belt.

                    Again, thanks to everyone that has contributed to this post. I see I have a lot to lean about TIG.

                    Best regards,

                    Jim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      BWS29128
                      (At this point SundownIII is ROFLHBO about my foray into TIG'ing with CO^2 and wondering where my "blue flame" was coming from...).


                      ok i missed that one, how did it come out ?? are we all waisting $$ using argon for TIG ?? what did you try it on, steel, SS, aluminum, or all of the above ??
                      thanks for the help
                      ......or..........
                      hope i helped
                      sigpic
                      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                      JAMES

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No...someone once told me that I could TIG on carbon steel using the same CO2 blends I used for MIG'ing on carbon steel. So I tried it with predictable results. When I posted my results in the form of advice to someone on a different message board, SundownIII ripped me a new one for being "utterly stupid".

                        As I've said before, SundownIII doesn't have much patience for Bovine Scatology on message boards, and the longer I'm in this welding gig as a private business, the more and more I become like him.
                        sigpic
                        Clint Baxley
                        Baxley Welding Service
                        Rembert, SC 29128

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i was thinking i should try the WD40 for about the same reason, just because it seemed like it wont work doesn't mean it wont. trying a Little on a practice piece could have turned out to be a great help for later work. i was not planing to take his word for it and mess up some thing important, but did not see the harm in trying it. after all bee's wax sounded like a bad idea but has worked out great. i use it for lots of stuff in the shop now.
                          i think a lot of people develop a low tolerance for stupidity, but you cant think of every thing you don't agree with as stupidity in action. try to keep an open mind and stay a little understanding, otherwise you end up looking like a grumpy old azz.
                          its Tiff to own your own business and stupid things that effect the pockets can really start to get to ya fast. been there done that. lots of luck to ya with your's.
                          thanks for the help
                          ......or..........
                          hope i helped
                          sigpic
                          feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                          summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                          JAMES

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            SundownIII ripped me a new one for being "utterly stupid".


                            Ha Ha Ha. Sometimes you do stupid things when you try new stuff. Think Thomas Edison or Henry Ford did some dumb things??? My guess is they were called complete idiots at times
                            Scott
                            HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ha Ha Ha. Sometimes you do stupid things when you try new stuff. Think Thomas Edison or Henry Ford did some dumb things??? My guess is they were called complete idiots at times
                              good point.
                              some people just need to lighten up.
                              thanks for the help
                              ......or..........
                              hope i helped
                              sigpic
                              feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                              summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                              JAMES

                              Comment

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