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  • Recommendations Please

    I am relatively new to the TIG process. I have had the Dyn 200DX since April; however, do not get to practice nearly as much as I would like (or should).
    I am comfortable with steel (not good, just comfortable). Getting somewhat comfortable with Aluminum (around 0.125 thick).
    I tried some thin Aluminum today (0.025 thick). It can best be described as a disaster (cluster **** --- you know). Anyway, to the question. What would be a good starting point in settings for me?

    I tried amps from 40 to 90 in 5 amp increments.
    My gas is pure Ar at 15 CFH.
    I was using 3/32 Lant. tung. ground correctly to a pencil-like point with a tiny flat on the end.
    I tried balance settings from 50 to 80 in 5% increments.
    I tried freqs from 60 to 120 in 10 Hz increments.
    The filler was 1/16 4043.
    I cleaned the metal with a black Carbide rotating stripper (from Covel (sp) video) followed by a good brushing with a dedicated SS brush.
    I had the pieces laying on a 1/2 inch thick plate of Aluminum and had the material to be welded clamped to hold it flat.

    The best results (if you could call it that) occurred at around 60% and 120Hz and 70 amps.

    My biggest problems were burnthroughs (no revelation there). I was not able to go for more than about 3/4 inch without burning through. I played with the pedal to attempt to prevent the burnthroughs, & observed the beads cooling quickly. I also tried some beads on the flat stock without attempting a joint. Just beads on a flat piece. That was quite a bit better, but nothing to write home about.

    Overall, quite a humbling experience. Frustrating too.

    I have a foot pedal, & a 20 size watercooled torch.

    I don't have a clue what grade of Aluminum it was -- Lowes stuff. But, it was clean.

    I realize that I need to practice more; but, a better idea of where to start may be of great benefit to me.

    As a side note, If any of you have heard about the Redoubt volcano that is rumbling up here. I am the primary pilot for the Volcano Observatory Scientists. I have been to it 4 times in the last 7 days. Up close & personal as they say. It is a bit nerve shaking to be only about 1/4 mile from the mouth of it at times.

    Here is a link to the website for it.

    http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Redoubt.php

    Anyway, thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

    Jerry in Anchorage

  • #2
    .025" thick? That's what they make rivets for!

    Anyway, the alloy makes a big difference and there's no telling what you're got without either a manufacturers identification or possibly some chemical detective work.

    Some alloys simply will not weld, particularly the 2xxx series due to high levels of copper.

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
    Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
    "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
    "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
    "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

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    • #3
      Jerry, (don't mean to hijack your thread)

      Lots of talent on this Board!

      Sent you a PM, I spent 40+ years in AK and over 20 in Anchorage, Looks like you and me are learning at the same pace 2500 miles apart! I would suggest you go to a fab shop and get some scrap 50XX plate to practice on as I had the same problem trying to learn on some junk I had laying around (that I had from AIH (your candy store) don't get to frustrated, the learning curve is pretty steep for AL (and I have welded a lot of A/C tube with OE)

      I determined I am not going much less then about .60 till I get a lot more rhythm with the pedal! I had a guy over to the shop the other day that humbled me real good, as he welded up hill over the top and down the other side on 11ga using the settings I had in the machine and he never even sat on the stool (just put his right foot on the pedal and leaned over the table)
      PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE is what he said to me!

      As for Redoubt, thanks for the link, I was there during the last blow and nearly ruined my cub Lycomig! I also remember the JAL 747 that lost all engines after flying through the ash cloud!! That ash is aweful hard on motors! (my neighbor down here is the head "volcanoist" overseeing Mt. St. Helens in my backyard)

      What are you flying for observation?

      Tim
      sigpicRetired Elevator Consrtructor Local 19 IUEC
      AK bush pilot (no longer in AK) too old and no longer bold)
      Chaplain CMA chapter 26
      Dynasty200dx (new and loving it)
      MM-252 (NEW AND LEARNING IT)
      Hypertherm PM-45
      Miller 140 mig 110v
      Vtwin builder

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the info

        I never considered (untill now) just how thin 0.025 really is. I was full of confidence till after the 4th or 5th attempt. After that things went sour pretty quickly. Like I have said before, learning TIG without a mentor or teacher is pretty tough.

        Thanks again,

        Jerry in Anchorage

        PS. I fly a Piper Navajo for the observation flights - must be unpressurized due to the equipment sticking out of a special door in the rear of the A/C.
        Last edited by muskt; 02-02-2009, 09:46 AM. Reason: Forgot to answer

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        • #5
          Volcano!

          Hey Jerry: A little off topic here, but, were you on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory the other night? They were talking about this, and had a pilot call in describing your profession, form Anchorage, I believe.

          Dave
          "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

          Comment


          • #6
            Not me

            It wasn't me, at least I don't think it was.

            Jerry

            PS I went to the volcano this afternoon with the scientists on board. It was -32C at the 8000 foot level. The heater in the Navajo just wasn't up to that. We were all cold when we got back (2.9 hours). The mountain is still steaming, although less than on Sat. We are just sitting & waiting.

            Comment


            • #7
              .025 is very thin. What joint are you trying? It sounds like a butt joint, clamped flat to the table. If it is, you've taken care of the first issue, a backing to dissipate the heat.

              Don't try to puddle the base metal. Lay your filler along the seam and start your arc on the filler. As the filler starts to melt, it will pull away from the arc. Give the filler enough feed to grow the molten ball. Once you have a stable ball, pedal up, arc on the ball. Watch carefully, one side of the ball will start to flow to the base metal. Now move the arc toward the other side of the ball and fuse that side. Now you have a little more mass to work with. Don't try to start a weld on the edge, at least an inch in, for now.

              The most important part of the above suggestion is that you must wire brush the base metal clean because: as the molten ball heats, it transfers heat to the base metal through the tiny surface area between the two pieces. If there's an oxide layer between the two, it will insulate the pieces. Then as you pedal up, the ball will overheat, turn to ash and evaporate. The EP cannot clean under the filler ball.

              The biggest improvement when learning, for me, was using 3/32" filler. I could not get 1/16" to the puddle. It just vaporized. Learned much later that if this happens, your torch angle needs to be more vertical.

              Jerry meet Tim. Tim meet Jerry. It's a very small world.
              RETIRED desk jockey.

              Hobby weldor with a little training.

              Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

              Miller Syncrowave 250.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                [quote=muskt;175427]I never considered (untill now) just how thin 0.025 really is. I was full of confidence till after the 4th or 5th attempt. After that things went sour pretty quickly. Like I have said before, learning TIG without a mentor or teacher is pretty tough.

                Thanks again,

                Jerry in Anchorage
                [quote]

                Simplify the task until you get a better feel for feeding the rod. Try an edge weld on that thin material without using any filler.

                Dynasty 300DX
                MM350P
                Hobart Handler 120
                Smith LW7, MW1, AW1
                Smith AR/He Mixer

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                • #9
                  Check your in box Jerry

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