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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    20

    Default how do I hook this stuff up?

    This is what I have managed to cobble together from craigslist: OLD Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC ($100), a Hobart Advantage HF box ($100), brand new weldmark 17 air cooled torch ($50), and a 60cf argon bottle ($40). Looking to try Tig on Steel, Stainless, and Aluminum. My question is, what connects to what and does anything change for aluminum?

    Welder has the following connection points:
    AC:
    Work
    Hi
    Low

    DC:
    +
    -

    HF Box has the following connections:
    electrode in
    electrode out
    work

    Here is what I think for Steel/SS:
    Thunderbolt - to HF box electrode in
    Torch to HF box electrode out
    Thunderbolt + and clamp cable both connect to HF box work

    I believe this should result in DCEN, please correct me if I am wrong?

    And also, where to switch the leads to on the thunderbolt for Aluminum?

    I would guess (for AL):
    Thunderbolt work to HF box electrode in
    Torch to HF box electrode out
    Thunderbolt (low or hi) and clamp cable both connect to HF box work

    Is this correct, is AL also EN?

    Any help would be appreciated...

    thanks,

    Jeff
    Last edited by 65-408; 03-13-2013 at 06:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Simcoe Ontario
    Posts
    89

    Default how do I hook this stuff up?

    First off you don't need high freq for steel/stainless just hook up your tig torch electrode negative on dc. Then it's a scratch start. And for aluminum you gotta be on ac with the high frequency box electrode positive ( which wouldn't really matter cuz it's ac). Use argon for both. The tungsten should be sharpened to a point for steel/stainless and it will ball up on aluminum on its own when you start welding

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan128 View Post
    First off you don't need high freq for steel/stainless just hook up your tig torch electrode negative on dc. Then it's a scratch start. And for aluminum you gotta be on ac with the high frequency box electrode positive ( which wouldn't really matter cuz it's ac). Use argon for both. The tungsten should be sharpened to a point for steel/stainless and it will ball up on aluminum on its own when you start welding
    The HF box gives HF start for DC, then shuts off after arc is initiated. So is this correct for Steel/SS?:
    Thunderbolt - to HF box electrode in
    Torch to HF box electrode out
    Thunderbolt + and clamp cable both connect to HF box work

    And you are saying that it doesn't matter for Aluminum which terminal the torch is connected to?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    883

    Default

    You should be able to download the manuals from Miller and Hobart. Sounds like you did good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Simcoe Ontario
    Posts
    89

    Default how do I hook this stuff up?

    Ya you could use the hi freq box for the start but its not essential. And for aluminum I guess it would be ac ground to work piece and machine to electrode in and torch to electrode out. I meant on the machine it shouldn't matter which side you have the ground/hi freq box hooked too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan128 View Post
    Ya you could use the hi freq box for the start but its not essential. And for aluminum I guess it would be ac ground to work piece and machine to electrode in and torch to electrode out. I meant on the machine it shouldn't matter which side you have the ground/hi freq box hooked too.
    OK, so it sounds like you are recommending:

    Electrode Negative For Steel/SS:
    Thunderbolt - to HF box electrode in
    Torch to HF box electrode out
    Thunderbolt + and clamp cable both connect to HF box work terminal

    Electrode Positive for AL:
    Thunderbolt Hi or low to HF box electrode in
    Torch to HF box electrode out
    Thunderbolt work and clamp cable both connect to HF box work terminal

    Can someone confirm? I have the manuals, and it is not clear to me, probably cause I don't do this stuff every day and they use generic terms.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    bellingham, WA
    Posts
    1

    Default Sheesh..

    OK forget the HF for now. DC neg is right for steel.depends on thickness of metal for amps, miller has an app for welding settings. download it maybe, it gives all the basics once you put it all together. have fun, be safe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    883

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 65-408 View Post

    Welder has the following connection points:
    AC:
    Work
    Hi
    Low

    DC:
    +
    -


    Jeff
    I have never used a High Freq. box, so refer to Hobart's owner's manual. On AC, it has low and high ranges, say 125-225 for high, and 40-125 for Low Miller states that the low range is preferred for lower amperage, although you can overlap. DCEP (Reverse Polarity) gives deeper penetration, and is recommended for most electrodes. For AC, always plug the ground cable to the Work recep, and the electrode to one of the two range recep. Most rod manufacturers give recommended polarity and welding ranges for their rods. Lincoln will send you a free booklet. As I said earlier, download the manuals from Hobart and Miller for your equipment.

    AC:
    Work: Ground cable
    Hi: Electrode > x amps
    Low: Electrode > x amps

    DC:
    +: Electrode
    - : Ground cable

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