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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default More aluminum practice welds

    My latest progress trying to weld aluminum. I only have enough time each day to practice one joint, so this took me three days to complete.

    The top fillet weld was tricky for me for lots of reasons. First, it is a fillet weld. Second, the two metals are different thicknesses. The small tube is roughly twice the thickness of the big tube. Third, it was the first time I tried to weld a round joint. Welding around a tube with such a small diameter proved a bit tricky when trying to keep a proper angle on the torch, get the filler rod in there, while continue to move around. This weld definitely will take lots of practice.

    The middle weld was next, and like the bottom weld, is just a straight butt joint joining sections of 3" diameter 16 gauge aluminum tube. I burned a few small holes in the middle weld, but got them filled in without to much trouble. You can see on the left side of the middle weld where the bead grows in width. That was a hole fill.

    Enjoy. Feel free to throw comments at me. Just be gentle.


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

    Thumbs up

    looks like your off to a good start. i know how frustrating it can be to only get a little bit of time to play here and there when trying to learn. i went threw the same thing. its like just as you start to get in a grove ya gotta stop till another time.
    hang in there, look at the bright side, its stuck together.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    CT.
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    333

    Default

    Please post your machine and settings(amps, balance, filler material, tungsten and size) for what you were doing for the welds. It helps us help you. When going thick to thin try and point the arc toward the thicker material. Once it wets out you will be able to carry it down a little and dab the filler in thus bringing it all together. Welding thick to thin esp. alum. is one of the hardest things to get a hang of. Also clean clean clean as well. Stainless brush and acetone. Wipe down the filler rod too. Practice and seat time also.
    T.J.
    Miller Dynasty 300DX
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    Etc. Etc....
    tjsperformance.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fun4now View Post
    i know how frustrating it can be to only get a little bit of time to play here and there when trying to learn. i went threw the same thing. its like just as you start to get in a grove ya gotta stop till another time.
    Exactly.

    hang in there, look at the bright side, its stuck together.
    It is surprising how strong even some ugly welds can be. I've whacked at it a bit with a hammer trying to break it off and it held firm.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TJS View Post
    Please post your machine and settings(amps, balance, filler material, tungsten and size) for what you were doing for the welds.
    Thanks for the tips. I was trying to aim the arc at the thicker piece and that did seem to be the way to go. The awkwardness of the size and shape were I think the single largest obstacles as I'm still trying to find what is comfortable to me. I kept thinking I need to put this thing on one of those pottery wheels so I can spin the piece and leave the torch in one position.

    As you say, practice and seat time. In general I am happy with my progress given the amount of time I've had to put into it.

    The machine and settings for this piece were...
    - ArcMaster 185 welder
    - balance @ 20%
    - 120 Hz
    - 1/16" Lanthanated tung
    - #6 cup
    - argon @ ~18 CFH

    For the butt joints...
    - 1/16" 4043 rod
    - 70 amps

    For the fillet joint...
    - some 1/16" and some 3/32" 4043 rod
    - 80 amps

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Colorado
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    673

    Thumbs up Oooohhhhhh, Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    My latest progress trying to weld aluminum. I only have enough time each day to practice one joint, so this took me three days to complete.
    I can smoke two joints a day. And I'm older'n you.
    The top fillet weld was tricky for me for lots of reasons. First, it is a fillet weld.
    Poor excuse. There is plenty of room for the torch in that weld. A 90* weld, on flat stock will overheat much faster. You're too cold on that one. Don't be a sissy, it's practice; pedal it up. Your real problem is: that's really 3 or 4 welds and you don't know it. Stopping to rotate the piece is the problem.
    Second, the two metals are different thicknesses. The small tube is roughly twice the thickness of the big tube. Third, it was the first time I tried to weld a round joint. Welding around a tube with such a small diameter proved a bit tricky when trying to keep a proper angle on the torch, get the filler rod in there, while continue to move around. This weld definitely will take lots of practice.
    See above wise-guy comments.
    The middle weld was next, and like the bottom weld, is just a straight butt joint joining sections of 3" diameter 16 gauge aluminum tube. I burned a few small holes in the middle weld, but got them filled in without to much trouble. You can see on the left side of the middle weld where the bead grows in width. That was a hole fill.[/COLOR]
    That's exactly what you want to do on the fillet weld.
    Just be gentle.
    WHAT!!!!!!!!

    Weld 3: That's about as good as you're going to get with a hand held TIG weld. I told you in another thread; "If you pull this off, I WILL hate you." Congratulations: I HATE you.

    Again, the disclaimer: Root and I have the same demented sense of humor. This post is ALL in jest; excepting the accurate info.

    PS: Root; in the top left corner of this page is a User CP button. Please fill in your State. So I know how far I have to drive to kick yer butt. I've used up all of the smilies for this post.

    PPS: Ugly welds; even if you can hit it with a hammer, it's still going to leak.

    PPPS: Stop being so obsessed about cleaning (an*l is banned). I can see you wire brushed the cwap outta yer parts before you welded. If you look at your welds, there is a gray band along the edges of each weld. That's the AC cleaning the oxides. Unless there's grease or goo, the AC will do a fine job on its own. This includes cleaning your filler.
    Last edited by Craig in Denver; 02-22-2008 at 01:56 AM. Reason: Added PS, PPS & PPPS
    RETIRED desk jockey.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    dallas tx
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    Default

    good info craig ...ill try to remember some of this stuff

    i dont really tig but when i do it looks like diarrhea .....but it least i have consistency
    my daddy always said i was IRONHEADED....
    feel free to P/M me

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig in Denver View Post
    I can smoke two joints a day.
    This explains many things.

    A 90* weld, on flat stock will overheat much faster. You're too cold on that one. Don't be a sissy, it's practice; pedal it up.
    While I'm not so sure about the sissy remark (hey mods! ), you might just be right about the temp. I was practicing 90* joints before this one and was getting used to the them. Switching to this, I was worried about burning out the thinner metal and just never quite got things right.

    Weld 3: That's about as good as you're going to get with a hand held TIG weld. I told you in another thread; "If you pull this off, I WILL hate you." Congratulations: I HATE you.
    Thanks. I can't begin to express how much having you hate me puts a warm glow in my heart.

    In all humility though, it will be a while before I feel confident I can be consistent everytime. I do think I am progressing at a reasonable rate though. And certainly the only reason I am progressing as well as I have so far is due to all the online tips, tricks, and helpers (yes, including you ). Sticking to one metal instead of jumping around between aluminum, steel, and SS as helps I think. Get one thing right, then move one.

    Again, the disclaimer: Root and I have the same demented sense of humor.
    WHAT?!?! I know not of what you speak sir. I request that the mods take you behind the nearest shed and give you a good flogging. <insert fifth smily here>

    This post is ALL in jest; excepting the accurate info.
    Then I guess it was all in jest. <insert sixth smily here>

    PS: Root; in the top left corner of this page is a User CP button. Please fill in your State. So I know how far I have to drive to kick yer butt. I've used up all of the smilies for this post.
    Done.

    PPS: Ugly welds; even if you can hit it with a hammer, it's still going to leak.
    Much agreed. There is no way I would use that weld on my car. On the other hand, a good schmear of silicone all over the joint might stop the leak. <insert seventh smily here>

    PPPS: Stop being so obsessed about cleaning (an*l is banned). I can see you wire brushed the cwap outta yer parts before you welded. If you look at your welds, there is a gray band along the edges of each weld. That's the AC cleaning the oxides. Unless there's grease or goo, the AC will do a fine job on its own. This includes cleaning your filler.
    OK. It is just one of the things everyone seems to always stress about aluminum. Every post, article, etc. says how well you have to clean aluminum. Being a newb with no experience, sometimes it is hard to judge how far to carry advice. So sometimes I run the risk of being, um, an*l was it?, in an attempt to follow said advice.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2008
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    Default

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but... using Craig's advice to crank up the heat on that fillet weld, I did and it helped. Sigh. What is the world coming to. . . . . .

    I wouldn't call this perfect by an means (I mean, where are those dimes boy!), but it is an order of magnitude better than the first one shown at the top of this thread.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    dallas tx
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    I wouldn't call this perfect by an means (I mean, where are those dimes boy!), but it is an order of magnitude better than the first one shown at the top of this thread.

    dimes are made form nickel/steel and your working on aluminum.
    thats why it dont look like dimes
    my daddy always said i was IRONHEADED....
    feel free to P/M me

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