HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG
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  1. #1

    HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Recently got a new to me Miller Econo Twin HF stick/Tig machine. I can weld fine without adding filler, get a good stable arc and practiced welding lines, but as soon as I go to add any filler the pool puffs a cloud of white smoke that covers my mask in two to three dabs. Also covers the weld cup and shoots tiny metal particales everywhere. I first thought i wasn't getting things clean enough but after putting on a new gas lens, cleaning the practice pieces with a flap disc and rubbing them and the filler down liberally with acetone I still run into the same problem. I'm at a loss as to what to try next.
    PLEASE help me figure out what i'm doing wrong.

    running just over 100 amps on 11 gauge mild steel
    wp-17 torch with HF start button attached
    1/16 thoriated tungsten with 1/16ER 70s-2 filler
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    Last edited by Wwelder99; 10-08-2019 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Corrections/images

  2. #2
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    What sort of CFH are you running? Are you sure the mild steel isn't galvanized? If it's galvanized you really don't want to breath that white smoke! Do you have other steel to try?
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  3. #3

    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Knew i forgot something, started at 15 cfh then went up to 20 but didn't appear to make a difference. I'm sure it's not galvanized as the sheet metal was sitting outside and had a layer of rust over it that i ground down to bare steel. I've tried other pieces and have the same result, works well without filler but puffs and coughs as soon as i add filler.
    Thanks for the response.

  4. #4
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    It sure looks like something is galvanized. What about the filler wire? What is it and where did you get it? I can't think of anything that's in mild steel that could make a mess like that. The fact that you can run lines on the base metal without filler material says that it's not the problem. Something about the filler is not right. Could you be using flux core wire by chance?

  5. #5
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Have you tried another filler? Could be your filler is severely contaminated. Even some stainless filler as you are just practicing.


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  6. #6

    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Picked the filler up from the DFW welding supply nearby, like I said it's ER 70 s-2 at least that's what the guy wrote on the package and gave to me when I told him what I was welding. When i wiped them down there was a black residue that came off onto the rag but i wiped until there was black no more. I do have some 308L filler so i'll give that a shot now and see if it makes a difference.
    Thanks for the responses!

  7. #7

    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

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    SUCCESS!!
    Thanks so much everyone for the quick replies and suggestions, the 308l welds exactly how I imagined TIG to be, now I can finally get to practice. (I’m sure you can tell I need it)
    What do you think could have caused such serious contamination on the ER 70? Manufacture? Storage? I haven’t had it but a week before I used it, and kept it in the plastic bag provided.
    Thanks again everyone, don’t know why I didn’t try the 308 before.

  8. #8
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    My guess is the guy grabbed the wrong filler rod for you. How is the filler rod marked? The ends are usually flattened and stamped on modern TIG filler rods.

    In a pinch you can buy MIG ER70S-6 wire and twist it by making a loop, attaching one half to a fixed point and then the other end to a bolt in a drill and spin away. I've done this with .035 wire and the braided wire you wind up with is fine for practicing or working on thinner metal. That's a lot cheaper than burning up your 308 practicing.
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  9. #9
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by Wwelder99 View Post
    Picked the filler up from the DFW welding supply nearby, like I said it's ER 70 s-2 at least that's what the guy wrote on the package and gave to me when I told him what I was welding
    That's my vote as to what went wrong. He could have given you mild steel filler wire for Oxy-Acet possibly. I've never ran it under a TIG arc, but I believe it is different.
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  10. #10

    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Negative on the crimped marked ends, just a bronze/gold 36” rod.
    The 308L does have the crimps and is marked as such.
    Thanks for the advice on using mig wire, I have a 5lb spool for my mig, now I’ll have a use for the 13’ of wire that is normally wasted when the spool is out.

  11. #11
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    If it looks like silicon-bronze filler rod, then it might be just that. It looks bronze/gold-ish. Not sure it would give off white smoke though. Might want to check Google if O-A rod would give off fumes when under an electric arc.
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  12. #12
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Check to see if the filler rod is attracted to a magnet.

  13. #13
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Brass brazing rod? That might give off zinc...it sure looks like zinc oxide on your shield.

  14. #14
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Check to see if the filler rod is attracted to a magnet.
    X2 on this

  15. #15
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by Wwelder99 View Post
    Picked the filler up from the DFW welding supply nearby, like I said it's ER 70 s-2 at least that's what the guy wrote on the package and gave to me when I told him what I was welding. When i wiped them down there was a black residue that came off onto the rag but i wiped until there was black no more. I do have some 308L filler so i'll give that a shot now and see if it makes a difference.
    Thanks for the responses!
    I like a happy ending!

    Moral of the story. Never buy tig filler that is not marked or flagged accompanied by MTRs(material test reports-certs).
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  16. #16
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    That's my vote as to what went wrong. He could have given you mild steel filler wire for Oxy-Acet possibly. I've never ran it under a TIG arc, but I believe it is different.
    I've tig welded with oxy/fuel rods. It's a little less clean, but no big clouds of white.
    Dave J.

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  17. #17
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Whatever you end up doing, at the very least bring that crap back to where you bought it and ask for a refund!
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  18. #18

    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    That would definitely make more sense that I was given the wrong filler. I’m out of town for work so won’t be able to check magnetism until Friday. I will definitely be taking the pound of unknown filler back and explain the situation, though I’ll probably wait until I need to refill my argon as the welding supply is a bit of a drive into town. Ordered some er70s-2 off fleabay in the meantime BlueDemon brand, as well as some lanthanated tungsten.

  19. #19
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    Re: HELP! Puff of white smoke when adding filler, TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by Wwelder99 View Post
    Ordered some er70s-2 off fleabay in the meantime BlueDemon brand, as well as some lanthanated tungsten.
    I've been very happy with BlueDemon er70S-6 so far and didn't notice any difference when compared with some of the more expensive brands. I've heard folks say they got some that was oily, but I haven't had that issue. Looking forward to hearing if you ever figure out what they heck rod they gave you!
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