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One for the welding Stig


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Well I've kinda got a New Years resolution penciled in, to learn to TiG weld ali.

Yeah I know its not easy, but what the heck.

To be useful I'd need to be able to weld say 2mm ali, on the bench for basic fab jobs.

I might see if I can find a college course, or I might get stuck in - dunno.

So what kind of machine am I looking at, so I can keep an eye on eBay.

Would need to be single phase sub 20Amps.

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I too am on this

Prob is the college "Extractus digitus" they are hopeless.

I booked and paid for a course at Farnborogh tecgh college beginning of this year, they then cancleed it at the last minute.

If yyou have a search on the forum you find a thread on TIG Qs I asked and it has words of wisf=dom from Northern Chris and Jez, and others


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Well I've kinda got a New Years resolution penciled in, to learn to TiG weld ali.

Nice resolution! :)

You need AC to weld ali properly.

You want my suggestion? Copy the key to my garage (I'll do you one), and mince on over whenever you have a free 5 minutes (on way back from work?) and crank up the Tig.

It's all set up with gas / spare electrodes / collets / nozzles / filler wire everything is there. Just switch it on and have at it. It's not so hard, I dunno why we had all that trouble over at Jez's, but it's pretty ok once you get into it (ok I'm not exactly a pro...).

The only slight drawback is that its DC only. But getting used to Tigging steel (or anything!) would obviously be a great first step. There is stainless there too, so you can have some practice at that.

See how you get on and then take it from there? I have a gas bottle the size of Lake Michigan, so no worries there (plus I don't care if you use it all up - I O U already!).



P.S. - Nige, you are a bit further away I think, but also welcome to practice on my stuff if you just want to have a bash / get better. I'm not in the country most of the time, but I hate my tools going to waste, so you'd be free to swing by whenever suited you. (I know Fridge knows where you live... ;) ).

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The Stig is on a mission in Alton at the moment helping needy street children that dont have there own CNC facilities but as I see it theres only one word

practice practice practice

the transition from Steel to Ally isnt tricky and steel is a lot cheaper in terms of consumables when you are learning.

Decent money will end up being spent for a unit that offers the flexibility to weld most allys, Cebora 1835 is groovey, nice toys to have would be

Post flow control

Square wave instead of sine wave

Balance control

Frequency control

HF start in place of scratch start (lift off isnt so bad)

a hat with a good quality filter helps a lot with ally

this bit might be tricky for Andy - cleanliness is next to godliness.

Blag Als - do a load of mileage until the hand/eye co-ordination is there (Nige might want to back of the Sherry a touch :ph34r: ) and then and only then start looking for a groovey rig. Oddly Mrs Jez picked a gun up and was flying in 30mins, some people take to it naturally, some have to work at it.

Remember it takes more current to weld ally than an equivilent thickness in steel

What was there excuse for canceling Nige?

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Cheers Al - nice one. Sounds like a good place to start.

Your Tig is scratch start ISTR ?

Jez - cool stuff. Any other makes'n'models to look out for ? I won't be looking to buy a Tig until the summer anyway.

No problemo. I'll get you some keys sorted and make sure we are swimming in spare tig bits.

Yeah, it is scratch start, but don't let that put you off - I can predict exactly where it starts now, so it's not an issue at all. I'll have to show you. Besides, better to be able to do it before you move to a machine with high freq start, than to lack the basic skilz (IMHO).

One day I will upgrade (AC/HF/pre & post flow/3 ph/foot control etc...), but it's just fine for getting your feet wet. At least it's free! :)

Cheers, Al.

P.S. - Jez - I'm pretty much defo up for that 3ph we discussed - if you could find out the model it'd rock. :)

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Women make great welders, so if you know of any we're recruiting!

Cebora as dolly says.

get a loan of a ac/dc set with all appropiate settings. Do all your welding steel and ali.

blunt,squared off tungsten,ziconiated rather than thoriated.

lovely sound when it's going good.

like welding lead, lower melting points hence the use of the square wave.

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Cool - no problem.

Hell, I guess I'll get a few sets of keys cut, just to make everything easy for everyone.

If you guys could just finish off that 'virtually complete' project vehicle while you're there? Shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 minutes. :D


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I did some welding on ali using a butter mig welder, an machine mart argon bottle and ali wire.

the control was good, although i had to set the welder to spot weld as the small argon bottle couldnt keep up with the flow rate of gas to the nozzle head.

The weld turned out ok, not beautiful to look at but i achieved welding up 2 pieces of 2mm thick ali 6inches long.

What i did find was that the ali needed to be kept cool though and one piece was clamped.

I would love to get an ac tig though as its a wonderful set up, for welding any metal.

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