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  1. #1

    Default Scratch start TIG Aluminum?

    I've used my TIG setup many times for stainless and mild steels but haven't for aluminum. Anyone else on here do it this way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    41

    Default Scratch start TIG Aluminum?

    Since you need high frequency AC to weld aluminum I don't think you will have much luck with scratch start. But I'm not perfect.

  3. #3

    Default

    I always thought you had to have HF too, but I recently saw a forum (which I can't seem to find now) that was talking about it. I can't be for sure but I think they were saying to use Helium for the shielding gas???? Would like to know for sure on gas, tungsten, etc...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    2,983

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by JWDESIGNS View Post
    I always thought you had to have HF too, but I recently saw a forum (which I can't seem to find now) that was talking about it. I can't be for sure but I think they were saying to use Helium for the shielding gas???? Would like to know for sure on gas, tungsten, etc...
    Yes you can...TIG weld Aluminum with DC..... but it is better done on thick sections like plate or castings... and it is a pretty imprecise process... no AC to jiggle the puddle or HF to provide cleaning action..

    and as said you need helium..

    here is an outline

    http://mewelding.com/tig-welding-alu...rode-negative/

    For thin sections and sheet metal... you will still need AC-HF
    Last edited by H80N; 02-05-2014 at 01:45 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
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    483

    Default

    You can lift arc aluminum on AC, if you have a dynasty.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    948

    Default

    I started out using my ac/dc buzz box with an add on freq box to scratch start a/c aluminum with no pedal. Do yourself a favor and just save your pennies for a real machine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    384

    Default

    I don't know what your TIG setup is but I would guess that most any AC machine with an optional Hi Freq unit could do aluminum. This is what Lincoln used to say about the Idealarc 250 AC/DC :The Idealarc 250 with the optional Hi-Freq is an inexpensive equipment combination for part time production or repair TIG welding of aluminum, magnesium, thin stainless steel and many space-age metals.
    It's not scratch start but it's less investment than a Dynasty if you're just trying it out. Of note Lincoln doesn't seem to still supply their Hi Freq unit any longer but Miller does and there are many available in the used market. I expect the inverters have done away with much of the demand for this type of setup.---Meltedmetal

  8. #8

    Default

    My setup is just a tig torch and hose/regulator... hook direct to power supply... About how much is a HF unit I can run off both my Bobcat 225 and buzz box?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,221

    Default

    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    2,983

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    I started out using my ac/dc buzz box with an add on freq box to scratch start a/c aluminum with no pedal. Do yourself a favor and just save your pennies for a real machine.
    I agree..... my first couple of years TIG welding was done that way (1968-70)

    you learn to adapt... but it is a crude and tough way to go..

    the cost of a decent HF-251 HiFreq box will put you most of the way toward the cost of a decent used Sync 250... and halfway to a Dynasty..

    pretty sure you will be happier in the long run...

    even with a HF-251 on the Bobcat... outdoor TIG at the mercy of the breeze to blow your Argon away with no AC balance or 14pin for a pedal is just plain no fun...
    .

    *******************************************
    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 Mills, Lathes & a Rat Tail File..

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