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Aluminum Tig Question

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    Country Metals
    Senior Member

  • Country Metals
    replied
    Sand blasting leaves silica (sand) stuck in the base metal and you will watch the arc dance around it. Washing it with acetone and a S/S wire brush is best. Also keep in mind that the back side has to be as clean as the front side since the heat will burn off a lot of impurities and they can float into your gas stream.

    The smaller your joint, the smaller your filler, and the smaller your tungsten all have an impact on your heat input to complete the weld. Welding in short bursts helps also.

    Inverters run pointed tungsten.

    Leave a comment:

  • OlSkool
    Junior Member

  • OlSkool
    replied
    Thanks for the help. I have to pick up supplies this week and then I will try it. I hope to try it this week and post an update. I will try. Thanks again everyone for all the great advice. It has been 5 year since I tig welded aluminum and that was with a big old Miller machine and that welded nice. I am not used to the Diversion yet so that is part of my issue. I could do steel just great with it so I knew I was doing something wrong with the aluminum. I will get the smaller tungsten and do a better job at cleaning. I have a few days worth of fixing these aluminum shrouds so I want to do it right. Will post an update when I get to welding.

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  • LuckyD
    Junior Member

  • LuckyD
    replied
    Ok- here goes

    First- since you are doing aluminum, and its a thin guage, go to your friendly neighborhood welding supply, and-
    1) Ask for a 2% lanthanated tungsten preferably 1/16", and grab a collet to match, and the next two sizes larger cups, than you have now. 2) Grind your tungsten to a nice textbook point, just like your book tells you to.
    3) Clean that aluminum METICULOUSLY with acetone, or some other suitable solvent, and for goodness sakes, make sure its dry, and you have properly isolated all the solvents and cleaning materials from your general vicinity.
    4) Now that its been cleaned, mechanically clean the weld area with a DEDICATED stainless steel wire brush (for aluminum ONLY)
    5) Set your welder at about 90 amps, install the next larger size cup (helps to make a larger area of shielding gas, and helps you keep your filler material clean as you weld) use the pedal (finer control than on the torch) and get to weldin'.
    Let us know how you make out, I hope this helps you get where you want to go
    Lucky

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  • con_fuse9
    Senior Member

  • con_fuse9
    replied
    Originally posted by jay2001 View Post
    If you are using a 2% tungsten and your machine has a negative polarity, try this. Grind the tungsten to a point. switch to neg polarity. Arc it just for a second or two and you will see it form into a ball. that's what you need for aluminum. Then switch the machine back over. Other than that get 100% tun. I don't grind mine to a point as the abll will form on 100% naturally.
    I'm not sure you realize that the Diversion is an inverter machine and runs AC at 120Hz. I believe the balance is also set at about 70% EN, but It doesn't say for sure in the literature. Bottom line, with these settings you can keep the tungsten from balling (well, actually it 'wears' but it doesn't ball like pure). So you weld aluminum with a point, not a ball.

    I believe these machines all come with 2% Ceriated (orange tip). That's the one you want to start with. Period.

    I'm assuming "askAndy" is Andy Weyenberg. I could be wrong...
    As for advice. Not only does Andy know what he is talking about, he is a decent enough teacher - at least as much as you can get from a video.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/video_library/

    It would be crazy not to at least watch the videos on aluminum TIG at least once before you attempted it yourself. Watch 'em in order. There are lots of good hints in there that you will not find anywhere else.

    Leave a comment:

  • ASKANDY
    Super Moderator

  • ASKANDY
    replied
    With that type of flat repair, having your tungsten stick out 1/4-3/8 is common.
    Don't run GREEN tungsten in this machine.
    Keep your arc length tight but not touching the base metal. The higher your arc length, the more power the machine has to put out and therefore heating up the base metal too much and could burn through.
    You could also use a copper backing plate behind the repair area to help with burn through proplems.

    Andy

    Leave a comment:

  • OlSkool
    Junior Member

  • OlSkool
    replied
    Thanks for the advice/help. I was wondern if my electrode was to faw away. I will try it when I get home in few days. Also, how far shoildnthe electrode stick out of the cup.

    Leave a comment:

  • shovelon
    Senior Member

  • shovelon
    replied
    Once your surface is clean and you have purchased your 1/16" torch parts, grind to a sharp point like a pencil profile and LEAVE IT!

    Do not ball back, and do not grind a land on it. It will erode on it's own, it does not need any help from you.

    Good luck and report back.

    Leave a comment:

  • SundownIII
    Senior Member

  • SundownIII
    replied
    OlSkool,

    Just a tip.

    Disregard all the other BS from uninformed posters and listen to what Andy told you to try.

    As Andy mentioned, blasting the aluminum is not "satisfactory prep". Use a SS brush and clean it throughly. If there's dust left behind, clean it with a clean rag and acetone or alcohol. Aluminum must be CLEAN to tig weld.

    Keep your arc length short, about the length of the thickness of your tungsten.

    Leave a comment:

  • jbmprods
    Senior Member

  • jbmprods
    replied
    Originally posted by OlSkool View Post
    I think I will pick up a 1/16 tungsten & collet and see what happens. I will also talk with the weld store and ask them and see what they have to say.
    Good luck with asking the weld store personnel lol. we all know 99.9% of them are experts. if you don't believe me just ask them. then after they advise you, hand them 2 pieces of the metal you are working with and ask them to fire up a torch and show you. don't be surprised when they tell you "we don't have a tig hooked up".

    Leave a comment:

  • OlSkool
    Junior Member

  • OlSkool
    replied
    I think I will pick up a 1/16 tungsten & collet and see what happens. I will also talk with the weld store and ask them and see what they have to say.

    Leave a comment:

  • Autobodytec
    Member

  • Autobodytec
    replied
    2% cerated orange for inverter machines thats what came with you Diversion it just looks red mine looks red too green is for trasfomer machines i think your not geting it cleen

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  • OlSkool
    Junior Member

  • OlSkool
    replied
    The 180 Diversion only has a button to push to switch between Steel & Aluminum. I can't switch polarity that I know of so I don't think that will work. Thanks anyway.

    Leave a comment:

  • jay2001
    Junior Member

  • jay2001
    replied
    If you are using a 2% tungsten and your machine has a negative polarity, try this. Grind the tungsten to a point. switch to neg polarity. Arc it just for a second or two and you will see it form into a ball. that's what you need for aluminum. Then switch the machine back over. Other than that get 100% tun. I don't grind mine to a point as the abll will form on 100% naturally.

    Leave a comment:

  • OlSkool
    Junior Member

  • OlSkool
    replied
    I am using the 3/16 tungsten that came with the welder; red one, I know it's not pure tungsten. I can pick up those. I am using 1/16 filler also. They way I am grinding the tungsten, is that correct way for aluminum tig with this machine.
    Thanks for the reply.

    Leave a comment:

  • ASKANDY
    Super Moderator

  • ASKANDY
    replied
    Welcome.

    Here are a couple suggestions:
    Make sure with that thin material, you are using a 1/16 tungsten, collet and collet body.
    Also your filler shouldn't be thicker than the material you are trying to weld.

    If the material was blasted, make sure it's properly cleaned after. Tig welding on fresh blasted Aluminum usually results in unsatisfactory results and contamination from the blast media.

    Turn the main amperage of the machine down to less than 90 amps. This will give you more foot control resolution.

    Good luck.

    Andy

    Leave a comment:

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