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qwakers

welding lessons.

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ive just bought myself a ac/dc tig welder. which is nice..

 

but i have only the vaguest idea how to use it.

 

is there anyone that can tig on here that wants to have a go at teaching me how to tig aluminium?

 

😂

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Posted (edited)

If you've ever done gas welding you will pick it up fairly easily but the important part is cleanliness you will need a stainless steel wire brush  I've found this is sufficient but some use acetone to clean as well my recommendation would be to practice at table height sitting down as being comfortable makes the  process a whole lot easier obviously a load of stuff on you tube practice on flat plate untill you can get decent consistent runs went through a few tungstens myself initially you will also need pure argon for the shield gas I suppose the key elements are clean work pieces and loads of practice hopefully you will be a natural very satisfying when it goes right what model tig did you get?

Edited by Stellaghost
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Looks good I bought the Stahlwerk one again not a fortune but I only need it every so often so not hard worked the other thing I would add is get a foot pedal as this allows you to ramp up the power or back it off if weld puddle getting out of control without it you have to work pretty fast  my foot pedal came with the welder same make works fine now but I added an additional spring as was jumping the teeth if you go that route and have issues I can take my pedal apart and photograph the mods and mail them to you have fun

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You could go on a proper course of course 😉

Based on your location may be
https://www.cornwall.ac.uk/cornwallcollege/engineering/welding-basic-to-advanced-british-standard

There are probably other places that offer courses like this, a good place to ask is probably on a welding forum like https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/

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the course no longer exists, 8 enquired a while ago. dont ask me why its still on the website.

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to be honest $500 isnt really in my budget.

 

i was mostly wondering if any of the southern contingent wanted to spend a evening teaching me the absolute basics (machine setup etc)

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Looks expensive but if that includes gas, rod, metal and electricity it is probably not as expensive as you think compared to doing the same amount of practice at home.

But if you just want a "taster" training then if you can not find anybody here then ask the same question on the Welding forum I linked to earlier.

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Richard on mig-welding has done some decent tutorials on how to setup the machine.

I'd recommend getting your hand coordination etc in with steel and then try some stainless before ali. The little bit I've done on ali it's quite an art form getting enough heat in and then backing off before it disappears.

Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness

Practice, practice, practice.

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I self taught myself TIG incl AC on Alu, i'm not perfect but good enough for DIY. 

This is a good resource https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/ you can ask questions, even post pics of your practice welds and get advice.

For AC prep the tungsten with a ball as detailed on the above forums.

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Where abouts in Cornwall are you? I'm a fabricator welder by trade and could come over when i get a chance and show you how to set your machine up and give you some tips.

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Pretty much the same advice as Ed and HoSS, steel is a lot slower so gives you time to perfect your feed/dipping technique, stainless gives good results for a newbie too. I have had my TIG  for a few years and I can do passable welds, fabricate brackets etc but it'll never match a MIG if you need to carry out welds on less than clean/sound surfaces or in awkward positions. Being in a comfortable position (seated helps) and being able to carry out the weld in a smooth manner is key (if you can't you'll end up dipping the tungsten or losing the arc).

Aluminium. When it goes well...it's great. A nightmare when it doesn't! Practice on thicker material running beads across plates. This gives you an idea of how much current is required to start a puddle and then just keep it going by modulating your pedal. Once you have a good grasp of this you can start to introduce filler as and when necessary. It's very much a hands on practice skill for technique, the Miller site has an app which will give you tungsten diameters, filler rod size and amperage settings for different materials and thicknesses (aimed at Miller machines but good enough for a starting point). Don't weld in a draughty area as losing the shielding gas creates some really poor welds.

 

 

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22 hours ago, .Jack. said:

Where abouts in Cornwall are you? I'm a fabricator welder by trade and could come over when i get a chance and show you how to set your machine up and give you some tips.

im in st austell. where abouts are you based?

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21 hours ago, Scotts90 said:

Pretty much the same advice as Ed and HoSS, steel is a lot slower so gives you time to perfect your feed/dipping technique, stainless gives good results for a newbie too. I have had my TIG  for a few years and I can do passable welds, fabricate brackets etc but it'll never match a MIG if you need to carry out welds on less than clean/sound surfaces or in awkward positions. Being in a comfortable position (seated helps) and being able to carry out the weld in a smooth manner is key (if you can't you'll end up dipping the tungsten or losing the arc).

Aluminium. When it goes well...it's great. A nightmare when it doesn't! Practice on thicker material running beads across plates. This gives you an idea of how much current is required to start a puddle and then just keep it going by modulating your pedal. Once you have a good grasp of this you can start to introduce filler as and when necessary. It's very much a hands on practice skill for technique, the Miller site has an app which will give you tungsten diameters, filler rod size and amperage settings for different materials and thicknesses (aimed at Miller machines but good enough for a starting point). Don't weld in a draughty area as losing the shielding gas creates some really poor welds.

 

 

 

thanks, all the advice from everyone is much appreciated.

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this is my first ever go..

704ADCB5-C822-40EB-B305-334BB4D6724B.thumb.jpeg.3546d1c9fa354e958adb9f4c597848cb.jpeg

 

and my second attempt..

6879337C-5E60-42BD-BDE5-713B5E143DFE.thumb.jpeg.b8e0d3713cd4c0b1f437be5126f4d21a.jpeg

 

not as absolutely appalling as i thought it would be...

 

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Something worth doing when you first start out that Scott touched on is running some beads on a thick bit of plate.

(assuming mild or stainless here to start) Bit of 10-12mm plate but put some slot in it for you to practise filling in. Ideally if you've got a mill, stick them in with a cutter so you've got a constant depth to play with. Or worst case just run the grinder over it with a few slits. I found it really helpful being able to get the practice holding the torch/dipping the filler etc on a consistent weld 'set up'.

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I'd have said your box section is nowhere near clean enough (you have to get rid of even the mill-scale). Flap discs are your friend with TIG welding. From the little that I've picked up (and by no means consider myself an expert - just one level beyond novice, perhaps) the black spot when you lift off is due to contamination inside the weld pool.

Were you adding filler at that point? I'd hazard a guess at yes and I might be tempted to whack up the amps a little bit and see what happens then. Difficult to see with the photo but you can see my first attempts at TIG welding here and hopefully how clean the material is compared to what you have. Note this was a pretty much new sheet of steel (you can see the un-prepped surface up the top).

DSC_0027.thumb.JPG.0d90b68d25a50e6439e6fb36d27d13fe.JPG

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Posted (edited)

i suspect the contamination was because i was using argon/co2 mix gas. i was just playing around a the pure argon cyl isnt here yet.

Edited by qwakers
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Guessing your tungsten didn't like the CO2 either? If I remember my basic chemistry CO2 is fairly reactive which is precisely what you don't want for TIG.

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no it didnt much like it, but tbh, it worked better than i thought it would.

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That, and that steel isn't clean enough for me to MIG, let alone TIG :)

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