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Aluminum welds in question

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  • #16
    as far as the argon/helium mix on thinner aluminum: the thinnest aluminum we use is 1/8" so I can't really tell you how it performs on anything thinner. I do use it when making stainless steel electrical boxes. They are made from 16gauge 304 stainless. I just do fusion welds for all the outside corner welds with no problems at all. I havn't noticed much of a difference on the stainless work, but I would recomend the mix of gases for anyone doing aluminum, regardless of their skill level. With the helium in the mix the bottle empties slightly faster, but barley noticable, and I think there was about a $15 add in price but still well worth it.
    Welders do it hotter!!


    • #17
      Like Craig said I would turn your bal. down to 3 or 4 and see if that helps. It looks like your fighting some contamination issues from the black flakes and surface oxides. Your scrap may have a heavier than normal oxide layer. When you clean with a S.S. brush you should feel a drag when you break through the surface oxides. Keep at it and good luck


      • #18
        Tungsten for al.

        Nick - I've used 2% thoriated for most all of my aluminum welding without any problems. I'm using a Lincoln Precision Tig 225 which I think is similar to your welder. One plus, however, is my machine has an auto balance setting which helps me. Based on amp and voltage settings, it automatically sets the balance. I don't think your welds are bad at all. Probably need to clean a bit better and speed up. Also, I also use 3/32" tungsten and filler for most all of my al. jobs.

        As for Diamond Ground, I too had a problem getting samples using their online request form. I ended up having to call them. After doing so, I received some samples in just a few days.

        I didn't notice any difference in the performance of the 2% lanthanated or tri mix compared to the thoriated. However, I will probably change to lanthanated when I reorder due to the radiation concern with thoriated. I'm not sure it's as bad as some think, but no need to take chances. After all, it's been in use for many years without documented ill effects when proper precautions are taken.

        Good luck and keep practicing. It will only get better. BTW, mine aren't always great either.


        • #19
          Originally posted by monte55 View Post
          That was just trying to see what speed and dip procedure does to the bead and to see what I am doing different from bead to bead that makes it shiny or dull. I have been trying T joints with alum rectangle box and 3/4" 6063
          tube also T joint. Don't look great, but beats the he11 out of what I did a week ago. To me the fillet welds are too big. It's like I can't focus the arc in the seam but both pieces wide, and as the puddle forms, I fill the middle. Maybe
          a transformer machine can't focus that narrow as compared to inverter as I've heard. I've never tried an inverter. Maybe someone could post pics of these joints welded with the same or same type Tig as mine. Ive seen great welds on the site but if they're using a $6000 machine, how could I compare.
          Actually fillets are pretty easy and could easily become your best looking welds. Your synchro 200 will make fillet welds with the best of me it's you not the machine. there are guys out there laying robot like welds with econo-tigs. You just have to put your time in thats all. If you are really serious go get a night job somewhere tigging aluminum and you will learn more in a week than you will at home in 5 years. I done it twice...just so I could raise the bar so to speak. And that's on top of having my own biz. Drove the old lady crazy...she MADE me quit my job. Didn't take me long to be the best guy there and you could do it too. Most of those guys would never put welding and the internet together.
          Next time you do a fillet pull that tungsten out way further and you'll see some change in the focus of the arc also.

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          • #20

            Just had a couple comments/questions regarding your previous postings.

            You originally stated that the bead displayed in your photo was done on 1/8" or 1/4" tube, couldn't remember which. That's the flattest tube I've ever seen. Must have a radius of about 8'.

            If you or your company don't mind wasting money buying an Ar/He mix for the type of work mentioned (1/8" to 1/4") that's your business, but to tout it as a recommended mix for that type material is not good advice. There are definitely situations where the addition of He would be recommended, but this type of welding is NOT one of them. You don't need the heat and if you did, there's a little knob called Amps. There's a little marine tower builder called Pipewelders down in Ft. Lauderdale that goes thru about 80 large 100% Argon bottles a month. If there was a benefit, don't you think they'd be using a mix.

            Also, when using a Ar/He mix, I've found it necessary to greatly increase my flow rate since the He is much lighter than air. 10 CFH (as you stated) seems mighty low to me.

            Higher cost gas and more of it just doesn't make sense to me. Oh, and by the way, last time I checked a 75/25 fill cost a heck of a lot more than $15 more than 100% Ar. You priced any He lately?

            Everyone seems to be looking for that "silver bullet" that will make them an excellent tig welder. Bottom line, there's no substitute for practice.
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            • #21
              SundownIII: the 1/8 or 1/4 was the thickness of the tube. It was either 2x2x1/8 or 2x3x1/4, sorry for the mix up. I am looking at the invoices from my LWS and the price for 100% argon is $75.00 and 75%argon/25%helium is $98.00. So the difference is $2300 instead of $15.00, shame on me. Just because one company doesn't use this mix means it has no benefits? seems like an odd argument to me. I can tell you right now I run the mix at right around 10cfh, and that is with a gas lens if you missed that in my origional response, and I don't have any contamination problems. Different strokes for different folks. I come on this board to learn as much as I can and try to help out others in the same way. I don't claim to have all the answers I was just offering up some information I thought was helpful, by no means do you have to listen to it.
              Welders do it hotter!!