Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby 3X00-Modified » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:21 am

Well had some fun and learning last night... I got to fool with my cheap plasma/MMA/Tig welder, seeing how I don't have the volume as any shop would I just couldn't justify spending thousands on a TIG that I would use only from time to time. All I can say is well it works and works great for what it is. DEFINITELY a learning curve going from MIG to this. I'll be cutting up my old air tank some more and practicing on it as much as I can.

I have to say the hardest thing for me is the fact that I don't have a foot pedal, It's a hand trigger so it's a bit harder to old the torch in a way I can easily manipulate it as well as push the trigger on. Looking at getting a foot pedal for it but I just don't want to spend the money quite yet. It is amazing though at how much less current you need to do something with a TIG vs a MIG welder... and its nice to just change filler rods when going from stainless to mild and not having to swap tanks from a 75/25 mix to a TRI mix as well as swapping spools of wire... It's nice that the 100% argon works for both.



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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby 3X00-Modified » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:17 pm

Learning how to tig...

Foot pedal should be here by the 3rd

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Also have smaller filler rod coming with larger electrodes so I should be able to get a better weld with that combo.



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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby woody90gtz » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:30 pm

That looks purdy.


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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby bonecrrusher » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:54 pm

Looking good.

As for your tig welding - is there a huge heat difference when TIG welding steel vs say aluminum?


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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby 3X00-Modified » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:54 pm

Not sure. I know you need or should use an AC TIG machine vs DC. Unfortunately mine is only DC because it was a cheaper unit. I don't plan on welding any aluminum really and if I wanted to I know the DC will work but not so much for a structural part.



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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby MY91GT(Z) » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:40 am

aluminum is the trickiest of all metals to weld and takes the most practice imho



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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby 3X00-Modified » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:13 pm

To better answer your question Craig, I do know when using a TIG in AC mode you typically need a larger electrode since with AC more heat is transferred to the electrode than when in DC mode where more is transferred to the part. So if you use that info, It would take less heat in the part to weld aluminum than it does metal, but at the same time you may need more current for a thinner material when welding aluminum.



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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby Travelor » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:19 pm

Thats it. I'm coming to stay with you and the wife. Let me be your padawan master... Teach me the ways of the force...


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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby spacecadetz26 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:52 pm

tig-ing aluminum is like using a torch on a stick of butter. its tricky but once you figure it out its awesome.


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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby 3X00-Modified » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:33 pm

Getting the hang of it, welded up a flex pipe onto my up pipe for the legacy.

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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby Slinky » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:02 pm

If you ever have any questions about welding Jon I can try to answer them for you, I attended a technical school for four years and then it's what I did for about two years after that before I became in machinist.. I've been wanting to buy a TIg welder for some time because I have a lot of aluminum projects I would like to take care of having to deal with the car but I just can't justify spending thousands like you said to buy one on the use of a few times, The technical school I attended had miller elite liquid cooled tig welders they were amazing, I'd love for someday to be able to buy one of those, And everyone's right tig is basically its own art it takes time to get good at it once you are it's amazing


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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby Rettax3 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Slinky wrote:I've been wanting to buy a TIg welder for some time because I have a lot of aluminum projects I would like to take care of having to deal with the car but I just can't justify spending thousands like you said to buy one on the use of a few times

Slink, consider just buying a cheap MIG unit from Harbor Freight (a real MIG though, obviously not just a flux wire-feed unit) for a few hundred bucks. You can weld aluminum with that just fine, once you get a regulator and tank. It doesn't come out quite as pretty as a TIG weld, but nothing really does. Just seriously watch the aluminum fumes, even use a respirator with that stuff. I have a 220V unit that actually has a 100% Duty-Cycle in low-current mode, which is plenty powerful enough for exhaust piping and the like. I've handled 1/4" steel with it too, just having to take time to rest the unit on the higher amperage settings. I've used the heck out of that thing on a weekly basis for years, but the wire speed-control unit finally went out on me last year, just when I was finishing-up a tow-hitch-mounted spare wheel carrier (carries six wheels) and tow-bar mount for the Berettas -I couldn't stop laughing at the fact that I had to finish the last few welds using a car battery-booster hot-wired onto the wire-feed motor (12VDC on my unit) to spool the wire from the gun (it worked, just not the prettiest welds I've made). With less use, I would think the welder would last long enough to make the low price a good value -mine certainly was, and it is still fixable too (I've just been using my little 110V flux-welder this year, and it is doing fine for now too, at least until I get into another big fabrication project).

Welding aluminum is difficult, I would rather TIG stainless -at least the puddle is easier to see. I honestly feel that TIG welding is, in many ways, more similar to acetylene-gas welding than MIG welding, at least so far as technique is concerned.

Jon, those are some very nice looking welds, thanks for sharing them.


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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby 3X00-Modified » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:02 am

I'm learning to properly weld SS exhaust tubing you need to have a purge or back gas present... Inside the pipe the stainless will bubble and create deposits quickly and look like hell without shielding gas inside the tube.

I found a procedure online where a guy tapes off one end and pokes some holes in it, then puts a line in the other taped off and runs the regulator at 10CFH for a min or two to get argon inside the pipe, he then welds it as he normally would but when he cut the pipe open the inside weld was as smooth and pretty as the outside. He did the other half with no purge gas and it looked like hell.

It makes me want to stick with mild steel exhaust on my car since it will make it easier to weld up something custom, with SS I would only be able to tack it on the vehicle then I would have to setup a purge deal to do final welding and do that off the car on a bench, not the worst thing, but it uses a lot of Argon.

I did some mild steel welds on some square tubing and they came out awesome... I think I was just a bit low on the amperage since you could not see any penetration on the inside of the tube, but I'll be trying some more once I get some more Argon and a bigger tank...

You can easily MIG aluminum, but the best option is to have a spool gun, and unfortunately the spool setup for my welder is probably nowhere to be found, unless I can find someone selling a used unit. I need a complete controller board to hook up to it since I do have an industrial sized MIG setup, the Stitch Spot and Continuous weld board I have is already pretty sweet... The stitch welding feature is nice to have since it will regulate the heat in a part by going on than off and all you have to do is hold the trigger down, rather than manually doing it.



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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby Rettax3 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:31 pm

Back-flowing shield gas into hollow piping for MIG welding is the normal procedure, and is the best way to keep the weld from oxidizing from the back of the weld, even on mild steel. Stainless oxidizes very easily, so you notice the 'unground pepper-corn' appearance much easier. I know that not everyone will agree, but I actually prefer flux-core wire for thin-wall tubing welding, like exhaust work. Flux-core wire also gets a hotter weld at the same amperage because it doesn't have shield-gas cooling it down, and you can still get 100% penetration without running a back-flow shield gas or getting bad oxidation on the back of the weld.

I've done at least a little aluminum MIG welding, and I would not say it is easy -aluminum still dissipates heat too easily, and burn-through can be severe. I haven't used a spool-gun, although it is the better way to go, the only real need for it is because the aluminum welding wire is so soft that it can flex and bind in between the welder and the gun -I didn't have any problems with that when I MIG welded aluminum though.

A machine with a stitch-weld function is a nice feature -I don't recall if I've had the pleasure of using one or not? Miller produces a TIG welder that has a 'Pulser' function that does the TIG equivalent -that is nice too, but takes a little time to get used to.


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Re: Had a wee bit of fun this weekend...

Postby 3X00-Modified » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:48 pm

I've never had to and it's stated that you don't need back flow gas for mild steel. I actually did some mild steel tubing tig welding and the inside weld looked just as good as the outside, the stainless on the other hand yeah was all oxidized up.




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