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Thread: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

  1. #26
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by cornchip View Post
    what i did was put the argon at 20 cfh and set the post flow to just under 1sec for every 1 amp. was hardly any black on the tungsten.
    You go from one extreme to another with post flow. From the Miller manual for my Syncrowave 200... "Auto-postflow provides a minimum of five seconds of post flow for anything less than 50 amps of weld current, and an additional one second of postflow for each additional ten amps of weld current." 1 sec for 1 amp like you are using is almost 2 1/2 minutes of post flow at 150 amps, vs say 15-20 seconds that's probably needed. The extra gas will help cool down the torch cable and head, but you will go thru massive amounts of gas that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by cornchip View Post
    from here on out ill probly preheat the part though, atleast to somewhere around 200f-400f and that should really speed up the process. with a cold part i had to floor board the petal at 150amps and even then it took a minute before it had enough heat that i could weld

    Recommended max preheat and interpass temp when welding say 6061 alum is a max of 250 deg for no longer than 15 minutes. Lots of preheat isn't your friend with alum as it can cause the material to weaken. It may or may not matter based on what you are welding, but it is something to be aware of.


    Quote Originally Posted by cornchip View Post

    the question is, i have the ck 17 aircooled torch. the ck website says this torch is 150 amps ACHF or DCSP @ 100%. does this meen i cant turn the machine up higher than 150 amps with this torch ?
    My Weldcraft 17 size torch on my Miller is rated even lower in AC than your CK is. I want to say it's rated at 120 amps @ 60% duty cycle. I've had mine all the way up to 200 amps for brief periods when welding alum. As mentioned you have to watch the overheating. I weld in very thin tig gloves. If the torch/cable is too hot to touch, it's too hot to weld. My hand is a whole lot more sensitive to heat than the plastic/copper is. Once it's too hot to hold, I let it sit and cool down while I work on other things for a bit. I try and arrange things so I still have things like prep to work on while I'm waiting for the air cooled torch to cool down. If I did more alum tig regularly, I'd probably opt for a water cooled tig torch.

    Just watch how hot things get and you should be good.
    .



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  2. #27
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    that 1 sec post flow for every 1 amp was a mistype. meant to say 1sec post flow for every 10amps. i heard that was a good place to start at anyways

  3. #28
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    any cast aluminum experts care to offer some pointers. im welding on this motorcycle cylinder and its giving me alot of grief. i knew it wouldnt be easy but didnt figure it would be this hard. no matter how much you clean it (grind with carbide bur then a dremel with SS wire wheel then wipe with acetone is what i been doing), even still the damn thing has black crud in the puddle soon as you lite up and it all goes in the toilet after that. then alot of it has to be grinded back out. 2 steps forward and 1.5 steps back. im no expert so maybe theres some secrets to this stuff im not aware of.

    heres my setup and maybe someone can point out where im going wrong

    180 amps but i might bump it up to 200 as i have to floor board the peddle most of the time even with a 200* preheat
    17 aircooled torch which is getting extremely hot
    1/8" blue tungsten
    120-140 on the hz
    around 60 on the balance if i recall
    20cfh straight argon. (would a helium mix help ?)
    stickout is slightly less than the dimater of the cup ID. was using a pyrex setup with gas lens but i think it burned up so im back to a standard alumina cup setup

  4. #29
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    You're not too far off...

    2% Thoriated tungsten works well with aluminum.

    I can't tell how thick that piece is, but I'm guessing it to be about 1/4" thick?? If so, 75/25% He / Ar would help. Not that it can't be done with 200 amps, but it will be a challenge until the aluminum really heats up from welding.

    I keep a bottle of it on hand, just for such jobs, but...it is only available in large bottles, at least around here. Not cheap, but I can charge it to the job. It works wonders.

    If you're getting black in the puddle, that's a gas coverage issue, unless the piece you're welding is impregnated with oil. Does a liquid film form when you start welding?

    You can do a drop test to see if you have any leaks in your gas line, from the bottle gauge to the machine's gas solenoid. First, make sure that all your connections are snug.

    Then, turn on the gas bottle.

    Turn on the welding machine. Turn the post flow off.

    Step on the foot pedal while watching the bottle gauge ball reach the set CFH.

    Let off of the pedal.

    The ball should drop completely. If the ball stays "up" at all, there is a leak.

    To check between the solenoid and the exit of the tig torch, just screw a back cap into where the gas lens goes.

    So now, you should have 2 back caps tightened on the torch, one in the back and one in the front.

    Step on the pedal and listen for a leak. The ball should drop completely & quickly, if it even goes up at all.

    Hope this helps.

    Rich
    Last edited by steelsurgeon; 05-31-2015 at 05:35 PM.

  5. #30
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    Your settings sound good, maybe a little high on the Hz. Try the vinegar test to make sure it's not magnesium: a few drops on a clean spot, peroxide-like foaming = Magnesium. If it sits there like water you're having some other problem, like sand and oil.
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  6. #31
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    thnx for the tips. everything is nearly new so i doubt theres a leak but ill check anyways

    maybe the black crud could be a gas problem. never thought of that but i have been sticking the tungsten out rather far so i can reach into the tight areas. i originally thought the black was just 20yrs of oil soaked into the casting but maybe im wrong. ive got a stubby gas lens kit on the way so maybe ill be better off now with gas coverage. whats the general rule for stick out ? i been going about 75% of the cup ID and sometimes 100% of the cup ID. maybe thats just to far with the cup setups i have. ive heard of people going a full inch stickout with a gas lens and turning the cfh up alittle, so maybe ill try that.

    i thought it was aluminum but then again some motorcycle engine parts have some magnesium. ill do the vinegar test

    ill be at the welding store tomorow and ask how much a bottle of 75/25 ar/he is. sounds like that would really help in this situation. right now i pretty much have to stand on the peddle the whole time at 180amps and it heats up this 17 aircooled torch fast. already burned up one pyrex collet body as the tungsten adapter got seized in it so i ordered a new one. torch head was 350f hahah

    the tungsten i have are 3/32 and 1/8 2% lanthanated (blue) and 3/32 and 1/8 2% ceriated (grey). seems like i have some gold ones also in 3/32 and 1/8

  7. #32
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    CO2 and TIG don't mix, try 100% argon or mix in some helium. Your #17 torch should be good for 200a at a 25% duty cycle.


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  8. #33
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by cornchip View Post
    thnx for the tips. everything is nearly new so i doubt theres a leak but ill check anyways

    maybe the black crud could be a gas problem. never thought of that but i have been sticking the tungsten out rather far so i can reach into the tight areas. i originally thought the black was just 20yrs of oil soaked into the casting but maybe im wrong. ive got a stubby gas lens kit on the way so maybe ill be better off now with gas coverage. whats the general rule for stick out ? i been going about 75% of the cup ID and sometimes 100% of the cup ID. maybe thats just to far with the cup setups i have. ive heard of people going a full inch stickout with a gas lens and turning the cfh up alittle, so maybe ill try that.

    i thought it was aluminum but then again some motorcycle engine parts have some magnesium. ill do the vinegar test

    ill be at the welding store tomorow and ask how much a bottle of 75/25 ar/he is. sounds like that would really help in this situation. right now i pretty much have to stand on the peddle the whole time at 180amps and it heats up this 17 aircooled torch fast. already burned up one pyrex collet body as the tungsten adapter got seized in it so i ordered a new one. torch head was 350f hahah

    the tungsten i have are 3/32 and 1/8 2% lanthanated (blue) and 3/32 and 1/8 2% ceriated (grey). seems like i have some gold ones also in 3/32 and 1/8
    Welding on that piece, I'd use 2% thoriated (red) tungsten, with no more that 5/16" stickout.

    BTW...the "hot gas" is 75% helium / 25% argon.

    Rich

  9. #34
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    i got some 75/25 ar/he so ill see if it does any better than straight argon. if not then they have another ar/he mix i can try but i didnt ask if its 50/50 or what. maybe its 25/75 ar/he. hopefully my gas lens setup shows up by friday and that should help also i think. sooner or later ill get it figured out with enough trial and error . i might try some different tunsgsten but i want to see first if this new gas mix does any good

    while im thinking of it, has anyone tried a ck micro torch ? i was thinking of getting one for another project i have that has very tight areas but didnt know how good they work.

  10. #35
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    Re: good welding machine for home use by a new guy ?

    Havent tried the micro, but my CK #9 flex has been great. With a gas lens and a short back cap it's pretty compact, and has held up at 200A for a few seconds at a time.
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