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TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

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  • dondlhmn
    replied
    A couple of tips/techniques to mess with;

    (1) Make the fitup as good as you possibly can as poor fitup, especially with aluminum, is tough to deal with, particularly for beginners.

    (2) Try getting your arc started on whichever piece of metal is the thickest piece of metal (but not too far from the joint) and where you are farthest from an edge, then sort of pull it along to where you are wanting to weld. This may give you a little more time to get control of the heat you are using and have the right amps ( hopefully NOT "full stomp"!!) before you get to the joint and, therefore, you will put less heat into it to let the puddle get away from you and melt back any. One thing to keep in mnd is that, say you are making a "T" joint, the piece that is having the heat applied to the edge is going to want to melt back a lot easier that the piece where you are welding further away from any edge is going to melt.

    You mentioned that you were going to get bigger pieces when you can, but if you are going to weld anythng together that is not just for practice, I would recommend that, when you cut stuff up to make whatever it is you are making, save some scraps to practice on before you try to do the final "keeper" pieces. That way you can sort of get a feel for how that particular metal reacts to heat and your filler choice is right, play with the actual type of joints you are going to make, and in the process get your settings and welding speed the best you can before making bird cr*p on the final piece you are making. One more thing to keep in mind is that, if you have one of the pieces you are working on clamped flat on a big metal surface, that piece is going to conduct heat away a LOT faster that any piece that is not clamped flat on, say, a big, flat piece of steel like most tables are made of. This can make a pretty big difference as to how the puddle forms and on how you can manipulate the puddle and control the heat.

    But, in general, TIG welding just requires two things: PRACTICE and lots of it; and having your (particularly aluminum) metal CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. Oh....and did I mention having your metal CLEAN?

    Good luck and have fun...there aren't a lot of things that are more satisfying than learning to make nice alumimun TIG welds!!
    Last edited by dondlhmn; 04-02-2012, 11:14 AM.

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  • 5150 OffRoad
    replied
    You guys are awesome, Im gonna have to put these techniques to use as soon as i get my rear jeep hatch open its delaying projects cause i cant get the door open so i cant get any material

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  • Electric4Life
    replied
    Ac?

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  • shovelon
    replied
    And I forgot.

    Pull your tungsten out about 2/3 the inner diameter of the cup. For instance if you cup is a #6(6/16"), you protrusion would be 4/16" or 1/4".

    This machine is a bit gap sensitive, so try to keep the gap about 1 diameter of the tungsten or 3/32 in your case.

    For practice, try to go as slow as you can. Like balancing on a bike at a near stop. And if you have to stop to let it cool, do so.

    Thin alum is a PIA, but I think you will give it a run for it's money soon.

    Good Luck.

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  • shovelon
    replied
    1. Sharpen your 3/32 tungsten needle sharp and don't break the point. Taper it like the taper from a good pencil sharpener. the point if not contaminated will erode back and form a perfect little ball on it's own.

    2. Probably the surface of the alum is oxidized greatly. Break the surface and clean. The thinner the sheet, the more likely the surface will be a problem.

    3. Once clean, turn your metal thickness selector all the way down. Move up incrementally to find your sweet spot.

    4. Make sure you are not using grimmey slimmy gloves, and acetone your filler wire.

    5. Gently ease the arc up as you wait for the tell tale sign of the melt at the puddle. Add the rod in fast jabs, and pull out far enough that the wire does not melt back. You don't have to worry about keeping the rod in the gas stream as it minimally oxidizes.

    Alum is easy if you put your time in perfecting your technique. Enough so that you may come to prefer to weld it. And you have the easiest tig machine to learn on that has ever been designed. The Diversion 180 the beginner's dream.

    Or it is broken.

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  • go2building
    replied
    TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

    If possible you should be grounded to the aluminum, as close as possible to the weld. As stated before start hot and reduce as you go. You also need a tight fit, no gaps is best.

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  • 5150 OffRoad
    replied
    My mistake 3/32" tungsten, late night doing a design. Im practicing on some 22 gauge but ive had it do it to me on 1/8 as well. Yes Im inside no fans. 100% 10-15cfm, tried like I said 1/8, and 0.030 mig wire ER4043, been making sure to clean it real well. Could the material im welding on affect it its a old 1/4 table, what about insufficent ground? you guys rock btw

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  • SundownIII
    replied
    Have you already developed proficiency in welding mild steel coupons?

    Lot to learn.

    Starting with aluminum may well slow the developmental process.

    3/16" tungsten won't fit in any torch that comes with the Diversion.

    Aluminum likes to be welded hot and fast.

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  • chewinggum
    replied
    For a Diversion 180 you should be sharpening your tungsten, not balling it. And surely you mean 3/32 dia.
    CG

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  • go2building
    replied
    TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

    Thought op said 1/16 aluminum
    Last edited by go2building; 03-28-2012, 10:26 AM.

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  • Envychops
    replied
    More info as far as metal thickness would help. But, what I've learned about welding alum is to apply more heat off the get go and back off if needed. If you ease into it a lot of times it'll fold away like your talking about. 1/16" is small tunsten unless your welding thin gauge alum. , you'll be going through it quickly.

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  • go2building
    replied
    TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

    Are you sure about 3/16 tungsten? if so try 1/16. Be sure aluminum is spotless clean. Wipe with acetone, after sanding. Are you inside with no fans or air blowing? You are using argon 100%? Try some 1/16 filler.

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  • 5150 OffRoad
    replied
    Various amp settings im matching amps to material thickness, 3/16" tungsten its what came in the machine, ive tried balling the tungsten, tried keeping it sharp, let me see if i can get pic

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  • go2building
    replied
    TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

    Sorry no balance setting

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  • go2building
    replied
    TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

    More info, amps,tungsten size, balance setting, etc...

    Leave a comment:

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