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TIG Welding - the easy way.


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Hi Folks,

I recently TReated myself to a TIG welder. I got an AC/DC unit as I like their music.

I've looked at many videos and read many items n TIG welding Aluminium as I have a job for it.

After having it on the garage for a couple of weeks - resting, I decided to give it a go today.

If you are an expert and know what you are doing TIG welding is a doddle. Sadly I am not an expert in this area or know what I am doing at the best of times.

It took quite some time setting the machine and gun to the correct conditions.  Unlike MIG welding there are quite a few knobs to twiddle.

In simple terms all you have to do to get a good weld is -

move the electrode along with your right hand

Occasionally pop the filler wire into the weld pool - but just briefly

With your right foot press the pedal all the way down and then lift it a small amount

Whistle Dixie

Whatever you do, do not hit the electrode with the filler wire (why would I do that)

OK, a couple of dry runs worked really well. In fact I was quite expert with the machine turned off.

Next, I turned the machine on - this transformed the exercise into a new ball park.

Striking an arc is easy, getting the Ali to melt was interesting - it didn't want to;  and then it did and off it went (all of a sudden).

As I inserted the filler wire into the molten pool I would simultaneously lift the electrode up (why) - I then realised I hadn't lifted my foot. This bit is delicate, lift too far and the molten pool becomes a solid lump.

All this was happening on a solid sheet of Ali rather than a butt joint.

Regarding hitting the electrode with the filler wire - it don't arf make a mess.

 

In the end I became an expert in making rubbish welds. A couple of runs were encouraging.  Early days at the mo'

Interestingly as I was making the odd (and even) cock-up I was thinking of jigs etc to help things along

 

Tomorrow should be fun.

Roger 

 

 

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Well done Roger. 
 

yet YouTube makes it all look so easy !!

keep at it and good luck. Don’t forget the pictures. 
 

H

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2 hours ago, jerrytr5 said:

'bout time you did something useful Roger instead of messing about with electric windows :P

I'm sure we can all find some aluminium or stainless for you to practice on.

Jerry

Hi Jerry,believe it or not I bought the Tiggy welder because of the leccy windows. - read on.

 

2 hours ago, JochemsTR said:

Which one did you buy (Brand, Model) and show us some pics please. 

Hi Jochem,

I went for the R-Tech TIG160 as it has got some very good reviews.  Sadly it doesn't come with any experience.

https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/tig-welder-240v-ac-dc-160amp/

 

Roger 

Edited by RogerH
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Nice bit of kit Roger will be very satisfying to get some decent welds out of it. Are you planning on using it on body work for butt welds and the like?

Andy 

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6 minutes ago, PodOne said:

Nice bit of kit Roger will be very satisfying to get some decent welds out of it. Are you planning on using it on body work for butt welds and the like?

Andy 

I have one job in mind at the moment and that will be an Aluminium butt weld (apprx 2mm thick) 

After that I will weld anything that stays still long enough.

 

Roger

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TIP #1  turn the gas On.

This may sound pretty obvious but there are idiots out there :blink:

More practising this morning. Slowly, very slowly improving.  

Having troubkle feeding the filler wire through my fingers so I have to stop every now and then to reload my hand with another 6".

However many of the welds are actually better than what I could achieve with the MIG welder

More fun this afternoon.

 

Roger

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Roger,

Looking at the pictures I was surprised at the number of knobs you need to twiddle to set it up.
While you are experimenting do you keep re-adjusting the settings to see what happens, or are you just working on one setting?

The problem I would have is that I’d keep thinking:
“If I turn this knob a bit to the left, and this one a bit to the right, I wonder what difference it would make.”

In the end you forget what setting you did for the optimum results.

Charlie.

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23 minutes ago, Charlie D said:

Roger,

Looking at the pictures I was surprised at the number of knobs you need to twiddle to set it up.
While you are experimenting do you keep re-adjusting the settings to see what happens, or are you just working on one setting?

The problem I would have is that I’d keep thinking:
“If I turn this knob a bit to the left, and this one a bit to the right, I wonder what difference it would make.”

In the end you forget what setting you did for the optimum results.

Charlie.

Pen and ink outlasts the best memory Charlie.

Mick Richards

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12 minutes ago, Motorsport Mickey said:

Pen and ink outlasts the best memory Charlie.

My problem is that I take notes whenever I do things, but I can never read my own writing when I need to use them.

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Hi Charlie,

thankfully R-Tech, the supplier, have ready sorted settings for many situations - Ali Butt or fillet, Steel etc etc

After lunch today things started to go backwards (not unusual).  I was having serious TRouble getting anywhere.  In the end I reduced the Base Current form 75 to 60 Amps  - this had an improvement but I'm not sure it is the way to go.  More playing tomorrow.

 

Roger

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I managed to run a fillet-weld around two 6mm-thick ali discs to make a rear spring centering boss - not pretty  but they work. Then filled with confidence was about to tackle a new blower plenum chamber when my electrode hand began its wild tremors. Now hoping a grandson will rise to the challenge. Peter

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2 minutes ago, RogerH said:

What I am doing at the moment would disturb you.:o

Roger

Best stick to the welding then Roger. 

Edited by Hamish
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3 hours ago, RogerH said:

Hi Charlie,

thankfully R-Tech, the supplier, have ready sorted settings for many situations - Ali Butt or fillet, Steel etc etc

After lunch today things started to go backwards (not unusual).  I was having serious TRouble getting anywhere.  In the end I reduced the Base Current form 75 to 60 Amps  - this had an improvement but I'm not sure it is the way to go.  More playing tomorrow.

 

Roger

Current is a bit low for 2mm, I'd be nearer 90 base and you can always back off the pedal a bit. If you're material is cold you will be struggling to get a tack on without cooking the aluminium. You want to get the weld down pretty quick - don't want to hang around and cook the aluminium.

Basic things help a lot - good mask (can you see the weld pool very clearly? you need to), decent gloves that allow feel (not mig gauntlets), keep the filler rod shielded, clean everything, regrind the tungsten every time you touch it (very annoying for a beginner), keep practicing... you should be using pretty thin filler wire for 2mm, (1.6).

 

 

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