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Thread: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

  1. #1
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    Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Hi, my name is Craig and I'm a tungsten dipper.

    I guess I'm just not steady enough. Anyway, I've been welding on some 304 and 316 tube recently. Since getting my AHP Alpha-TIG a few years ago, I've been running 3/32 2% lanthanated tungsten. After a few dips in the pool, it's off to the grinder (again). I've almost given up sharpening both ends as I can rarely get the bad end into the collet. A couple of days ago the tungsten I'd been using was getting pretty short and I decided to try a thoriated from a full pack that I inherited. I noticed very quickly that it was much more tolerant of dipping, retaining a useful point with much less metal pick-up than the lanthanated. More time welding, less time grinding and longer tungsten life.

    Has anyone else noticed this?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhoopee View Post
    Hi, my name is Craig and I'm a tungsten dipper.

    I guess I'm just not steady enough. Anyway, I've been welding on some 304 and 316 tube recently. Since getting my AHP Alpha-TIG a few years ago, I've been running 3/32 2% lanthanated tungsten. After a few dips in the pool, it's off to the grinder (again). I've almost given up sharpening both ends as I can rarely get the bad end into the collet. A couple of days ago the tungsten I'd been using was getting pretty short and I decided to try a thoriated from a full pack that I inherited. I noticed very quickly that it was much more tolerant of dipping, retaining a useful point with much less metal pick-up than the lanthanated. More time welding, less time grinding and longer tungsten life.

    Has anyone else noticed this?
    Been using 2% thoriated for over 40 years. Undisputed champ for welding DC tig. Keep the blue for AC.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  3. #3
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Admitting you dip your tungsten is the 1st step to recover! LOL. I dont TIG weld all that often, but I'm a dipper as well. It seems the more you weld your skill will improve. BTW I can't tell the difference between the two tungstens.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  4. #4
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhoopee View Post
    Hi, my name is Craig and I'm a tungsten dipper.

    I guess I'm just not steady enough. Anyway, I've been welding on some 304 and 316 tube recently. Since getting my AHP Alpha-TIG a few years ago, I've been running 3/32 2% lanthanated tungsten. After a few dips in the pool, it's off to the grinder (again). I've almost given up sharpening both ends as I can rarely get the bad end into the collet. A couple of days ago the tungsten I'd been using was getting pretty short and I decided to try a thoriated from a full pack that I inherited. I noticed very quickly that it was much more tolerant of dipping, retaining a useful point with much less metal pick-up than the lanthanated. More time welding, less time grinding and longer tungsten life.

    Has anyone else noticed this?
    I haven't been using the thoriated as long as shovelon, but agree with him, thoriated is the king for DC TIG, even though it is technically slightly radioactive and you want to avoid breathing in or eating the grinding dust from sharpening them.

  5. #5
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    If you don't dip that often, then there's not much difference between the two for DC. Thoriated stays sharper for longer, but by the time lanth point erodes you'll probably dip sometime shortly anyway.
    If I had mechanised TIG I'd probably want Thoriated, but for my uses I like just using lanth for everything
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

  6. #6
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Sadly thoriated is still very efficient but breathing radioactive fumes and dust?

  7. #7
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Cut the whole pack in two and sharpen them all. No reason to go on once the tungsten gets contaminated.

    The type of tungsten you need probably should not be based on how well one takes to dipping and/or continues to work after a dip. Stop and freshen up every time is much better plan. Have a bunch on hand and swapping is so fast. Don't ask how I know. Lol.
    Last edited by danielplace; 04-18-2021 at 07:10 PM.

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  9. #8
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    I personally use purple, it is in my opinion the best jack of all polarities. I only run purple because my guys loose stuff and between the trucks and shop, it's hard to keep 3 sizes of 2 colors.

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  10. #9
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    I use 2% lanthanated for AC, DC, everything. Not sure whether I've ever even tried thoriated.

    I sharpen 10 or 15 at a time, then swap them out as they get fouled.

  11. #10
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    Cut the whole pack in two and sharpen them all. No reason to go on once the tungsten gets contaminated.

    The type of tungsten you need probably should not be based on how well one takes to dipping and/or continues to work after a dip. Stop and freshen up every time is much better plan. Have a bunch on hand and swapping is so fast. Don't ask how I know. Lol.
    the logical part of my brain agrees with you, but the lazy part of my brain tells me that I've passed many an X ray pipe weld with a big stinking blog of snot on the end of the tungsten because I was in a C%$T of a spot and it was to hard to get out to change it and the helper was off doing unsavory things to the dog.

  12. #11
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    and the helper was off doing unsavory things to the dog.
    You have a dog for a fire watch and a helper to assist the dog? I'd like to apply for that position.

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  13. #12
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    Re: Thoriated vs Lanthanated Tungsten

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    the logical part of my brain agrees with you, but the lazy part of my brain tells me that I've passed many an X ray pipe weld with a big stinking blog of snot on the end of the tungsten because I was in a C%$T of a spot and it was to hard to get out to change it and the helper was off doing unsavory things to the dog.
    Welding anything that was galvanized even with it ground off will have you ignoring the junk on tungsten too. Modified some boat trailers and jeez was that nasty stuff to get nice clean welds on. Like welding with a sparkler in your feed hand. Bought a new mig shortly after. Lol. Hardly use it though.

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