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malloy
12-08-2012, 7:34 AM
I just recieved my everlast tig 160 that I pre-ordered back in oct. I've been practicing on 1/8 scrap steel and I suck at it. I was pretty good on mig, but tig is a whole different story. I find it uncomfortable to hold the torch and my bead is all over the place. I've watched a ton of youtube videos trying to get the fundamentals down..

here are my problem areas...

can't hold the torch right.. ( i'm a lefty)

the filler rod is balling up ( using er07s2)

how much filler rod do you use... ( seems like the metal melts fine without it)

i'm using a 3/32 2% thoriated thungsten @ 120 amps.. ( not using my foot pedal right now)

any help would be great. i'm going to post some weld pics of my training progress.

Mark81
12-08-2012, 7:42 AM
It's very important how to grind the tungsten electrode. Here's some good advice for that: http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/tech_tips/TIG_tips/setup.html

And a lot of practice is necessary to get some good skills. How much filler you'll need depends on the type of weld you make. For some applications you don't need any filler at all. I'm not a prof welder, but i've learned it myself by doing it a lot.

malloy
12-08-2012, 7:51 AM
i'm grinding my tungsten with a grinding wheel. I did notice that when the grind was poor the arc would dance all over the place. I also was practicing on a pice of 16ga mild steel exhaust tubing and I was getting an orange powder residue.

right now i'm using the 3/32 tungsten with a #4 cup. I think it's small, but it's all I have at the moment. i also have 1/ 16 tungsten that I might switch too. most of my work is going to be light fab.

and the filler rod is 1/16. ( ER07S2)

Mark81
12-08-2012, 8:15 AM
The oranje residue can be the effect of rusty material. You can't weld rust. The material needs to be rust, grease and paint free.

And i throw the cable assembly of the torch over my shouder, so you don't have all the weight of it in your hand. That will give you more control of the torch.

Knuckleduster
12-08-2012, 8:23 AM
I am no pro, fuck I would likely do good to get 2 pieces of metal stuck together, however I have a good friend who is a professional 6G certified welder. He swears by shielding gas, perhaps this is your issue?

malloy
12-08-2012, 8:26 AM
using 100% argon at 10 lpm.....

do you guys prefer to hold the torch in your dominant hand?

70schop
12-08-2012, 8:43 AM
First off, TIG is a skill that has to be learned. Don't get discouraged, it takes time. Second, 1/16 rod is too small and your base material is too thin for 120 amps. Drop down to 80 and work there. The reason your filler rod keeps balling up is because your holding your torch at too much of an angle away from your base metal. When grinding my tungsten I use a fine stone on a bench grinder. Position the tungsten vertically and spin the tungsten in your fingers while applying medium pressure. Don't just bury it off it there. This position will give you a nice smooth grind to the point. When I say point I mean needle point. I sharpen mine to as fine a point as possible. The finer the point, the finer your arc will be. Start off with fillet welds on thicker material till you get the hang of it. Thin material is much harder to learn on. Get the basics down on some 1/8 or 3/16 plate with some 3/32 rods. Extend your tungsten out of the cup approx half of your cup openings diameter. Rest your cup against the base and vertical plates at about a 45-50 degree angle. Start your arc and get both pieces fluid. As you start to ad your filler rod, if it balls before you get it to the puddle, adjust your angle more towards the base material. Once you get the rod into the fluid base material and establish your puddle, you cans use whats called a figure 8 pattern to "walk" the cup down the work piece. This will give you the steadiness to get you started without the added pressure of free handing. You'll pick that up along the way with more practice. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience to get good with a tig. DONT GIVE UP!!!
<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v73/rachelandglenn/chopper/?action=view&amp;current=chop27.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/rachelandglenn/chopper/chop27.jpg" border="0" alt="chop27"></a>
<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v73/rachelandglenn/chopper/?action=view&amp;current=chop41.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/rachelandglenn/chopper/chop41.jpg" border="0" alt="chop41"></a>
<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v73/rachelandglenn/chopper/?action=view&amp;current=chop42.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/rachelandglenn/chopper/chop42.jpg" border="0" alt="chop42"></a>
<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v73/rachelandglenn/chopper/?action=view&amp;current=chop28.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/rachelandglenn/chopper/chop28.jpg" border="0" alt="chop28"></a>
Let me know if you have any questions, happy to help

sohcool
12-08-2012, 8:48 AM
If you are melting off your filler rod before you get to deposition the chances are that you are keeping too long an arc length, and that your angle of travel is too severe.

Think of the tungsten as a pointer, and it's putting the heat right where you point it. When you start an arc you're creating a plasma arc cone. As you angle the torch more and more you increase the size of the cone, melting anything that comes inside it. If you angle too much the cone is melting your filler and it's balling up before you get it to where you want it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v114/philmccrackin/travel.jpg

Now, here's the kicker though. The shielded area (where the gas coverage is) is larger than the plasma cone. You need to learn how to dip your filler and pull it back out of that plasma cone, but NOT pull it out of the shielded area. This is more critical with stainless and aluminum since they're so succeptable to contamination.

As for being a lefty, that doesn't matter. Put the torch in whichever hand is more comfortable and push welds from that side. Once you get decent welding that way, force yourself to learn to weld with the other hand. Being "weldbadextrous" comes in immensely handy.

3/32" tungsten is fine and dandy, no probs there. Just remember to start your arc and slowly increase amperage until you start to get a puddle on your parent metal. No need to just pedal to 100% all the time. I leave my machine at 200 amps all the time usually. That's what a foot pedal is for. ;) Defeats the whole purpose of what you are doing actually if you just pedal in constantly... TIG is about control of parameters while you go.

Welding without filler is applicable in some situations, but not too many. It's called autogenous welding. You can use it for some handrail applications and stuff, food grade, etc. but on a bike you're gonna want filler metal for things usually. That's where your strength is coming from. Get used to using it.

How much filler? As much as it takes. ;) Everyone welds a little different. Don't worry about the small stuff for now. Just get used to using the torch.

lamb67t
12-08-2012, 9:32 AM
All good pointers from the other posters. Only a couple things I would add. Your red residue on exhaust is likely from cad plating or galvanized material - both toxic so be careful about breathing the fumes. I think your cup is too small, generally 6-8 are good sizes for general purpose. In most cases your tungsten and your filler should be the same size, at least for learning. Use your foot pedal, it's what gives you control and is one of the great advantages about using TIG. I try to set my amperage on the machine for just above the max I think that I will need for what I'm doing. That way your pedal is less touchy. If you set it for max, then it will get to what you need much quicker and you will not have as much control. Once you get better, then you can just set it fairly high and leave it alone.

Also, check out this guy's site. He is an old timer that really seems to know his shit and is all about teaching people. Huge wealth of information!

http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com

Good luck and keep practicing, you will get the hang of it!

Trinda
12-08-2012, 9:39 AM
using 100% argon at 10 lpm.....

do you guys prefer to hold the torch in your dominant hand?

I'm a wierdo in that I'm ambidextrous. I use both depending on the situation I'm welding in. I'm not an expert by any means but I think being able to use both hands well is better than being able to use one hand great. here's a pic of something I did - not perfect, but I'm not an expert at all:
http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/1692/dscn0211ds.jpg
you can see where I started towards the top of the picture I wasnt using enough rod.

ibuiltmine
12-08-2012, 10:08 AM
malloy;417353]I just recieved my everlast tig 160 that I pre-ordered back in oct. I've been practicing on 1/8 scrap steel and I suck at it.
I was pretty good on mig, but tig is a whole different story. I find it uncomfortable to hold the torch and my bead is all over the place. I've watched a ton of youtube videos trying to get the fundamentals down..

here are my problem areas...

can't hold the torch right.. ( i'm a lefty)
just have to practice, and you go the opposite of MIG you pull the puddle, so being a lefty you will go right to left. before every weld you do, do it without heat...just trace it out with your torch and rod. sometimes i put it up over my shoulder, or over my forarm, shit sometimes I have had to lay down on the floor to fully suport the lead.

the filler rod is balling up ( using er07s2)
your arc length is too long creating too big of a heat zone. this is pretty common for new guys. my suggestion is to turn your gas flow up to like 20ish, and lead your tungsten out of the nozzle a little more so you can see it better.

how much filler rod do you use... ( seems like the metal melts fine without it)
Check the back side of the weld and see if your fully penetrating.

i'm using a 3/32 2% thoriated thungsten @ 120 amps.. ( not using my foot pedal right now)

Use your foot pedaI! you cannot control heat with arc length like you could with a gas torch. doesnt work that way. ususally use that same tungsten, and just set my machine about 120 or so, too. if you dunk your tungsten you really should clip the end off it and re grind it. when you grind the tungsten, make the point of it facing the up side of the grinder, so the bur is not at the tip. don't use any grinding wheels that you have ever used for anything else. it will embed the other metals into your tungsten, and you will be screwed right off the start.

any help would be great. i'm going to post some weld pics of my training progress.[/QUOTE]

Myself going from a mig to my tig I found that you have to SLOW DOWN. Its like... taking a break and smoking a cigarette when I tig.
Keep your are CLOSE. the closer the better. like 1/32 off the work. any taller and you will ball your filler rod, not get full penetration, have arc wander, all kinds of strange shit.
Then that leads to your ability to control the torch. do the weld three or four times before you even strike an arc. if you barely touch the pudddle, bam, your done. pull the tungsten and re grind. If you have to regring it 20 times an inch then you have to regrind it 20 times an inch. thats ust the way it will be untill you get it down.
Post some pics of your welds up! and have fun!

ibuiltmine
12-08-2012, 10:12 AM
using 100% argon at 10 lpm.....

do you guys prefer to hold the torch in your dominant hand?

Shit man. I jsut htought about it, and Im a right handed and I use my left for the torch and right for filler rod.

ibuiltmine
12-08-2012, 10:15 AM
This is one of the greatest resourses on teh web when it comes to welding. sure they are miller biased, but they are some great instructional videos. http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/video_library/

ibuiltmine
12-08-2012, 10:18 AM
I try to set my amperage on the machine for just above the max I think that I will need for what I'm doing. That way your pedal is less touchy. If you set it for max, then it will get to what you need much quicker and you will not have as much control. Once you get better, then you can just set it fairly high and leave it alone.


I never thought of that! that good advice that im going to practice today when I go out to the garage.

malloy
12-08-2012, 10:34 AM
i want to thank everyone for the good advice. i'll post some pics of my shitty welds. also I wanted to use the 1/16 tungsten, but my welder didn't have the collet for that size. i need to get an assortment of cups and collets. i think too a welding table would help. i need to get more comfortable as I weld. i've been clamp my shit to the vise and going from there.

justinpba
12-08-2012, 10:45 AM
All good info, but I'd add DON'T GRIND THORIATED TUNGSTEN! There's stuff any welding shop should have called chem-tool or something. It looks like salt, just heat the tungsten (stick it to a junk piece at 120 amps til it glows red), then hold it in this stuff and it melts the tungsten to a point. Grinding thoriated tungsten releases alpha particles to the air. Of all radiation alphas are the most dangerous. Easily blocked by skin but if you breathe them they could f you up. I was a nuclear operator/welder in the navy and they beat this into our heads. There we had a grinder in a contained box, but since I got out I've liked using the chem tool stuff. Also I agree with others who said you're running too many amps, you should use your foot pedal, and I'd bump the gas up to 20. Other than that, keep practicing. At Navy weld school they had us laying lines down on late, 8 hours a day until we were comfortable enough to start welding things together.

irishrich317
12-08-2012, 11:01 AM
I know how defeating TIG can be, especially if you've MIG welded, and been proficient at it. When I started TIG welding, I had been oxy/acetylene, stick, and MIG welding for 35 years. TIG kicked my ass for almost 4 months trying to get my technique down. Then, all of a sudden, it all clicked.

Best basic advice i can give you starting out, is to match everything to each other. Match your tungstin to your material thickness - if you are welding 16ga steel, use a 1/16" tungsten, and 1/16" filler rod. If you're welding 1/8" material, use a 1/8" tungsten and 1/8" filler rod.

ER70-S2 works well for most mild steel, and matches the wire you've been MIG welding with. 100% argon works well with ER70-S2 for a shielding gas.

Use this basic rule of thumb - match your amperage to your material thickness. 1 amp on your setting to .001 of material thickness. If you're welding 16ga steel (.060) set your amperage at 60 amps. .120 wall tubing, set your amperage a 120 amps. This is a base setting, and you may have to go up or down from there. For example, I find that welding 16ga exhaust tubing, a 1/16" tungsten, and 1/16" filler rod works well, but my amperage on my machine works at 52 amps for this material.

Like pinstripers say, if you pull 100 straight 3' practice lines in a row before you actually start pinstriping, you have the basics. Try just practice welding your material without using any filler rod, and concentrate on just controlling the width and size of your puddle. When you get pretty good at this, then do the same adding your filler rod to the puddle as you go. This will give you a good start on TIG welding. I had limited experience on TIG many years ago, and when I first learned I was taught to mash your pedal down to full amps, then back off to control your puddle. Now, they teach you to ease the pedal into your max amp setting, and when your puddle forms, then start moving and adding filler, and varying your pedal as you watch how the fusion takes place.

Clean, clean, clean for your material. If you've welded with MIG, this is something most people don't fuss over, but it's super important with TIG. Wipe your parts down BEFORE you take off all the mill coating, rust, etc. If you don't do that first, you'll grind your contaminants right into the metals. Then clean your material you're welding again with your cleaner right before you weld. Use a non-petro based cleaner (no lacquer thinner, enamel reducer, NO brakekleen, NO carb cleaner). I use denatured alcohol, and it works great. You'd be surprised how dirty your cleaning rags will look after you wipe your materials down right before you weld. Also, grinding discs and sand/bead blasting leave a lot of material imbeded in your metals, Covell recommends using the 3M "Klean and Strip" wheels for this part of the prep, and that's what I use.

From these basics, you can vary your tungsten diameter and filler rods, but that comes from practice, practice, practice. For example, when I weld gas tanks and sheetmetal, I use a 1/16" tungsten and .045 filler rod, which is way off the "base' setting, but it works for me, and my technique. That all comes with time, as you learn the mechanics of moving your torch, adding filler, and how your particular machine works at any given amp setting. I find if I go to somebody else's shop to do some on-site subcontract work, and use somebody else's TIG, even if it's the same make/model as mine, it takes me a few practice beads before I "go to town" welding, to get their particular machine dialed in to my style of welding.

Also, there's a lot of different ideas on how far you should stick the tungsten out of your cup. The best advice I got on this was that if you can't see your tungsten arc, you can't control the puddle. The best compromise is to allow the tungsten to stick out just enough to see your arc and puddle clearly, but not far enough out that you loose the cooling effect of your shielding gas.

ibuiltmine
12-08-2012, 11:24 AM
All good info, but I'd add DON'T GRIND THORIATED TUNGSTEN! There's stuff any welding shop should have called chem-tool or something. It looks like salt, just heat the tungsten (stick it to a junk piece at 120 amps til it glows red), then hold it in this stuff and it melts the tungsten to a point. Grinding thoriated tungsten releases alpha particles to the air. Of all radiation alphas are the most dangerous. Easily blocked by skin but if you breathe them they could f you up. I was a nuclear operator/welder in the navy and they beat this into our heads. There we had a grinder in a contained box, but since I got out I've liked using the chem tool stuff. Also I agree with others who said you're running too many amps, you should use your foot pedal, and I'd bump the gas up to 20. Other than that, keep practicing. At Navy weld school they had us laying lines down on late, 8 hours a day until we were comfortable enough to start welding things together.
Thats good advice about the thoriated. We have enough shit bombarding us trying to kill us already. We need to protect ourself as much as possible!

Mark81
12-08-2012, 12:28 PM
Here in Holland you can't even buy thoriated tungsten anymore. Because of the radiation it's forbidden now. There are alternatives, but they're not as good as the thoriated ones.

ibuiltmine
12-08-2012, 12:55 PM
Here in Holland you can't even buy thoriated tungsten anymore. Because of the radiation it's forbidden now. There are alternatives, but they're not as good as the thoriated ones.

ill send you some! LOL. Ill use my neighbors adress as a return adress. I hate that asshole.

sohcool
12-08-2012, 8:47 PM
You can grind thoriated tungsten. Just don't stand with your face 2" from it and inhale it.

If you are worried, wear a mask.

Ironsled77
12-09-2012, 11:49 AM
Good info Rich. I am self taught and struggled for months til one day I had a better understanding of what was going on. I have yet to try sheetmetal. I mostly do stainless. I am going to try out your amp settings. I would over shoot and drag the thumb wheel down til I would get a nice puddle. Now I just need to fill my tank. Stupid post flow!

Mark81
12-09-2012, 1:30 PM
I hate that asshole.

Did you allready tried the good old "shit in the mailbox"? :D

ibuiltmine
12-09-2012, 1:39 PM
Did you allready tried the good old "shit in the mailbox"? :D

nah, that might have been a litte extreme. I dislike him a lot, but I just leave it alone.