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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Question Arrrgh! What the??? - Brown color on TIG welds

    I am doing some practice welds on plain steel. Argon, 3/32 tungsten, between 60 and 100 amps for tests. No filler rod at this point, just trying to establish clean lines and practice making a good arc and all that sort of thing.

    The first set of five welds that I did at different amperage for each all came out looking decent, just nice, clean lines. I covered that piece with work, so I moved it, got another piece (each piece was prepped the same by running it on the grinder to remove all mill scale), and when I went and made a bead it popped and sputtered and I got a huge smoky-looking brown color all around the bead.

    I tried changing amp settings - nope! I then went back to the original piece of steel I'd been using, thinking something was up with the steel, and when I made another bead on that one I got a big, huge line of porosity.

    What the **** is going on here? I didn't change anything! Tungsten was still good from the switch of one piece to the next, I resharpened, and still just utter crap!

    What causes this discoloration I'm seeing? Do I maybe have a leak in my gas hose somewhere - a loose fitting or something? My welds went from looking acceptable to looking horrid in the space of about ten seconds. I'm really stuck here.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Similar Posts

    You can find similar problems on other posts, I too sometimes have this same annoying problem, without resolution. Most guys will tell you it's a shielding gas problem and to switch to a gas lens. I use a gas lens, and like you, I can make a pass on the same piece of steel and go from a beautiful melted fusion bead to sh!+ without any changes in my process or procedure. WTF?
    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Homemade Water Cooler
    130XP MIG
    Spectrum 375
    60 year old Logan Lathe
    Select Machine and Tool Mill
    More stuff than I can keep track of..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    That seems to be what I've got goin' on here, man. I tightened up my hose connections, although they didn't seem like they were particularly loose. Then I went and made up six plain coupons to just string beads on.

    Result: except for a few beads where there was probably some crap on the metal, everything looked great - nice, shiny, clean beads with no odd coloration at all. WTH???? - is right. I guess I can be glad I'm laying down some good beads? Dunno. Really frustrating. Consistency is what I have been going after with this bad boy, and this really has me over a barrel. I guess I'm just going to hope that it doesn't crop up again, at least not any time soon.

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