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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    23

    Default Tig welding thin aluminum

    Hi, I need some tips on tig welding thin aluminum (.040 thick). I'm having trouble when I have two edges at a 90 degree and when I have a piece laying flat horizontal and one on edge vertical. I can get a puddle going on the horizontal flat piece but when I try to work the puddle up to the vertical piece it starts to burn away.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Lightbulb

    you might try laying the wire in the joint and then striking the arc over the wire. this will give you a little more matereal to work with wile bringing it up to temp. be carful not to end up with a cold weld, but it will help reduce burn threw.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Lightbulb

    i also find for inside corners, increasing the stick out and gas a bit helps to get the arc where you need it. be careful not to go too high on the gas flow or you will draw in air with turbulence.
    let us know how it comes out. good luck.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Queens NY
    Posts
    1,547

    Default

    I would say practice first and foremost, it's tough. What machine, settings, and tungsten are you using? Filler and material alloy.
    Dynasty 200 DX
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    673

    Lightbulb

    A backup piece behind where it's burning through will help. Since I have to clamp to something anyway, I make sure edges get backed if possible. If you have HZ adjustment turn it up to focus the arc.
    RETIRED desk jockey.

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  6. #6

    Default

    Yea, we need some base metal alloys and filler selections to help out. For our 030 thickness airboxes for our race cars, we use 3003 material and 1100filler. Outside edge set at 40Amps (but not using that much), Freq 100 balance 71. Inside, like fun said, extend tungsten a little, Amps 40-50, freq at 90, balance 76. 040-045 filler.

    good luck!
    Andy

  7. #7

    Default

    Dont forget Tung size makes a difference as well. 1/16 with a nice end on it so you can have a stable arch at low amps. Anything anybigger the arc will dance around before it figures were it needs to go. Far as type the Gold 1.5% lanthanated Tung is what I myself have had a lot of success with but have heard Orange2% ceriated is just as nice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi guys, thanks for all the feedback. The machine I'm using doesn't have all those adjustments. I'm using a 1/16 tungsten (green & tried a brown). I found between 35 and 50 amps works best. The only control I have is an AC Balance. I could set it to auto or adjust it for cleaning and penetration. It aslo has a pulse control. It's a Lincoln Precision Tig 185. I got a super deal on it

    A freind of mine had a car build at a chassis shop. When we would go to see the progress they would let me pick thru their scraps. I'm not sure of the material # of the aluminum, they use it for tin work in their drag cars. I'm using 4043 1/16 filler rod on the "T" joints and just trying to fuse over the 90 degree but ends.

    I also have a MM 210
    Last edited by ant1277; 06-10-2008 at 06:36 AM.

  9. #9

    Default

    Its probably 3003 alloy sheet your using. I have a Precision 185 machine that I just taught myself how to weld alum. with over the past year. Getting the initial bead going across both parts is where I struggle the most as well. Once I get going its a breeze. I'd be running about 50amps max but probably less on the foot pedal, auto on the balance, max. on the pulse. Personally, I've found the best results on aluminum with red (thoriated) tungsten sharpened almost to a point. I also use gold tungsten with good results as well. Seems I can control the arc better with either of those and a point on them than the green and a ball tip. I use 3/32" dia. tungsten btw and 1/16" 4043 filler. Maybe try getting a puddle going on one side of the joint and adding a little filler blob then moving over to the other side, add a blob of filler then try to blend the filler blobs together and continue on.

    Here's a little catch can I recently thru together from .062" alum.

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...47068123JhAkoa
    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...47068123GSpvzg

    Craig

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Thanks Craig, I tried a red tungsten sharpend to a point and had good results. I measured up the material it's only .030. I only had 1/16 filler rod at the time, its alittle to big for what I'm trying to do, I'll have to get something smaller. Your catch can came out good. I also looked at the other pictures, did you do all the cage work too?

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