Mig or Tig welding

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:57 am
I've used a MIG for 30 years and it's a very versatile tool, there really is no down side but a TIG is (in most applications) offers a more precise weld.

Assuming side by side comparison the TIG will have lower warpage, less grinding, and cleaner welds.

The TIG is more complex and impossible in certain positions.

Nobody should ever buy a MIG without gas, you might as well just go back to brazing.



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:50 am
Krem
Ya strait up learning How to Tig weld is Hard and a Pain in the A88 Its time consuming your gonna go threw a Lot of tungsten! That's Why Most People Learn how to Gas weld first and Everyone says to learn how to Gas weld First before Picking up a Tig welder.

If you can Gas weld Sheet metal you Can Tig weld sheet metal with a Little bit of study and Practice its not that difficult. And Yes a Foot control will allow you to Roll into and Out of Full power But when your welding thin sheet metal the current is so low any way it doesn't make much difference most machines have a Minimum current start wich is where the machine is gonna start regardless of how low you set the machine. I run mine full pedal, on and off with the foot pedal.

My Machine can be set up 0- full 350 amps Or I can set it to limit the currant at where ever I want 0 -20, 0 - 40 or 0 - 100 but the machine is still going to start at Say 5 amps or at 10 amps when it throws its initial arc its what ever the factory has it set at. Mine is set hi very hi that initial hit is a Hard hit for sheet metal I have to be very careful with it on that initial strike. It could be my foot pedal control doing it I dont know but after initial strike I can let it go and strike another and its calmed down much lower start amperage.

Also There is Hi Frequency Start machines OR Scratch start machines / Lift start machines and If your using a Thumb/finger control which is either on or off with a scratch start I can see where learning curve would be steep.

Imagine Buying a used machine then try teaching your self how to use it with a major Leak in the Argon hose and a Bad regulator? It took me a long time to figure that one out, Almost a year but I didn't give up, I too walked away from it more than a few times disgusted with how much I spent on it, But I kept coming back to it.
I didn't know anything about Tig machines then and I didn't have anyone I could ask questions and when I did find some one familiar with my machine they would not come to my shop to help trouble shoot it.
I read the book over and over I joined a Welding forum (some help but not much) I watched U tube videos (Again some help but not much) I talked to Welders and dealers that used my machine or repaired machines like mine and even talked to a welding instructor about private lessons all of those guys always said the same thing ( "It Sounds like you got it set up right it should be welding fine") Which led to properly trouble shooting my problem & repairing my machine myself and Now I can even lay down some decent beads with it. Its really Amazing how well it works when Your getting Full Argon gas flow and not leaking most of it away before the Torch head.

I wish I knew then what I know now about Tig welders before I bought my machine I would have purchased a completely different machine!

And Buy the Way a Tig can be used in ANY Position I have met guys rated at 6G with Tig.
6G is a Structural Pipe weld in all positions, It can be done. and No one said it was easy! Good welders just make it look Easy.

I suggest you spend some time Gas Soldering on Copper pipe and then some Gas Brazing with Brass and copper Then stepping up to some Gas welding on some old Bicycle frames then start Laying some Beads on sheet metal and then Butt welding the sheet metal together with Gas after you master those skills then try the Tig assuming your machine is all in order unlike mine when I started out. Then just practice making clean beads on sheet metal till you get you confidence up.
Soldering and Brazing really helps with learning Heat control.
Don't give up its worth learning.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
American airlines, Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic & MOC Maintenance Operation Control Tech specialist
Allegiant airlines, Northern air cargo.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:33 am
yea im in Tassie so freight will be bit pricey to send out mate!! lol
thanks doright, my machine was the top entry level machine at the time before going to ac and foot controls, it has hf start and stepless controls, i started to get the hang of it and had the machine set to around 30amps, but would still get alot of warpage and burnthru's, i paid $1250au for the machine around 8yrs ago, its worthless now really, lol, its not worth selling so i might get it out every now and then, it was just a bad investment as i could have got a good mig and oxy setup for not much more and oxy welding is alot easier as you dont get that initial hit with the arc, you can heat up the panel to get your puddle happening, i found with very low power on the tig, it took too long to get the puddle and it would warp the panel very badly, so i basically just packed it away in the case and its stayed there since!!
krem



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:39 am
Krem
30 Amps for Sheet metal is about where I weld too. a Good rule is 1 amp for every .001" of an inch and car sheet metal is way under .030 so 30 Amps is a bit too much BUT I have a foot control too you dont. so if you can turn down a tiny bit.

I find if I shorten my Arc very very short like 1/8" & less I do much better than trying to use a Long Arc 1/4 or more, I have a Bad habit of not staying close enough to the puddle letting my Arc get to long my self A longer Arc causes you to slow down the slower you go the more heat you end up putting into the Bead too much heat into the work and it warps blows through etc.. So try to concentrate on your Arc length its very important!

Also I am using 1/16 Tungsten with a Very small Cup no Gas Lenz, I want to invest in the Gas Lenz set up for my Torch while it does use a Larger cup I think it more evenly disperses the gas shield.
I had been using Smaller Tungsten as well .040 which works great at lower Amps very accurate sharp Arc But being inexperienced I burned up a Lot more Tungsten dipping it into the bead or getting to long of an Arc and burning up the Tungsten. Not to mention dipping as each time you dip have to stop and change or sharpen the Tungsten.
To say its a Pain in the Butt to learn is an understatement. I find that The 3/32 lasts much longer as you can sharpen it more times than the thinner stuff and save some money while learning and it will weld at the lower Amp setting a Guy I know only uses 3/32 for every thing he welds.

Also What Type of tungsten are you using?
Lanthanated, Ceriated, Thoriated, or Pure?
I have an assortment of all 4 in different sizes .040 ,1/16 & 3/32
I find I do my best work on Mild steel with the 2% Thoriated

Another Good Tip I got early on was Sharpening the tungsten properly. There was no way I could afford a special Tungsten Grinder so I bought a tiny small grinder at Harbor freight and got a special grinding wheel to Grind my Tungsten it was a waist of Money after I found out about and purchased a cheap bottle of Chem Sharp for about $30.
I can Sharpen 30-40 Tungsten in about 5 minutes now.
Makes the chore of changing out Tungsten easier and faster when you have fresh sharpened Tungsten ready to go in there case. Then you just sharpen all of them at one time at end of the day or beginning of day either way. It really makes learning much more fun when you can just keep going at it rather than stopping and sharpening Tungsten every other minute or so lol

One more tip and probably the most important one of them all :
Clean your metal Clean Clean clean I can not stress this enough Tungsten and Pure Argon at Hi current does not like ANY Impurity's at all!!!!
I don't care what type of metal your welding or if your welding in AC or DC or what kind of Tungsten your using or what Type of Gas is being used its got to be super fricken clean on both sides of the metal no playing around clean other wise you'll never lay down a good bead!!!! After sanding and or grinding areas clean I wipe area down with Acetone or MEK oh one more don't forget to bevel your edges to be welded.

Tig welding is the Ultimate in welding its Very Precise & very time consuming process.
Its not for everyone It takes a lot of respect & dedication & patients to learn how to master the art I am just a dangerous learner myself I am by no means any type of a master or certified welder. I hope my ramblings help some one else trying to learn the Art.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
American airlines, Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic & MOC Maintenance Operation Control Tech specialist
Allegiant airlines, Northern air cargo.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:07 pm
My tig welder is an HTP, its an inverter style which lets you dial in your heat or better put letting you control the heat, the older transformer style machines limit you to the freq at the outlet, which is in the USA 60 hrz, my machine will go to 200 freq, some go all the way to 400-500, what this does is pinpoints and concentrates the arc, .....here are some pics that show you what you can do with a tig welder.........razor blades and soda cans
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:07 pm
I dont care who you are thats Just fricken COOOOOOOOL Noruns COOL
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
American airlines, Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic & MOC Maintenance Operation Control Tech specialist
Allegiant airlines, Northern air cargo.



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:47 am
Dennis, definitely get a gas lenz set-up, better gas flow , so you can turn your flow down a lil , save some argon, plus a more stabile arc.... I`ve been using a clear Pyrex cup lately , though I haven`t noticed it being any better than a ceramic one



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:43 am
Norunz
I was thinking the Clear Lenses would make it so much easier to watch my Arc length what have you found while using one?

In Going to The Lenze system The Cups are so much larger, Is there a Chart or a Guide to tell you which size cup too use with what size Tungsten?
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
American airlines, Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic & MOC Maintenance Operation Control Tech specialist
Allegiant airlines, Northern air cargo.



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:47 am
Dennis, the smallest I`ve seen of the pyrex cups is roughly a #8, cup sizes are measured in 16ths..... as far as helping you see the arc , I think it does help,
as for a guide to which cup to use, I`ve always been told to use the smallest you can to save gas, me, a 6 or a 7 is what I mostly use, now welding those soda cans I used a # 5 with a 1/16 tungsten to get into the bevel of the cans, on heavier gauge metal like 3/16 and up where I was using a 1/8 or 5/32 filler rod resulting in a wider bead, , I used a # 8, it all comes down to being able accesses what you need to weld and get gas coverage
another tip, a tig finger, really helps protect your fingers
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:04 am
Norunz
I was looking at purchasing this kit looks like a good assortment to start with, And Ya I have seen Jody's Tig finger I have to order one of those too.

http://www.weldingcity.com/tig-torch-pa ... clone.html
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
American airlines, Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic & MOC Maintenance Operation Control Tech specialist
Allegiant airlines, Northern air cargo.
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