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going crazy with aluminum

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  • going crazy with aluminum

    here are some of the bikes I have up and some practice beads. I'm going crazy .......................I've been messing around with my settings all day. I think the only problem is the operator most of the corners were not completed and one picture shows where I contaminated my tungsten. my camera sucks and so do I at taking pictures so hopefully with all the pic. you can get an idea .........I'll try to take better ones tomorrow, I'll add them to this thread. my problem is when I tack a piece together I seem to run a crappyer bead than if I just run a bead without tacking. I'm having a hard time matching the tack with the bead. along with everything els in the process. the aluminum is winning. this is a rookie learning how to use his machine without any help. I will win ....................I must be smarter than the metal one day I do good and the next day I do crapy. I dont get it. with metal I can weld a good bead every time and control it's world. with aluminum I'm not consistant enough. it seems to go day by day rather than weld by weld. I have to put the time in. I've used my machine only a few times. now with the weather getting warmer I've been welding alot more. sorry for the crap pictures ......................I tried.
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  • #2
    I know you love my spelling and my pictures so here ya go ...............
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    • #3
      more crappy pictures.............................
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      Last edited by Dustyhaze75; 02-25-2008, 03:26 PM.


      • #4
        my bad .......................................
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        Last edited by Dustyhaze75; 02-25-2008, 03:29 PM.


        • #5
          woops .....................
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          Last edited by Dustyhaze75; 02-25-2008, 03:30 PM.


          • #6
            one more ..................what do you make of that gap................
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            • #7
              little clearer ............ this picture looks funny because its a 20 degree angle and my camera is crap. It's not flat. thats why you have a shadow.
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              Last edited by Dustyhaze75; 02-25-2008, 03:36 PM.


              • #8
                thats it .................................................. ..............
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                • #9
                  If your camera has a little flower icon button you can press that before you take close ups and it will help.

                  Hard to tell about your welds. Based on what I can see some might be a tad cold. Other than that, practice practice.

                  I would practice getting rythym by running a very long bead on a piece of scrap, or down the length of a tube, until you get a uniform appearance.

                  Also, those little pieces you are using probably heat soak very fast. I'd practice on something a little bigger.

                  You can tack your pieces and go back and grind or file any big bumps off, and still have a tack.

                  Good luck,



                  • #10
           post so many picks by the time a person wades thru them all the desire to give a crap just sorta fades away
                    That said I would reccomend letting the puddle flow out more on the edges before you move matter what the heat setting.


                    • #11
                      I'll tell you a few things that have worked good for me on the same type of thin alum. The first thing was to use the smallest filler wire you can. The bigger wire seems to cause the puddle to cool down briefly when I dipped my wire. I also have recently switched to gas lens'. They do a better job of flowing your shield gas. I also don't try to start a bead at the edge, I will start about 1/4 or 1/2" and back up to the edge and stop then go back to where I started and pick the bead up and then run it. Make sense? anyways, good luck and clean it, clean it and then clean it. Good luck, I'm still learning too, Its a challenge, I think thats why I like it.


                      • #12
                        excellent advice about not starting on the corner. that was my first thought. the last pic's do look cold.
                        also i would take the wire brush off that grinder. you are using new aluminum so all you need to do is break off the oxide layer just before starting a bead, i use the same brush by hand with great results.
                        try to get us some pic's before you go back and clean it up with the wire brush. this will help us know if you are too high in cleaning or not enough. its all about learning and trying to make it look better before showing us only hurts you in the long run.
                        jamscal also made a good point about running some nice long beads to get rhythm down. this is where the guys with years of experience make it look so easy. this is going to take some time. but if you get good penetration and enough filler added your weld will be solid. that step one. looking great takes time, no short cuts there. and i know sitting there running long strait lines and welding lil pieces gets old fast. so it might be a good idea to think of a neat little project you can do with the aluminum you have. maybe a little serving tray/rack for the pick nic table or a plant holder. some thing to get you motivated again when you hit the bored stage. i built a cart for my welder when i got there. it helped my welds a lot to get out of position. just made seeing the bead a little easier, or maybe just more important, either way it got me back at it and really helped me see some of the issues you will face later with standing/ bending threw/ how to get to the foot control.LOL it just gets better and better. just don't get bored and force it. have some fun and take your time to learn it right.

                        as for the pic's. try to find a distance that gets a good clear pic and stick to it. getting up close wont help if its all fuzzy. look for a close up option ( the flower) if you don't have one stick to a little farther back.
                        also the pic's of the bikes on the wall, wile nice and all are not going to help us see how your welding is coming along. some of the guys here have things to do and are taking there time to help you out. waiting for 10 pic's to download that are not even of your welds may well make them lose interest and move on. this is lost information that could have helped you learn some thing. be respectful of there time. keep the welding pic's up first then offer notice of pic's of the wall so those with time to browse can do so and the ones that are busy can stick to the pic's that count.
                        not trying to be an azz , but if you over load things people will lose interest. find a few pic's that are clearest and best represent your problem and offer them up when looking for help. i know you are proud of your shop and well you should be. just trying to help you stay on every ones good side.


                        • #13
                          thanks jetmekdc-10 for the great advise. I have switched to 1/16" rod and have increased the heat. it's going alot better now. jetmek-10 do you have any up to date photos? the bead in the picture has a shadow because it's a 20 degree piece, it's not flat, and the crappy picture was taken at an angle. my camera is so crappy that I must of taken around 30 - 40 pictures at every angle and only a handful turned out barely clear enough to make out. I wasn't trying to make my welds look good, I was just trying to get a picture posted period. besides ......................fun4now your telling me that everyone is doing thier best to make thier pictures look like crap? ..........come on !!! If I was trying to impress I wouldn't have added a contaminated weld and I would have posted my best welds done months ago instead of up to date pictures. I came on here looking for insperation and help, not smart *** remarks. I never twisted anyones arm to read this post. you read it on your own and replyed on your own. and you do sound like an *** ..................lmao. for someone that doesn't want to waste thier time, you sure typed a long reply. like I didn't know the pictures were crap, and If I was a pro I wouldn't be posting crappy pictures asking for help. I do appreciate the help and replys but jesus you have to jump down my throat because of a couple pictures in 1 post. don't read it if you don't like it. its that simple. we're getting a new camera in a month or so (tax money) so Ill try to get some quality pictures then........untill then I'll stop posting. I should of just went down to my local college for answers. the thing is .........I like talking to people about welding. my wife doesn't seem to get excited about the subject. thats why I come on here. since I've been a member Ive seen people give more sarcasm than actual help. what is this? I made it this far on my own and I'll make it all the way. I just thought I could make a few friends along the way, thats all. Ive said it once and I'll say it again............................................. .................................................. . opinions are like a__holes, everyones got one, some are just stinkyer than outhers.
                          using smaller rod was key.......................thanks again for the replys. believe it or not, I do appreciate the help.


                          • #14
                            You got to remember steel is a lot more forgiving then aluminum that's why people will turn their head sideways when you tell them you can weld it.

                            It just takes a little rhythm a lot of cleaning and a lot of practice.
                            Just remember that everything steel does aluminum does X10
                            it requires more heat, more control, more shielding gas or at least better coverage Hence the gas lens. it's more sensitive to contamination, alloy's can make or brake you, filler rod is near critical, Lets see did I leave anything out.
                            We get so use to steel that we just can't wrap our head around something different.


                            • #15

                              Re-read fun4now's post; without the chip on your shoulder. All of his points are valid and useful information.


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