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Dab Method Need Help

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Dab Method Need Help

Postby sambo1985 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:39 pm

Hello Jody Im in a 2year welding program and in my second semester. I am in Tig and struggle with the dab method. I have figured out how to do the lay wire method. But I still struggle with the Dab Method. I have been trying to watch your videos but I can't grasp the method. My instructor has us start on mild steel 14 gauge then work our way to stainless and Aluminum. Can you please help Im struggling
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby weldin mike 27 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:18 am

Put on some AC/DC in your headphones and dab the rod in time with the base drum. Move a little in between each dab. If alum, pull the torch up a little when dabbing as the puddle likes to swell towards the electrode. The precise movement and amount of rod will come with practice, but this will help with the timing.
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby cj737 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:56 am

Heavy Metal music to dab by! :D

If you are struggling with "dabbing" it's possible you are sticking the wire in where you need to be feeding the wire in. Practice without a torch. Hold the feed wire in your preferred hand. Glove on. Practice advancing the wire gently, and consistently until you walk the entire wire through your fingers. Do this about 1,000 times and you'll have it down just like all the pros.

You can use a variety of techniques to feed wire. Some split their fingers and pinch with their thumb, some twist/roll the wire as they feed it, others use 2 fingers against their thumb, sliding the wire between. You just have to figure out the method that works for you.

When you feed, you move the torch in equal amounts/distances.
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby AndersK » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:47 am

Dont use thicker filler than 1/16. It can disturb your rythm if it doesn't melt fast enough. Don't try to push in a lot with each dab either.
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby bruce991 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:04 am

I lay filler in crook of thumb area and through index and next finger. Then you move the two fingers toward thumb, pinch and feed and repeat that movement. When your bringing fingers up for another bite you pinch the filler in crook of thumb. It becomes natural after a couple hundred times. At first the end of the filler will be moving all over where you really want it to dab into puddle but it will steady in time. If only a short weld I just hold and dab.
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby sambo1985 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:25 pm

My main issue is when do I dip the wire and is it at the base of the puddle. All I keep getting is little balls that form up and it looks like a caterpillar Im not getting those nice dimes like jody. Here is a pic of my three day and I was using the lay wire technique. I was just making a u shape around the filler wire. :?
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Lay Wire Method
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby bruce991 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:46 pm

With aluminum filler I stick in and pull pull back slightly with torch, at same time, move torch while filler is back a bit stab and pull back torch. I find torch needs to be at right angle or you will heat and ball up the filler from the heat. Not such a problem with ER and steel welding. Aluminum is less forgiving and I find myself moving quickly.
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby sambo1985 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:20 pm

I forgot to mention this is 14 gauge mild steel in the pic
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby cj737 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:35 pm

sambo1985 wrote:I forgot to mention this is 14 gauge mild steel in the pic

And what size filler rod? 14ga is pretty thin stuff. If you are getting "caterpillars" then you're adding too much filler or not using enough heat.

There's a delicate balance between heat, arc length, rod diameter, travel speed, and metal thickness. If you're new to TIG, guess which one is the most challenging to master? If you answered "All of the Above" you have a great understanding of welding.

Its simple really: you can be taught the technical aspects of welding. You can mimic what you see, you can make good technical decision about what wire for what application, but at the end of the day, laying strong, good looking beads comes only through hours upon hours of good practice. No one can short-circuit that for you. Critique what you're doing? Sure, maybe even provide a decent trick or two. But unless someone with significant experience is watching you weld by looking over your shoulder, offering advice and good instruction, you are simply going to pass through learning curves.

As I look at the picture, my impression is too much filler, and too long an arc length. The edges of your strings are "undercut" which is a result of under filling, or too wide a heat zone. On 14ga I'd be using a small cup (#5 or #6) a 1/16" tungsten, and probably a 1/16" wire. My cup would be in contact with the plate, my tungsten just barely sticking past the cup. Then I'd feed wire/lay wire and try to almost touch the puddle by manipulating the angle of the torch, pushing the puddle.

Watch for the edges to burn in, and when you see a bit of keyhole at the front of the puddle, you know you need wire. Minimize the keyhole, but you need to travel the torch to require more wire. That's what causes that "lay dimes" look. Those are the freeze lines of the puddle caused by the torch traveling. If your dimes are elongated, you're short on wire, too stacked up like a caterpillar, too much wire.

Make sense?

By the way, you're doing pretty gosh darn well for being a second semester welding student. Don't get frustrated.
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Re: Dab Method Need Help

Postby sambo1985 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:00 pm

I switch between 1/16 filler and 3/32 filler. And using same matching size of tungsten for filler
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