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How to stop the arc in TIG

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  • How to stop the arc in TIG

    Hello again,


    I'm a complete beginner for TIG, have seen a bunch on videos read a whole lot of articles and I'm aware that it will simply take lots of practice to master TIG, but I just had few questions on how to best stop the arc as I learn. ( I haven't found a good description of how to properly do this)

    points to consider -I have a Maxstar 150 STH (so it can do lift arc or high frequency) and I have the thumbwheel control.

    Question 1. When using Lift-arc (without remote amperage control), what is the best method for terminating the arc? I tried pulling away but It just seems like the wrong thing to do, especially since it doesn't allow me to keep gas coverage on the cooling weld.

    Question 2. When using HF start (with the the thumb control) it seems almost impossible to neatly start a weld puddle and keep it in place while you increase the amperage with the little wheel,.... and even worse when you turn it down to terminate the arc, is there a better way?
    - I aware that foot amperage control pedals exist, is this pretty much the only solution for making this easy. Or should I just get an on/off foot switch (that is my main concern for now).

    Q.3 - Does an amp control pedal have a built-in on/off function or is it only an increase or decrease of amperage?

    thanks

  • #2
    You can speed up at the end of the weld then pull the torch away, this is the way I have always done it without the hand or foot controls.
    The speed up at the end of the weld is to help eliminate the crater which is critical on 100% penetration welds.

    I use the foot control on my Dynasty to do that, it would be much easier than the finger control I would think as I havent owned a finger control. I personally like the HF start the best, I have tried lift arc and really didnt care for it as I have to touch the tungsten to the work and sooner or later break off the point.

    I used an inverter machine for years, scratch start and pull off at the end, and valve on and off the gas each time manually.

    answer to Q3 yes it does shut the output off completely, and the gas valve as well.
    Last edited by popspipes; 02-27-2010, 07:36 PM. Reason: Q3
    mike sr

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    • #3
      You can use a remote bushbutton with lift arc or HF to stop the arc.

      On lift arc, you enable (hold the button), lift, run, and release to stop. Similar with HF, but no lift.

      A button control is easy to make up if you have a little electronics experience. You can also modify the remote easily for switch only operation. There are a lot of options. The second mod I did to the fingertip remote (the first was setting it up with an external pushbutton before I made a dedicated one), was putting a 1K resistor in series with the low side of the pot so when switched on, it came up at 1/2 power. For a 90A weld, I set the machine for about 120A. Click on to an immediate 60A, roll up to 90, run, and roll down, click off at 60 again. Set the machine at full bore to start at 75. I have one foot control set up with a 250 ohm pot with 750 ohm in series to start at 75%.

      I made all of my remotes except the factory fingertip (a couple pedals, a bunch of buttons-- foot and hand-- and an amptrol the I can squeeze between my legs for real awkward spots, with a switch to bypass the pot for switchon/off only). The wiring for the connector is in the manual, and the connector is a switchcraft en3 (bayonet, not the newer push-on quick connect)



      Also, breaking off is a learned technique without remote. I kind of flick back to break the arc and immediately bring the torch back in for gas coverage. Straight back, straight in. Takes a little practice because it is a VERY fast move, and you need to avoid tspping the tungsten to the work.
      Last edited by enlpck; 02-27-2010, 09:27 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by YvesVT View Post
        Hello again,

        Question 2. When using HF start (with the the thumb control) it seems almost impossible to neatly start a weld puddle and keep it in place while you increase the amperage with the little wheel,.... and even worse when you turn it down to terminate the arc, is there a better way?
        - I aware that foot amperage control pedals exist, is this pretty much the only solution for making this easy. Or should I just get an on/off foot switch (that is my main concern for now).
        i'm new to tig as well and had the same difficulty with my maxstar 150. the manual has a setting to make the finger control basically an on/off switch with an automatic amp reducer when you kill the arc. you do lose the ability to adjust the amperage while welding, but if you're trying to get the movements down like i was, it helped a lot

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