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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Tig welding 1/4" aluminum 1st attempt

    Just bought used Lincoln precision Tig 185 with water cooler, this is my first attempt at welding 1/4" aluminum after endless hours of research on the internet mostly here and at weldingtipsandtricks.com. Im using a water cooled torch, #8 cup, 3/32 2% thoriated tungsten, gas lens, 3/32 4043 filler rod, 18 cfm argon gas. I have penetration turned all the way up, pulse off and post flow at about 20 and the amps are at max 185. I used stainless steel brush to clean joints,then sprayed with aluminum cleaner I also beveled all joints that I was able to. Its 1/4" C channel on 3/16 plate. I mig and Tig at work but only mild steel and stainless. This is my first Welder for my personal use, I really want to get good at aluminum. The inside corners are very hard to get to. I would really appreciate any suggestions
    Last edited by Goose14; 06-07-2012 at 09:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    561

    Default Tig welding 1/4" aluminum 1st attempt

    Get more amps or preheat

  3. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    Default cant upload pics?

    Keep getting errors when trying to upload pics

  4. #4
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Preheat

    How do I preheat after cleaning?

  5. #5
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Pics

    Uploaded pics to profile public folder but cant upload to thread

  6. #6
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    Aug 2008
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    Orange, TX
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    Default

    1/4" channel to 3/16" plate is going to take everything that 185 has to offer.

    Material must be real CLEAN and more than a wire brush is likely needed - especially on less than perfect finish material.

    What kind of "aluminum cleaner" are you using?

    You could probably turn the cfh down a bit using a gas lens too.

    Preheating can be done with a small propane torch.

    Looks like you may have dipped the tungsten a time or two. Must regrind if dipped to have proper arc control.
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  7. #7
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    Sep 2005
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    northern NJ
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    Default

    I would switch to 1/8" tungsten. Won't gain you heat but will give you slightly longer life. Machine maxed, pedal floored, pre-heated with oxy/acet or propane, then weld. You might have to stop for more pre-heat & duty cycle. Did I say duty cycle? Yes you will hit it, watch your welding time carefully. Corners are tuff cause they soak up a lot of heat by virtue of more mass.

    I used a lincoln tig 175 for years & have done this. O/k for occasion but if your doing it a lot look for a bigger machine or mig.
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  8. #8
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    Sep 2005
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    northern NJ
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Goose14 View Post
    How do I preheat after cleaning?
    Stainless wire brush, pre-heat, quick brush again then weld.
    MM250
    Trailblazer 250g
    22a feeder
    Lincoln ac/dc 225
    Victor O/A
    MM200 black face
    Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
    Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
    Arco roto-phase model M
    Vectrax 7x12 band saw
    Miller spectrum 875
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    RCCS-14

  9. #9
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    Aug 2010
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    Los Angeles
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    1,167

    Default

    Chem Etch the joints, preheat, and get yourself a bottle of Argon75%/Helium25%.

    Backfeed into the corners if you have the talent.

    Back off your balance as far as possible until your tungsten balls back too much. You are not allowing the puddle to form on the surface with your balance at full penetration. The puddle will just not glaze if you are at full pen on the balance knob.

    Good luck.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    151

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Chem Etch the joints, preheat, and get yourself a bottle of Argon75%/Helium25%.

    Backfeed into the corners if you have the talent.

    Back off your balance as far as possible until your tungsten balls back too much. You are not allowing the puddle to form on the surface with your balance at full penetration. The puddle will just not glaze if you are at full pen on the balance knob.

    Good luck.
    Confuse the newb some more.Etching, buying helium mix... come on the guy's machine is underweight for doing it anyways.He don't have enough amps welding on a heatsink.
    ''True genius,in many fields of human endeaver,is often revealed in elegant simplicity"

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