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Thread: Beginner TIG Help

  1. #1
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    Beginner TIG Help

    I am an average MIG welder jumping into the deep end and trying my hand at TIG. I do not think I have ever been sooo bad at anything in my entire life, mad props to those of you that can do it. It is truly an art form. I have watched a ton of instructional videos to no avail, so I thought I would join the forum and post some pictures and see if I can get some suggestions as to what I am doing wrong. Hoping this is something simple, like "hey dumb@ss, you can't use this with that".

    Here is the setup, I will try to provide all the details, nothing worse then a cry for help with no details.

    Welder: Everlast Powertig 200 DV (Picture will show settings)

    Material: 6063-T5
    Tungsten: Blue 2% Lanthanated 1/8" Pointed, not balled or flattened (have also tried 2% Thoriated, Red)
    Cup Size: 8
    Flow Rate: 20
    Gas: 100% Argon
    Filler: 4043 3/32"

    Amps: The welds in the image were at 100amps, I have tried 50, 75, 100, 200 and about everything in between.

    Welding Settings:
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    The mess I have been making:
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    Thanks in advance, I have been reading this forum for quite a while, this is my first post.

    - Adam
    Last edited by WX7OLO; 09-29-2018 at 10:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    I just have to ask, but you are using 100% argon right?
    My "collection":

    Homemade Stick Welder
    Victor O/A Torch
    AC 225
    Ideal Arc 250

    HF 90 Amp Flux Core
    HF Mig 170
    Solar 2020 Plasma Cutter
    Power i-Mig 140E
    Harris O/A torch
    HF Dual Mig 131
    140ST
    Alpha Tig 200x

  3. #3
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Welcome to the forum Adam!

    Looks like DC possibly and use 3/32 tungsten for that low of amps. U won’t need 1/8 on a 200 amp inverter. The can go 265 amps and still have a tiny ball on the tungsten with 3/32. Do u hear a loud buzzing high freq noise?

  4. #4
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Yes, 100% argon, I should have put that in the details.

    Yes, I hear a loud buzz. The arc looks good to me, and sounds like I hear in videos. Getting good penetration, on the 1/8 stock I am on I am penetrating all the way through, so the puddle is there.

    I am wondering if it is a pace issue, moving to slow.

  5. #5
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Could be shielding gas problem. Try 130 amps floord pedal and dipping the filler with good torch and rod angle. U want the filler rod and torch to be about 90 degree perpendicular to each other. Your overheating the weld tho by dueling around to long. That’s why it looks wrinkled in a few spots. That’s the metal peeling back
    Last edited by motolife313; 09-29-2018 at 10:57 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Motolife313 - THANK YOU!! That appears to have been my problem. I stepped down to 3/32 and got something that actually resembled a TIG weld.

  7. #7
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    It will help focus the weld but rod and torch angle will make the big difference. Let’s see the new pics?

  8. #8
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Here you go, still a long ways to go, but at least it resembles a TIG weld and not a burned out mess.

    Name:  TIG.jpg
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  9. #9
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Is that a different piece of metal? Nice work btw. The one u first posted looked really shiney like it was coated

  10. #10
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Same piece. Just further down.

  11. #11
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Well fill that puppy up with beads now then try a butt joint. Butt joint is much easier then t joint. When I bump a tungsten I like to dress it then grab a scrap piece of aluminum and pre clean my tungsten for a few seconds. On low amps to where it just forms a ball maybe. This will let the ac clean the tungsten. That will help with the starts being cleaner. U won’t get the brown at the start of the weld that way like U got. And personally I prefer a dedicated flap wheel on my grinder to dress it, with 120 grit flap wheel and a drill to spin the tungsten with. It will come out like a lathe turned it. Nice concentric taperd point that way. Non dedicated flap wheel that’s too rough can chip your point off easy making hard to get nice even taper

    That’s a very nice clean weld btw. No contamination in there. That’s what u want a nice shiney weld like that.

    Also when the aluminum is cold U wanna give it a few seconds on low amps to pre heat it and it will weld much cleaner that way, that’s why it turned brown at the beginning also. When it’s warm romp the pedal but when just srarting give it time and just barley puddle it to preheat it. Likes the smallest puddle u can make. U gota control the metal! then bring the puddle up to size
    Last edited by motolife313; 09-30-2018 at 12:08 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Thanks motolife313.

  13. #13
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    I would also go down to a 3/32 tungsten as well (2% lanthanated all day everyday), and when sharpening i like to do a blunted tip. kinda like a pointed tip but them put a little flat on the end of it. I just do that on aluminum tho. then on all other metals i put a nice sharp point on it.

    25% - 35% AC balance. then on the frequency you can play around with that when just running beads, but i like to go around 90-140 just depends on what im feelin like for that day.

    I would also go to a gas lense whenever you have a chance. I like using a number 6 cup with a gas lense when welding aluminum.

    One last thing, make sure EVERYTHING is clean, especially the filler rod.

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

  14. #14
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    Re: Beginner TIG Help

    Quote Originally Posted by rohinipatel2018 View Post
    There are a lot more ways to control the arc, puddle, and final outcome of your weld than with a MIG welder. Here are 5 tips that are essential to keep in mind when learning the basics of Tig Electrodes.

    1. Cleanliness- TIG welding unlike other types of welding requires a very clean surface to produce a clean arc and nice welds. Make sure you are cleaning the work surface extremely well before you weld. For aluminum and stainless we like to use a dedicated stainless brush for each type of metal we are welding on. DO NOT use the same wire brush you use to clean rust and scale off of your chassis! You will find the more time you take cleaning your work area before welding, the better your final results will be.
    2. Choose the correct Tungsten- Depending on the surface you are working on, you may need to change out your Tungsten. Traditionally green tungstens are used for aluminum and red for steels, but some people prefer the purple band E3 tungstens across the board. We suggest trying the “traditional” use of each before making a decision. Believe it or not, it’s possible to use too small or too large of a tungsten for the thickness material you are welding. By using too large of a tungsten you will have to turn the heat up far too much to strike an arc and could risk warping or burning through the workpiece. On the other side, using too small of a tungsten can cause damage to the tungsten from being overheated. Below you can see an overheated 1/16 tungsten.
    3. Touch the Tip, Regrind- This is one of the most frustrating parts of learning to TIG weld, as well as one of the hardest to obey. If you happen to touch your tungsten tip into the puddle, even for a split second, you have contaminated it and you MUST regrind the tungsten. You will know if you have done this because the arc will start to wander badly, as well as a it will be difficult to keep a focused arc on the metal. Below is a picture of a tip that was just touched for a split second, notice the sharp tip now has “splits” in it.
    4. Keep up productivity- There are a few things you can do to keep you welding longer, and without interruption. Distractions and interruptions will make a beginner easily forget what they have just learned and will make it more difficult where they left off. A few things can be done to optimize your time learning to TIG. A big one is to keep extra Tungstens ground, and ready in case you contaminate one. Also keep any pieces you plan to weld cleaned and in arms reach. Lastly, keep plenty of extra filler rod in a close arms reach (it goes quick!).
    5.Grind your Tungstens Correctly- A common first-time error beginners make is to not correctly grind their tungstens. Make sure you are grinding the tungsten length-wise, and as even as possible. Grinding the opposite way will make for an unpredictable arc that tends to wander on the workpiece. If you aren’t using a tungsten sharpener, we suggest using a dedicated bench grinder to only grind tungstens on, otherwise your tungstens can be contaminated if using an all purpose grinder.

    I agree with all of that, except for one thing.

    1st, do NOT use "traditional" tungsten, aka green band, aka pure tungsten on the newer/inverter style machines. There are sooo many other and better choices, like 2% lanthanated or a pink band/multi mix from weld porn or arczone (theirs is a light blue band but still) or blue demon.

    I also prefer not to grind up a bunch of electrodes and keep at the ready, because for me i like to try and make myself learn not to dip the tungsten because i know i have to re sharpen if i do, so by keeping that mindset it forces me to try super hard not to dip the tungsten.

    Also a really good way to get an even point on an electrode every single time is to use a drill.

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

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