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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Raymore Missouri
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    1,920

    Default Aluminum welds in question

    I finally took pictures of the welds that I am asking about; some are shiney and some are dull looking. I have gotten a few opinions about which is better but I figured if you could see the welds it might be easier to answer my question. Also, if you have any suggestions on how to improve the welds (like the one in my picture) please chime in. Nothing has been done to the welds since they were done (no brushing etc).
    The reason the welds look different is I was trying different speeds, and dipping the filler.


    Syncro 200 TIG
    1/16 inch red tungsten
    1/16 inch 4043 filler rod
    approximately 70 - 80 AMPS
    balance on 7
    No pulse
    18 CFH argon
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Nick
    Miller 252 Mig
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
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    2,239

    Default

    Nick,

    Just a few comments/recommendations.

    Looks to be about 1/8" material you're working with.

    1. Lose the Red tungsten. Thoriated will splinter in an AC arc. OK for mild steel or SS. Try a stick of 2% Lanthanated. Diamond-ground will send you a sample of 1.5% Lan (not sure they have 2%) 2nd choice would be Ceriated.

    2. Use 3/32 filler

    3. Use a 3/32 tungsten.

    4. Increase your amps

    5. Move faster.

    6. More consistency--puddle/dip, puddle/dip, puddle/dip, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    157

    Default pores, splatter?

    Hi, never welded Aluminum... yet... but I wanted to ask a question maybe the guys could answer at the same time. Looking at the pictures I notice more pores and splatter than I would expect with aluminum. Is this due to the sheilding or contaiminents or just normal before brushing?

    Just curious because I am trying to work toward getting an ac tig so I can weld Al.

    Looks like your getting there Nick!
    John

    Thunderbolt AC/DC
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    3,555

    Default

    OK...in my opinion you have "graduated"
    You have proven you can run a bead. That is all it proves tho unless you are making one bead and then stepping back and allowing that piece to cool back to room temp. That will definetly make you welds look the same. Heating the part by running several beads on it would make you have to turn the heat down as you go and is giving you bad habits.
    Make joints and actually weld something. Even if if is that piece with all the welds ground flat and then cut into pieces to play with it would be better than just puddling around. You'll learn WAY more too. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Raymore Missouri
    Posts
    1,920

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SundownIII View Post
    Nick,

    Just a few comments/recommendations.

    Looks to be about 1/8" material you're working with.

    1. Lose the Red tungsten. Thoriated will splinter in an AC arc. OK for mild steel or SS. Try a stick of 2% Lanthanated. Diamond-ground will send you a sample of 1.5% Lan (not sure they have 2%) 2nd choice would be Ceriated.

    2. Use 3/32 filler

    3. Use a 3/32 tungsten.

    4. Increase your amps

    5. Move faster.

    6. More consistency--puddle/dip, puddle/dip, puddle/dip, etc.
    Sundown

    The material is .062 " extruded alum. Don't know what grade if there is a grade for extruded. Do you still say 3/32 tung and filler for this thin of material?
    I ordered samples from Diamond Ground on 3-22-08. Haven't heard from them yet. E mailed them day before yesterday to see if they got my request. Still no reply. Thanks for the comeback.
    Nick
    Nick
    Miller 252 Mig
    Miller Cricket XL
    Millermatic 150 Mig
    Miller Syncrowave 200 Tig
    2-O/A outfits
    Jet Lathe and Mill
    Jet 7x12 horz/vert band saw
    DeWalt Multi Cutter metal saw
    Century 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
    20 ton electric/hydraulic vertical press
    Propane Forge
    60" X 60" router/plasma table

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTu7wicVCmQ
    Vist my site: www.nixstuff.com
    and check out some of my ironwork and other stuff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Raymore Missouri
    Posts
    1,920

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FusionKing View Post
    OK...in my opinion you have "graduated"
    You have proven you can run a bead. That is all it proves tho unless you are making one bead and then stepping back and allowing that piece to cool back to room temp. That will definetly make you welds look the same. Heating the part by running several beads on it would make you have to turn the heat down as you go and is giving you bad habits.
    Make joints and actually weld something. Even if if is that piece with all the welds ground flat and then cut into pieces to play with it would be better than just puddling around. You'll learn WAY more too. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!
    That was just trying to see what speed and dip procedure does to the bead and to see what I am doing different from bead to bead that makes it shiny or dull. I have been trying T joints with alum rectangle box and 3/4" 6063
    tube also T joint. Don't look great, but beats the he11 out of what I did a week ago. To me the fillet welds are too big. It's like I can't focus the arc in the seam but both pieces wide, and as the puddle forms, I fill the middle. Maybe
    a transformer machine can't focus that narrow as compared to inverter as I've heard. I've never tried an inverter. Maybe someone could post pics of these joints welded with the same or same type Tig as mine. Ive seen great welds on the site but if they're using a $6000 machine, how could I compare.
    Nick
    Nick
    Miller 252 Mig
    Miller Cricket XL
    Millermatic 150 Mig
    Miller Syncrowave 200 Tig
    2-O/A outfits
    Jet Lathe and Mill
    Jet 7x12 horz/vert band saw
    DeWalt Multi Cutter metal saw
    Century 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
    20 ton electric/hydraulic vertical press
    Propane Forge
    60" X 60" router/plasma table

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTu7wicVCmQ
    Vist my site: www.nixstuff.com
    and check out some of my ironwork and other stuff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    Wow,

    That drilled hole is misleading. Maybe my eyes are failing me. Looks thicker.

    Regarding the tung and filler. Yes, I'd still recommend 3/32. I only use 1/16 on "really" thin material.

    The smaller filler is requiring you to dip too frequently and the heat is spreading over the material. Some of the beads show consistency, but too closely spaced (too small a filler).

    Increase filler size, increase the amps, move faster and I think you'll see the improvement you're looking for.

    Think about mig welding aluminum. You have to run "much" faster with aluminum than you do with steel.

  8. #8

    Default

    I've been learning to do alum. the past year. The best advice is what FusionKing already said and that's to start welding actual joints. I can make nice beads all day long on a flat plate but to do it on a butt joint or fillet joint is much more difficult and will actually teach you something practical. I use 3/32" lanth. sharpened to a blunt point with 1/8" filler on stuff as thin as 1/16". One of the best things I did though was to add a gas lens and 7/16" cup. I can't seem to weld anything without a gas lens now. It helped tremendously and will give you that nice clean shiny bead. BTW, extruded alum. is typically 6061 or 6063 alloy.

    Craig

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    Nick,

    I guess everyone has their opinion of what it takes to be a good aluminum tig welder. I can assure you though, that the Sync 200 is a good machine to learn on. Within it's capabilities, it's not wanting for much. The inverters have some advantages (I'd love to have a Dyn 350) but for the stage you're at, the Sync is probably a better machine for learning. It's technique, not machine.

    To me, unless a guy has an unlimited supply of scrap aluminum, you should start your tig welding with "cheap" mild steel. Torch/filler handling should be second nature (timing) before one advances to aluminum. Same principle as learning with ox/ace before moving to tig. Those who learned ox/ace and then moved to tig found the transition much easier. Same thing for steel to aluminum.

    Once the tig beads are consistant on flat stock, then the move to joints is the logical next step. From there you move to pipe/tubing and out of position work. It's all a logical sequence if you think about it.

    Tig welding is a conditioned reflex action. If you're still "thinking about it", you've still got a ways to go. The best tig welders I know are generally not good at explaining what they're doing. It's second nature to them. When asked their response is "just runnin a bead".

    Practice, practice, practice

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Seattle,WA
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Here's a pic of one of my fillets. I've been Tigin' aluminum for a while now and still have days where I hate it, but it definetly gets easier with practice. I usually use 1/8 lanthanated tungsten, 3/32 filler, balance on 7, 10cfh with a gas lens on a syncrowave 250. The piece is 1/8 or 1/4 6061 Al tube with 5356 filler. I switched to 75% argon 25% helium a couple months back and it was the best thing I have done in a while. It allows me to go alot faster, hotter, more focused arc. Good luck!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Welders do it hotter!!
    www.Munsonworks.com

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