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Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

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Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby danielwadman » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:17 pm

Hello, I am new to TIG welding, welding in general actually. I've been trying to teach myself how to tig weld on stainless with the help of YouTube videos and internet posts. I'm having trouble with my beads turning gray as soon as I add filler wire. I'm cleaning everything like I'm supposed to, and if I just braise the two pieces together they turn out great, with that nice colored effect and no gray, but as soon as I start dipping filler most of the time it turns gray and blobby. I have the welder set anywhere from 80-100 amps on stainless that I think is 12 gauge. I'm using a 3/32 electrode and 3/32 filler rod. What I'm curious about is if I'm using the wrong type of filler wire, because it is just some stuff that we already had in the shop at work, and it's probably 10 years old at least. We have an oxy acetylene welder so it probably was used for that. It is meant for stainless, but could it not be meant for using for tig welding? It's driving me crazy and help would be greatly appreciated!!

Ps- I have a stubby gas lense kit and I think I am using plenty of argon, I am convinced it's the filler.
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Re: Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby MarkL » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:58 pm

As far as I know you have to use some kind of flux when oxy/fuel welding stainless. Not sure what filler rod would be meant for stainless, but normal oxy rod is R45 and it does not have the anti-oxidizers in it that tig filler does. So you can use it in a pinch for carbon steel, but it will not be nearly as good a result, and won't work at all on stainless without the addition of some kind of flux. The other problem may be that if your filler is 10 years old and hasn't been stored carefully, it's probably covered with corrosion which will contaminate the weld. I'd suggest buying some new stainless tig filler.
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Re: Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby Farmwelding » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:10 pm

A good chunk of your problem is using 3/32" filler. Get some 1/16". You have to put way more heat into the metal giving it the gray color because the large filler cools the puddle so quickly.
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Re: Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby danielwadman » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:45 am

Great, thank you guys for your responses. I will get some new/smaller filler when the truck comes on Wednesday and tell you how it goes.
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Re: Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby cj737 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:51 am

In my experience, filler size only hampers the amount of heat, but 3/32 filler should not be unusable. If you are loitering on the puddle to completely melt the filler, then you are cooking the puddle. You can either reduce the amount of filler, it's size, or crank up the heat so you can increase your travel speed.

I don't know what size cup you're using, but at least an 8, up to a 12 is my choice (depending upon work space). Welding stainless needs to happen immediately. Use enoug amps that the puddle occurs immediately, then MOVE. Your gas coverage needs to be high enough and cup size large enough to cool the puddle behind you as you travel. Also, clip the end of the rod each time you start to remove and oxidized rod.

Maybe something in there helps?
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Re: Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby danielwadman » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:05 am

cj737 wrote:In my experience, filler size only hampers the amount of heat, but 3/32 filler should not be unusable. If you are loitering on the puddle to completely melt the filler, then you are cooking the puddle. You can either reduce the amount of filler, it's size, or crank up the heat so you can increase your travel speed.

I don't know what size cup you're using, but at least an 8, up to a 12 is my choice (depending upon work space). Welding stainless needs to happen immediately. Use enoug amps that the puddle occurs immediately, then MOVE. Your gas coverage needs to be high enough and cup size large enough to cool the puddle behind you as you travel. Also, clip the end of the rod each time you start to remove and oxidized rod.

Maybe something in there helps?


Yes this is helpful! I haven't been clipping my rod tip which I can see now how that can effect the bead, but when I start with a new rod it happens too. I think a combination of what all of you guys are telling me has something to do with it. Old filler rod, which was in an open container on top of a cabinet for many years, to big of a rod and not enough amperage to compensate for it. I have been using a number 7 cup but I can try the 8 I have and see if that helps.

Thanks everyone
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Re: Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby cj737 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:45 pm

I am of a different opinion regarding the "old" filler rod. If it's a high grade stainless, it should be good. Perhaps at most a wipe down with Acetone if the surface is dirty or grimy. But stainless left open to the air doesn't really "oxidize" if you know what I mean.
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Re: Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby danielwadman » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:51 am

This is the first bead I ran on a lap joint after getting smaller filler wire next to what my beads looked like a few days ago. Still far from perfect but getting much better! Thanks for your help everyone
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Re: Is filler wire for oxy acetylene different than for TIG

Postby Farmwelding » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:43 am

Good! I need to get some 1/16 at my school all we have is 3/32
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