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Thread: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

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    2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Looking to see if the vast amount of knowledge on the forum could give me some suggestions or comment if I am at least heading in the right direction. These are pictures from day 2 or my tig welding. The first two runs at the top are with out filler, the rest are with filler. Yesterday I practiced for a couple hours just making passes without filler so I could calm down my hand and make the motion as fluid as I could. I feel that it is getting a lot better but I could very much be wrong also. Yesterday I just laid BLOBS on some metal. Just looking to see if I could get some advice on if you can see what I am doing wrong? is the color of the coupons good? should I use more heat and less travel speed? Does it look like i am adding the filler to fast because of how tight the beads look? stuff like that if it is possible to tell from a picture. There is so much to learn. My goal is to eventually be able to work on auto body panels along with exhaust. I'm sure that will turn into much more. I don't plan on even attempting to do any work until I am confident I can do it right. I would think maybe in a year or so with lots of practice I will be ready. I have a Gas lens kit but have not used it. I read that I shouldn't use that until I was decent but I wanted to have it for when I am ready. I think my pace is a bit to fast as the beads are really close together. All the videos I have seen it looks like there are definitive beads. Anyway any help on what to practice more of, or what would be a good idea to practice now would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any comments and suggestions. I hope the next picture is a lot better. To be honest though I was pretty happy with the way they look even if they are crappy. Compared to yesterday they are way better lol

    Welder: Amico CTS 160 ( Plasma / Stick / Tig ) wp9f torch.
    1/16th 2% Lanthanated Tungsten
    Er70s-2 filler rod ( 1/16, .045, and .035)
    Amp:30 thru 60
    Gas: 7-15 cfh
    Mild Steel Coupons ( .125 and .25) I bought about 500 of these but I have already went though about 75 lol. It was well worth it though.

    I have 3/32 tungsten ( Green) but I have not attempted to use it yet. I read that the bigger the tungsten and filler rod used the easier it is to weld. I am using 1/16th because I figured that is what I would be using for sheet metal so I would practice it now. If i should switch to thicker I am more that willing. I appreciate your help.
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  2. #2
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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    You're cooking the metal (allowing it to become severly oxidized/gray) because you're just way too slow. It happens. You will get better when you get faster. I can tell you're going slow because it's tough to digest everything at first. That is why you were [incorrectly] using 30-60A. What you need to use is 80-130A, eventually. The amperage also depends on the joint configuration. Also, you didn't mention tig cup size, but 7 CFH is just way too low. You need to not be so stingy with the shielding gas. You're gonna use a metric a*#load of it as you're learning. Get over it, accept it, and fork over the cash for it. Minimum 10-12CFH with a #5 cup. Closer to 30 CFH with a #10.
    Last edited by Oscar; 08-31-2020 at 09:48 PM.
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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    See how far away your coloring is (far edges of the HAZ zone) that says your putting too much heat into the plate. That could be because you are running too slow with not enough amps, not allowing your metal to cool between passes, or just too hot in general.

    Your beads look ok, which is a good step. You just have to learn where the proper settings are to run a proper bead, which is very hard to learn by yourself.

    The way I teach people is dont think of heat as amps which you are normally taught. Think of it as heat units. For example, if you weld 10" at 100 amps for 10 seconds, you have 1,000 heat units. If you weld the same 10" at 80 amps but it takes you 18 seconds, you now are using 1,440 heat units to do the same weld. Learning where the proper heat unit range is, is just a lot of learning and practicing, and scrap piles.

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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Thank you both I appreciate your suggestions and will start playing around with the gas settings. I was to nervous to go up to higher amps just because I didn't think I would be able to keep pace and just burn through everything ( Can I use higher amps with 1/16th filler and tungsten?) or should I move the the 3/32 set up. The settings have been the hardest part to figure out. Specially the gas, I purchased a 244 cu ft tank and I just didn't know how much to pump it up. I will start using 15 and see what that does for me. Again, thanks for the suggestions it helps out a lot. I'm eager to learn the most I can, I have plenty if time only working half the month. Its turned into a pretty awesome hobby and I just want to be able to use it for my auto restoration. Last question if I pumped up the gas to 12lpm and kept all the same settings I am currently using and just sped up my travel speed would I still be burning the metal? I think part of the reason was because i was using the same coupon for 3 passes in a row. I can start using multiple coupons and alternating each one so it doesn't get so hot. Thanks again for you help.

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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    LPM or CFH? You might want to stick with one consistent unit so you can receive the proper advice.
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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    I'm no pro, but yeah your amps are way low. Try the Miller calculator to at least give you an idea of where to start:
    https://www.millerwelds.com/resource...ng-calculators
    -Dave
    XMT304 with: 22A Feeder, or HF251 Hi Freq DC TIG air cooled

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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    [QUOTE
    Mild Steel Coupons ( .125 and .25) I bought about 500 of these but I have already went though about 75 lol. It was well worth it though.
    [/QUOTE]

    Where did you get about 500 coupons - and what did that cost if you don't mind me asking? I'm trying to decide if I should buy a bunch - or just get a 4" length or two of flat stock and just cut them myself.....

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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Quote Originally Posted by jfk92 View Post
    [QUOTE
    Mild Steel Coupons ( .125 and .25) I bought about 500 of these but I have already went though about 75 lol. It was well worth it though.
    Where did you get about 500 coupons - and what did that cost if you don't mind me asking? I'm trying to decide if I should buy a bunch - or just get a 4" length or two of flat stock and just cut them myself.....[/QUOTE]

    Weldmetals.com

    https://weldmetalsonline.com/collect...-metal-coupons

    $5 for 10 coupons of .065
    7.50 for 10 of .125

    I went half and half. the shipping was to my house in Alaska in 3 days!! I did make some myself while I was waiting for these. But it was so much easier just spending the little money for the coupons and have everything really clean already. I have no problem do ing the prep work on my own. However i would like to focus on welding more with the time I have then the prep of making my own. If I ever get good with the tig process I will spend more time on all the other stuff.

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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Quote Originally Posted by cooperstown24 View Post
    Where did you get about 500 coupons - and what did that cost if you don't mind me asking? I'm trying to decide if I should buy a bunch - or just get a 4" length or two of flat stock and just cut them myself.....
    Weldmetals.com

    https://weldmetalsonline.com/collect...-metal-coupons

    $5 for 10 coupons of .065
    7.50 for 10 of .125

    I went half and half. the shipping was to my house in Alaska in 3 days!! I did make some myself while I was waiting for these. But it was so much easier just spending the little money for the coupons and have everything really clean already. I have no problem do ing the prep work on my own. However i would like to focus on welding more with the time I have then the prep of making my own. If I ever get good with the tig process I will spend more time on all the other stuff.[/QUOTE]

    So that's like $300 for those 500 coupons. That's an average of ~$3/lb. I would rather have paid ~$1.20/lb for flat and cut it up/cleaned it myself.
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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Watch the videos Jodi posts on YouTube on weldingtipsandtricks.com

    He has some good videos on welding. Remember everything is based on how you set up and run so it may be a little different for you.

    Being comfortable is the number 1 thing to being consistent.

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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Quote Originally Posted by Country Metals View Post
    Being comfortable is the number 1 thing to being consistent.
    Completely agree. It's the one thing that I feel is not emphasized enough. We need a video just to show people how to prop, but even then you can't "see" how one is supporting one's self via musculoskeletal support, aka: how one is supporting their own weight, whether the are sitting or standing, leaning, propping on a support, sliding to one side, tightening their core to avoid slouching over and placing half their body weight on their wrists, etc, etc.
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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Weldmetals.com

    https://weldmetalsonline.com/collect...-metal-coupons

    $5 for 10 coupons of .065
    7.50 for 10 of .125

    I went half and half. the shipping was to my house in Alaska in 3 days!! I did make some myself while I was waiting for these. But it was so much easier just spending the little money for the coupons and have everything really clean already. I have no problem do ing the prep work on my own. However i would like to focus on welding more with the time I have then the prep of making my own. If I ever get good with the tig process I will spend more time on all the other stuff.
    So that's like $300 for those 500 coupons. That's an average of ~$3/lb. I would rather have paid ~$1.20/lb for flat and cut it up/cleaned it myself. [/QUOTE]

    It all depends what you think your times worth.

    OP could have saved about $180 on materials, but you also have to consider there are costs to cutting up and prepping them, this dude probably doesn't have a guillotine or iron worker, so he's cutting it by hand most likely with a grinder, which means consumables, and cutting up 500 coupons is going to eat through quite a few cutting wheels and sanding disks to get them cut up and clean, I'd say its fairly reasonable to say you'd be able to cut maybe 10 coupons per .040 cutting wheel so that's 50 wheels, a box of 100 flexovit .040 (a pretty middle of the range brand, its the brand I most commonly encounter in the field) cost's $120 for Jo blow in his shed (i'm sure as an industrial bulk buyer you can get em cheaper, but again, that's not this dude), so there's another $60 just in cutting wheels, plus the sanding pads or hard wheels to get the scale off, is using hard wheels (I recon 2 3M cubitron 2's would do it at $15 a piece, if using cheaps wheel make it 5-10 of whatever brand) add another $30 or so, so that's adding up to around $270

    I recon I could get it down to 3 minutes per coupon to go get the steel, mark out, cut and clean each coupon, for 500 thats 25 hours, or 3 work days.

    So you'd save maybe $30 and spend 3 days of your time doing it yourself, if that's the case can I hire you? since you only value your time at $1.20 an hour I have a few jobs to I could get you to do.

    To OP on your weld's, I think your doing great, especially for only two days in, Don't stress about heat soaking the part, your welding mild steel not duplex or B3 chrome and picking up the speed and welding hotter ect is something you can refine later on once you have the basics down of putting down a consistent bead (which you are doing pretty well), it's not going to make the slightest difference to the soundness of your finished welds, your beads are looking pretty consistent, and you're keeping them pretty straight as well considering you're not giving yourself a reference to follow, I think move up to doing some T joints and keep practicing, compared to some that try to learn to TIG you're doing really well.
    Last edited by ttoks; 09-13-2020 at 05:00 AM.

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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Absolutely! Send the work to me. I'll do it.
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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    Thank you for the advice! Can't wait to get off this damn oilfield and get back into my garage. The only thing that sucks is I have my rocker panels and cab joints already waiting for me to install on my 72! However I need to get alot better before I am ready to install those LOL so for now I just stare at them while my truck talks **** to me because i wont get the rust off her hahahaha. I appreciate your time. It has become crazy addictive to weld coupons. I suppose it will be even worse when I am good enought to do good solid T Joints and corner Joints. I have blown through all the corners I have tried but I know it just takes practice and getting the settings correct.
    I have been keeping a log so far of what I think is working on the right settings and it's helping. I will switch to 3/32 tungsten this time at home and thicker metal and see what that looks like, along with more amps. Maybe 100 or 110. I appreciate everyones comments it helps point me in the right direction.

    Thanks again.

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    Re: 2nd Day Tig Welding Advice/ Critique / Knowledge Sharing

    I appreciate you trying to save me money LOL. But I really just wanted to focus on welding and not prep work right now. I had some extra cash and this was the best route for me If I can get the right tools in the future then sure I can make my own. I have limited time with 3 kids under 6 so If I would have had to pay $5/lb I would have LOL. Just so I can get going.

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