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Tig Aluminum/prep

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  • Tig Aluminum/prep

    Hi guys, lot of you mention about using a scotchbrite pad to your aluminum.
    Forgive me for being ignorant, but I'm guessing that's the same round one that goes on the rubber backing pad, onto your grinder or drill? I see red, green and brown ones. Which is best?
    thanks,
    bert

  • #2
    I have also read this, I believe this is what they are talking about? http://www.3m.com/us/home_leisure/sc..._scouring.html

    I also have a d200dx and have very recently tried welding Al so I have been trying to research settings to try.

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    • #3
      i have found a quick hit with some SS wire brush works fine. i only use acetone if its greasy or oily. and have had great results. i use a 3.5" ss wire cup brush for a grinder but use it by hand, the grinder can take too much off and melt the aluminum. just a quick brush and its ready to go.
      i also use bee's wax when cutting or using a flap disk as it helps prevent clogging of the teeth when cutting or the wheel when using a flap disk. its best part is it burns right off when you go to TIG so its not a problem there aether like oil's can be.. i have used a scotch bright pad on my filler just before use, but not every time, not shore if its needed so play that one by ear.

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      • #4
        tig321,
        welcome to the board!!! Thanks for your reply! Lot of good info here, lot of help from everyone Me?...I've only tig welded at school, that was 21/2years ago. Got my 200DX so I can start again! Lot of stuff I learned was for transformer-based machines. Apparently inverter-based machines use different tungstens and sharpen differently. That's why I'm picking everyone's brain
        bert

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        • #5
          Any will work Bert which one to use and whether to use power will depend on how dirty your part is.

          I would start with hand rubbing as adding power turns them to fine grinding discs.

          TJ

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          • #6
            thanks guys! James, I see read on books and some other places, that using a stainless steel brush will embed into the alum, letting contaminates that you don't want in. That's why I'm leery about that...(not like my tig is THAT da*n good!!!

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            • #7
              plain steel will do that but SS has not been a problem. i have herd the same thing about scotch bright pads also, seems like every thing is supposed to mess up aluminum. all i can say is i have never had a problem with SS wire on my aluminum TIG, i suppose mileage may very or they could be referring to using it with a power grinder?? i have been told never use the stuff you will use on aluminum on anything else especially steel so i keep all my aluminum stuff separate from my other stuff. so far no problems with the SS wire wheel.

              tig321
              welcome. the Dyn200Dx is a great TIG to learn on, should make aluminum a breeze.

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              • #8
                Bert, The different colors are different grits. We had about 10 colors of them at work...Bob

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                • #9
                  grits

                  Bob, if it has a nice layer of oxidation on it, which one would you use?

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                  • #10
                    Any of them would work for removing oxidation on alum. We used the different grits to polish SS to a shine...Bob

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                    • #11
                      ah as much as i like welding, one thing i dont enjoy doing is tigging aluminum. I like to do it with mig although dont breath in too many fumes as really not good for ur brain. As far as i know u need to use either a stainless steel brush or a aluminum to gurantee no contamination.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bert View Post
                        tig321,
                        welcome to the board!!! Thanks for your reply! Lot of good info here, lot of help from everyone Me?...I've only tig welded at school, that was 21/2years ago. Got my 200DX so I can start again! Lot of stuff I learned was for transformer-based machines. Apparently inverter-based machines use different tungstens and sharpen differently. That's why I'm picking everyone's brain
                        bert
                        Thanks Bert, and I'm in the same boat as you. Thats how I knew you had a 200dx I've been searching questions you've already asked.


                        Thanks fun4now, I played with it for a few hours today. It sure has alot of adjustment. I'm sure I'll have many Questions later, good thing I found the right place to go.

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                        • #13
                          Dedicated SS brushes

                          I have 3 stainless steel brushes to prep metal for welding. One just for mild steel, another just for stainless, and the 3rd for just aluminum. I write with magic marker all over the handle the flavor of metal to be prepared so I won't confuse them. Aluminum is especially susceptible to cross contaimination due to its porous nature.

                          If the aluminum is greasy, then give it a good wash first, dry, then hit it good with the brush. If it is not greasy, I like to hit it with some Handi Wipe looking cleaner first. http://www.arc-zone.com/catalog/web_...=9278590_10311

                          With TIG, it's just you and the metal; no oxidizer or flux cleaner. This means the metal has to be clean. Sure some contaminants will be zapped by the action of the arc, but some may end up in your weld. Generally you are TIG welding because it is thin material, or an "exotic" metal, and it has to be right.

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                          • #14
                            The best way to remove aluminum oxides are aluminum cleaner (chemical cleaner). Dynaflux makes an okay cleaner that you can buy for about $8 for a pint. The best cleaner is made by a company named Arcal and the product name is WELD-O. It's more expensive than the Dynaflux, but works great. All you do is apply it on the area you want to weld with an acid brush, leave it on for a minute or two and wipe off. All oxides are removed and you are ready to go.

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                            • #15
                              i use the finest sanding disks Usually 80 grit and i spray a splash of wd40 on it ,disks have to be new so cross contamination then wipe with a clean cloth and weld immediately so oxidization doesnt reoccour.

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