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Thread: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

  1. #51
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    Got a couple of hours of welding practice in today. I tried welding joints using the coupons I cut up last week.

    Bottom to top, butt weld, butt weld and 90 outer corner. The middle butt weld looks different because I felt I wasn't getting enough filler in the weld so I double dabbed the filler instead of a single dab. That middle weld is done right to left and I'm not very good at starting at the right edge. Then again, I'm not very good at ending on the left side either. The bottom weld, I started in the middle and went to each edge.





    Fillet weld. Another case of not ending well. Not a great start either.



    Same fillet weld. This angle highlights how little filler I am getting into the weld, as well as how much black crud is in the weld.



    I know I have a long ways to go.

    Tungsten: 3/32" 2% Lanthanated
    Current: 105 to 110 amps
    Frequency: 110
    Balance: 30/70
    Filler: 3/32" 4043
    Gas: Argon @ 14 CFH, measured at the torch. .5s Start, 7s End
    Cup: #7 using a stubby gas lens
    Pulse: None
    Welder: PrimeWeld TIG225X
    Jim
    PrimeWeld TIG225X
    2017 F-350 CCLB 6.7L
    2013 Polaris Ranger 900 XP in 2006 Fleetwood Gearbox 220FB using 3" Andersen WDH
    I don't always tow heavy, but when I do, I use my Superduty.
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  2. #52
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    I still see some black pepper flake contamination so you might want to up your cfh a bit. And check your stickout and arc length. I like 1/2 diameter to 3/4 diameter nozzle opening. And arc length about the distance of the diameter of your tungsten. So stickout a little less than 1/4" for outside corners with a #7 cup, to about 3/8" stickout for inside corners with same #7 cup. And arc length of 3/32" to 1/8" max. Sometimes I ride the puddle close and lift right when I cram the rod in from the side. DO NOT DRIBBLE the rod in. Stomp the pedal, cram the rod, and haul azz. You need to outrun the heat saturation flow.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  4. #53
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    I still see some black pepper flake contamination so you might want to up your cfh a bit. And check your stickout and arc length. I like 1/2 diameter to 3/4 diameter nozzle opening. And arc length about the distance of the diameter of your tungsten. So stickout a little less than 1/4" for outside corners with a #7 cup, to about 3/8" stickout for inside corners with same #7 cup. And arc length of 3/32" to 1/8" max. Sometimes I ride the puddle close and lift right when I cram the rod in from the side. DO NOT DRIBBLE the rod in. Stomp the pedal, cram the rod, and haul azz. You need to outrun the heat saturation flow.
    My stickout is the full size to match the cup. I've been using a gauge so that I'm consistent. Less stickout than that, right? I didn't adjust the stickout at all for the different welds. I'll have to switch that up next time.

    When doing the butt welds, I would get a horseshoe shaped puddle, with the open end going towards the filler. I would wait for the horseshoe to change into a full circular puddle before inserting the filler. That took a lot of time.
    Jim
    PrimeWeld TIG225X
    2017 F-350 CCLB 6.7L
    2013 Polaris Ranger 900 XP in 2006 Fleetwood Gearbox 220FB using 3" Andersen WDH
    I don't always tow heavy, but when I do, I use my Superduty.
    Here fishy, fishy... .`.`..`. >< ((( >

  5. #54
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post

    When doing the butt welds, I would get a horseshoe shaped puddle, with the open end going towards the filler. I would wait for the horseshoe to change into a full circular puddle before inserting the filler. That took a lot of time.
    That's because you don't have enough amps for what you're trying to do assuming the previous post with 105-110A is still true. 1/8" thick aluminum requires at least 125A and that's on the low side. Lots of folks have said the same thing...crank the heat up, but it seems you don't want to do that for some reason. Crank the amps up, hit the pedal hard enough to get a puddle going in 1-2 seconds or you're going to put too much heat into the work and you won't be able to add filler fast enough to cool the puddle and create a bead.

    A few posts back you said you needed to move on to welding joints. Why? If you can't lay down a reasonably consistent, even bead on a flat plate, how are you going to get anything acceptable on a joint with additional factors making it even harder? That approach will do nothing but make it take even longer to get acceptable results. If you can't walk, you sure can't run.
    Check out my bench vise website:
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  6. #55
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post
    My stickout is the full size to match the cup. I've been using a gauge so that I'm consistent. Less stickout than that, right? I didn't adjust the stickout at all for the different welds. I'll have to switch that up next time.

    When doing the butt welds, I would get a horseshoe shaped puddle, with the open end going towards the filler. I would wait for the horseshoe to change into a full circular puddle before inserting the filler. That took a lot of time.
    Yes, less stickout. As little as possible until the cup interferes with your weld. That can be either crowding or the ceramic itself can mess with the characteristics of the arc, especially if there is a coating of metalization on the surfaces of the cup.

    Open end of the puddle? That sounds wrong unless you are keyhole-ing the joint, which I tend to hate. I like a tight fit, melt the surface, add rod, and then push then melt the puddle through the joint. Works for me on most metals, especially alum.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

  7. #56
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    I haven't figured out how to take pictures/video as I'm welding. This is a rough drawing of my horse shoe puddle. The horizontal line is where the two coupons meet. As G-manbart said, I probably need to up my amps. I think I've been keeping the amps low because I'm still working on coordinating my filler rod hand.

    Name:  Horeshoe_puddle.jpg
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    Jim
    PrimeWeld TIG225X
    2017 F-350 CCLB 6.7L
    2013 Polaris Ranger 900 XP in 2006 Fleetwood Gearbox 220FB using 3" Andersen WDH
    I don't always tow heavy, but when I do, I use my Superduty.
    Here fishy, fishy... .`.`..`. >< ((( >

  8. #57
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post
    I haven't figured out how to take pictures/video as I'm welding. This is a rough drawing of my horse shoe puddle. The horizontal line is where the two coupons meet. As G-manbart said, I probably need to up my amps. I think I've been keeping the amps low because I'm still working on coordinating my filler rod hand.
    I'm certainly not an expert, but that sure looks like a situation where there just isn't enough heat, and it's giving you an odd shape until the puddle finally forms. This is one of those situations where things work the opposite of what you'd expect....higher amps will actually put less heat into the work overall. The oxide layer on the top of aluminum requires far more heat to melt than the underlying aluminum, and you have to blast through that quickly to get a puddle without heating up the work...which is why you might have the machine set for 140A to get a puddle started and then the running amps would be much, much lower if you were looking at a meter on the machine showing output.

    If the work gets too hot you actually need even more filler to cool the puddle and form a bead, so running low amps makes it even harder on your feed hand.

    For many people (me) developing the ability to feed wire quickly, and smoothly is the biggest challenge when learning aluminum...it certainly takes some practice. That was one of the reasons I ran bead after bead when I first started learning aluminum....had multiple coupons ready to go and alternated to keep them from getting too hot. I'd run a bead on one, slide it out of the way, run a bead on the next one and repeat....just practicing getting the filler moving quickly and smoothly. Actual joints will often require even more filler, so having the ability to lay down a nice bead on flat stock first will really help with joints.

    Crank up the amps, blast the pedal, and as soon as you get a shiny puddle get that filler moving, dab a couple of times and you'll be able to ease off the pedal a lot. It's a balancing act between heat, travel speed, filler size and a number of other things...when it all comes together it's an "aha" moment!
    Check out my bench vise website:
    http://mivise.com


    Miller Syncrowave 250DX
    Millermatic 350P with XR AlumaPro
    Miller Regency 200 with 22A feeder and Spoolmatic 3
    Hobart Champion Elite
    Everlast PowerTig 210EXT

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  10. #58
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    I'm certainly not an expert, but that sure looks like a situation where there just isn't enough heat, and it's giving you an odd shape until the puddle finally forms. This is one of those situations where things work the opposite of what you'd expect....higher amps will actually put less heat into the work overall. The oxide layer on the top of aluminum requires far more heat to melt than the underlying aluminum, and you have to blast through that quickly to get a puddle without heating up the work...which is why you might have the machine set for 140A to get a puddle started and then the running amps would be much, much lower if you were looking at a meter on the machine showing output.

    If the work gets too hot you actually need even more filler to cool the puddle and form a bead, so running low amps makes it even harder on your feed hand.

    For many people (me) developing the ability to feed wire quickly, and smoothly is the biggest challenge when learning aluminum...it certainly takes some practice. That was one of the reasons I ran bead after bead when I first started learning aluminum....had multiple coupons ready to go and alternated to keep them from getting too hot. I'd run a bead on one, slide it out of the way, run a bead on the next one and repeat....just practicing getting the filler moving quickly and smoothly. Actual joints will often require even more filler, so having the ability to lay down a nice bead on flat stock first will really help with joints.

    Crank up the amps, blast the pedal, and as soon as you get a shiny puddle get that filler moving, dab a couple of times and you'll be able to ease off the pedal a lot. It's a balancing act between heat, travel speed, filler size and a number of other things...when it all comes together it's an "aha" moment!
    Amps will go up for the next round.

    I'm working on my pedal technique also. The first couple of weekends, I wasn't flooring it at the start. Now, I floor it and then back off a bit once I get the bead further along. I do end up with a cold bead every so often, so my foot needs to get with the program.

    I was making the mistake of putting down a lot of beads on the same coupon (really just scrap aluminum I had on hand). Now, I have 4" coupons and plenty of them to work through. I'm rotating between them to let them cool down as well as giving my torch a chance to cool down.

    My ergonomics need work too. I found this weekend that I was putting a lot of weight on my torch hand, which made it difficult to move the torch smoothly. My gloves don't slide easily on the table, so that's another thing to fix. I've been using a set of all-leather gloves, might be deerskin.
    Jim
    PrimeWeld TIG225X
    2017 F-350 CCLB 6.7L
    2013 Polaris Ranger 900 XP in 2006 Fleetwood Gearbox 220FB using 3" Andersen WDH
    I don't always tow heavy, but when I do, I use my Superduty.
    Here fishy, fishy... .`.`..`. >< ((( >

  11. #59
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRTKD View Post
    My ergonomics need work too. I found this weekend that I was putting a lot of weight on my torch hand, which made it difficult to move the torch smoothly. My gloves don't slide easily on the table, so that's another thing to fix. I've been using a set of all-leather gloves, might be deerskin.
    Finding a comfortable, balanced position can make all the difference for us mere mortals. I often spend more time finding the right combination of work position and body position than the actual welding time takes. Two minutes of fiddling around for a 20 second bead!

    You might consider getting a TIG finger to help your torch hand slide easier...I don't use one all the time, but keep one handy just in case.

    https://weldmongerstore.com/products/tig-finger
    Check out my bench vise website:
    http://mivise.com


    Miller Syncrowave 250DX
    Millermatic 350P with XR AlumaPro
    Miller Regency 200 with 22A feeder and Spoolmatic 3
    Hobart Champion Elite
    Everlast PowerTig 210EXT

  12. #60
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    Re: When To Change Argon Cylinder?

    I have a TIG finger and it came from that store. I used it the first weekend and I wasn't comfortable with it. It might be time to try it again as it should slide easier than the leather gloves.
    Jim
    PrimeWeld TIG225X
    2017 F-350 CCLB 6.7L
    2013 Polaris Ranger 900 XP in 2006 Fleetwood Gearbox 220FB using 3" Andersen WDH
    I don't always tow heavy, but when I do, I use my Superduty.
    Here fishy, fishy... .`.`..`. >< ((( >

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