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View Full Version : New TIG rig - need a shopping list for extras



RoatanBill
07-24-2016, 04:29 PM
I'm ordering an Everlast 255 ext, and want opinions on what else I need to actually use the thing. I've got the appropriate 50A circuit installed. I've been welding MIG/CO2 on a tiny Lincoln welder for years so have all the appropriate clamps, dry cut saw, angle grinders, helmet, etc. I'm after things specific to TIG and 6061 aluminum.

I have never seen a TIG welder. Welding Tips & Tricks is all I know. There's NO TIG expertise on the island - it's all buzz boxes.

Because I'm on an island and must import everything from Miami, I want to get everything at once so I only have to deal with customs, lawyer paperwork, insurance, etc one time.

I've worked with mild steel up to 1/4" thick. I want to substitute aluminum for some projects to get away from all the rust clean up and priming/painting steel requires. That's why I'm getting a fairly powerful TIG rig.

So far, I have:
Matching Everlast Water Cooler
125 Argon Cylinder
TIG Gloves (Tillman 1490?) I have long fingers - can palm a basketball. Recommendations?
TIG FInger (more than one?) (Do these things get ruined often?)
CK FlexLoc torch (Regular or superflex cables?). FL150 Air Cooled, FL250 Water Cooled (With or without a torch switch?) Probably 12.5ft versions.
Planning on using the default pedal. Should I get a different one?
Filler Rod 10lb tubes Steel, Aluminum (What diameters?) (What specs?)
Filler Rod (small quantity) Stainless steel to repair kitchen equipment (What diameter?) (308?)
Cups, gas lens kit (Which one - a real mystery to me)
Stubby kit? How many people actually use one?
Tungsten 2% Lanthanated (How many considering I have zero experience)
Dedicated tiny bench grinder with diamond wheels as the tungsten grinder (Harbor Freight)
Aluminum scrap for testing (No aluminum experience at all). I've got plenty of steel scrap.
13" wheels/tires, 3/4"x10" Bolts & Nuts & washers for axles and hub spacing to build cart (needs to roll over rocks outdoors)
Seat to sit on while working the pedal. (Plan on building a 3 legged stool using 1" all thread for height adjust). Stool has to be stable on rough ground. Thought about welding a pedal rest onto the stool legs.

Open to suggestions, criticism, etc.

Oscar
07-24-2016, 04:54 PM
I hardly ever use a torch switch. Most everything with foot pedal control.

Mild Carbon Steel: ER70S-2, 1/16"(1.6mm), 3/32"(2.4mm), 1/18"/3.2mm diameters, unless you plan to weld very thin material less than 1/16"/1.6mm.
Stainless steel: ER308L/ER309L/ER312L (same diameters as above). That should cover many, many bases.
Aluminum: ER4043/ER5356/ER4943<---usually has to be ordered as it is not readily stocked at most places (same diameters as above).
superflex cables: Yes, for any and all tig hoses/cables you plan to buy.
Cups: Style depends on whether you are going to use standard collet bodies, or gas lens collet bodies. Gas lens cups do not fit regular collet bodies. It also depends on the style of torch.
Collet bodies: I recommend gas lens collet bodies #6-8 for standard size gas lens cups, and 10-12 for large style gas lens cups.
Stubby kit: depends on how oftern you plan to use your FL150 torch. I have some, but I haven't used them because my water cooled setup has been working flawlessly.
Tungsten: 2% La in 1/16" and 3/32". 1/8" if you plan to do a lot of heavy aluminum since it should stay pointed longer.
Prep: Dedicated stainless steel wire brushes, maybe even Alumakleen or something like that. There are cleaning solutions specifically for cleaning aluminum surfaces and I hear they work great for welding. Do a google search and I'm sure you'll find them.

RoatanBill
07-24-2016, 06:03 PM
Since mashing the pedal to the floor is equivalent to the switch, I was leaning towards torches without the switch and just dialing in the amps I want at the machine. Is there any down side to that thinking?

I'm going to have to look up all your ER??? recommendations to see what they are.

I was leaning towards superflex cables.

From the WT&T site, I got the impression that gas lens collett bodies are the preferred way to go, especially for an inexperienced person to eliminate a possible issue as I have no one to talk to about anything I might do.

You brought up something I've been wondering about. If someone has a water cooler, do they ever not want to use it? Should I just ignore the air cooled equipment and get only water cooled torches? I thought about a tiny water cooled unit for the low amp work and a larger water cooled unit for when it's needed and just not even get an air cooled torch.

I was thinking of getting a stainless steel knotted cup brush for one of my angle grinders as the way to scuff up aluminum. Is that too aggressive?

Gustav129
07-31-2016, 08:47 PM
Since mashing the pedal to the floor is equivalent to the switch, I was leaning towards torches without the switch and just dialing in the amps I want at the machine. Is there any down side to that thinking?

I'm going to have to look up all your ER??? recommendations to see what they are.

I was leaning towards superflex cables.

From the WT&T site, I got the impression that gas lens collett bodies are the preferred way to go, especially for an inexperienced person to eliminate a possible issue as I have no one to talk to about anything I might do.

You brought up something I've been wondering about. If someone has a water cooler, do they ever not want to use it? Should I just ignore the air cooled equipment and get only water cooled torches? I thought about a tiny water cooled unit for the low amp work and a larger water cooled unit for when it's needed and just not even get an air cooled torch.

I was thinking of getting a stainless steel knotted cup brush for one of my angle grinders as the way to scuff up aluminum. Is that too aggressive?

If somebody has water cooled equipment, not using the water cooler will burn equipment up really fast.


A DA sander with something like 80 Grit sandpaper works great. That's how we prepped all of our AL pieces for powder coating. We did them before welding, because there are spots you cannot get to once the weldment is completed.

CraigB1960
08-01-2016, 06:23 PM
I have the Everlast 255 EXT with water cooler. Purchased the #9F and #20F torches with 25' flexible cables. One thing to note is the Everlast comes with a 10' ground lead. I purchased from USAWelds their 15' ground extension so I can take advantage of the longer torch cables P/N 22315-EXT.

I don't use the air cooled torch, but it is good to have if I ever need to go out of the shop on a small job...I would then use the #9 torch and leave the water cooler behind. Just have to be aware of the 125A max @ 60% duty cycle for #9 versus 250A @ 100% duty cycle for the #20 water cooled torch.

I took the switch off the water cooled torch, it kept getting in the way. I use the foot pedal. I did keep it on the #9 since that would be going out of shop torch.

Since I am new to TIG I decided to purchased their 9/20 SERIES GAS LENS TIG KIT. It has #5 through #8 cup sizes and 1/16", 3/32", and 1/8" collets. Also has a sampling of tungsten. It gave me an idea what works for me. I keep both 2% thoriated tungsten and 2% Lanthanated tungsten in .040" - 1/8". Have not decided which one I like better, but certainly would use just the 2% Lanthanated tungsten if I only had one pick. Works well on both AC and DC inverters.

I bought slightly larger tanks at 150 CF, but only because my LWS had them for a good price. I hope you have a good gas supplier there? If you are using a 15 CF/hour flow rate...you will have about 8 hours of TIG time. Though that is a lot of welding time, you will eat up Argon as you practice.

For gloves I bought Revco T50 LG Tigster Tig Welding Gloves cause they are light weight compared to my standard welding gloves. They make it easier for me to feed the filler rod. I also have the TIG finger, which is helpful, especially with these lightweight gloves.

Recently I purchased a complete set of CK's Gas Saver Kit for .040", 1/16", 3/32", 1/8" w/Pyrex Cup. I like the design and can use Pyrex or Alumina Nozzles on them.

For filler rod, Oscar laid it out well. I have:
ER70S-2, 1/16", 3/32", 1/18"
ER308L 3/32" and 1/8". I need to get some ER309L & ER312L
ER4043 and ER5356 in 1/16", 3/32", 1/18"

I use a stainless steel brush then acetone to prep aluminum. Steel I use a grinder.

N2 Welding
08-01-2016, 07:47 PM
Good info sub'd

Oscar
08-07-2016, 08:56 PM
If somebody has water cooled equipment, not using the water cooler will burn equipment up really fast.



RoatanBill, what Gustav was trying to say was that if you have a water-cooled TIG torch setup, the power hose that is used necessitates the use of the water cooler at ALL times because the copper conductor inside the water-return hose is very small, and completely and 100% relies on flowing water to cool it at all times. You cannot use a water-cooled torch and rely on air/gas cooling just because you don't feel like turning on the coolant tank/pump. Do so, and you'll be buying a new power cable/hose that very same day.

The ERXXX are the filler metals you will likely need for your TIG welding needs.

Gas lens collet bodies are great, just make sure you spend a few hours Googling images, videos, and everything else you can find to learn about gas lens collet bodies. There can be some pretty simple things that can be overlooked, so they're not fool proof. Things like not using the correct collets, teflon insulators, and everything else that won't get mentioned, can get overlooked :).

A cup brush on an angle grinder will gouge aluminum away like if it was a stick of butter. Is that what you want to do? Catch my drift? :)


I use a stainless steel brush then acetone to prep aluminum. Steel I use a grinder.

Weird. I always do that backwards. I would rather clean oils/grease/grime off first, before giving them a chance to smear into the aluminum when wire brushing. Then I wipe with acetone again once again, one for the road.