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Old 03-26-2011, 03:18 PM
JohnTN JohnTN is offline
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Default Journey to TIGdom

Full disclosure - I"m not now, nor have I ever been, a professional welder. All of my experience has been in repair and fabrication in my farm shop years ago. I've continued as an amateur since. I'm pretty proficient with stick, OA cutting & brazing.

I've always wanted to become proficient with TIG, and recently have begun rounding up all the bits and pieces necessary to give it a go. I have a Miller Maxstar 200DX that I've used for stick welding up to this point. Recently I picked up a bottle of argon at my LWS and began setting up for TIG.

I've had an old TIG torch and argon regulator laying around for years, so I dusted them off, bought some consumables and began putting everything together.

The attached pic is my first attempt at running a bead with no filler. I'm using a 1/16" Ceriated (orange) tungsten at 120 amps at 20cfh with a #6 cup. The tubing I was welding on is .250", so I'm guessing my tungsten is a bit small and the current too low for real welding.

I'm going to clean up some 1/8" material to practice on which is probably more in line with the electrode size I'm using.

I've attached a photo of what I've done so far, as well as a shot of my torch setup showing my tungsten grind and stickout.

I've made a couple of attempts at introducing filler, but things go downhill fast at that point.

Question - does it appear that I'm getting an acceptable shield? I don't see a lot of photos of mild steel TIG. Most of the examples I've looked at are stainless, and the weld looks as shiny as a new dime. Mine looks slightly dull.

I don't have a foot pedal yet, so I'm doing lift-arc and breaking the arc with a wrist-flick at the end of the bead.

All advice welcome!

Thanks,
John
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2011, 04:57 PM
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Tom Zachman Tom Zachman is offline
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You deserve a dime for every one in your stack.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2011, 08:31 PM
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Great start, I use a little less stickout but I'm a pedal rockin' cup walker so don't listen to me. Grab a piece of filler rod, try a bead, and we'll se if you can pass the gum test.

RED
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2011, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTN View Post
The attached pic is my first attempt at running a bead with no filler. I'm using a 1/16" Ceriated (orange) tungsten at 120 amps at 20cfh with a #6 cup. The tubing I was welding on is .250", so I'm guessing my tungsten is a bit small and the current too low for real welding.
That's starting to push the upper end of 1/16". 3/32" or 1/8" would be better. The 1/16" will start to spit if you get it too much higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTN View Post
I've attached a photo of what I've done so far, as well as a shot of my torch setup showing my tungsten grind and stickout.
Looks good

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTN View Post
I've made a couple of attempts at introducing filler, but things go downhill fast at that point.
It's the same as oxy-acetylene stick the filler in the puddle and keep moving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTN View Post
Question - does it appear that I'm getting an acceptable shield? I don't see a lot of photos of mild steel TIG. Most of the examples I've looked at are stainless, and the weld looks as shiny as a new dime. Mine looks slightly dull.
That shielding looks fine. That's what mild steel looks like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTN View Post
I don't have a foot pedal yet, so I'm doing lift-arc and breaking the arc with a wrist-flick at the end of the bead.
When you start to add filler practice adding one quick last dab right before you break the arc to fill the crater that you leave behind.
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2011, 09:06 PM
JohnTN JohnTN is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Zachman View Post
You deserve a dime for every one in your stack.
lol...Thanks Tom. That'd be cool if I could crank out real dimes like that!
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2011, 09:20 PM
JohnTN JohnTN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RED caddy View Post
Great start, I use a little less stickout but I'm a pedal rockin' cup walker so don't listen to me. Grab a piece of filler rod, try a bead, and we'll se if you can pass the gum test.

RED
I'm not rightly sure what the gum test is, but I'm pretty sure my TIG skills don't belong anywhere near a test of any kind at this point.

Thanks for the tips and taking time to reply. I'll post some pics with my attempts to add filler in the next day or two.
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2011, 09:25 PM
JohnTN JohnTN is offline
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Originally Posted by wumpus138 View Post
That's starting to push the upper end of 1/16". 3/32" or 1/8" would be better. The 1/16" will start to spit if you get it too much higher.
Thanks Wumpus. I figured I was pushing the envelope with the 1/16" tungsten. I'll get a larger tungsten and/or thinner stock for my next practice run.

Thanks for the coaching, I really appreciate it.

John
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2011, 08:09 AM
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matthew_g matthew_g is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTN View Post
Full disclosure - I"m not now, nor have I ever been, a professional welder. All of my experience has been in repair and fabrication in my farm shop years ago. I've continued as an amateur since. I'm pretty proficient with stick, OA cutting & brazing.

I've always wanted to become proficient with TIG, and recently have begun rounding up all the bits and pieces necessary to give it a go. I have a Miller Maxstar 200DX that I've used for stick welding up to this point. Recently I picked up a bottle of argon at my LWS and began setting up for TIG.

I've had an old TIG torch and argon regulator laying around for years, so I dusted them off, bought some consumables and began putting everything together.

The attached pic is my first attempt at running a bead with no filler. I'm using a 1/16" Ceriated (orange) tungsten at 120 amps at 20cfh with a #6 cup. The tubing I was welding on is .250", so I'm guessing my tungsten is a bit small and the current too low for real welding.

I'm going to clean up some 1/8" material to practice on which is probably more in line with the electrode size I'm using.

I've attached a photo of what I've done so far, as well as a shot of my torch setup showing my tungsten grind and stickout.

I've made a couple of attempts at introducing filler, but things go downhill fast at that point.

Question - does it appear that I'm getting an acceptable shield? I don't see a lot of photos of mild steel TIG. Most of the examples I've looked at are stainless, and the weld looks as shiny as a new dime. Mine looks slightly dull.

I don't have a foot pedal yet, so I'm doing lift-arc and breaking the arc with a wrist-flick at the end of the bead.

All advice welcome!

Thanks,
John
Well your torch is set up in almost the same way mine is....So ya can't go wrong now can ya

And if my first go on the tig looked as good as yours I would have been as happy as a pig in sh#@post

words of wisdom and advice........PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
Matt
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2011, 01:52 PM
JohnTN JohnTN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew_g View Post
Well your torch is set up in almost the same way mine is....So ya can't go wrong now can ya

And if my first go on the tig looked as good as yours I would have been as happy as a pig in sh#@post

words of wisdom and advice........PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
Matt
Thanks Matt...lol...sounds like your much further along in your TIG journey than I am, so if my setup looks like yours, I'll take that as a good thing!

I'm gonna get back at it tonight and try introducing some filler this time. Pictures to follow.

Cheers all, and thanks for the help and encouragement.

John
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  #10  
Old 03-29-2011, 10:29 PM
JohnTN JohnTN is offline
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I got in a little more practice tonight. This time my coupons are 1/8", which is more appropriate for the 1/16" tungsten and the 1/16" filler I'm using.

I've gotten pretty comfortable with carrying a puddle across the work with no filler. In the first photo, you can see my somewhat disastrous attempts to add filler. In the second photo, I managed to run a bead with filler that didn't seem too bad.

Process parameters for the work shown in these two photos:

1. Shielding Gas - 100% Argon, 20cfh
2. 105 Amps, DCEN
3. Tungsten - 1/16" Ceriated (orange)
4. Filler - 1/16" ER70S-2
5. Lift-Arc, no remote contactor or current, 5 sec postflow

Photos:
#1 - Consistently able to carry a puddle with no filler. Initial attempts to add filler....no bueno

#2 - Fairly decent bead, with filler added

All critique, comments and coaching welcomed!

I appreciate all the help and suggestions so far.

John
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