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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    5

    Default New to forum and have quick question

    I am looking at the Miller MAXSTAR 150 STL TIG.

    My question is - can nonfurous metals like brass, copper or nickle metals be welded with this machine.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ventura, California
    Posts
    102

    Default TIG away

    Howdy Jim, welcome to the forum.

    If the metal will conduct electricity, then it can be TIG welded. Make sure you use a rod that is compatible with the base metal.

    If you are welding dissimilar metals (like mild steel to stainless use 309L rod vs. stainless to stainless use 308L rod) then you need to make sure the rod will be compatible with both metals. Otherwise there will be cracking and general frowny faces down the road.

    The flavor of electrode may make a difference. I would try Lanthinated first, but your mileage may vary.

    That MAXSTAR 150 is hard to beat for portability! Love that inverter technology.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Batavia, NY
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jim moyer View Post
    I am looking at the Miller MAXSTAR 150 STL TIG.

    My question is - can nonfurous metals like brass, copper or nickle metals be welded with this machine.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jim
    Yes, those metals can be welded with DC TIG. You will not be able to weld aluminum or magnesium.

    The brass will give you fits because of the zinc content.

    Copper (and brass for that matter) takes alot of amperage to weld. You are kind of stymied with a 150 amp power source. You will be very limited to the thickness of material you will be able to do with the Maxstar 150. Like .062 at the maximum. The amperage range for .062 copper is 130-150 amps.
    Rich Ferguson
    Sales Technician
    Jackson Welding Supply Co.
    "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
    www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    161

    Default

    I'm not trying to be difficult jwsrep, but aluminum can be welded with dc tig though ac is preferred for it's self cleaning action. DC TIG actually works better when welding heavy aluminum than ac does, but it is virtually impossible to use on the thinner stuff. I found this out when welding some alum I was having a very hard time getting and keeping enough heat into. I went and checked in my Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding and that was the recommendation. Tried it and it worked like a charm. I highly recommend that anyone who welds be it as a hobby or as an occupation get a copy of "The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding" from The Lincoln Foundation. It's about 15 bucks and I have yet to come across a problem it didn't have the answer to.

    As for copper, there is one alloy that cannot be welded by any means, so be sure you are not buying it. I can't remember the nomenclature for it because it was several years ago and yes I found out by trying to weld it.
    Lincoln: Eagle 10,000, Weld-Pak HD, Weld-Pak 155, AC-225, LN-25 wirefeeder
    Miller: Syncrowave 250DX Tigrunner
    Westinghouse: 400+ amp AC
    ThermalArc Handy wirefeeder
    1 Harris, 3 Victor O/A rigs
    Arcair gouger
    Too many other power toys to list.

    Do it right, do it once. And in all things ya get what ya pay for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    don't you use helium in DC TIG. seems like i herd that. i think jwsrep just said you need AC for aluminum as he only has 150 amps to offer. a lot of people were talking about it on the ask andy site a few times. seems like in the 1-200 amp range AC is really the best option.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Batavia, NY
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
    I'm not trying to be difficult jwsrep, but aluminum can be welded with dc tig though ac is preferred for it's self cleaning action. DC TIG actually works better when welding heavy aluminum than ac does, but it is virtually impossible to use on the thinner stuff. I found this out when welding some alum I was having a very hard time getting and keeping enough heat into. I went and checked in my Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding and that was the recommendation. Tried it and it worked like a charm. I highly recommend that anyone who welds be it as a hobby or as an occupation get a copy of "The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding" from The Lincoln Foundation. It's about 15 bucks and I have yet to come across a problem it didn't have the answer to.

    As for copper, there is one alloy that cannot be welded by any means, so be sure you are not buying it. I can't remember the nomenclature for it because it was several years ago and yes I found out by trying to weld it.
    You're right about being able to weld aluminum with direct current, it's not a very practical method, however the point I was trying to make was for the size machine he is looking at (Maxstar 150) aluminum is not at all practical. DC on aluminum is generally used in automated process' on thick sections of aluminum. In fact it is hard to weld aluminum in DC on material much less thinner than .157. In addition DC does not do a good job at all of breaking down even the lightest of oxides. Where with AC , especially the newer machines of today, where you can adjust your wave balance to provide better cleaning action.
    I don't want him thinking he can buy a Maxstar 150 and start welding .093 aluminum like a pro. If he is looking to make aluminum welding part of his arsenal of skills he should look at another machine besides the Maxstar 150. Perhaps either the Syncrowave 200 or Lincoln Precision TIG 225.
    Rich Ferguson
    Sales Technician
    Jackson Welding Supply Co.
    "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
    www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thank you everyone for your informative responses.

    Since I only make custom knives and do table top metal sculptures along with some wall hangings this looks like it will do the job for me. The portability is a key feature for what I do with sprawled out work areas.

    Thank you again.

    Best regards,

    Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    161

    Default

    You are correct jws. You do have to get it really clean. I never attempted dc tig on aluminum thinner than 1/2 inch. You get a lot of heat really quick. I couldn't get my boss to just let me get some sticks and get it over with. If I remember correctly I also had to use a different tungsten. I'm still getting used to TIG machines that are smaller than 400 amps even existing. Every shop I worked in that had a TIG all had the exact same model Miller, and they were all so old all of the lettering and numbers were gone, LOL.
    Lincoln: Eagle 10,000, Weld-Pak HD, Weld-Pak 155, AC-225, LN-25 wirefeeder
    Miller: Syncrowave 250DX Tigrunner
    Westinghouse: 400+ amp AC
    ThermalArc Handy wirefeeder
    1 Harris, 3 Victor O/A rigs
    Arcair gouger
    Too many other power toys to list.

    Do it right, do it once. And in all things ya get what ya pay for.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Camden, SC
    Posts
    156

    Thumbs up

    Jim, Hope you're enjoying the responses. Just a quick followup on the good advice from Rich-The-Jackson-Rep, if you run into some copper and you're worried about having the recommended amperage for the job, you might consider using copper brazing rods with plumber's flux paste (a little dab'll do ya for this) and using about 100Amps on your tig to melt the brazing rod. In other words, using a torch on a wooden or bone knife handle might get worrysome, but you can use your TIG torch with a 2% Thoriated Tungsten electrode to provide the heat into your base metal (copper) to melt your brazing rod.

    I've used this method a dozen times or more to repair hard-line hydraulic hoses/pipes on agricultural equipment where I didn't want flame around the diesel/hydraulic fill tubes. I've tried flux-coated brazing rods and bare rods with and without flux-gel. You won't get (or at least, I didn't get) pretty weld-like beads using this method, but it works very well for joining/repairing copper and copper-zinc blends.

    Back when someone told me I couldn't use 100% pure Argon to weld thin aluminum on DCEN, I had to go out and try it....with relatively predictable results: the weld beads look like cr*p, but at 110 Amps, DC -, and 100% Argon, I stuck a piece of 1/8" aluminum to a piece of 1/4" aluminum with a 4" long filet weld and it's still holding together today (a year later!). I keep it on my shop wall as a reminder. Yes, using even a 2% Helium blend with my Argon would've given me greater control of the arc and slightly less penetration, and kept my tungsten cooler to boot, but I would've never been able to live with myself just by taking someone else's word for it (At this point SundownIII is ROFLHBO about my foray into TIG'ing with CO^2 and wondering where my "blue flame" was coming from...).

    You'll be amazed at all of the things you'll find to do with your relatively small welder....whether you report them back to us for scrutiny on this board is up to you.

    Good Luck!

    Clint Baxley
    Baxley Welding Service
    Rembert, SC 29128

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks for the post Clint. Like you I love to push the envelope with my equipment. Sounds like your innovative ideas also have there ups and downs.

    The responses have been extremely helpful on this post. So much it is bookmarked in my favorites.

    I have a call in to order this model TIG with my favorite industrial sales rep. However he won't be back until tomorrow as he is out hunting. Hope he gets a nice buck as I get his antlers for knife handles and sculpts.

    I make my own pattern welded Damascus and Mokume Gain and plan on using the TIG welder for creating some unique patterns in both that can not be accomplished with the normal methods. So will be happy to share once I get some practice under my belt.

    Again, thanks to everyone that has contributed to this post. I see I have a lot to lean about TIG.

    Best regards,

    Jim

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