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Tig weld wash. Cheating or not?

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  • Tig weld wash. Cheating or not?

    My boss says that running one pass with filler and than "washing" it out with no filler to make it look good is Not cheating. I say it IS cheating. I understand that in certain situations you may have to, but otherwise I say not acceptable. I'm just curious to see what other people think. Thanks.

  • #2
    Cheating..but he's the boss, so he's right.

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    • #3
      It just depends

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      • #4
        It all depends on the purpose. I worked at a patio furniture manufacturer, they would "wash weld" the aluminum TIG welds for appearance instead of grinding. When they transitioned to MIG, all welds were ground prior to paint!

        In your scenario, is grinding a weld cheating?
        Glen
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        • #5
          My thought would be on the cheating side. My question would be; What happens to the alluminum in realation to the HAZ and how would the chemistry and mechanical properties change by re-heating it without adding filler? Maybe things would be ok with aluminum, I don't know.

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          • #6
            You just dont end up with the same weld. When you re weld you end up burning out some of the alloying elements that you were trying to add with the fillers to prevent cracking, add strength, ductility, etc.
            That said I have done it plenty of times, usually when contamination erupts, causing an ugly weld, or a gust blows your shielding gas away. I just try not to make it a habit, as welding a joint twice takes twice as long.

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            • #7
              Tig weld wash. Cheating or not?

              He wants to pay you for a second pass, better just shut up and take the money.

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              • #8
                Is 'cheating' the right word?

                What's the 'quality' of the end result?

                If the weld meets specs then what's the problem?
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                • #9
                  This probably isn't a sensitive job and how much could it hurt to wash back over and fix something. Lots of good alum welding done with very little filler. No foot pedal either. Anyway we welded a lot of aluminum couplings to alum tubing, first ones I did took 5 rods, the last one or so and started having some less. They are repaired with weld all the time.
                  Mig can really take some discipline, its super easy to booger something up. The salvation with it all is that usually it manages to work, if a guy is willing to put in earplugs can fix it a little and only issues in most of the bird sheet work is minor pinholes under hi pressure. Mostly is tubing too thin and usually older to be welding with wire feed of that size but we do it anyway.
                  They rate the machine from 14 ga but we do 16 with it all the time. Even then I can usually cover a poor old fit with a little waste of gas and filler good enough as it doesn't leak shelled corn.
                  Ok, the stuff below is simply mostly washed together with a wire welder. I simply chop pieces up and get a close fit and noodle it together. On a good day its good, the T;s being reconfigured are cast I cut with the plasma and squared up a bit with a grinder, they aint always Purdy but weld up really fast with little material and convert some ends I have that are scrap to adapters I need.
                  I missed a sale not too long ago I should have scored some parts at, some of this no one wants but I paid scrap for the line t and needed end T.
                  For the price of 2 cuts, 2 grinds and 2 welds I had immediate gratification thru a part that would have cost me best used 50 shipped.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Sberry; 11-06-2014, 11:08 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I welded these where they loo0k beautiful and you find a tiny hole under pressure and ones that look noodled and like crap, absolutely awful and not leak. Most of it no one sees and as tempting as it is to want to go back and fix the defects its welded pretty well for strength and leakage,, again often in some better looking spots.

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                    • #11
                      I have to agree, the wash weld is for appearance only
                      Glen
                      Miller Dynasty 200DX - Millermatic 350P - Hypertherm Powermax 45 - Hobart Handler 150

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                      • #12
                        Just practice and learn to do it well the first time, problem solved.

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                        • #13
                          If there is any kind of strength required, you DO NOT "wash aluminium". TIG on aluminium simply heats, evaporates, and dissipates the alloying elements if you are not adding filler rod. The weld might look nicer, it is certainly not stronger.
                          Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

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                          • #14
                            Probably true but not every weld needs to be as strong as it can be.

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                            • #15
                              I like Walkers post.
                              I hardly ever wash a weld, but yesterday I was outside doing a aluminum handrail repair and a gust of wind blew into the weld, so I washed it to smooth it.

                              Knowing what you are welding is key to the proper answer.

                              Lawn furniture - wash away-

                              Something structural, do it right the first time.

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