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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default welding roofing copper for artist..major problems please assist

    hello everyone, i just joined the forum and searched for this topic but i don't feel I'm finding the answer for my specific problem.

    i am using a miller xmt 304 cc/cv
    lift tig setting with a #17 torch
    1/16 tungsten using deoxidized copper rod, and electrical copper wire
    straight argon at 15-20 psi

    I'm working on a sculpture made of roofing copper, i can't stand it! i can only work for a few inches before i get a blow out. I'm working with less than 30 amps because i will burn through at any higher settings.

    I'm finding out that roofing copper can not be welded with tig but the artist insists his welder in FL(I'm in NY) can do this.

    we have a oxy/propane torch sitting around as well. he has used that torch as a hammer so its completely useless for any serious welding

    please help with any advise or guidence

    thank you
    ryan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,212

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spriggan View Post
    hello everyone, i just joined the forum and searched for this topic but i don't feel I'm finding the answer for my specific problem.

    i am using a miller xmt 304 cc/cv
    lift tig setting with a #17 torch
    1/16 tungsten using deoxidized copper rod, and electrical copper wire
    straight argon at 15-20 psi

    I'm working on a sculpture made of roofing copper, i can't stand it! i can only work for a few inches before i get a blow out. I'm working with less than 30 amps because i will burn through at any higher settings.

    I'm finding out that roofing copper can not be welded with tig but the artist insists his welder in FL(I'm in NY) can do this.

    we have a oxy/propane torch sitting around as well. he has used that torch as a hammer so its completely useless for any serious welding

    please help with any advise or guidence

    thank you
    ryan
    TIG welding roofing copper is very common...

    do you have a pedal on that XMT?? as you go down the seam the copper will heat up and will require less amperage to weld... a pedal will allow you to pump and pulse.. reducing total heat input and taper off as you go.. you may need to stitch weld..
    Being able to control that heat input is important.. copper is a great heat conductor... otherwise it will heatsoak and blowout like aluminum.. (unless you can move along at Mach3 with your hair on fire... I was never that fast)
    if you cannot control the heat.. you will just frustrate yourself..



    is your tungsten ground tapered to almost sharp with a flat to blunt the tip??
    this will allow you to concentrate the heat more narrowly..


    Here is a blog on copper fabrication that you might find useful..

    http://www.rutlandguttersupply.com/b...dedCopper.aspx

    BTW.. some pics would help..
    Last edited by H80N; 01-15-2014 at 12:30 PM.
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know......

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default

    thank you for response, no pedal. i have used one but have not bought one, guess its time

    yes the tungsten is ground correctly. the copper is just a mess. i jumped into this project at the end. all the panel overlaps are poor, I'm using small clamps and vice grips to get the panels close but the whole thing is a nightmare.

    working out of a kitchen sink and heating the room with the oven open. just a mess everywhere, I'm cleaning the copper as best as i can but it should have been done from the start.

    since i have no pedal it will just turn into stitch welding…as for pictures…not this time around haha

    will update how it went after times done!

    thanks again H80N

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,212

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spriggan View Post
    thank you for response, no pedal. i have used one but have not bought one, guess its time

    yes the tungsten is ground correctly. the copper is just a mess. i jumped into this project at the end. all the panel overlaps are poor, I'm using small clamps and vice grips to get the panels close but the whole thing is a nightmare.

    working out of a kitchen sink and heating the room with the oven open. just a mess everywhere, I'm cleaning the copper as best as i can but it should have been done from the start.

    since i have no pedal it will just turn into stitch welding…as for pictures…not this time around haha

    will update how it went after times done!

    thanks again H80N
    FWIW... the copper that I have done recently... I did with a Dynasty set up just like I was doing Aluminum... set on AC & HF.... I know you do not have that option on an XMT

    pls keep us posted..

    Out of curiosity... will the application allow you to use a bronze filler like Everdur..??
    Last edited by H80N; 01-15-2014 at 02:45 PM.
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know......

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default

    the artist and i have been using inweld 0 oxy copper rods to tac the sculpture together(i believe that is the correct name for them)the piece is a 9' tall JFK. he does not wish to use those for the finishing result. i arc welded the inner skeleton together and am in the process of cleaning up the whole body. starting with the shoes. i will be buying a pedal on payday and will report back with more positive results.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    577

    Default

    I agree with what has been said. It sounds like being able to control the amperage with a pedal with get you going.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    211

    Default

    I weld a lot of copper 0.043 inch (1 mm) thick, thin but not as thin as what you are using. I used to use a Syncrowave 180, but now I have a Syncrowave 200, with pulse. I find pulse helpful for welding copper.

    If you can braze with silicon bronze rod, rather than weld, that may be easier. With TIG brazing, you will not need flux. But of course the color match will not be as good, which is why I weld.

    I agree that a foot pedal is critical, especially if you don't have pulse.

    Richard

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    1,009

    Default

    What polarity are you using?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    What polarity are you using?
    This question may not have been directed to me, but I use DC, Straight Polarity, (Electrode negative), just like I do for steel.

    As an aside, the oxy-propane torch should work for brazing, but not for welding. However, I have not tried it for that use.

    Richard
    Last edited by raferguson; 01-20-2014 at 01:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,212

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by raferguson View Post
    This question may not have been directed to me, but I use DC, Straight Polarity, (Electrode negative), just like I do for steel.
    Richard
    DCEN...That is the recommended method... and works great on clean copper..

    What got me started with the AC HF for cuprous alloys and copper was repairing some marine bronze castings... the AC HF will "JIGGLE" the puddle and help float away slag, sand & crud, ... inclusions in bronze castings... this method is pretty common in repairing and joining sections of cast sculpture and art castings...

    In my trying it for copper... I was asked to repair some damage and holes in some very heavy antique copper brewery kettles... they had been used to cook the wort over a gas flame and were pitted and coated with corrosion and unnamed "STUFF" from 100 plus years of use........

    anyway it worked like a champ..The cleaning action of the HF and the puddle stirring of the AC... helped a lot...
    Last edited by H80N; 01-20-2014 at 05:32 PM.
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know......

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam..

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