I'm trying to weld some aluminum, 1/16" and 1/8" plate to a 1/2" plate.
I am having no success. I will get an arc going, and after a while (< a minute), the electrode will go "bang", and the welder shows "HLP --1", which relates to the SCR. In this time I have not got any joining between the two pieces, the arc seems very wide and wanders. I am using a 1/16" pure tungsten electrode, about 20 SCFH of argon, and 80-100 amps if that makes a difference.

I rarely weld aluminum, this is maybe the third time since I bought the welder. I have not had any problems welding steel. The welder has done the same bang thing since I bought it when trying to weld aluminum.

So, my question is, is something wrong with the welder, is aluminum that much harder to weld than steel, or are my skills just that bad?

Any advice appreciated.