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TIG aluminum

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by tRustyK5, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    i've never worked anywhere where TIG anything was used much until the job i have now. We don't do a ton of it, but moreso than anywhere else I've ever worked. Been practising a bit here and there and did this one today. It's .250" wall 4" x 4" tube...

    [​IMG]

    I have a good sized frame made of this stuff I'm welding up and this piece was something I did to get the heat set and get comfortable. I was pretty happy with it, but still have a long way to go as far as learning and practise go.

    Thought I'd share. 1/4" thick aluminum is tough when it's good size...on the frame itself i need to pre-heat each joint to about 250F.

    Rene
     
  2. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    looks like a fun toy and your welds are beautiful

    The pics make the size deciving I was thinking you had a good start on a custom center console.
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    we have this machine at work...

    [​IMG]

    Synchrowave 350 LX with a liquid cooled 300 amp torch. It is a fun toy, and i'm having fun learning to use it (finally)

    Rene
     
  4. ARAMP1

    ARAMP1 Aviator Extraordinaire

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    I'm going to start TIGing shortly. I'm pretty excited. I'm also looking for a good TIG welder. Man, they're expensive!
     
  5. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    I'm just getting spoiled with a plasma cutter TIG is on my list
     
  6. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    nothing better than the beauty of tig in the right hands

    You made a nice pretty weld.. good job on the preheat.. sounds perfect...

    Im assuming you welded from left to right in the pic.. and the stacking or dimes got smaller as the heat to the work increased... try to practice consistency all the way across... so they look the same start to finish.. perhaps linger a second longer at the start.. I can be super critical because it already appears you are an excellent welder... as I expect you to be with my welding
    On bad days I actually count to myself to force myself to move consistently... count move dab move.. and I really try for a nice steady straight pull thru the whole weld.. I practice first during setup all the way across the weld so I know how and where my hand will move along the weld.. I must be comfortable to produce super nice looking welds.. I notice my weld appearance quality goes down if Im in an uncomfortable position... and my breathing isnt easy and regular

    That machine is pulsed if I recall... try that when you get the hang of it and see if you like pulsed better.. (I dont but many people swear by it and it makes very consistent beads)

    nice job!!!

    cam
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'm still a total n00b when it comes to TIG, this was a bit of a breakthrough for me today. Finally seemed to get the hang of the motions and the heat etc etc. I agree that being comfortable is crucial to any welding...but seems doubly important with TIG.

    The weld did get slightly larger as I went, but the pieces of crop i was welding were pretty small and were very rapidly getting over heated. Looking at it i should have backed off the pedal a bit but I imagine that sort of reaction will become more second nature the more I do this.

    I'll be practising on scraps most days after work for the next while until I feel more confident and regularly produce decent looking welds. We have a good sized aluminum job coming up in a couple of months and there is going to be a lot of aluminum TIG on it. As it stands we have nobody else to do that welding...

    This is the first 'weld' I've brought home in close to 20 years. GMAW, SMAW, FCAW, etc I have mastered long ago...it's weird to be learning again.

    Rene
     
  8. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Looks great Rene! An oh baby, what a machine.... Hmmm, love that tool porn. :eek: Aw darn it, now I gotta clean my keyboard, back later... ;)
     
  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    We have a couple of other new Millers, one is an inverter machine and the other is a real basic MIG machine. I like all three, but the TIG machine is the most fun. :p:

    Our fourth machine is a big old dinosaur Hobart, 650 amp monster...it's a real POS. For some reason I've never had a Hobart that I've liked, which my boss now knows. I doubt he'll buy another...

    Heard some rumors we may get a big multi-head burning table sometime soon, which would be pretty cool.

    Rene
     
  10. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Speaking of burning tables, I was at an auction recently when a (something like) 8' x 12' (at LEAST) CNC table was sold. It was rigged for plasma and easily (so was said) converted to flame cutting, complete with computer console, driver software, and a large HT. Basically, put in place, plug it in, and start burning. That would be SO sweet, but it sold for something like $12k (a very good deal or so some attending said) and wouldn't fit in my shop.
     
  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    That does sound like a good price. The one partner at my work regularly trolls the auctions, sometimes flying as far as CA if there looks to be anything we could use going on the block.

    It's a great way for a relatively new company to get the equipment it needs...as long as you anticipate the likely need for stuff to need repairs or parts etc. Usually shipping and installation costs more than the machine did...

    Our little Bridgeport mill cost under $3000, needed nothing and paid for itself in the second week we had it.

    Regarding the burning table...we use so much profile cut steel it'd be something that's pay for itself quickly. Additionally we could also cut stuff for other company's for another revenue stream.

    Rene
     
  12. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    tRusty,
    Are you using a gold plated lense? A friend turned me onto those for welding aluminum. Aside from the higher heat rejection they make it easy to see the color change in the metal.
    I've also found that DC Reverse with a 2% on thick (1/4"+) and really thin works better than AC. Could be that with these new inverter machines you don't need to do that, I've not tried one yet.
     
  13. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'll try the gold lens Thom. I have used them in the past and even welding steel I really like them.

    Rene
     
  14. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    go for the invertor.... I love invertors.. lincolns new one welds like a pencil point compared to a non invertor... and the arc is super smooth and stable... great for welding razor blades to railroad tracks
     
  15. perp

    perp 1/2 ton status

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    where are you finding these auctions at?
     

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