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Hello From Sin City

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Hello From Sin City

Postby jetmech69 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:32 am

Hi all,
New Welder here in sin city. I wanted to reach out to the community and get my first post started. I've only been TIG welding for a couple weeks now and have been watching all the videos for quite a bit longer. I have a family member that gave me an old HTP 201 inverter TIG welder and that's how I'm getting my start. Started with the recommended Aluminum practice drill that Jody shows the video of. well some of my questions are..

1. my shop does not have air conditioning so this time of year its quite hot and I'm wondering if there is a max temp that you can practice / weld aluminum. I don't seam to be able to keep my welds showing the ripple (stack of dimes) but if I practice very early before the sun can bake my shop its much easier get that ripple.

2. when someone states to cool your welding down is that meaning to turn down the amperage? I've been practicing on 1/8 aluminum, 3/32 - 2% Lanthanated tungsten, 150 amps, 120 frequency, 70 balance and using 3/32 filler rod. I was told to cool my welding down to get the ripple (stack of dimes) look.

3. what would I be doing wrong if I try to light up on that aluminum and all I get is a crater with black soot around it ? Every now and then I'll start to weld and I never get a puddle to form and when I stop and look to see what happened I have a crater in the aluminum.

anyway I'll stop here as I don't want my first post to scare everyone away.. sorry if I'm being long winded as well.
thank you for your time and any suggestions, advice or criticisms.
Jim W. Las Vegas, Nevada

New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:05 am

Re: Hello From Sin City

Postby Artie F. Emm » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:35 am

Hey, JetMech, welcome!

Good on ya for learning TIG! The welding variables that affect steel (such as arc length and torch angle) have an even bigger effect on aluminum. It's definitely possible to learn on aluminum, but you may find the learning curve a bit steeper.

Taking your questions in order...
1. I don't think ambient temperature of the shop would have an effect on weld quality directly. It may have an effect on you and THAT may effect the weld, maybe?

2. The Miller TIG weld calculator, here, ... calculator
gives a range of 100-140 amps for 1/8" aluminum so yes, 150 may be a touch high.

3. Soot can be a sign of improper gas shielding. What flow rate are you using, and what arc length?

This video is a good one for guys learning TIG- ... Mbb7IuMr2A
aka "RTFM"
Artie F. Emm
Posts: 660
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:53 am

Re: Hello From Sin City

Postby Mike » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:27 am

69, welcome to the forum.
M J Mauer Andover, Ohio

Linoln A/C 225
Everlast PA 200
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:09 pm
Location: Andover, Ohio

Re: Hello From Sin City

Postby jetmech69 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:58 am

Hi Dave and Mike,

Well let me start off with thank you for your replies. It has quickly come to me that this task of learning TIG may also teach me typing… ;) only because after the first post and reading your replies I have noticed a few things and most of them are that in my attempt to keep my questions / statements short I feel like I’ve left out to much information. (Just my feeling) so with that being said the first thing I would like to do is a proper introduction so.

Jim is my daily call sign (only when I’m not trying to impress girls :lol: hehe hope my wife don’t read this..) I’m a 25+ year aircraft mechanic by trade and now new TIG welder. Living in wonderful Las Vegas, I’m sure you got that from the title.

Ok now my thoughts when I asked about the ambient temp were from the cooling stand point. I was thinking that with the ambient temp starting in the triple digits that by the time I got a puddle started I had actually heated the material to the point that would cause the problem stated. BUT now I have a new question that came from all of this that my help make sense of this mess.

How fast do you press down the foot control? I know this sounds crazy because reading it sounds nuts but I’m easing into the controls and watching for a puddle to start forming. Then reading all this over about temperature the idea of going full throttle right from the start to get a puddle and then backing off to maintain would maybe keep from adding so much heating time to the weld area and give me a chance to start welding. I will give this a test.

As for the miller TIG calculator, thanks that’s handy. I took my settings from the “Aluminum welding training joints Lap and Tee in 2F” ... lding.html I couldn’t find any other info that helped me get a set up to start with. I’m running my gas on the high side 15 cfh and maybe a tad bit higher. Is there a chance I could have something wrong with my torch (as far a gas flow)? And how would I tell. I have changed the configuration from what was set up when I received the machine to be able to weld the 1/8 aluminum. The torch is a ck9 flex head. As for the arc I do find at times my arc length gets away from me but most of the time it’s too short.

And last the embarrassing part. The only reason I started on aluminum is because I didn’t know how to set the welder up for steel. The only time I watched my family member use this welder it was for aluminum. Also most all the videos that Jody has are aluminum so I just jumped strait in. What I have for an owner’s manual does not give clear instructions on setup for different materials. I think I have it figured out now and will give that a try also. I have picked up some steel and stainless steel to practice on so forward I go.

Thank you and Best regards
P.s. I will end this post here and start a new one in the Welding Discussions area.

Edit note: Attempted the full throttle and back off to maintain puddle. appears to work !! I must have been applying the amperage to slowly and heating everything up to the point that I couldn't get the ripple look. also stopped getting the crater with soot around it.
Jim W. Las Vegas, Nevada

New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:05 am

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