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forteh

Tig Welding

152 posts in this topic

As of Wednesday I will be in possession of a tig welder, it's one my dad bought ages ago but he never really got the time to spend on it properly, as he is now advancing in age and decreasing in faculties (just turned 72 and suffering from early onset of dementia) I am borrowing it off him to see if I can't learn to weld to an extent :)

I have never welded in anger, in fact my entire welding experience consists of about 5 minutes of stick pigeon! For those people who are or can tig weld, any useful tips or wisdom that should be absorbed?

Initially I want to be learning on 16 gauge 316 stainless as I want to be able to weld up the new link pipe for my supermoto. If I can get enough practise in on scrap material then I will commit further to actually welding the pre-cut pipe sections together. Anyone offer advice on settings I should be looking to start with? Should any 316 filler rods be sufficient for my needs?

I don't know what make/model the welder is or even what settings/functions it has, I will post back when I know.

Any advice would be much appreciated, test piece photos will probably be uploaded for comedy value :D

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I'm in the leigh booth school of welding :P , we got a new tig at work and its totally differnt to the previous one, a total c0ck to set up, leigh's been pretty helpful, I'm not bad with ally now either, still havnt found how to set it up for mild steel, but I should be having another go tomorrow. Whack up a pic of the welder

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I may well be picking Leigh's brain in the future, also got a couple of coded welders at work but they work with heavier mild steel sections.

Will get a photo up when I've got it, my dad says he hasn't got a bottle for it but I might be able to sneak one through work :)

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Have you done mig welding before?

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Nope, from what I gather it is a different skill set though. Hopefully I should be able to get a rough setup for the material I want and play with it from there, I do know it's going to take time to learn and it will not be pretty to start with :D

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Make sure that you are comfortable when practicing it makes a lot of difference, also just to straight passes to start with no rod, it will teach you to control the pool. once you are comfortable with that then move on to adding filler as you go. Take a look at Millar Welding webpage some good tips on setup etc.

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It is completely different to mig. I've spent a good few years hobby migging and had a go at tig at work. Set up is everything and I agree making sure you are comfirtable makes a huge difference. As said, try just pooling the parent metal without any filler and make sure you have it hot enough, then slowly dot the filler rod in.

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Cheers for the responses so far, all good to hear :)

@fmegently, that was a good watch, certainly highlights the advantages of the argon purge. Would I need a second gas bottle for the purge or could I manifold it off the main bottle? Aren't you near Brum? I'm in Lichfield, you can cone show me how ;)

Good advice on the comfort aspect, hoping to be able to set up a corner of my shed with an old computer chair. I was imagining that pool control practise without the filler would be possible, good to have confirmation though; do you need to have the gas on whilst learning like this our will it negatively affect the pool without?

Have watched a few videos on the Millar site , very informative so far :)

Edited by forteh

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Ah right I've messed about with mig before.

All I can say is look for setup tips online, then just practice the shit out of it :) pretty obvious advice though :/

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I would absolutely love to know how to properly weld, did a day of it at Uni as part of my course and found TIG welding amazing (lecturer said I won the prize for being the best out of my course haha), it's just so intricate I found compared to MIG which was just a bit slap happy (does that make sense even?)

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Gas on always or the tungstons toast! You can get a two way feed thingy(technical term :) ) for the argon, don't 't' off the torch feed as the pressure will fluctuate and give you a hidious weld. I'm in brum, but I'm car-less atm :( . You could come to me though :)

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20130919_142159_zpsc7afe91e.jpg this badboy is an absolute arse to set up. Ill have another go setting it up for steel tomorrow. Is yours a scratch start?

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sorry if this sounds stupid,but arent square wave setups for aluminium alloys?

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Yup, mostly. But if you look far left you'll see the 2step button, third from the left the hi freguency start and very bottom right the dc- ;) ;)

Edited by f**megently

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See, all of that went right over my head! It's gonna be a steep learning curve :D

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Aarghhh, its all gone a bit jaf!20131029_105652_zps32c008cd.jpgyou wouldn't believe my tig used to be good looking at that.. I know a bad craftsman blames his tools but that welder is sooo differnt to my old one. Sh1t, even my mig is better!20131029_110312_zps14553809.jpg

Edited by f**megently
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Hmmm, a refill of a size W bottle costs 25 quid at work, just got to talk nicely to the accounts department to let me put another bottle on the contract agreement :)

That is for argoshield though, I guess for tig I should be looking at stainshield tig or pureshield argon really?

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Pureshield or similar. Deffinatly not co2

Edited by f**megently

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Aye, figured that out after looking at the BOC website, shouldn't be much hassle, just might be a bit more expensive than the argoshield. Besides which there is no practical way I could use a W bottle, I have to get the fecking thing in and out of my car! :D

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I'd suggest any brand ER316LSi filler will be fine- go for 2.4mm diameter.

Electrode wise look for ceriated or lanthanated (keep away from the thoriated if you're working at home- radioactive dust probably isn't something you're geared up for) and again 2.4mm diameter. Try and grind the tip on "axially" if that makes sense- more like whittling a stick than a pencil sharpener..

Before faffing about with backpurges see if you can manage a fillet like f**me's second photo above. Last thing I'd say is look at trying some MMA electrodes- you may find it easier anyway, won't need to worry about the backpurge and probably just need to get a new electrode holder to plug into your TIG set. Might not be a machine mart job but you'll want specific electrodes designed for rooting- the Metrode range at http://netlite.com.my/home/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/A91_A97.pdf should give you an insight into what's available (there's even a cored TIG wire on there that doesn't need a backpurge).

Practise!

Adam

Edited by Bionic Balls

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How would you differentiate the type of electrode? (I presume you mean the tungsten) Are they normally marked up with a number? I had read up on grinding the electrode to the point axially rather than radially, does it matter what you grind it with? I have a bench grinder with a fine and coarse wheel, I guess the fine would be better.

I was planning on picking up some 16 gauge sheet scrap and first playing with pool control, straight runs and the like. Once I am happy with that then I will move onto adding filler and seeing if I can lay a fillet bead down. I was only going to actually backpurge on the final welding on the linkpipe, one of the welders at work (hairy arsed miggers - albeit coded) not to bother with the purge as it isn't going to be a critical weld, sort of inclined to agree with him; will do some tests with and without and see how much it affects the weld (not that the welds well be nice!).

I had also read about the flux cored tig filler rods, a comment was made that the flux obscured the weld pool so not sure how easy they would be to learn with! If using the MMA electrodes with the tig gun, would you just cut them down to length to suit? I will probably stick with the conventional tungsten and learn to purely tig (if that makes sense), if I get the gas through work then the cost of purging shouldn't be too high, could even pick up a second small bottle to save faffing with twin regulators or teeing off the main bottle.

With regards to a welding bench, what should I be looking at? I have a full length 3/4" ply bench in my shed that I was intending to set up on - if I sheet the working area with some stainless and then attach the earth to that would that be sufficient for working on?

I have all winter to try to learn :D

edit: thoriated tungsten has a red band, lanthanated has a gold band.

Edited by forteh

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Lots of info there! The bench should work, as long as your clamped down. Get a seperate earth to anything not clamped. maybe get some angle to use as a jig to practice butwelding tubing once your confident with filleting. It'll give you an idea of the differnt posture and techniques you'll need. a suggestion, try making somthing useful to practice the skills, maybe a jig for the exhaust your doing, again, once your compitant enough, which shouldnt take too long at all.

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Would I just be better to have multiple earth clamps than relying on the bench to earth?

Also are there any health issues that I should be considering when welding stainless? Should I be using a respirator, if so what should I be going for? :)

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You'll be clamping stuff down to weld anyway, use a seperate earth for anything else. Ive only ever uesd an air fed mask, never tried any thing else to be honest. (Which may explain a lot :P )

Edited by f**megently

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