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My First TIG welds ever and I did them on Aluminum

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by VonMoldy, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,562

    VonMoldy
    Member
    from UTARRGH!

    Please keep in mind this is my first time using a TIG and my first time welding Aluminum. My instructor showed me how to use the machine and the basics. It was fun I just kept welding for hours. No smoke or stink or flaming blobs of metal. I really would have kept practicing but I ran out of scrap. I would like suggestions on how to improve. I did it all on .063 Aluminum. I need to save my money for a TIG now!

    NOTE: The picture with the tons of welds is the first ones I did. just on top of the metal all the rest are butt welds. Also on the panel with tons of welds, there are two who were done by the instructor to show me what they should look like.
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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  2. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,634

    Roothawg
    Member

    Look for the silver eye, grasshoppa.
     
  3. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,562

    VonMoldy
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    from UTARRGH!

  4. poorboy
    Joined: Feb 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,467

    poorboy
    Member

    coming along, i think maybe you might want to speed up just a bit, or back off on the heat
     

  5. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,487

    Pir8Darryl
    Member

    Turn the heat down a bit and work slow. It'll come to you!
     
  6. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,318

    Petejoe
    Member
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Lots of different heats shown on that plate to really decide your too hot.
    I do see a few there where the heat is correct but you are not adding enough filler rod. You're close keep working.
     
  7. punkabilly1306
    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,655

    punkabilly1306
    Member
    from ohio

    yeah back your heat off, you are burning too hot. aluminum can be tricky and usually once you see that puddle form its time to start rolling along
     
  8. Crestoloy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2008
    Posts: 75

    Crestoloy
    Member

    Aluminum is a bitch. You are running a bit hot right now; your puddle is a bit too "teardrop" shaped. Varying the current is a good way to go. Hit it hard to establish the puddle, then back off, then hit it hard again, then back off. If you have a pulser on the machine you're using, USE IT.
     
  9. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,562

    VonMoldy
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    from UTARRGH!

    I am pretty sure it pulses. The big panel has a ton of different variables because I was just getting used to it. The really flat ones are without rod to just let me get used to the pedal I guess. I did learn to back off the heat once the bead was started it is hard to get it just right. It is pretty crazy how fast you gotta move and trying to keep the feed speed up is even harder. I am not even sure what the amperage was on the machine he just set it up and let me go to it. But I would try to keep the heat down as much as possible while still preventing balling up the rod.

    So what's this silver eye I should be looking for? Is it literal or is it a state of mind? I think I will head out into the woods for some meditation on this.
     
  10. river1
    Joined: May 12, 2001
    Posts: 855

    river1
    Member


    the silver eye is an effect that when things are right the weld puddle gets what looks like a "silver eye" in the middle of it. you might have already seen it with out knowing what you are looking at. tigging is fun shit ain't it!! keep practicing and you'll get it. it is a bit like golf just when you think you're getting it a different varible bites you in the ass. the more you can practice the better you'll get.

    later jim
     
  11. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,562

    VonMoldy
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    from UTARRGH!

    thanks for the advice. I was surprised just how fun it is! The golf analogy is perfect! I used to golf a little bit. And I remember thinking just like you said I would get the swing down okay but then I would jerk my head or something and it was like starting all over.

    I hold the torch in my left hand and weld from left to right is this correct?
     
  12. SlowandLow63
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 5,958

    SlowandLow63
    Member
    from Central NJ

    Better than my first time, I just kept shocking myself!
     
  13. HRK-hotrods
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 922

    HRK-hotrods
    Member


    Yep! That's what I did my first time using a friends tig. Boy did that surprise the shit out of me! I broke the tungsten when that happened!:rolleyes:
     

  14. As long as your left handed:D
     
  15. InjectorTim
    Joined: Oct 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,241

    InjectorTim
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  16. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837

    PeteFromTexas
    Member

    Better than I can do. Sweet!
     
  17. Bill Van Dyke
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 810

    Bill Van Dyke
    Member

    Stupid question I guess. How is it that you can shock your self? touching the bare metal?
     
  18. Yup especially if you don't have it grounded right and you become the ground. It scares the shit out of you when you do it.:eek::D
     
  19. SlowandLow63
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 5,958

    SlowandLow63
    Member
    from Central NJ

    Ya boy. Cept I couldnt figure out why and just kept doing it!
     

  20. HAHAHA! I did that when I was welding on 4 link bars put the ground on one of the bars and was welding on the bracket never dawned on me that the rubber bushing in the bar wouldn't conduct electricity. Must have shock myself 5 times before I figured it out. :eek: Man was I pissed.
     
  21. river1
    Joined: May 12, 2001
    Posts: 855

    river1
    Member


    if you can at least practice doing it with both hands. there are some situation when welding on a car that you'll want/need to weld "wrong handed".

    later jim
     
  22. If you try welding two pieces together you will find out that you have been welding too hot real quick. Slow it down and cooler and you can control every thing much easier. Then you can increase your speed.
     
  23. Ken Carvalho
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,611

    Ken Carvalho
    Member

    Keep practicing!! I have "recently" become the aluminum welder at work, and asked every possible question I could think of on here and EVERYONE stepped up and steered me in the right direction!! TONS OF HELP AND INFO HERE!!! I am just not able to get accustomed to the "PULSER" part of my 375! I just don't like it, but I'll keep at it in my spare time....I f-n love welding, just wish I had started it as a career at 21 NOT 41. It is fun...GOOD LUCK, Ken
     
  24. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,562

    VonMoldy
    Member
    from UTARRGH!

    I have wanted to try out TIG and welding aluminum. I was pretty stoked to be able to stick some stuff together. I have wanted to weld aluminum and weld in general from when I was a kid looking at my BMX bikes. Might seem kinda lame but I have always been amazed at people who could weld stuff because it was so cool and mysterious.

    Thanks for all the advice guys.
     
  25. Docco
    Joined: Mar 23, 2007
    Posts: 286

    Docco
    Member
    from Ippy

    Alumnium welding is a difficult skill to master properly but you'll find the hard lessons learnt from tig welding aluminium will make tig welding steel or stainless feel really easy.
     
  26. I'm an autobody instructor and i'll say that aint too bad! Keep practicing. I had a student once that ran out of material, I jokingly said to him to rip a pop can open and see if you could run a bead on that thin of metal, boy was i surprised when he could. Keep up th egood work!

    Fenderless
     
  27. when i was in a welding class way back we had a gal that could weld 2 soda cans together. i remember when a guy came by looking for a speciality welder (aerospace stuff) the look on his face when she sat those cans down on the table and 20 guys got up and left the room. she said that little trick took her 4 months to master.
     
  28. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,562

    VonMoldy
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    from UTARRGH!

    I have heard about welding cans together but just how thick is the bottom of the can? I bet it is thicker than in the middle? It is still impressive but when do you need to weld soda cans together? Seems like it is just something to show off.
     
  29. jj mack
    Joined: Mar 22, 2007
    Posts: 735

    jj mack
    Member

    What welder are you using?

    Looks like you need to get in and more importantly out of the heat quicker. When i started Tig...I tried to do it like a mig...get a puddle hot then move the puddle.

    Tig is more like..Make a hot spot...push rod into it...let it cool...move.

    Youll do just fine with practice. there are quite a few videos online that show some good info. Check out welderseries here on the hamb. The tough part on vid is seeing what the hands...and more importantly...foot are doing.

    I forgot who said it but...take drum lessons.
     
  30. 3Mike6
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 704

    3Mike6
    Member

    Yes it is (just to show off...I mean, who really needs a couple of cans welded together?), but it show you how good a hand they have, plus the masterery of the machine they are using.

    It's pretty impressive to see done. Sure it serves no purpose, but if I could do it, I'd brag about it, you would too.
     

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