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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Olive Branch Ms
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    129

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    Clavacle, That looks real good. I called my LWS to see if they carry the AR/HE mix. They do but he said its no good for thin aluminum. He's a salesman though and I don't know if he's just repeating what he's heard or if he really knows. Have you tried that mix on thinner material than 1/8? You guys are great to be willing to help people out. Adam
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    673

    Talking From the hobby side of the tracks

    I don't see the 'oxide cleaning zone' along the edges of your welds. And I think I'm seeing light 'peppering'. I just read in the Miller TIG Tips that means to turn the AC balance toward more cleaning.

    My SW250 AC balance is 0-10 and is stenciled '3 for balanced and DC'.
    0 is max clean, 10 is max penetration. I don't know how the 200 is marked.

    FWIW: I'm a hobby weldor with a SW250. I think, at my level, tungsten type doesn't matter; it's an overblown issue. I use green or red because that what I was sold years ago. Sure the new stuff is better, but it doesn't matter to my brackets, widgets and gizmos. When I run out, I'll upgrade. Until you can run red long enough to get the little chrome b*lls on the tip, it doesn't matter; you'll be grinding your tung anyway.

    But since the green forms a ball, it's not as good in a fillet as something that will hold a point. Red in my case, 2% lanthanated nowadays.

    I hope I kept this in the context of a home hobby weldor. I do not want to contradict Sundown111, FusionKing and many others. I'm welding in the home garage, not NASA.

    Edited: And; weld that hole in your practice piece.
    Last edited by Craig in Denver; 03-18-2008 at 03:37 PM.
    RETIRED desk jockey.

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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Raymore Missouri
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    1,920

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    Craig.........who is your post directed to?
    Nick
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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Colorado
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    673

    Smile

    Hi Nick:

    The first two paragraphs, to you.

    The rest of it was just aluminum 'thoughts', I guess.

    Did I goof?
    RETIRED desk jockey.

    Hobby weldor with a little training.

    Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    695

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by monte55 View Post
    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
    Not bad. The red tungsten won't take up too much room in your scrap bucket. Do yourself a favor and put it there

    Use lanthanated tungsten (1.5 or 2%)

    Your technique looks to be ok- just keep on practicing

    The porosity/contamination could be a breeze or fan in your shop blowing away your shielding gas

    Remember that when practicing on one piece it will overheat and it is hard to wait on it to cool and the overheating will add to the frosted look.

    You can tune your welds to the application or your desired appearance with your balance control. "7" is the normal for tig but do not be afraid to experiment

    Also, add a little extra filler at the end of the weld. You do not want a crater at the end as the crater can lead to cracking

    Griff
    Last edited by griff01; 03-18-2008 at 03:26 PM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Seattle,WA
    Posts
    55

    Default

    as far as the argon/helium mix on thinner aluminum: the thinnest aluminum we use is 1/8" so I can't really tell you how it performs on anything thinner. I do use it when making stainless steel electrical boxes. They are made from 16gauge 304 stainless. I just do fusion welds for all the outside corner welds with no problems at all. I havn't noticed much of a difference on the stainless work, but I would recomend the mix of gases for anyone doing aluminum, regardless of their skill level. With the helium in the mix the bottle empties slightly faster, but barley noticable, and I think there was about a $15 add in price but still well worth it.
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  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Like Craig said I would turn your bal. down to 3 or 4 and see if that helps. It looks like your fighting some contamination issues from the black flakes and surface oxides. Your scrap may have a heavier than normal oxide layer. When you clean with a S.S. brush you should feel a drag when you break through the surface oxides. Keep at it and good luck

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Central Fla.
    Posts
    311

    Default Tungsten for al.

    Nick - I've used 2% thoriated for most all of my aluminum welding without any problems. I'm using a Lincoln Precision Tig 225 which I think is similar to your welder. One plus, however, is my machine has an auto balance setting which helps me. Based on amp and voltage settings, it automatically sets the balance. I don't think your welds are bad at all. Probably need to clean a bit better and speed up. Also, I also use 3/32" tungsten and filler for most all of my al. jobs.

    As for Diamond Ground, I too had a problem getting samples using their online request form. I ended up having to call them. After doing so, I received some samples in just a few days.

    I didn't notice any difference in the performance of the 2% lanthanated or tri mix compared to the thoriated. However, I will probably change to lanthanated when I reorder due to the radiation concern with thoriated. I'm not sure it's as bad as some think, but no need to take chances. After all, it's been in use for many years without documented ill effects when proper precautions are taken.

    Good luck and keep practicing. It will only get better. BTW, mine aren't always great either.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,507

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by monte55 View Post
    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
    Actually fillets are pretty easy and could easily become your best looking welds. Your synchro 200 will make fillet welds with the best of them....trust me it's you not the machine. there are guys out there laying robot like welds with econo-tigs. You just have to put your time in thats all. If you are really serious go get a night job somewhere tigging aluminum and you will learn more in a week than you will at home in 5 years. I done it twice...just so I could raise the bar so to speak. And that's on top of having my own biz. Drove the old lady crazy...she MADE me quit my job. Didn't take me long to be the best guy there and you could do it too. Most of those guys would never put welding and the internet together.
    Next time you do a fillet pull that tungsten out way further and you'll see some change in the focus of the arc also.
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  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
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    2,239

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    Clavacle,

    Just had a couple comments/questions regarding your previous postings.

    You originally stated that the bead displayed in your photo was done on 1/8" or 1/4" tube, couldn't remember which. That's the flattest tube I've ever seen. Must have a radius of about 8'.

    If you or your company don't mind wasting money buying an Ar/He mix for the type of work mentioned (1/8" to 1/4") that's your business, but to tout it as a recommended mix for that type material is not good advice. There are definitely situations where the addition of He would be recommended, but this type of welding is NOT one of them. You don't need the heat and if you did, there's a little knob called Amps. There's a little marine tower builder called Pipewelders down in Ft. Lauderdale that goes thru about 80 large 100% Argon bottles a month. If there was a benefit, don't you think they'd be using a mix.

    Also, when using a Ar/He mix, I've found it necessary to greatly increase my flow rate since the He is much lighter than air. 10 CFH (as you stated) seems mighty low to me.

    Higher cost gas and more of it just doesn't make sense to me. Oh, and by the way, last time I checked a 75/25 fill cost a heck of a lot more than $15 more than 100% Ar. You priced any He lately?

    Everyone seems to be looking for that "silver bullet" that will make them an excellent tig welder. Bottom line, there's no substitute for practice.

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