new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    18

    new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    I am new to tig welding, I have always wanted to learn but never had the extra money to purchase a welder. After much research I settled on the AHP welder, I have no intention of doing this for a living. I am a hobbyist trying to learn a new skill. I do not claim to know how to weld, I am learning. so here is my dilemma, I have no problem seeing the puddle my welds aren't pretty but I am working on it, my welds seem to come out ugly grey, I have adequate gas flow, I have tried flow settings from 10-35 cfh, with my #8 cup I never get color in my welds, only using the #12 cup. I have tried moving faster, slower, different amperage, different torch angles, everything I can think to try. with my #12 cup I can get color but not all the way through the weld, the #8 cup only gives me color at the very end when ive stopped and I am tapering off. I appreciate all the input and I am up for trying anything. and before anyone says it I know I cant weld lol. I don't expect to be a pro in a few hours or anything but I would like to improve. the best looking weld I have is using the fupa 12 and 25cfh I feel like this is a gas issue, I have checked for leaks and have not found any.

    AlphaTIG #17 torch
    CK stubby gas lens 3/32 tungsten and 1/16 tungsten
    FUPA 12 and their gas lens
    1/16" stainless steel and mild steel
    55 amps on stainless 70 amps on mild, I have been all over the place on amperage though.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Draper, UT
    Posts
    333

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    pyrex FUPA cup or the ceramic? pyrex uses o-rings to hold it on that sometime fold when you install it, leaving an air gap. I have gone away from the pyrex cups because of this and the fact that the leading edge gets small cracks (crazing I think it's called) that seem to shatter with the slightest bump. I do have a FUPA #12 pyrex but have not tried it yet but my mainstay is a standard #8 CK ceramic gas lens on a #20 torch. Those big gas lenses are kind of meant to reach into corners. How far is your tungsten stickout?, perhaps it needs to be longer.
    MillerMatic 252, HTP 221 w/cooler, Hypertherm PM45

    "No matter where you go, there you are" [Buckaroo Bonsai]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    Quote Originally Posted by frieed View Post
    pyrex FUPA cup or the ceramic? pyrex uses o-rings to hold it on that sometime fold when you install it, leaving an air gap. I have gone away from the pyrex cups because of this and the fact that the leading edge gets small cracks (crazing I think it's called) that seem to shatter with the slightest bump. I do have a FUPA #12 pyrex but have not tried it yet but my mainstay is a standard #8 CK ceramic gas lens on a #20 torch. Those big gas lenses are kind of meant to reach into corners. How far is your tungsten stickout?, perhaps it needs to be longer.


    #12 ceramic, I have yet to buy a pyrex I didn't want to spend the money just yet on one. I have greatly varied my tungsten stickout on my #8 cup, and same with my #12, 1/2" seems to produce the best results on the #12. #8 I only get ugly grey welds. I bought a flow meter to put over my cup to check flow at the torch also. I have a pretty steady hand and I feel I am being pretty consistent with my torch to part distance, I try to stay right at 1/4"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    241

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    I run as short an arc length as possible. If I was welding 16 gauge I'd be in the 1/16 inch range, certainly not more than 1/8 inch. Keeping a short arc length should help some.

    Your welds look okay, the gray on mild is scale from lack of gas coverage but I don't think it means it's a bad weld. It's hard to get good coverage on a flat area, larger cup higher flow and short stick out help. I have more trouble with coverage on flat areas too. Just try a fillet weld once and you'll see, the weld geometry has a lot to do with how easy it is to keep everything hot in the argon.

    If you're going to weld stainless protect yourself from hexavalent chrome. It is generated with any hotwork of stainless. Miller makes a nice soft half mask respirator that fits under your hood for about $30 that's suitable for welding fumes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    East Durham, NY
    Posts
    133

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    To help diagnose, need to know which pics are mild steel, which are stainless, etc.......

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    East Durham, NY
    Posts
    133

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    Nice to see another AHP user, how long have you had the machine? I've had mine for just about a year now, no complaints so far, in fact, for Aluminum, been great.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,236

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    It's not a gas issue. The issue is you are not holding a tight enough arc, and not moving fast enough. Starting out on thin material is a mistake. You do not yet have enough hand eye coordination for thin material. You either need to grab some thicker mild steel coupons or some 1/8 to 1/4 aluminum. Aluminum would be best. You really learn hand eye coordination on aluminum. Look up welding tips and tricks YouTube site, and look at what he calls the steel drill and the aluminum drill. Do those exercises first.
    Millermatic 252
    Syncrowave 250
    Purox Metalmaster

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    Quote Originally Posted by ljdm View Post
    To help diagnose, need to know which pics are mild steel, which are stainless, etc.......
    Only picture 2 is mild, all the rest are stainless

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    18

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    Quote Originally Posted by ljdm View Post
    Nice to see another AHP user, how long have you had the machine? I've had mine for just about a year now, no complaints so far, in fact, for Aluminum, been great.
    I’ve had it for a month or 2, I have about 4 hours total run time ever tig welding. I’ve been extremely happy with the welder but have nothing to compare it to so I’m happy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    It's not a gas issue. The issue is you are not holding a tight enough arc, and not moving fast enough. Starting out on thin material is a mistake. You do not yet have enough hand eye coordination for thin material. You either need to grab some thicker mild steel coupons or some 1/8 to 1/4 aluminum. Aluminum would be best. You really learn hand eye coordination on aluminum. Look up welding tips and tricks YouTube site, and look at what he calls the steel drill and the aluminum drill. Do those exercises first.

    I will for sure check those out! I had a friend who is a pipe welder come help/watch me today we made a lot of improvements in my technique and welds are coming out much better, I’ll get some pictures next time i go to the shop

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Beckley, WV
    Posts
    77

    Re: new guy looking for help/advice Alphatig welder

    Watch this:

    Your setup sounds fine. It just takes some time to learn the skill of tig welding. But your heat input and travel speed are two of the major factors that cause grey looking welds. Just keep practicing. Run bead after bead after bead. Your on the right path. Try different things...

    2017 Everlast Powertig 210 EXT with a CK 20 and water cooler
    Miller Multimatic 215
    Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP

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