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Thread: Any TIG welding tips??

  1. #1
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    Any TIG welding tips??

    I bought my first TIG welder and am expecting it tomorrow. I bought Millers Diversion 165. I hope it can handle my chrome moly .083 tubing. It is a 230 volt machine, so I'm thinking it should be fine. Any welders out there want to help out with last minute tips? I can MIG pretty well, but in the past I haven't TIG'd enough to get it. I have a lot of cut off pieces, so I will be practicing tomorrow night.
    Thanks for any tips! Mark Adams

  2. #2
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    I have never used that exact machine but amps are amps. Here are some general amp starting points for your practice.
    First rule is that the better the material transfers heat the more amps you will require to weld.
    Aluminum requires the highest amperage settings
    Mild steel is a good conductor of heat so .125 wall might like 130 amps depending on your skill. the higher the faster you need to be.
    Chromemoly is not as good a heat transfer as mild steel and will need a lower amp setting than mild steel. I weld .083 near 50 to 60 amps at most.
    I also use .060 filler wire crown 8.
    When welding moly do not over heat it ever if you can avoid it. Be sure to clean it up with a sanding disk or flapper wheel or however you prefer to both inside and out. Do not try to drop the weld in like you do with mild steel. The moly will weld inside with little heat requirement due to its ability to store heat and not transfer it .
    Stainless steel welds very close to the same amp setting as chrome moly the same dimension. If you have 316L stainless experience, carpenter 20 or 308 stainless you would not need to change the machine between them. Hastalloy and Incalloy require even less amperage.
    The best thing to do as a beginner is clean every thing well and brush your weld before it cools and as it cools to let you restart easily with out contamination that you will be able to burn out later when you get better at the skill. kevlar gloves are great I think because you can feel the rod in your hand better and get better rod control.
    Glad you are stimulating our economy with your new purchase. I have welded process pipe in Dow chemical for years to support my horsepower habit and build chassis cars for enjoyment. Tig is king, once you get it you can weld anything. Good luck
    Bruce

  3. #3
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    Make sure to get a tank of pure Argon. TIG welding requires your steel & aluminum to be extremely clean. I use a stainless steel wire brush on everything I TIG weld. Just a couple of tips. Hope it helps.

    TS1955

  4. #4
    Junior Member APPRENTICE
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    - Be patient learning, it'll take a while to get those perfect looking welds but once you do you'll wonder how you ever lived without tig welding
    - Practice on scrap metal I can't even begin to say how many peices of scrap steel and aluminum I went through when I was learning
    - When I was just starting to learn I would set up the machine to the perfect amperage so that when I was welding I could keep the foot pedal pressed to the floor, this would make one less thing to think about and I could concentrate on the torch and rod, afterward when you get good you'll want to keep that sweet spot at about 3/4 of the pedal.
    - learn steel first then aluminum, Aluminum actually isn't as hard to weld as most people say, don't belive the hype. It is harder to weld then steel but c'mon some people make it seem like you gotta be a god to weld the stuff.
    - Search google for tig welding tips those helped me a lot.

  5. #5
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    How long should it take to heat tubing to accept the filler rod? I can adjust my ampe from very fast to slow. I am running it at about 85 ampe and seemed like a reasonable amount of time to heat.(5-10 seconds) I burned through a few places. I think I had the heat concentrated in the wrong spot. Do you guys adjust the amps once you get welding, or is it left alone?

    Thanks for the help! markadams

  6. #6
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    Well, I set the amps and leave them alone. You might prefer to go a bit lower and practice your angles and speed a bit more before going so high. I am used to welding and vary the cadence that I fill and how fast I go to effect the heat I am working with. You do not pre heat the base on steel per say. The rod should be right ahead but in the gas of the source heat. I like to walk the cup back and forth on some welds and keep rocking until I get the heat I want then progress forward where it is cool. The rod is the cooler, as you add filler it cools the weld and the more cup or tungston angle and stick out you have the less the heat will penetrate the base and reflect more. Believe it or not this is a fact in welding, The shorter the stick out the deeper the penetration. No kiden. This means the more directly you point the heat source at the base the deeper the heat will penetrate. You can tell the wife I said so if you think it will help. :lol: :lol:
    It takes quite a few days or weeks and different approaches to be an efficient tig welder. Through time and from advice, your perception of what you are seeing have to come together and things will go your way. It it not quite as easy as just gas welding. Keep practicing and asking questions but most of all keep trying day after day and you will get better.
    Bruce

  7. #7
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    That was real funny bruce! The shorter the stick out comment. Thanks for all the help too. I'm going to increase the stickout tomorrow, hold the filler rod in place (in the gas flow) and try again. Maybe changing the stickout to my technique will help. It does look like I'm overheating the weld area. markadams

  8. #8
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    To give a little more info on the cup walking, think of it like a sewing machine stitch that is zig zag and the tighter the pattern the higher the heat will be. You just advance forward faster to run cooler. The next is always have the tungston perfectly sharp at all times. The second that it gets any contamination on it stop and re grind it and fix the carbon where you quit welding before restarting. This will give you more focused heat and more control of where the heat is going. As for the stick out, If you are using a #8 cup do not exceed 3/8" stick out. You will get porosity in the weld if you get out of the gas shield, and set the gas at 20 cf on the menometor. A little higher is ok but too low is fatal. Have fun Mark
    Bruce

  9. #9
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    Bruce, thanks for clearing that up. I did notice a larger heat area as the tungsten developed a small ball on the end of it. When it was sharp I had a very small heated area. It came with an orange coaded tungsten. I think I was trying to fill some gaps that may have been too large for a TIG welder to fill. Do you think I can use my mig to fill some of the blow throughs, then wash them with the tig? Or just try to build and cool them with the tig? How far do you hold the tungsten tip from the weld area? Thanks again for the help everyone. I'm heading back to it in a few.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    Quote Originally Posted by markadams
    Bruce, thanks for clearing that up. I did notice a larger heat area as the tungsten developed a small ball on the end of it. When it was sharp I had a very small heated area. It came with an orange coaded tungsten. I think I was trying to fill some gaps that may have been too large for a TIG welder to fill. Do you think I can use my mig to fill some of the blow throughs, then wash them with the tig? Or just try to build and cool them with the tig? How far do you hold the tungsten tip from the weld area? Thanks again for the help everyone. I'm heading back to it in a few.
    The closer the better on the distance. Maybe 3/16" and that depends on you. This is why the sharp end will plow through the material and give you a clean looking bead. There is a magnetic field around the heat source that works for you to help manipulate the weld. Don't use mig on your molly. The filler material is likely softer (lower stensel) and is a consesion to ability. As a Journeyman TIG welder, I always say if I can step across it I can weld it. Let the material cool between try's to the point that you can tolerate the temp with your hand with a glove on at a min. Now if you are not using a special high frequency or something like that, I always use RED 2% thoriated tungston on all non aluminum welds and GREEN 100% tungston with high freequency. The green will ball on the end and be correct, the red should never have anything but a sharp tip when in use. The blow outs are great practice jobs for heat control. You may have to free hand them to move fast enough to fix. Work one edge and let it cool and grind as necessary to keep the shape of the piece as needed. Turn down the amps on these repairs to give you more control.
    Keep up the practice Mark, You are going the right direction buddy.
    Bruce


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