Aluminium tig guide getting started.

  1. ukracer Forum Supporter

    Nor me....... the trade off was that I had the cooler etc but on condition I fitted Upvc everywhere so nothing needs painting just cleaning..... lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
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  2. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    Cheers. It actually didn't take that long. Free time I've got very little.
    So long as it's understood that it's just a set up guide and not a "how to" then I'm sure it will prove useful. Every one will find there own way and make there own changes to suit.
     
  3. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    Looking through various posts, tungsten type has been questioned a lot and I've not really covered much on it here tbh. Imo it's over hyped about when people say certain tungsten flavours are "rubbish" etc because as a beginner which this guide is aimed at I doubt very much there is gonna be enough between the flavours to tell them apart. It's only as you gain experience from not touching down you find a flavour you like due to re striking, point holding and even balling and in which case when you get to that stage you won't need to read this thread.
    You get DC only tungstens such as thoriated.(red) which don't work well when starting to ball up with AC. They strike ok and work if your keeping your balance well into DC- to maintain a point but under DC+ loading they curl up and can even split.
    AC only tungstens such as zirconiated (white) and pure(green) are really only any good for AC. They don't hold a point too great especially the pure to be that useful on DC when things need to be kept sharp and focused.
    Nowadays it's all about 1 tungsten for all. More and more the Reds and the whites are been replaced by a flavour that covers both AC and DC and in some cases better than the dedicated process ones imo.
    Lanthanated (gold/blue) and ceriated (grey) among other rare earth tungsten flavours fall into this category and they are a do all tungsten flavour.
    Some are better than others but as I say through experience you will get a feel for this. Starting out they all work just fine.
    My personal AC prep is a two angled prep which I use for almost all my AC Tig welding. I grind it nice and narrow like a DC tungsten then right on the end I put a shallow angle on it. Depending on joint and current applied will depend on how big I grind the top part of the prep.
    Some people grind the whole thing to a shallow point some grind a flat on the end some leave it to a sharp point. I've tried just about every prep and this is my personal favourite which ensures perfect even balling every time with the right amount of ep+ loading.
    I don't allow a tungsten ball to get wider than the top part of the prep so I make that part bigger or smaller depending on the ball size I'm gonna achieve. IMG_1114.JPG
     
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  4. Shox Dr

    Shox Dr Chief Engineer to Carlos Fandango

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    I've used ceriated for AC, hated them, the end resembles a cauliflower most of the time, no matter what I tried, even different sets.

    These days Blue Multistrikes for everything. Stay sharper, dont pickup anywhere near like others.... arc more consistent... doesnt wander in corners etc....

    Blue:welder::thumbup:
     
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  5. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    I'm not a fan either.
    AC I don't find them too bad and can get them to ball up ok. I find them a bit of a pain on DC as they don't take many strikes before they go dull. Then they loose the ability to strike accurately and as you say arc wonder. I think for learning they are as good as any other. More often than not when learning they spend more time on the wheel than in the torch. In this case I wouldn't be buying spendy rare earth multi strikes.
     
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  6. Piero

    Piero Member

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    I am going to get my head bitten off 4 this.
    But I am not so impressed with blue tungsten

    It's Ok ish.

    But for dc. My Lorch much prefers red
     
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  7. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    Lots of people prefer red and white.
    There is no rules on favourite. Just personal choice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  8. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

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    I don't think you can beat thoriated for pure DC stuff. I just love that I can keep one tungsten and go straight from DC to AC with the Multistrikes.
     
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  9. Ben88

    Ben88 Member

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    Nice read I find I'm more prone to shocks when am welding Ali, dam you sweaty hands! Talcum powder helps
     
  10. mcmental Member

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    leeds uk
    great write up
     
  11. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    I'm gonna do a small section involving some basic trouble shooting. Illistate with some photos of things going wrong and how best to correct them.
    Probably start it this weekend if I ever get the new machine out the box and set up. Watch this space.
     
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  12. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

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    We need pictures of Fronius goodness!
     
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  13. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    Nope!!!!
    Not in this thread.
     
  14. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    Got the board popped back in the unit tonight so was able to make a start on what not to do.
    Pic one. Notice how the pool has become wide and sunken towards the end. This is an example of loosing control over your pool and heat is getting the better of you. As you weld Alu it is key to make changes as you go along in order to keep control over the pool. 2 common ways of doing this. With a torch switch you need to speed everything up. So travel faster and in turn start filling faster.
    If your lucky enough to own a foot control you can simply back off the current and hang on to it that way. The first method of using speed with a torch is the way to best improve your skill. The crator was avoidable but I thought best to leave it there as it elaborates the real lack of control shown in the run.
     
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  15. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    This one is a good one.
    Removing the filler right out of the gas shield before bringing it back in to dab. Lots went wrong for me here. It's contaminated for a start.
    I couldn't keep my dabs nicely close together due to the added time it took to remove it right out then back in. Right at the end of it from my abrupt filling I actually touched the tungsten with the filler and created a mess on the plate.
    Always keep your filler just under the cup but just out of the arc to avoid a mess like shown below.
     
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  16. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    This one is a real common one. I see this more often around beginners than any other and the result as you see is unrecoverable.
    Sticking your rod in before the pool has properly developed. Your filler just melts a cross the arc, you let alsorts of oxides into the shield when the filler finally melts and drops off to form a blob well you get a blob of mess and I have shown that perfectly below. There was no way I could continue. From that.
    When you strike an arc keep it tight. Watch the cleaning action move the oxide layer out of the way and look for the shiny pool to appear. Watch it widen to a point that you can introduce a filler too. Positive dab. Don't hang about don't ease it towards the pool slowly get a good dab in the pool not the arc.
     
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  17. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    Black soot. Usually at start up but not always.
    Easy one this. Oxides transferred across the arc usual culprit is arc length or over exaggerated torch angle again lengthening the arc.
    There is never a case in GTAW when a long arc is acceptable. It does nothing but cause problems and more so with aluminium.
     
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  18. angellonewolf

    angellonewolf Member

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    if my welding looked that neat id be happy person
     
  19. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    Which one!!!!
    They were not meant to be neat at all. These are cock ups.
     
  20. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

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    This one is my favourite because it was totally unintentional. It was a genuine mistake that I made and is so easy to do but also easy to retify. End craters. Drop your current too quick and cause fast solidification to the weld and you'll get a sunken hole on the end of your run. I've talked about how to rectify it lots of times. I back step with down slope. Release your trigger and as the current slopes out over two seconds start going backwards. Make sure you get a final dab in before the lights go out. The last pic is an example of some properly finished runs. It's a shame as its a nice fillet otherwise but it could easily crack if put under load. Don't take chances with craters. Fix em.
     
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