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Thread: Tungsten Keeps Melting

  1. #1
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    Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Alright so tonight was the first time I tried TIG welding (I am an absolute beginner at welding in general) and I have to say it went bad! I understand it's a very steep learning curve and I have also put a lot of research into it.

    I have an AMICO MTS-205 that I purchased from Ebay since it does a little bit of everything. Purchased this tungsten rod and this filler metal.
    Hooked the tig torch up, made sure to connect the clamp to positive and the torch to negative. Using a #6 cup. Decided to practice running beads on a piece of (I believe) 1/4" mild steel angle bar that I clean the mill scale off of the side I was going to practice on. Set the amps to around 90 (because I've red that 1/16" tungsten can go up to 150).

    Tried to scratch start and failed miserably. Decided to strike the filler metal in between the metal and tungsten and I was able to get an arch going for less than a second and then it just stopped. Looked at my tungsten and it was completely melted into the cup. Sharpened it at the grinder and back in the torch it went.

    Turned the amps down the 60 and tried it again. EXACT SAME thing happens. Dress it again and this time I drop it down to 20 amps. I strike an arc and this time it stays for a good while, I try to move to tungsten over but the arc just wants to stay at the same spot it started at. The cup starts to turn red and eventually after 7 seconds or so my tungsten melts again.

    I have no clue what's wrong. I turned the amps down all the way but still I am getting the same problem. The only thing I can possibly think of is maybe attaching the clamp to a part of the piece that mill scale on it? I honestly have no clue.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Got argon? On?

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    Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Does your welding machine have a gas solenoid that opens when you touch your foot pedal? Or are you using a torch with a gas valve on it?
    No argon will burn off the tungstens tip, yes. As will incorrect polarity.

    I hate 1/16 tungsten. Too small for majority of what i do mostly.
    For 1/4 material, dc tig, Id be using 3/32 tungsten at the smallest and the amps you started with.
    I have a scratch start set up on my old 250 Lincoln. Simple and it works.
    Last edited by snoeproe; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:27 AM.
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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Got argon? On?
    Yes, Pure Argon. 15 cu.ft.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoeproe View Post
    Does your welding machine have a gas solenoid that opens when you touch your foot pedal? Or are you using a torch with a gas valve on it?
    Sadly my machine does not have a foot pedal. I have to turn the knob on the torch manually to let the argon flow. There is a small leak where the tube connects to the copper pipe inside the torch (beacuse of the crimp connector) but I don't think that would affect anything.

    Going to try to use a little more argon and see if that helps.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Is there any possibility that the leads are swapped?


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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by 6010fd12 View Post
    Yes, Pure Argon. 15 cu.ft.


    Sadly my machine does not have a foot pedal. I have to turn the knob on the torch manually to let the argon flow. There is a small leak where the tube connects to the copper pipe inside the torch (beacuse of the crimp connector) but I don't think that would affect anything.

    Going to try to use a little more argon and see if that helps.
    Leaks will likely affect it. Any leak is non-acceptable. If you believe otherwise and refuse to fix, then you already know more than us and don't really need help.

    I will question everything until I see pictures. Reason is, it is ALWAYS something you think is correct, but it is not, and since we can't see it to verify, we go on-and-on thinking it was right all along, until you start to think about it some more, and then it dawns on you. So to save everyone time, please post pictures of everything you are being asked to verify. For right now, I doubt you have 100% argon and are flowing 15 CFH. I also kinda question the polarity of the leads.
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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Yeah what Oscar said....I had a similar problem with a valves torch. Took a long time to identify the leak. Very frustrating experience. The gas will escape through the most convenient route.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Curious if you have the torch assembled correctly? I thought I read a post where someone had the collet in backwards which made me think something is wrong with the torch set up. Argon is too expensive to have any leaks. Reverse polarity will burn the tungsten up. It can be used for a second or two on lower amps on a piece of copper to clean minor contamination of the tungsten though.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    You guys are making it sound like I'm trying to convince you the toothfair is real.
    You guy want evidence and I completely understand that. Here is a video of the leak that I sent the seller. I'll take more when I get home.


    Sadly the leak is unfixable (at least by me) since hose clamps would make it leak as well and I don't have that crimping tool needed for this 5/16 hose.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    If your only running 15 at your regulator/flow meter and you have a gas leak somewhere on the torch, your not flowing enough argon to the weld area.
    Leaks are not acceptable. Argon costs too much.
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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Fair point. I made sure to set the argor when the torch valve was open all the way but going to try to repair the leak first before I continue.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Tig welding is great, you'll love it when you get going.

    Be nice to yourself and buy a SuperFlex tig hose/power cable. Light and flexible and easy on the hand and wrist.

    Then make sure you buy a nice 17 series flex head torch with valve (if the one you have is a rigid torch), it'll say 17FV on the head.
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  17. #13
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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Can someone link me to a clamp cinch tool that can do 5/16? I have found 5/16 clamps but I can't any tool that does 5/16.
    Its always 3/8 to 1".

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by 6010fd12 View Post
    Can someone link me to a clamp cinch tool that can do 5/16? I have found 5/16 clamps but I can't any tool that does 5/16.
    Its always 3/8 to 1".
    I had an old. C/k no 17. It used wire to wrap the tube. I. Found that pictured frame hanging wire from HD worked. It was the smallest wire that would wrap/twist and fit in the space. I did a thread on it many many years ago.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR8 View Post
    Is there any possibility that the leads are swapped?
    That was my first thought, as well. DCEP will melt the tungsten pretty fast.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by 6010fd12 View Post
    You guys are making it sound like I'm trying to convince you the toothfair is real.
    You guy want evidence and I completely understand that. Here is a video of the leak that I sent the seller. I'll take more when I get home.


    Sadly the leak is unfixable (at least by me) since hose clamps would make it leak as well and I don't have that crimping tool needed for this 5/16 hose.
    It's not that we don't believe you about the leak. I will take your word for it on that one that it exists. But everything else is always questionable. It is rarely the case that the machine is malfunctioning if you've read enough threads about TIG welding troubles. 99 out of 98 times, it's always something overlooked because the person had no idea it could even be a culprit for the troubles. If any possible culprits are found, they must be taken care of to be eliminated and move forward with the diagnosis. The last thing anyone here wants to hear after giving you their free, un-compensated time, is "oh guys, I figured it out, it was the leak after all, the one that I didn't think would have been an issue. Thanks guys!".

    Lowes/Home depot sells a pinch clamp tool to take care of those pinch clamps.

    Here the parts you need to replace that joint connector:

    C17-1
    N17-1
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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Curious if you have the torch assembled correctly? I thought I read a post where someone had the collet in backwards which made me think something is wrong with the torch set up. Argon is too expensive to have any leaks. Reverse polarity will burn the tungsten up. It can be used for a second or two on lower amps on a piece of copper to clean minor contamination of the tungsten though.
    I posted about finding a collet in backwards. A friend could weld steel and stainless, but aluminum was a complete disaster. He brought the machine over and I took the torch apart to grind the tungsten and found the collet in backwards...problem solved.
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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Tig welding is great, you'll love it when you get going.

    Be nice to yourself and buy a SuperFlex tig hose/power cable. Light and flexible and easy on the hand and wrist.

    Then make sure you buy a nice 17 series flex head torch with valve (if the one you have is a rigid torch), it'll say 17FV on the head.
    One issue I found on the machine I just bought was the torch lead was the two piece type with a separate gas hose that was attached to the torch cable with a gazillion zip ties and most were way too tight. My first practice/play beads took nearly 40 CFH to get any kind of clean bead, I cut all the ties and was back to 17 CFH with a #6 cup. Didn't blow my tungsten though.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    One issue I found on the machine I just bought was the torch lead was the two piece type with a separate gas hose that was attached to the torch cable with a gazillion zip ties and most were way too tight. My first practice/play beads took nearly 40 CFH to get any kind of clean bead, I cut all the ties and was back to 17 CFH with a #6 cup. Didn't blow my tungsten though.
    Nice when a plan comes to fruition. I go through the same gymnastics until I get the proper cup/flow ratio. Can be very frustrating sometimes.
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  27. #20
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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR8 View Post
    Is there any possibility that the leads are swapped?


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    OP WELL??? What is your polarity on the torch???

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by Billdacat View Post
    OP WELL??? What is your polarity on the torch???
    Sorry for the long wait. I was waiting on my new torch to come in from the seller. It took extra long since they sent me a MiG gun at first. I found at the problem. Here is the whole process I went through.
    (Yes I know I'm terrible at remembering to turn on the argon)


    Short Answer: The problem was the torch was connected to negative instead of positive. Watch the video if you don't believe me.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    That will make things go poof.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Yes!
    Problem solved.


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  34. #24
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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Need torch on negative for Tig.

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    Re: Tungsten Keeps Melting

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Need torch on negative for Tig.
    I hear ya and that's how I had it originally when it kept melting my tungsten. If you watched the video I posted you can see when I switched the torch to positive and the ground clamp to negative it actually worked. Idk why that's happening but I'm so glad I was finally able to figure it out.

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