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  • Welds

    Q. I have been involved in NHRA drag racing for 30 years as a dragster driver and fabricator. I have been TIG welding for many years with a Miller Dialarc HF 250. I use a liquid-cooled Weldcraft torch. My welds on both 4130 and aluminum are clean and strong and look as good as most but not as good as some. I want my welds to be as pretty as those you would see on the nicer fabricated intake manifolds and oil pans. Does a square- wave or pulse machine help make this difference or is it most likely operator skill? (Submitted by: Don Griffin from Alma, IL)

    A. Pretty welds are not always the best. Different filler selection will give you great looking welds but may sacrifice elongation or resistance to cracking. For example, using a 312 rod to do 4130 will give great goldish beads but might be too high in strength for some applications. Keep your arc length short and use as low of amperage as possible. Same with aluminum. 5356 will give a shinier appearance than 4043 filler. If this isn't a problem for your application, go for it. But for 4130 race tubing applications, I still like the ER80S-D2 filler for strength and stretch.