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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Question New to TIG welding and need a little help

    OK. So I was trying my hand at tig welding aluminum, neither of which I've done before. I don't know how to adjust the settings. In all of the reading that I've done, there seems to be no consistency. I am trying to reach out to those that actually do this. In the pix that I have attached are the pieces that my shop has. Hand controls, no foot control for the torch. HF 251 D, trailblazer 302D and WC 24 (for aluminum MIG). Trying to understand the settings. I am told that on the HF box, I should max it and put it on START not continuous, and switch to remote (then use my thumb control to fine tune). On the generator, I should be 150-200 amps and on a/c. And I do not use the WC 24 for tig. Am I correct on all of this? Please, any of those that can help, I take all suggestions.

    IMAG1049.jpgIMAG1050.jpgIMAG1051.jpgIMAG1052.jpg
    Last edited by tomkp; 04-01-2014 at 04:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tomkp View Post
    OK. So I was trying my hand at tig welding aluminum, neither of which I've done before. I don't know how to adjust the settings. In all of the reading that I've done, there seems to be no consistency. I am trying to reach out to those that actually do this. In the pix that I have attached are the pieces that my shop has. Hand controls, no foot control for the torch. HF 251 D, trailblazer 302D and WC 24 (for aluminum MIG). Trying to understand the settings. I am told that on the HF box, I should max it and put it on START not continuous, and switch to remote (then use my thumb control to fine tune). On the generator, I should be 150-200 amps and on a/c. And I do not use the WC 24 for tig. Am I correct on all of this? Please, any of those that can help, I take all suggestions.

    IMAG1049.jpgIMAG1050.jpgIMAG1051.jpgIMAG1052.jpg


    The Hi-freq should be continuous for AC aluminum. The amps will depend on the thickness and joint design.
    I suggest having the amps high or maxed out and using the hand control to get the heat you need.

    Griff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by griff01 View Post
    The Hi-freq should be continuous for AC aluminum. The amps will depend on the thickness and joint design.
    I suggest having the amps high or maxed out and using the hand control to get the heat you need.

    Griff
    Really? Maxed out. Won't that be too much for an air cooled torch? I'm not sure what the trailblazer maxes at

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    42

    Default New to TIG welding and need a little help

    I hate to speak for Griff but what I think he means by maxed out is, look at the thickness of the material. 1/4 inch say which is .250 your max would be 270-280 amps maybe less dependent on the range your torch has.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default

    You guys are a great help. My next question is on the HF box. The intensity from 0 to 100, is that the percentage of amperage that is set on the welder used to strike the arc? What does the start and continuous option really do?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tomkp View Post
    Really? Maxed out. Won't that be too much for an air cooled torch? I'm not sure what the trailblazer maxes at
    Use the thumb controller to control the amperage as it is needed. Learn to read the puddle to determine how much amperage you need.

    If you do not want to know, do not ask.

    Griff

  7. #7

    Default

    tomkp,

    I am no engineer by any means, but I do have some on the job experience with similar equipment. If I am incorrect, I apologize, just trying to help you out.

    Your generator should be on AC, and that amperage would be set quite high. Go on google and search for "AC TIG Amperage Chart", you will be able to find charts that give you a very rough setting to use. All that your generator provides is the main welding power, which is then channeled to your HF box. Lets assume you are welding 1/4" plate, so I would set it at 250 amps to start with, and increase if necessary.
    Your HF box should be set to 'continuous' for welding on AC. It would be set to 'start' if you were welding on steel. The high frequency allows the arc to jump the gap between the tungsten and the workpiece without the two pieces actually touching each other. With AC, the current is constantly changing direction so it needs to have that continuous high frequency to be able to keep jumping the gap between tungsten and the workpiece.
    Now as for the intensity of the high frequency: That should control how many cycles per second the AC sine wave is. The higher your intensity, the more forceful and concentrated your arc will be (a more focused arc, if you will). I would start with that setting at 50, and adjust as you practice to see what a difference it makes.
    As far as panel or remote: If your switch is set to panel, your hand control will basically become an on/off switch. So as soon as you strike an arc, you will have the full amount of amperage that you have set on your generator ( in this case 250 amps). The disadvantage is that you do not always want the full amperage right away. Sometimes it is nice to have a little lower amperage for tacking or just starting your weld. So I would set your switch to remote. This will allow your fingertip control to adjust the amperage. So when your fingertip switch is closed or off, it is providing 0% of your 250 amps right? When you turn the thumb control on halfway, you will get 50% power, or 125 amps. Or when you turn the thumb control on all the way, you will get the full 250 amps.

    Hopefully this is clear as mud for you

    If I am wrong on any this, please feel free to correct me, anybody!! I hate to be spreading incorrect information.

    Anyway, good luck to you and have fun practicing that AC TIG!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    135

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by griff01 View Post
    Use the thumb controller to control the amperage as it is needed. Learn to read the puddle to determine how much amperage you need.

    Griff
    You will ultimately need to learn this, but since you seem to be teaching yourself, I recommend a series of small steps. Set your working current on the machine and turn the thumb controller all the way up when you weld. Trying to manipulate the thumb wheel and maintain a constant arc length is too much to ask until you get some seat time.

    Start with 1/8 inch material. It's easy to weld. Set the machine to 100 amps, argon flow to 20 cfh, and turn the thumb controller all the way up . . . you will be welding with 100 amps. Let a puddle develop and chase it across the piece. Play with the current to see what it does.

    When you can do that without dipping the tungsten in the puddle, turn the current up to 120 amps and try adding filler to the puddle . . . the filler will cool the puddle so more current is required. Post photos and we'll help you improve.

    And go to weldingtipsandtricks.com and watch the videos. Watching someone do it properly will accelerate your learning process.

    -jim
    Dynasty 300DX
    MM350P
    Hobart Handler 120
    Smith LW7, MW1, AW1
    Smith AR/He Mixer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4sfed View Post
    You will ultimately need to learn this, but since you seem to be teaching yourself, I recommend a series of small steps. Set your working current on the machine and turn the thumb controller all the way up when you weld. Trying to manipulate the thumb wheel and maintain a constant arc length is too much to ask until you get some seat time.

    Start with 1/8 inch material. It's easy to weld. Set the machine to 100 amps, argon flow to 20 cfh, and turn the thumb controller all the way up . . . you will be welding with 100 amps. Let a puddle develop and chase it across the piece. Play with the current to see what it does.

    When you can do that without dipping the tungsten in the puddle, turn the current up to 120 amps and try adding filler to the puddle . . . the filler will cool the puddle so more current is required. Post photos and we'll help you improve.

    And go to weldingtipsandtricks.com and watch the videos. Watching someone do it properly will accelerate your learning process.

    -jim

    Hey, try to teach someone else. I know how to GTAW.

    GRIFF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    At the epicenter of the Green Mountain Range in VT
    Posts
    277

    Default

    Tom,
    I haven't used the specific equipment you are using. Jody Collier does a great job of explaining TIG process. What it comes down to is ac which you need to TIG AL is a pretty unstable process at 60 HZ sine wave current. To arc, voltage builds to a level it ionizes the gas, an arc forms. Then 120 times a second it dies. The arc re establishes easily electrode negative. Because of the high resistance in the oxide and foreign matter work negative, not as easy. HF is a separate overrunning high voltage arcing so often, at such high voltage, gas hasn't time to deionize. This HF, HV source is at low current, it has little effect on the metal. Its only function is to stabilize and maintain the arc. The Dialarc manual says to run frequency as low as you can to minimize interference with electronic equipment. Yes HF is necessary on AC sine wave TIG

    Bill
    Last edited by WillieB; 04-05-2014 at 03:41 AM.

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