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  • Tungsten Electrode question

    So i cant seem to find my sample set of rods and collets that came with the welder, i should have left with the carrying case, but i remember when i chose to move to where i thought it would be easier to find, seems i was wrong..

    Anyway, i have been using the electrode size that came already setup in the tig gun, i remember them being grey in color, but thats all..
    I know if i ever find the set, i have 1 or 2 other colors and different size diameters.. until i find that case with the other sizes, i need to order the same size diameter electrodes, but had a question about the color rings they have on them..

    I was going to order some from weldingcity.com and before i do just wanted to make sure if i should stick with the grey electrodes or get different color?
    I read in another post that orange is a good all around electrode to use, but welding city sells only green, blue, grey, gold, purple and red. For what ive been welding should i just stick with the grey? Or now that i need to get some new ones change it to another color? So far only things ive welded is mild steel, may eventually use some stainless i have, but other than that..

  • #2
    I would get Purple. Grey 2% ceriated. Gold is 1.5% lanthanated, white is .8% zirconiated not sure what all those fancy colours are used for.

    Red is 2% thoriated, used for DC which is steels mainly. Then there is green which is pure tungsten which is used for A/C aluminum and stuff.

    Purple is the E3 it is used for both, It is all I personally use and I do steel, stainless, aluminum, copper, brass and the purples work great for all of it.

    There are other electrodes out there that might be usable for both but I only have experience with the purples and they work for me. Also makes it easier as you only need to keep 1 type on the shelf instead of more than one type.
    Last edited by Olivero; 11-16-2016, 11:16 AM.
    if there's a welder, there's a way

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    • #3
      Blue is 2% lanthanated and is a good all around choice for both DC and AC welding. I have a lot of experience with this tungsten and have no problem recommending it.

      Red is thoriated tungsten and has been used for many years. I still have a bit of it running around and use it for welding steel and stainless steel. Not so good on AC aluminum but it does work.

      Green is pure tungsten and is the old school electrode for welding AC aluminum on transformer machines. It is not recommended for use with inverter based machines. I have a little of this stuff and hardly ever use it.

      The purple is E3 like Olivero mentioned. I have limited experience with it now and it seems to be pretty good.

      I have trouble finding the blue and purple tungsten locally and have to order it. If I had a DC only tig welder, I would probably use the red because you can practically find it at the grocery store...its very widely used and available. I can't imagine a LWS that does not have the red tungsten on the shelf.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
        Blue is 2% lanthanated and is a good all around choice for both DC and AC welding. I have a lot of experience with this tungsten and have no problem recommending it.

        Red is thoriated tungsten and has been used for many years. I still have a bit of it running around and use it for welding steel and stainless steel. Not so good on AC aluminum but it does work.

        Green is pure tungsten and is the old school electrode for welding AC aluminum on transformer machines. It is not recommended for use with inverter based machines. I have a little of this stuff and hardly ever use it.

        The purple is E3 like Olivero mentioned. I have limited experience with it now and it seems to be pretty good.

        I have trouble finding the blue and purple tungsten locally and have to order it. If I had a DC only tig welder, I would probably use the red because you can practically find it at the grocery store...its very widely used and available. I can't imagine a LWS that does not have the red tungsten on the shelf.
        +1 for 2% Lanthanated (BLUE) as an all around AC and DC electrode...................

        As far as I can see.... the E3/Tri-Mix tungstens are more a marketing gimmick than anything else

        IF....I could see any advantage... I would gladly spend the premium for the E3...

        BUT I DON'T..... so why spend extra to no avail....??

        Maybe the E3 work better in Transformer machines... But ...in my experience...they are sure not the hot tip in inverters like the Dynasty

        Here are a couple of TUNGSTEN videos worth watching

        Tungsten Electrodes Review

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzEuV83UGMY

        Tungsten Electrodes - 2% lanthanated vs the rest...pure,ceriated,thoriated, and zirconiated

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpanERwagaU

        Last edited by H80N; 11-16-2016, 02:12 PM.
        .

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        • #5
          That is a good point, I have not used the E3 in an inverter machine.

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          • #6
            I love how H80N and I butt heads each time any tungsten is mentioned

            I use E3 for my Dynasty machine.
            if there's a welder, there's a way

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Olivero View Post
              I love how H80N and I butt heads each time any tungsten is mentioned

              I use E3 for my Dynasty machine.
              I've used them all. I don't think there is a plug nickel difference between any of them for normal use.
              I used 1.5% (gold) for YEARS. After that went to blue. I have used purple too. (it was ok, nothing extra IMO)
              My favorite was using the old Airco machine. I was a rebadged AB330. It Loved Brown! I could go forever on that beautiful chrome looking ball. If you touched it, it would come right back. Then I switched to Gold and everything changed.
              You can use whatever the heck you want. Just don't use Green cause it is pure (crap) and red sucks on AC.
              I say Bang-for-the-buck......blue is a better buy. You usually get more for the money IMO.
              Now, Welding City......that's a whole other subject. I bought some seriously junk gas lenses from them. I won't buy their cheap garbage ever again.

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              • #8
                Well I have that old airco machine, its good to know you like the blue tungsten on it and that pure sucks. I haven't tried the pure on it, but was planning to do so, now I have something to consider. Most of my tungsten is blue, I only have 1/8" in the purple to try, and the jury is still out on it.

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                • #9
                  There is no jury out on purple IMO
                  If I run out of blue and all the LWS has is purple, I'm buying it. It just costs more.
                  Here's why. I don't worry too much about all the charts on tungsten size anymore. Something has got to be pretty stinking thin for me to use real small diameters. I use 1/8th for almost everything aluminum. Stainless it depends. If its a super quick thing I keep my normal setup. But if welding much then I go to the big cup rig with an appropriate diameter.
                  If a guy brought me a radiator (aluminum) that needed a tube fixed, I would use 1/16 and change the start amps down to like 5. Much thicker I'll use 1/8 anymore with a longer taper. Most of my work is .060 and up

                  www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                  Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                  MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                  Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                  Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                  Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                  Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                  Miller WC-115-A
                  Miller Spectrum 300
                  Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                  Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

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                  • #10
                    I had just recently come across Midwest Tungsten Service. They are USA based and manufacture products in the Chicago-area. Seems like they know what they're doing. Their tungstens are very reasonably priced. If only I hadn't stocked up on cheap Weldingcity tungstens already, lol.

                    https://www.tungsten.com/

                    https://midwesttungsten.com/welding-...ectrodes-blue/

                     
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                    • #11
                      That seems to be quite affordable. I know for a fact I paid a heck of a lot more than that when I had my LWS order it.

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                      • #12
                        I've used nothing but red for all my DC tig welding. I find they start, weld and hold their point the best. I won't switch to anything else for DC tig welding.
                        The little AC tig I've done was with green tungsten for a nice balled end.
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                        • #13
                          Yeah, I used red for a while, then someone managed to get me all freaked our about the radiation when grinding and I asked my LWS and they told me they just got the purple in which apparently work better and I used them since then.
                          if there's a welder, there's a way

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                          • #14
                            I know they add thorium to help with arc lighting----------- "No problemo"

                            --- I wouldn't worry about the alpha particle (radioactive) dosing --- you only get it when grinding and welding.


                            The problem with TIG welding generally is they're adding radioactive materials to practically all the rods. Ceriated or lanthanated tungstens are "ok" with DC currents, zirconiated tungsten is "ok" for AC current welding, but the truth of the matter is "if you're welding", you're "absorbing" something that you shouldn't", period.
                            Last edited by Auto_Tech; 11-20-2016, 11:02 AM.

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                            • #15
                              True, but you can reduce the amount by PPE and proper procedures. Just because you are getting some damage does not mean you should just take it all because either way, your are damaging yourself.

                              I wear sleeves and a respirator most of the time and keep my hood shade at 12 for as much as possible unless I go totally blind. It may not affect you a whole lot but to some, it may affect them a lot, really depends on the person.

                              I don't get affected by any of it yet but I am sure, down the road 20 or 30 years from now, I will be feeling and regretting all the times I just let the arc burn my skin red and the amount of crap I inhaled because I could not be bothered, grinding without a mask. flap disking aluminum without a mask, sticking with no mask, tigging and inhaling the hexavalent chromium or aluminum and other crap in the metal but by reducing it and just trying to get the best out of it, at least its better in the long run and keeping those radioactive emitting electrodes to as little of a use as possible, who knows, might make a difference in the end.

                              I feel like I am ranting, am I ranting?
                              if there's a welder, there's a way

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