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  • so frustrated and ready to give up

    im trying to make a head board out of 6061 aluminum. the metal thickness is 1/4 to 1/2 inch. the welder im using is the diversion 180 by miller. but when i prep the joint clean tight fit and start to weld my 6061 rod balls up and melts before i can get it in the puddle, then my base metal starts to melt. my torch angle is right, my rod and gas is right. the only thing i can think of is that i need a bigger rod or i need a bigger tig welder. my welder can only weld max at 3/16 in. can any one help.

    my welder
    Input Power 115/230 Volts, 1-Phase, 50/60 Hz
    Rated Output 150 Amps at 16 VDC, 20% duty cycle (230V input)
    125 Amps at 15 VDC, 35% duty cycle (115V input)
    Welding Amperage Range 10 -180 Amps (230V input)
    10-125 Amps (115V input)
    Net Weight 50 lb (23 kg)

  • #2
    Quote -- "my welder can only weld max at 3/16 in. can any one help."

    Depending on joint configuration & design it may be very difficult if not impossible to weld this with your current machine. Lots of pre-heat, patience & plenty of cooling time for the torch & machine will be in order.

    Quote -- " then my base metal starts to melt"

    You should have a good puddle of the base metal going before you add any filler/rod. You add the rod into the leading edge of the puddle, not into the arc.
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    • #3
      As mmw pointed out, your filler should be nowhere near the heat until a puddle has established. And after you form a puddle and start moving and dabbing filler, you need to pull the filler away far enough to not get heated by the weld. Get in and out with your filler too. Don't dilly dally around with it or it will melt just from residual heat from the welding process before you can add any directly to the puddle.

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      • #4
        i understand how to add filler rod into the puddle, but i cant add filler rod at all.

        Originally posted by MMW View Post
        Quote -- "my welder can only weld max at 3/16 in. can any one help."

        Depending on joint configuration & design it may be very difficult if not impossible to weld this with your current machine. Lots of pre-heat, patience & plenty of cooling time for the torch & machine will be in order.

        Quote -- " then my base metal starts to melt"

        You should have a good puddle of the base metal going before you add any filler/rod. You add the rod into the leading edge of the puddle, not into the arc.
        the rod will ball up at the end when it starts to feel the heat.

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        • #5
          Just re-read this.

          Quote -- "my 6061 rod balls up and melts before i can get it in the puddle"

          You should be using 4043 or 4049 filler for this unless it will be anodized. 3/32" should work or 1/8".

          What diameter filler are you using? What diameter tungsten are you using?
          ----------------------------
          I have done lots of stuff when I had a 175 tig machine. It can be done but like I said plenty of cooling time for duty cycle & I also went through many air-cooled torch heads.
          ---------------------------
          If your filler metal is melting before it gets to the puddle then you are trying to put it in wrong. Either torch angle or rod angle is wrong.

          Just to clarify we are talking about the filler rod balling up & melting off & not the tungsten?
          ----------------
          Again I quote you -- " start to weld my 6061 rod balls up and melts before i can get it in the puddle, then my base metal starts to melt."

          When you say "then" it leads me to believe you are trying to put filler rod in before you have a puddle on the base metal.
          Last edited by MMW; 08-26-2014, 08:52 AM.
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          • #6
            I agree with MMW, It sounds like your melting your rod and its dripping onto the aluminum, You must first form a shiny puddle and dip the rod into the puddle.

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            • #7
              1/2" Aloominum ?- dats a big hunk of metal for that Diversion.
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              • #8
                more info

                3/32 pure tungston, rod 4043 3/32. so think of a rod iron fence but its a head board and made out of aluminum, top and bottom rails are 75"x2"x1/4 and the rods a 32"x1/2x1/2. im trying to weld a tee joint where the rod is centered on the top and bottom rail.
                im welding it on a table and my torch is at a 45 angle(in the joint.no bevel.)
                so more or less i cant make a 1/2 tack weld around the rod.
                i will work on it again this weekend thanks for helping.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by brettbuck View Post
                  3/32 pure tungston, rod 4043 3/32. so think of a rod iron fence but its a head board and made out of aluminum, top and bottom rails are 75"x2"x1/4 and the rods a 32"x1/2x1/2. im trying to weld a tee joint where the rod is centered on the top and bottom rail.
                  im welding it on a table and my torch is at a 45 angle(in the joint.no bevel.)
                  so more or less i cant make a 1/2 tack weld around the rod.
                  i will work on it again this weekend thanks for helping.
                  Minor point.... you do NOT want to be using PURE tungsten (Green) with that machine.... you will have better results with Lanthanated or Ceriated properly ground to a point then blunted..

                  (NO Pure on inverter machines... it will ball and give you arc wander)

                  This guidebook should be helpful

                  http://www.diamondground.com/TungstenGuidebook2013.pdf

                  I do agree with what others have said about that machine being a bit underpowered for the thickness and mass of the aluminum you are trying to weld...

                  You might try some or a whole bunch of preheat and run that thing flat out..while keeping as short and tight an arc length as possible.. to keep the heat where you want it..

                  Preheat can go a long way towards making up the horsepower on an underpowered machine.... after all isn't that the OTHER reason you have a gas grill..??...

                  BTW... if your LWS carries it... 4943 is a Great filler for 6061....

                  Another point is to make sure your fitup is tight and to mechanically clean the oxide layer off the area to be welded with something like scotchbrite and then wipe with acetone soon before welding..... this will help you form a puddle a little quicker and cleaner...
                  Last edited by H80N; 08-26-2014, 06:16 PM.
                  .

                  *******************************************
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                  “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                  Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

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                  • #10
                    Now I can picture it. There is no reason you should not be able to weld this. You may have to do it in stages & let the torch & machine cool but it should work.

                    I also agree that you should throw away the pure tungsten.

                    Where are you located? Maybe someone is close by & can do a visual to see what's going on.
                    MM250
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                    Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                    Miller spectrum 875
                    30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                    Syncrowave 250
                    RCCS-14

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by H80N View Post

                      Preheat can go a long way towards making up the horsepower on an underpowered machine.... after all isn't that the OTHER reason you have a gas grill..??...
                      Be careful with preheat... Anything over 150F will substantially increase weakness in HAZ!

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                      • #12
                        Wichita KS

                        Originally posted by MMW View Post
                        Now I can picture it. There is no reason you should not be able to weld this. You may have to do it in stages & let the torch & machine cool but it should work.

                        I also agree that you should throw away the pure tungsten.

                        Where are you located? Maybe someone is close by & can do a visual to see what's going on.
                        ####

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                        • #13
                          ok so

                          no pure, im going to get 2% lanthanated. how can i preheat. i dont have oxy acetylene. would i be able to us propane hand torch. and if so will that contaminate the aluminum.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by brettbuck View Post
                            no pure, im going to get 2% lanthanated. how can i preheat. i dont have oxy acetylene. would i be able to us propane hand torch. and if so will that contaminate the aluminum.
                            propane torch could work..... or even gas grill...
                            .

                            *******************************************
                            The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                            “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                            Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                            My Blue Stuff:
                            Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                            Dynasty 200DX
                            Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                            Millermatic 200

                            TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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                            • #15
                              That welder is busting its nuts to form a puddle on anything over 3/16. Even with pre heat you are fighting an uphill battle.

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