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Dynasty 350 machine or setup problem? with Aluminum

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  • Dynasty 350 machine or setup problem? with Aluminum

    Need some advice from the experts.
    I've had the machine since Dec. (new). I have noticed the quality of Al. welding has been getting worse, so here's the setup for this test.

    EN 114
    EP 57
    Bal 75
    Freq 120 Soft
    Gas 75/25 (Ar/He) 12 CFH
    3/32 Ce-2
    gas lens (new) #6 cup (glass beaded)

    1/8" 6061
    cleaned (new sst brush) wipe with acetone
    1/16" 4043 filler

    I have played with all adjustments and just can't get a "clean" weld, I have also tried a 1/4" and 1/2" piece of machined 6061 with the same results. i just don't see a lot of difference when changing settings such as ratio from 1:1 to 2:1, balance from 60-75, freg. from 120-200, different wave forms, tried straight Ar. Could this be a machine problem? Any suggestions for other tests? See attached pictures.
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    A little history about myself, I have beeen welding since late 70's fulltime to partime all on transformer machines up until dec. when I bought the Dynasty.
    Last edited by Invader28; 09-25-2011, 12:38 PM. Reason: gas mix backwards

  • #2
    Looks like a gas or contamination problem to me.

    Something to check is crack your backcap a tad and see if the backcap is choking off the gas port in the torch head. Also check your collet to see if it has collapsed, which will also close off the gas flow. Check the end of the backcap to see if the end has a hole in it.

    We did have one problem with a bad/leaking gas attachment where the torch hose attaches to the front of the welder. The seat was chattered. Our LWS gave us authorization to really crank down and was able to seal it off, but I still was not happy, as I now have to check all of them.

    Good luck,
    Nothing welded, Nothing gained

    Miller Dynasty700DX
    3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
    Miller Dynasty200DX
    ThermalArc 400 GTSW
    MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
    Lincoln SP-170T
    Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
    Hypertherm 1250
    Hypertherm 800
    PlasmaCam CNC cutter
    Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
    SiberHegner CNC Mill
    2 ea. Bridgeport
    LeBlond 15" Lathe
    Haberle 18" Cold Saw
    Doringer 14" Cold Saw
    6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite


    • #3
      Hi Invader28,

      I also have a Dynasty 350 and I still have troubles tigging alum.
      It's not the Dynasty - it's all the other variables. Biggest problem is me.

      Here is a link to alum tigging and buried in the discussion is a photo of 3" x 3" x 1/8" alum cube I did with my 350.

      It took lots of trial and error and lots more cussing to get a piece I was willing to post here.

      I am troubled as I tig stainless and titanium pieces but still have troubles with alum.

      Should point out that I am a hobby welder and am not and will never get anywhere near to doing certified work but I have fun and constantly strive to get better.

      Here is what I remember of my settings for the 3" cube.
      125 amps max but using wireless foot pedal - 200 hz Advanced squarewave, 1/8" 2% thorium sharpened (thorium is all I have - too cheap to buy others until I use it all up).
      argon - 15 cu ft/hr. - 3/32 4043 tig wire (1/8 alum plate alloy was unknown)

      All alum including tig wire cleaned as you did.

      I am willing to take the blame for sloppy procedures on my part as I believe aluminum is less forgiving than stainless and titanium.

      Sometimes I am able to run wonderful beads and other days they look like a bird pooped while flying at 10 mph over a car hood.

      I am the big variable so my goal to get consistent.

      Good luck
      Miller Dynasty 350, Dynasty 210 DX, Hypertherm 1000, Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, large first aid kit, etc.

      Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !


      • #4
        Picture No. 3 looks like it actually has pin-holes. As far as I know that's pretty much contamination.

        You mention you switched gas bottles, so I'm not sure its an easy thing to find.

        You didn't mention trying slightly more cfh. maybe 15 or even 20. That shouldn't be too much turbulence. I seem to use #7 cup more often and I think my 100% argon regulator is stuck on 15. (I hardly ever change it). As for the other settings they are pretty much what I use. I can say that right now the quality of the beads I make are dependent on my cleaning of the base material.

        My dynasty has a pretty good solenoid and if I shut the bottle down it takes a bit of time for it to bleed down. That would give you a good indicator that the line from the bottle, through the regulator, up until the solenoid doesn't have a big leak.
        I can say for sure that after 10 min the pressure gauge on the regulator is pinned at 1200. I don't think I've ever watched it longer for leaks.

        Good luck
        Con Fuse!
        Miller Dynasty 350
        Millermatic 350P
        -Spoolmatic 30A

        Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
        Miller Multimatic 200 - awesome portable MIG (and stick and TIG)
        Miller Maxstar 200DX - portable TIG and stick


        • #5
          Thanks for the responses.


          I was thinking the same thing about gas contamination. I have a "Y" with valves going into the back of the machine with one line for Ar and the other for Ar/He mix and just valve off one or the other, now when I switched bottles for the test I may not have given it enough time to purge out the possible bad gas? I think I'll try a different bottle.

          When I hit the pedal I seem to get the normal sound of gas flow but I'll look closer at the torch parts and definitely look at the seat on the front.

          Burnt hands,

          I agree the human is the variable not usually the machine. Like they say practice practice practice and when you think you got it practice more!! I to have good days bad days!! Here's what I'm shooting for before I die!! Thanks!!


          Yes pic 3 shows contamination which I think now maybe the gas because I get the same effect on different pieces of Al.

          I think I tried higher flow but I'll try again and I also tried #7 cup with no difference.

          I have always tried to keep gas leaks to a minimum so I don't pay the gas companies faster than I have to!! usually I only loose 500 psi overnight with bottle off.

          Thanks again, I'll try more tomorrow night and post findings.


          • #6
            hey i noticed the contamination in pic 3 you said you were using 4043 I noticed from class and work that 4043 runs kinda iffy sometimes. Both at my school and my job I use a dynasty 350 it might be you running to hot. I use the same rod and machine at work just with 1/8 rod and tungsten sometimes it still happens.


            • #7
              Thanks bellboymotorsports I'll try larger and different rod, I did find this on the website that talks about filler rod (grainy weld). Looks like I got a combination of "contamination", maybe some "AC balance" and "grainy aluminum". The other thing I noticed is there doesn't seem to be any change of the "cleaning action" when I change balance from 60% to 75%, maybe I might have a machine issue as well? Do you see a difference on your machine when changing this setting?



              • #8

                Not trying to "come down on you" because I have no way of knowing what your tig welding background is, however it would seem that you're trying to "outthink yourself".

                Just because you have all the "bells and whistles" available on a Dynasty 350 doesn't mean that you have to use them. Have you tried welding the 1/8" aluminum with a balanced setting? In other words, forget about the EP/EN until you really understand what those settings accomplish.

                Is there a particular reason you feel you need to use a Ar/He mix for welding 1/8" aluminum? I've only been tig welding aluminum for a "few years" (almost 50) but I can't remember ever having to use helium on 1/8" material.

                Anytime you introduce helium to the equation (be it 25% or 100% or whatever), you've got to increase your flowrate, due to the fact that helium is lighter than air and will not settle around the weld bead the same way argon (heavier than air) will. When using an Ar/He mix, I'd recommend a flow rate in the neighborhood of 18-25 CFH.

                Also think you'll find that if you increase your balance control to about 80% you'll get adequate EP for cleaning (assuming that the raw material is properly prepped). This will also reduce the etch zone you find adjacent to the weld bead.

                I guess I should have asked this in the beginning. Have you ever tig welded with a transformer machine (without separate EP/EN adjustment)?

                I've always found when something's not going right, it's better go back to the basics and start from there.

                Additionally, (went back and read original post), I'd recommend moving up to 3/32" filler. For a new guy, 1/16" 4043 can present a fine line between keeping the filler in the covering gas and melting the filler before you get to the bead. Could be that you're removing the filler (and contaminating it) from the smaller covering gas envelope created by the Ar/He mix.

                In summary, here are a couple recommendations:

                Amps set on machine 125
                Balance 80
                Soft Squarewave
                Turn off the separate EP/EN
                Use straight Argon
                Filler 3/32"
                Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200 DX
                Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                Hobart HH187
                Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                More grinders than hands


                • #9
                  Going off your earlier settings:
                  I would start your EP higher. Your EP is only half the EN and that reduces the cleaning a ton. With that low of EP, depending on material, you might have to be in the low 60s for balance. Maybe even lower to see the white cleaning zone.
                  A good starting point is 2/3 EP/EN. So try 80EP 120EN.

                  The other thing I notice when welding AC is if the gas does have contamination, you will not see much, if any, cleaning no matter what your adjustments.
                  Also, if you did change bottles and the new bottle is of the same lot, it too will have bad gas. Your best bet would be to put a known good bottle of pure argon and get your baselines.

                  Plus with the material you are welding, a mix gas is way overkill and go with a 3/32 filler. On the 6061, the 5356 filler will give you better results.

                  Good luck!



                  • #10
                    Hey Sundown, been lurking around the hobart forums for years so thanks for not throwing me in the frying pan!! ok here's some answers.

                    The 1/8" material is what I had laying around, I normally use Ar for most of my welding the mix is for some 3/4" chambers I have done (with a flow rate of 20 cfh with gas lens), just used it to see if the gas was alright. I haven't tried the "balanced" setting on the Dynasty yet, I'll try it. I've only been alive as long as you have been welding!! started in 78 on Airco,Linde,Lincoln and finally the state of the art cybertig!! finally bought a used one in 92 and used it until Dec. when I started doing those chambers and I found I was using all 300 amps on DCEN with He. and didn't want to take a chance on the machine breaking down so that's when I got the 350. So I just started welding with it and really haven't had the time to learn all the bells and whistles.

                    So being a "semi-old dog" I can learn new tricks!! like they practice,practice and practice more!! Between yourself and BC there is a lot of good info to be learned and I'll try your recommendations since you have experience on inverters. So thanks again for your inputs.


                    • #11
                      Thanks Andy,

                      I'll try the 2/3 setting. I'm going to move up to 1/4" 6061 and use the gas I have (Ar) and get another bottle this weekend. Just for a quick test before I came back to work I had tried running some beads on 1/4" (6061) with 4043,5356 and 1100. Both 4043 and 5356 had a lot of "graining" but the 1100 looked pretty good just didn't have time to take pictures. I'll repeat the tests with your settings and different filler along with pic's tonight. Just want to make sure it's not a machine problem, first inverter that I've used. Thanks again.

                      Andy one other thing where should I start with balance? 70%
                      Last edited by Invader28; 09-27-2011, 04:30 PM.


                      • #12
                        Hey Invader,

                        Kinda figured you didn't just go out and buy a new Dynasty 350. Not exactly what I'd call a "starter machine". Sometimes though, we do tend to make things more difficult than they really are. I ran into the same thing when I started doing pulsed mig with the XMT304 and optima pulser. Really still haven't found settings that work much better than the preprogrammed ones.

                        Andy (the real expert here), is much more versed in the EP/EN settings and I would take his advice as the gospel. Another poster (who doesn't post here much anymore) is KB Fabrications. Kevin is probably the best I've seen when it comes to exploring the capabilities of the Dynasty welders.

                        Another little tip I teach my new guys is to take the torch, set my gas flow, and initiate an arc on a cleaned piece of aluminum. No filler. No forward movement. Just start an arc, ramp up the amps, create a puddle, move it around slightly, and then ramp down the amps. Best way to tell if you're dealing with bad gas. No other variables have been added to the equation.

                        Old timer. Guess you could say so. Started welding our aluminum fuel tanks in our race boats in 1966. Started on an old Linde Heliarc machine that belonged to Hercules Powder Company. One of our team members was an engineer with Hercules and he'd get us into the maintenance facility after the day shift left. Went with the Miller Syncrowaves in 1977.

                        300A DC tig with helium. Man. That's some "serious heat". Not sure my hood shades go dark enough for that. I'd have to use a mig glove for feeding filler.
                        Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                        Dynasty 200 DX
                        Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                        Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                        Hobart HH187
                        Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                        Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                        Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                        PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                        Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                        Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                        More grinders than hands


                        • #13
                          Ok ran another test last night using Andy's settings and decided to scroll through all the settings and found "TUNG" was set on "GEN" so I switched it to ".094" and low and behold it welded like it was suppose to!! I think I just failed Sundown's "rookie" test!! he'll never hire me for sure now!!

                          So here's the final settings;

                          [email protected]
                          3/32" Ce w/gas lens #7 cup
                          forgot final A
                          80 EP
                          120 EN
                          70% BAL

                          used 3/32" filler except for the 1100 1/16"
                          1/8" 6061 cleaned

                          So now I can play with adjuments from here. Thanks again to all and happy welding!!