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TIG Filler for 4130…

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dcstrng

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For the run of-the-mill 0.035+/- wall 4130 tubing, what size TIG filler do folks use…

I’m guessing 0.040” ??? The 1/16” stuff looks a little heavy… I’ve got both, and ER80sX as well as ER70sX -- the 0.040 consumes fairly quickly, but appears to behave better in the thin wall…

Thanks…
 

Hot Wings

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For the run of-the-mill 0.035+/- wall 4130 tubing, what size TIG filler do folks use…
I use 1/16" because that is all the local supply houses stock. If I need smaller I just squirt a bit of .028 out of the MIG and use that. If I could buy smaller without having to order maybe I'd use it more.
 

Brian Clayton

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I use 1/16 for pretty much all of my CM tube welding. I have some .040, I dont really ever use it anymore since, like you stated, it consumes quick. I grind a very very long taper on my tungsten for super thin tubing and use 1/16 rod. Same reasons I dont use the super small tungsten diameters hardly ever anymore. Works good for me anyway....
 

harrisonaero

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Rule of thumb is to use the same thickness rod as wall thickness. Use mild steel for non-heat-treated weldments and 4130 filler if you're going to post-heat-treat.
 

Pops

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I use 1/16 for pretty much all of my CM tube welding. I have some .040, I dont really ever use it anymore since, like you stated, it consumes quick. I grind a very very long taper on my tungsten for super thin tubing and use 1/16 rod. Same reasons I dont use the super small tungsten diameters hardly ever anymore. Works good for me anyway....
Same here. Plus the cooling effect of the 1/16 rod verses the .040 rod, on the thin tubing makes it easier to weld.
 

dcstrng

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Thanks all; I’m still discovering this TIG stuff – thankfully the transition from acetylene wasn’t as challenging as I’d feared, but TIG does seem to have its own idiosyncrasies…

I’ve wondered about just mounting a 2# spool of ER70X or ER80x 0.040 to some sort of a clamp/reel and just pull from the spool, but I’d guess the 1/16” is just easier to manage… still learnin’ :ponder:
 

Brian Clayton

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Not impossible, but hard to get a good even feed going with the wire in a curve, like off of a spool. They are right, usually you use the thickness of the base material as a guide, but on the really thin stuff the strength is more fillet than penetration..... in my opinion anyway. One little thing to remember, dont crank up the heat. On really thin stuff, it takes more heat to get started, but once the parts sink up welding heat, you have got to back way off with the heat or you will overheat the weld. Really easy to do. I usually set the machine where is "struggles" to get the puddle going for the first few dips of filler, but then its about right once everything heats up. Less is more in tig welding. Always shoot for the right color, gray is overheated and porous. Take your time, and always shoot for 100% perfect on every weld and you will be happy with the end result (and safe). Tig welding is very slow.....dont try to speed it up with heat. Concentrate on every single dip of the rod, every puddle. After a while, it becomes second nature. Thin material welding is a art....few have it down pat and while it doesnt take long to get good, it take a while to get good and quick.
 

dcstrng

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On really thin stuff, it takes more heat to get started, but once the parts sink up welding heat, you have got to back way off with the heat or you will overheat the weld. Really easy to do. I usually set the machine where is "struggles" to get the puddle going for the firs
Thanks; looks like years of experience compressed into a few sentences -- I certainly haven't figured out the basic nuances yet, but in playing around with scrap I've noticed the metal heat goes from cold to roasting very quickly and initially I've had the amperage set way too high because even after only a few moments I've ended up feather-footing the pedal... I'll be glad when spring gets here and I'm starting with metal closer to appropriate temperature...
 

Brian Clayton

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Thin tubing/brackets like you are welding will be low amps, about 35 or less (high side of the pedal, less once you get going), depending on machine. Dont grind your tungsten concentric, grind it lengthways to a point. Imagine a whole lot of flat spots. It will keep the arc stable and keep it concentrated. As soon as you touch the tungsten, and you will often, stop and regrind the tungsten. If not, the arc gets bigger and wanders around. The way I learned to set the machine, is to make a puddle on a test piece with the torch. Adjust the amperage until you can hold that puddle all day long without blowing thru the material. Then play with adding rod. IF you dont have a pulse machine, count the dips off in your mind. The best way I have found to teach people to tig weld is this. Set the machine the way I just mentioned. Notch some tubing (watertight joints) and use the torch with no filler to fuse the tubing together. If the machine is set right, you can walk the torch around and stick the two pieces together with very little undercutting. Once you can do that, start to add filler. Flat welding on plate is not really good for practice, its learning to control the heat on butt joints and lap joints, without burning back the thin edge. Clean...clean...clean...clean.... No rust, no paint, no oil....clean...clean...clean. If a tig weld is too cold, you wont be able to get the filler to flow and stick to anything. Too hot and the weld will be gray. Dont walk the torch back and forth, straight lines (unless you are filling a gap, which you shouldnt have anyway). Remember, correct fitment is the first step to a good weld. I am not a fan of MIG tacks either. They are cold, and hard to get to flow out without having a knot in the finished bead. Always err on the side of less heat. When you are learning, just worry about one puddle at a time. If I am in a hurry, tired, sore or cold.....I dont weld unless I have to. It shows in the finished project. Always get comfortable and try to rest your wrists/elbows on something to keep your hands from shaking. Like I said earlier, thin tubing is a different animal than say heavy wall gas line pipe.
 

dcstrng

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OK, thanks Brian... I've reduced this to a one-page "cheat-sheet" and stored it -- tomorrow back at it again :)
 

Brian Clayton

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There are welders and there are fabricators. Robots can weld, classes can teach welding, but few ever get the hang of fabricating. Experience is the only real teacher in fabrication work. The more you do (and the more you tear up) the more you will learn. Books will tell you things about tungsten hangout, but they forget that in some tight cluster welds, you have to hang the tungsten out a long ways and jack up the gas pressure. Some tight inside corners are impossible to weld, you either have to drag the bead further up the pipe or "fill" with a mig and resculpt the bead with the TIG. I am by no means a expert, but I have done a lot of TIG welding on small thin tubing (2 5/8 and smaller) because of work. It just takes time. Just focus on doing it right and the rest will come along by itself. Good luck.....
 

planecrazzzy

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use what's NEEDED... .045 or .0625

Use s70 Leave the 80 OFF it... 80 needs a preheat of 400 just to get started...

There is NO NEED ANYWHERE for 80
.
Gotta Fly...

PS I keep telling myself I'm NOT going to get sucked into ANOTHER welding thread...

Sometimes I can't help it... I see DANGEROUS stuff...
.

now my signature was re written...HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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planecrazzzy

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Hmmm, I guess some of my welding posts are getting the axe again...

Don't know WHO I offended... But I'm being monitored for whatever I post...

Seems I'm not fitting into the round peg...

Or I'm being judged by non builders ?
Gotta Fly...
 

bmcj

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Hmmm, I guess some of my welding posts are getting the axe again...

Don't know WHO I offended... But I'm being monitored for whatever I post...

Seems I'm not fitting into the round peg...

Or I'm being judged by non builders ?
Gotta Fly...
Probably just a computer or forum glitch. The moderators do not kill a post without sending you a private note to let you know they did it and whey they did it.
 

planecrazzzy

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It was on a different welding thread... I had informed a guy that his "Signature" was screwed up ( spelling )

No biggie.... But I'm under the microscope after being BANNED twice now...
.
.
Whatever... Ban the Builder/ Flyers... and push the Armchair Techies...
.
Gotta Fly...
 

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dcstrng

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Folks, I need to publically apologize to Mike; I was trying to be cute and chuckle at some…

I’ve been following Mike's Buttercup Build for many years, and although clearly a flier of strong opinions, Mike has never led me wrong – I have a dormant Buttercup project, and have captured literally hundreds of Mike's fabrication photos. I’ll be very pleased if my current project (a Sonerai) meets Mike’s standards for airworthiness, but I can only dream about achieving the perfection in his bird – as I said, I have many of his photos and have also converted much of his freely available advice/experience for tube and fabric builds into permanent files as he's answered my questions…

Truly sorry Mike – my bad… :depressed
 
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