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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by mattcreswell View Post
    I've welded before, but only MIG & stick. Not a lot of experience but I can get by. I had issues such as described here. Fortunately I have a friend if mine who came over & helped me work through it. I bought my 180 from a guy who had it sitting up for a number of years in his wood shop. I took the torch a parts & cleaned it thoroughly. Only problem was I reassembled it like a moron by not reading up. I also didn't clean the inside of the cup either. Once that was all cleaned, reassembled properly & the ground buffed clean, everything worked just fine both AC & DC. Also a new electrode that's ground properly I've found helps a lot too!
    Thanks matt, I have had this machine for a year now, a farmer had it first and I cleaned it real well and it has worked great on DC, the cups I used were all new and nice and clean and I was able to weld DC in text book form so I think the torch is good to go... I'm going to be able to sleep tonight with the idea that I need zinc blended electrodes and just to take the grounding contamination out of the equation I'm trying to light up with a 1/16 that should just ball up nicely ... No need to put a point on it

    trying to upload a pic because everyone likes to see pictures

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Here is my test piece

    Photo upload test... This is one of my test pieces... It was getting bad towards the end...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #13


    Not to be a constant nitpicker but it's zirconium, not zinc. Like cubic zirconium, the stuff fake diamonds are made of.

    Still ..... That pic looks awful. Are you sure it's even aluminium?
    That looks like a more multifaceted problem than just the wrong tungsten.
    Although starting with the right tungsten is always the best way to start.
    Where is your balance control set?
    What kind of amperage are you running?
    And the spatter all gathering together in clumps, I don't quite get that.
    The first thing that comes to mind is you might need to set your balance for more cleaning (EP) and less wetting (EN). I think of that because of the yellowish oxide but even then it's still confusing because the oxide is outside the weld area.
    You may also want to decrease your argon flow to 15 CFH and go back to using one of the larger cup sizes you have been trying. You could be drawing air into the shield gas by having it flow too fast.

    Let us know how you make out.
    Last edited by Matrix; 10-18-2012 at 10:47 PM.

  4. #14


    Other things to double check:

    You said you cleaned the aluminium with a wire brush but is there any chance the surface could have some grease or oil on it or some other chemicals?

    Which filler rod are you using? There's lots of filler rods but the two main ones are 4043 and 5356. Chances are good you're using one of those. Prolly 4043. Whichever one it is, you might try the other. You could also try some 4047.

    What kind of arc length are you holding? You could tighten it up a little just by looking at your pic. It's easier to contaminate your electrode by holding a tighter arc but I think you may need to anyway.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    snoco Wa


    Make sure no leaks in your argon line including back cap o ring. Pick a tungsten what ever color prep it un wrongly. And i might suggest taking a grinder to workbench if you ground to it..

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    Don't forget to turn on the argon bottle.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by Matrix View Post
    Not to be a constant nitpicker but it's zirconium, not zinc. Like cubic zirconium, the stuff fake diamonds are made of.
    Matrix, no nit picking intent taken on your part it's the auto spell on this silly iPad thing ... But I'll leave that for another forum

    morning brings new information ...Gts manager admits to having some bad argon from about six or seven months ago the one thing I did not do was swap argon tanks. Going to pick up zirc blended electrodes anyway...

    other comments and suggestions are appreciated and all good points and observations... It's Aluminum, it was clean when I started, various cups used, electrodes set up properly and arc length... Well I tried close far you name it... I tried max clean/ penetration balance, low med and high frequency starts all of it great points men! Thanks!! But this may just be bad argon to the shop to try it out

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Foiled by contaminated argon

    Ok men, first pic should be two light up attempts with new tank... Short one is amps at 70, longer one is 90... Not perfect but good enough with green electrodes and the time I have this morning... Looks like it was the gas not the machine or the man per say just needed to root cause a little deeper!

    Looks like you guys like pics too so... The next one should be my 180sd, the one after that is my welding corner in the shop which my wife thinks is her garage but as cold weather closes in I will have to make room for her car, and the last shot is a yummy primatis samwich from the steel city- I though it was appropriate for the forum and Asa payback to you guys for ready and posting replies!

    Sadly i lost the job but dang it I learned a lot and now I have this forum in my bag of tools and tricks... I'll be ready for the next one!

    looks like the pics are turned around and they don't resize but you guys will get the idea!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Jorge; 10-19-2012 at 08:37 AM.

  9. #19


    Ewww .... sour kraut?
    That's just sick and wrong, dude.....
    Blech ....


    Glad you got your issue sorted out.

  10. #20

    Default cruizer

    Quote Originally Posted by cruizer View Post
    which 180SD is it, a serial# would be handy. cause it works in DC, the SCR's are not a problem.
    serial number i have is LF067674 thanks for the help

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