TIG welding samples

Discussion in 'Tube and Fabric' started by PittsS1, Jul 30, 2019.

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  1. Jul 30, 2019 #1

    PittsS1

    PittsS1

    PittsS1

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    Hello All,

    Totally self taught welder here. Have always wanted to get into TIG- when I was younger it was too expensive, and now that I'm older (well, late 30s) and can easily afford it, practice time is the main challenge with balancing work, kids activities, etc. I've been trying to do a couple practice sessions each week.

    Attached are some pics- while the aluminum welding comes very naturally for me (that tank is the first aluminum I welded... but it's easy with 1/8" thickness, edge joints half overlapped, etc), 4130 has been more difficult! The tubing pics show samples of 5/8" .035 4130, ER70S-2 rod (need to order some ER80S-D2), and are some of the first joints I did. I think they turned out well for a beginner, but there are still many challenges before I master this. 2% lanth, 1/16" dia, 18CFM with #6 gas lens.

    Issues:
    1) It's really hard for me to weld around the circumference of a tube cluster. The combination of 17 size torch (Lincoln Squarewave 200), fairly stiff hose, and lack of clearance, it's all I can do to get barely 90 degrees around before my torch angle sucks. Sometimes my torch is almost tangent by mid-way through the weld. I just can't seem to rotate the torch tip with the small tubing to keep a 10-15 degree or whatever torch angle. Should I get a 9 sized torch? Running max 50A most of the time.
    2) Tungsten dipping. Using a gas lens, so I can stick the tungsten out pretty far, but darn it's hard to keep so close and not dip it. I've been trying to maintain 1/16" or so clearance, but often times gets more like 1/8".
    3) Fitup- even on these simple joints, it seems even a hair of a gap results in a hole almost instantly if heat is not controlled perfectly. If this were to happen on an airframe, do I just fill in the hole with filler? How do you recover from this? I assume people aren't cutting out tubing when they make a mistake and re-fitting?
    4) Filler diameter- I have picked up some .045 and .035 and this seems to work really well. Is this what most people do? The 1/16" I tried, the tubes were vaporized before the filler even melted...

    Anyway, just looking for some constructive criticism. I realize I need more practice, but without a hands-on mentor it's hard to figure out where I'm making mistakes, what adjustments to make, etc.

    Thanks!

    IMG_8308.jpg IMG_8568.jpg IMG_8163.jpg IMG_8160.jpg IMG_8656.jpg
     
  2. Jul 30, 2019 #2

    Geraldc

    Geraldc

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    try a few videos starting here
     
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  3. Jul 30, 2019 #3

    PittsS1

    PittsS1

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    Thanks Geraldc- I've spent so much time watching Jody make this all look so easy! He's truly the best welding resource on YouTube I think.
     
  4. Jul 31, 2019 #4

    undean

    undean

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    I'm not a welding expert so my 2c, experience, &c.

    You aluminum doesn't look half bad. Some areas look like you skimped on the prep but as they weren't start/finish areas the AC was able to clear it.

    On thin steel the ID & OD need to be cleaned as well as possible. Anything not cleaned will result in inclusions through the thickness. It also appears like you're not maintaining good angle throughout the pass. Granted, it is difficult on rounded pieces.

    Rule of thumb on steel is 1A per mil. If your machine isn't "the best", among other variables, then your start amperage, even with a max 35A setting, could be 50A+. This also means if your filler is .063 and your material is .035 you're not going to do much other than blow holes in the work piece. Especially if you don't move fast or use other tricks. I didn't notice if you're using a foot pedal but it helps to start once you get a feel for it. Same with a thumb slider. ON/OFF Buttons / switches can make it much more challenging to start as you cannot sort-of-pause by pulling back on the amps.

    There are several ways to alleviate blow through with mine preferred typically being to put the filler rod between the tungsten and piece and start on the filler. Then again, I tend to prefer to "chase the rod" vs the more traditional puddle & dip / stack of dimes. Another method is to start away from the edge, strike the arc, and move quickly to the filler / joint. With a good & sharp tip you can also start the arc at a very acute angle which will minimize initial heat input. When you're sharpening your tungsten you should be grinding from length to tip. I personally prefer Ceriated but YMMV. Grab a few sets from ebay, McMaster, or where ever if you can justify it. They all work and feel differently. Try a few lap joints, butt joints, &c.

    As you're having difficulty with starting practice your tacks and do 4 as you're working on getting past 90*. With 4 good tacks you should have 4 good starting places as well. You can also ensure everything is lined up and will be minimally effected by the heat input of the subsequent passes.

    It sounds like your flow is too high which isn't helping on thin stuff and you're wasting money. If you can, look into local colleges (community or otherwise) and see if any offer welding course. You get to use their machines, scrap, tungsten, and argon. In my experience you save a lot and get good practice; typically from old welders with lots of tricks and knowledge to impart. If you're lucky you may get some fringe benefits like machine shop access. YMMV of course. As with Youtube there are some good books out there too.
     
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  5. Jul 31, 2019 #5

    CharlieN

    CharlieN

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    You asked about torch size, I find little to no need for a torch larger than a #9. I work with a water cooled setup but have a portable inverter rig with an aircooled torch.
    For the aircooled there are a few lightweight very flexible cables on the market that are a must have. On my portable rig I run a short flexible lead mated to a heavy cable that I have from a #17 torch. Since aircooled rigs have a rather low duty cycle this reduces how much cable is trying to melt itself.
    I do not run AC on an aircooled torch.
    Rod size, very rarely is there need for more than .045 filler in steels with aircraft work but I would keep some 1/16 around as needed. Aluminum can be up one size to cool the puddle better if needed.
    I run .039 electrode most of the time and go up one size when needed as well as going down to .020 when welding thin stainless or Ti.
    On a watercooled rig you can run considerably higher amperage all day long.
    Your gloves should be as thin and flexible as you can find. The important aspect is to keep you skin shielded from the UV but you want to feel the temperature of an aircooled torch to know when to take a break.
     
  6. Jul 31, 2019 #6

    plncraze

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    The EAA has a tight chromoly video. It should be on their website.
     
  7. Sep 20, 2019 #7

    wanttobuild

    wanttobuild

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    Welding.
    One of the few thing I know.
    Keep practicing.
    You will get there.
    Everyone has trouble with clusters!
    Get a gas lense, which will allow for a little more stick out.
    You may consider a good set of dual stage regulators and a Meco torch.
    With this in your toolbox you can weld everything.
    I use er70s2, I do NOT chase the rod.
    I form a puddle and dip. Every weld.
    You can use the filler metal to momentarily shield the puddle as a means of heat control. I use this method a lot as it prevents the base metal from cooling.
    I use OX exclusively, because I'm cheap and I get good a result. I can weld in a tiny opening and for that reason I have not got a tig rig.
    Meco torch only with the lightweight hose from the Tin man.
    Please use Promoly from Plymouth Tube.
    I have tried all the rest.
    It welds better and is more flexible.
    Use Tin snips to fit and centerlines on your tubing in this manner you wont heat the tube when fitting. I use a rigid tube cutter to get to get to the measured length then snips then finally a scotch brite wheel for final tweak.
    Please support your local Green Berets..
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  8. Sep 20, 2019 #8

    PTAirco

    PTAirco

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    "... Is more flexible"..? How does that work? It's steel.
     
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  9. Sep 21, 2019 #9

    Winginitt

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    Anyone dealt with a problem where you start to weld and there is like a flash and it looks like a candle flame for a moment. It might pulse and do this several times and then start to weld normally. Wonder if I am having a problem with proper gas flow.Thats welding steel.
    I had a problem with welding some aluminum and tried everything I could think of.
    I finally took the Argon tank back to the vendor and had them test it. They said it showed 99% pure but they refilled it for free. I aquired some free tanks over the years in addition to ones I already owned. I had them recertified and refilled. I had one or two converted to different gas, but don't remember which tanks they were, because I repainted them and they all look the same. Anyone had similar issues ?

    PS: I have a good quality machine......Miller Dynasty
     
  10. Sep 27, 2019 #10

    wanttobuild

    wanttobuild

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    Less Brittle.
    So Steel isn't flexible?
    How do you put in a diagonal brace? You bend the tube.
     

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