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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
for some reason i cannot butt weld 16g alum together. my surfaces are clean and the sharp edge is taken off. there is no gap and i cannot get it to puddle together. does someone have any tips? im using an older 175a linc tig. 70-75amps with the gas at 16. 3/32 tungeston and 1/16 5356 rod. im desperate and getting frustrated. the torch is at the 20degreeish angle. i just have no clue. any help would be greated appreciated!!! what is happening is that a puddle on the edges of the two pieces start to puddle and when i apply the rod, the dab balls up. if i go hotter on the gas the damn thing starts to push the heat into the pipes and either creates a hole or turns into mush.
 

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I weld with 3/32" all the time, on .065" aluminum, not a problem, i use 4043 on the filler rod, usually have the amperage set at 80-100 and regulate it with the foot pedal. Gas flow around 15, havent had a problem. Which tungsten are you using? I think with that machine you need to be using the "green" pure tungsten. Also, is your frequency adjustable? If its a 175 i would assume its fixed??
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I weld with 3/32" all the time, on .065" aluminum, not a problem, i use 4043 on the filler rod, usually have the amperage set at 80-100 and regulate it with the foot pedal. Gas flow around 15, havent had a problem. Which tungsten are you using? I think with that machine you need to be using the "green" pure tungsten. Also, is your frequency adjustable? If its a 175 i would assume its fixed??

i've tried green and red. seemed a little better with the red 3-32. freq is not adjustable. how many thousands is 16 gauge? im going to try using the smaller tungsten tomorrow night. i know with stainless i was able to weld better with the 1/16 tungsten and that was some pretty thin stuff. with .065 c/m i use the 3/32.
 

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I have an older non inverter welder to.

Start slow. You of course will need to whack the pedal to start the arc but the first thing you must do is get the arc down as low as you can. You will see the Aluminum Get a white fleck build up. When you see the white flecks start popping off engage it with a bit more heat.

Once you get a nice glassy surface going bring the filler rod in as close to parrellel and as close as you can to the material and give it a quick dab. The ball should fall right into the puddle if the material is ready.

Rinse and repeat.

Helium really helps with the older low Fq machines but I use pure argon.

Also use the green tungsten. The Red thoriated tungsten does not hold a point. Also sharpen the tungsten like you would for steel. It helps to get the puddle started.



i've tried green and red. seemed a little better with the red 3-32. freq is not adjustable. how many thousands is 16 gauge? im going to try using the smaller tungsten tomorrow night. i know with stainless i was able to weld better with the 1/16 tungsten and that was some pretty thin stuff. with .065 c/m i use the 3/32.
 

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As stated above 1/16th tungsten ground to a point.....I use red with argon,but green will work also.

Don`t ball the tungsten, the high frequency will do this for you as you weld,it helps controll the puddle better.

The parent metal ( tubing ) has to be ready to accept the filler rod...ie hot enough, then the filler rod will flow into the weld puddle.........

PS..........I use laquer thinner to clean my aluminum before welding,inside and out, seems to work well.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the 1/16 for me made a big improvement. thanks for the info. is there a chart that tells you what size tungsten for thickness of the pipe?
 

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Get the tungsten closer to the spot you're welding and let the pieces heat up. Remember that aluminum acts like a mirror when it comes to heat. If you try to enter the weld with your filler rod at the reflection angle of the torch then your filler rod will melt before it hits the puddle. Try to sneak the rod underneath the reflection of the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so you almost have the rod laying on the tube if its parallel correct?
 

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Hmm, I'll have to try some of these tips.

I have an Econotig, that I have pretty much given up on welding aluminum with, at least anything under 1/4".

I haven't tried it with a sharp point on the tungstun though.

Anybody know of a way to modify the Econotig to have adjustable freq?
 

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My precision tig doesn't have adjustable frequencies and I've never had a problem. I've been using red tungsten ground to a tip. I just made this today

Settings to make this fuel cell:

5052 aluminum-H32
3/32 Red tungsten
Welder @ 80 amps
1/16 4043 filler rod
130 amps to weld tabs.

The biggest secret to welding aluminum is how you cut the metal. You need to make sure the sides after the cut don't have burrs and slag. If the cutter leaves a rough finish like a saw would then frustration will kick in fast.



Hmm, I'll have to try some of these tips.

I have an Econotig, that I have pretty much given up on welding aluminum with, at least anything under 1/4".

I haven't tried it with a sharp point on the tungstun though.

Anybody know of a way to modify the Econotig to have adjustable freq?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
so what are you using to cut the alum with? a chop saw? band saw?
 

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It doesn't matter. Shear,saw,abrsive disc. Make sure you clean the cut before you weld and get a deburring knife and a file to knock off the trash.
 

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I've been using a jigsaw but after I cut it I take these to the ends to sand off the slag that the cutter leaves behind. If I don't wheel off that that rough edge then the welds will be absolutely horrible.



Scotchbrite Roloc pads, they hook to an arbor with a 1/4" shank
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
just making sure that im not doing something wrong. thanks again for all the help. mike
 
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