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Thread: TIG issues, 3 topics

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    TIG issues, 3 topics

    Hi,
    I have been learning TIG over the past month. I use the following parameters for learning:

    Goal: To be tig welding and tig brazing 4130 tubes that are 0.028 and 0.035" thick.
    Material for training: mild steel 0.049 wall thickness
    Amperage: For straight tig 32 to 50 amps, for pulse I have tried various equivalent ranges.
    Control: 2T mode on torch, no pedal, no effort to vary amperage during use, just set it and go.
    Filler: ER80S in 0.035 and 0.062 thicknesses
    Tungsten: Ceriated 0.062" ground to a 15* point
    Argon: 10CFH thu a lens and various glass cups
    Cleaning procedure: Saw metal on bandsaw, acetone, remove mill scale inside and out, file the end, then acetone again.

    Problem: I am not getting fusion on Tee joints. It dances around all over the place but the joint, but it's happy to erode the tube away for me. I am getting better results on butt joints, and tube-tube flat junctures.

    Contributing problems: 1) I am nearsighted with glasses. Focusing at 14' away is not good for me, I use glasses and then cannot get too close (Yes I am using a self darkening welding helmet as well).
    2) I have been running the helmet on a potentially darker than needed setting, curious if I lighten it when do I know my eyes are burning out?
    3) I feel the WP-26 torch that came with this 'Hitbox 200" welder is heavy, for precise work it is pulling me around a bit. I can only weld 1-2 linear inches before dipping the puddle it seems.

    Questions:
    1) Is there anything that stands out from the above that can point me toward improvement?
    2) Do you calibrate autodarkening helmets to comfort or by the book?
    3) Is it feasible for nearsighted people to weld w/o glasses, or use spectacles like doctors often wear, that zoom slightly
    4) Is spending money on a lighter torch meaningful with my problems?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Two things stand out. Ditch the ceriated tungstens for thoriated. Keep the ceriated for AC work. The other is up your gas flow. 10cfh is way low for what I think is a #6 or #7 cup.

    What do you mean 15 degree point? Is that nearly flat, or very pointed?

    Also try inserting a #2 cheater lens in your hood.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    are you holding a nice tight arc? (close) also torch angle is important...

    I'd maybe try some fusion welds (without adding filler) just to get the hang of it.

    it's definitely tougher without a foot pedal... but not impossible.

    Yes, Cheater lenses help a lot.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    I'll second the cheater lens. It will help you get much closer and see better. As for your autodark lens, if you can vary the setting, you may not need a very high setting at those amps. Here is a link to an OSHA document that says under 50A TIG (GTAW) you could potentially go as low as 8. The thing to remember with an autodark lens is that you are ALWAYS 100% protected from the UV and IR rays coming from the arc. Even if the lens isn't turned on. The darkness setting only affects how much visible light gets through. Try a setting and if you can't see, nudge it one shade lighter. Keep going lighter until you start seeing OK. If you start seeing spots after welding a little, you will need to go darker. That isn't going to cause long-term damage from a few seconds at too light a setting as it would take a ton of time/exposure to do that.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    What do you mean 15 degree point? Is that nearly flat, or very pointed?
    It's the pointy form of 15 deg.

    Your advices were helpful, here is what I did:
    1) Reduce cup from #6 to #5
    2) Increase argon from 10 to 13 CFH (Welds finish clean, not grey colored now)
    3) Bought a 2.5 magnifier for the hood
    4) Put 3000 lumens of light right on the weld. (helps my dynamic range of the view)
    5) Put a blower on my head to clear the fog off the magnifier lens
    6) From straight tig to now a pulse at 95 hi / 20 lo / 33Hz / 33% cycle time. (Focusing more on pulse, been back and forth, pulse seems 20% better at agitating the puddle to bridge gaps for me)
    7) Helmet to 9.5 shade, previously around 11

    I can finally see, it makes a big difference. The weld it now useable, but not pretty.

    Present problems:
    The blower is pulling the hood a bit, I need to hang the airline from the ceiling.
    I keep dipping the puddle more than I want to.

    Questions:
    1) When we dip the electrode briefly and weld action continues OK, do most of you stop, replace, resume, or just keep going?
    * Context, this training is eventually for an ultralight aircraft fuselage, quality expectations similar to the bicycle industry, etc.
    2) Is my WP-26 torch too heavy and thus causing problems, would a WP-9 even fit my 'Hitbox 200" welder, would it feel better for low amp work, or not worth it?
    3) I often find myself doing a 2nd pass before argon afterflow is done (to stay out of oxidation), to smooth things out where bridging was lacking. Is this an unacceptable practice?

    This has been quite helpful, I am thankful.

    Below some pics of today's work (I always wear 2 gloves... just a pic)
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    IMO, the way you hold the TIG torch has a lot to do with "pin point'ing" the arc, aka holding a consistent and tight arc. Holding it the way you are won't let you use fine-motor control of your hands/fingers. I know everyone's different, so that's just a thought of course since I'm not there to actually see your movements.
    Last edited by Oscar; 05-28-2021 at 10:59 PM.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Fillets (t-joints) require more amps than butt joints.

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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    A couple of questions....

    Have you spent many hours trying to get really, really nice beads in a flat, straight line without any kind of joint involved? If not you will make faster overall progress by mastering that before trying anything more complicated. If you can't put down a nice bead on a flat piece of metal lying on the bench it's not going to get better trying a joint much less one propped on a fixture, etc.

    Do you use anything to prop your torch hand in place? The picture with the fixture has your hand completely unsupported and anybody will wind up dipping the tungsten trying to weld that way. The fact you have the piece raised up even higher from the table makes it more challenging. Often we'll have to make/modify something the right height to serve as a prop for the torch. Ideally your hand will be sliding along the prop so it's just very minor adjustments to the torch as you move along. After learning to actually make good beads the next most important thing is probably learning how to get into a stable position...it's really very important.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    ur adding in ur filler too soon, and to much. get that silly hose off ur head and relax (theres no smoke in tig). then, sit back, loosen up, and dial in and run some puddle practice puddles w/o filler. then go back to what ur doin, w/ delayed and less filler

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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    get that silly hose off ur head and relax (theres no smoke in tig).
    He's trying cheater lenses that were fogging up, so he put a blower on to keep the cheaters clear so he can see. But hey, don't bother actually reading what someone posts before replying....
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    ur adding in ur filler too soon, and to much. get that silly hose off ur head and relax .r
    It's a de-fogger....
    gotta admit it looks a little funny...

    I'd like to see how it's attached to his head....

    please tell me thats not a shop vac hose....

    lastly, yes, your torch hand looks all wrong..... unless you have a physical condition, I would correct that.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    A ck17 torch might be a little more comfortable, especially for anything below 150amps.

    You can get safety glasses with cheaters built in.

    I think it would be better for you to turn the pulse off until you learn to control the puddle, and can consistently add filler in a uniform bead.

    Your grip doesn't look comfortable, or look like you can make fine corrections because your wrist seems fully rotated, like Oscar noted above. Experience will guide you on this one, as you will find what works for you. Doing welds flat on the table will help, as doing welds in vertical , and overhead, and elevated positions do add difficulty.

    Spend some time watching Weldingtipsandtricks videos, he can explain it so well, while he makes it seem so easy.

    And finally, getting better for most people (there may be some exceptions) is simply : Practice, practice, practice.

    Doing the same thing over, and over, and over, and expecting a different result, isn't insanity, its called "practice". I've often wondered did Einstein ever play the piano ? https://www.weldingweb.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

    Good luck
    Last edited by albrightree; 05-29-2021 at 10:49 AM.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    He's trying cheater lenses that were fogging up, so he put a blower on to keep the cheaters clear so he can see. But hey, don't bother actually reading what someone posts before replying....
    i noticed where he listed the hose as a "problem". his lenses are fogging, most likely cuz, he's not "relaxed", like i already said, and breathing to hard or out out his mouth. that doesnt mean, go hook a blower up to ur head.. i briefly scanned what he said, and i looked at the pics, and thats how i choose to do it sometimes. and i still say get the silly hose off his head. so, don't come looking to screw w/ me old man, ur 2 for 2 on that now, try sitting back and listening. u arent learning anything when u run ur fool mouth. now u just learned the most likely reason why his cheaters are fogging up
    Last edited by 123weld; 05-29-2021 at 11:38 AM.

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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    i noticed where he listed the hose as a "problem". his lenses are fogging, most likely cuz, he's not "relaxed", like i already said, and breathing to hard or out out his mouth. that doesnt mean, go hook a blower up to ur head.. i briefly scanned what he said, and i looked at the pics, and thats how i choose to do it sometimes. and i still say get the silly hose off his head. so, don't come looking to screw w/ me old man, ur 2 for 2 on that now, try sitting back and listening. u arent learning anything when u run ur fool mouth. now u just learned the most likely reason why his cheaters are fogging up
    If you had read, not just scanned, you would have noticed he said he can now see after adding the blower. You don't know the conditions he's welding in, what his shop is like, if he has any medical issues to deal with, so you're guessing why his cheaters are fogging up. What isn't a guess is that he said he can now see.

    2 for 2...that's funny! I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    I haven't read the whole thread, but if I was getting results like that, my first instinct would be to crank up the heat. You want the toes to wet out a little better. It looks like you're trying to creep up to the right heat a bit too slowly/carefully for fear of blowing through. Be bold and step on it! If you start to blow through, increase your travel speed. Nothing wrong with a keyhole so long as you fill it all back in.

    More pedal is rarely the wrong answer, but it's pretty obvious when it is.

    ETA: I just remembered you're not using a pedal. Oh, well ... I'd still try turning up the heat. Let 'er eat!
    Last edited by Kelvin; 05-29-2021 at 05:01 PM.

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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    I'd like to see how it's attached to his head....
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    Haha, like this, it is a pool wand hose I bought specifically for this work. I revised the vent now, it's a computer fan, lightweight, works very well, no tugging.

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    How to hold the torch is something I am focusing on. Usually I am situated with bricks or wood blocks to the proper height and range. I need to push the button for 2T operation, the button is far from the head. Here is a pic of one way of holding it (discovered today that it can rotate along the body). It just feels a bit heavy and large for detail work, but it's getting better, as are the results. This could get complex with a roller situated to allow the forearm to move along it... I suspect that most welders aren't building machines to hold their arms up though, I guess it will probably just be a mix of supporting elements like blocks and knees, and concentration.

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    Shop condition: It's a humidity controlled basement, but with the door open and light rain outside, that was the issue. Not anymore with the new fan though.

    Thanks. The welds are improving, enjoying it.

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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    If you had read, not just scanned, you would have noticed he said he can now see after adding the blower. .
    go back and read both our replies (post #8, 9 ) . my line and a half (from scanning) , describes the weld problem, and what to do about it. your 7 lines of questions, and babying him w/ hand supports, says nothing of whats wrong w/ welds
    Last edited by 123weld; 05-29-2021 at 11:23 PM.

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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by Insect View Post
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    Thanks. The welds are improving, enjoying it.
    I may have to steal that fan idea....................I mean borrow
    I'd have to be weird,To grow me a beard,Just to see what the rednecks would do

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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggatoo View Post
    I may have to steal that fan idea....................I mean borrow



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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by Insect View Post
    I need to push the button for 2T operation, the button is far from the head. Here is a pic of one way of holding it (discovered today that it can rotate along the body)
    If that is how you're actually holding it, you simply need more practice to develop coordination and dexterity and in your torch hand. Also, you're missing the white heat shield insulator on the torch head.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    The way you are holding the torch is terrible - in my opinion.
    It does not allow for enough fine motor skills from your fingers/hand.

    Yes, the wp26 is awful for this purpose. The 9 series, or 17 with stubby hardware, will be much better.
    Make sure to buy a flex head.
    I burned up a few 26 style torches on thick aluminum, but you are not planning to weld that.

    I do not have students start on thin tubing joints because they need to learn to tig weld before doing something hard.

    Complex bracing of your hand is not needed, a more efficient torch holding style is though.
    Hold like a fat marker, not a hammer (unless walking the cup of course).
    Using the "tig finger" from weldingtipsandtricks.com fixes a lot bracing issues btw.

    With your stated goals of welding an airplane - I would suggest getting very good at 1/8" thick material and then working your way down.

    Jody Collier is really someone you should watch for learning to weld.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Yup, two pics showing the same things about torch holding/manipulation, so I think it's safe to assume the arc is literally all over the place, inconsistently increasing & decreasing the arc length, and just overall not having the right technique.

    Imagine the water is the arc. This is what happens when your technique does not assert the needed level of control (and produces the results you have shown)






    I don't think I'm out of line saying that you need to go back to square 1 and forget tubing and produce sound weld beads in the flat position for various joint geometries (butt, lap, inside T/fillet, outside corner). I mean technically you can use tubing for these joints, but I think you get the gist of my suggestion.

    In the end it is ALL about knowledge. When you acquire the knowledge to self-diagnose, everything will fall into place.

    Last edited by Oscar; 05-30-2021 at 11:03 AM.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    go back and read both our replies (post #8, 9 ) . my line and a half (from scanning) , describes the weld problem, and what to do about it. your 7 lines of questions, and babying him w/ hand supports, says nothing of whats wrong w/ welds
    He said he's dipping the tungsten, his beads are all over the place, and he's got his hands in a crazy, unsupported position and trying to fix that is babying him. Okay.

    Don't worry champ...you made an effort!
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    I don't think I'm out of line saying that you need to go back to square 1 and forget tubing and produce sound weld beads in the flat position for various joint geometries (butt, lap, inside T/fillet, outside corner). I mean technically you can use tubing for these joints, but I think you get the gist of my suggestion.
    Exactly.
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    Re: TIG issues, 3 topics

    Quote Originally Posted by Insect View Post
    Shop condition: It's a humidity controlled basement, but with the door open and light rain outside, that was the issue. Not anymore with the new fan though.

    Thanks. The welds are improving, enjoying it.
    Being able to see is key, and sometimes a non-traditional fix is what it takes!

    Several folks have asked/suggested practicing straight beads in the flat position, then the various joint configurations in the the flat position before moving to tubing out of position. That will save you a lot of time in the long run, and a lot of frustration immediately. It's tempting to jump right into the deep end, but it never works out well.

    Along those lines, I'm assuming you're using the bricks to keep the work off the wooden table because you don't have a metal welding table available, right? That's adding to the problem and putting you in an awkward position. If nothing else, see if you can find a piece of flat metal plate you can put on the table to put the work on. You can tack weld a stud to it for the work clamp for times you can't easily clamp directly to the work. The plate will heat up as you weld, so the thicker/bigger the better to make that take longer. That will have your hands and the work at the same height which is what you need at this point.
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