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Trying to weld aluminum

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Trying to weld aluminum

Postby Groisch » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:57 pm

I’ve been trying to learn how to weld aluminum but I can’t figure it out I’ve tried every setting and I just can’t seem to get a puddle to form I think the problem is I’m using some Lowe’s aluminum and not like 6061 but I’ll attach a picture and if anyone could tell what I’m doing wrong it would be much appreciated. Thanks
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Re: Trying to weld aluminum

Postby cj737 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:52 pm

How about posting a picture of the machine settings and cable connections?
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Re: Trying to weld aluminum

Postby Groisch » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:35 pm

cj737 wrote:How about posting a picture of the machine settings and cable connections?

I use the foot pedal for amp control and I’m using 20cfh of argon
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Re: Trying to weld aluminum

Postby 5th Street Fab » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:51 pm

Groisch wrote:
cj737 wrote:How about posting a picture of the machine settings and cable connections?

I use the foot pedal for amp control and I’m using 20cfh of argon
Turn your balance between 35 and 45 and try again. Your on basically no cleaning right now

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Re: Trying to weld aluminum

Postby pgk » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:37 am

And make sure your aluminum is clean, clean, clean... hold a tight arc and watch your torch angle.
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Re: Trying to weld aluminum

Postby Mattwho777 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:08 pm

Groisch wrote:I’ve been trying to learn how to weld aluminum but I can’t figure it out I’ve tried every setting and I just can’t seem to get a puddle to form I think the problem is I’m using some Lowe’s aluminum and not like 6061 but I’ll attach a picture and if anyone could tell what I’m doing wrong it would be much appreciated. Thanks




http://forum.weldingtipsandtricks.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11667
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Re: Trying to weld aluminum

Postby YBNORMAL » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:00 pm

I'm no pro, but I don't see any cleaning action on that weld. Do you hear gas flowing after the arc stops? What tungsten are you using?

I use the Alphatig as well, The Lowes aluminum is fine. Like was mentioned, set the balance to 35 or so, (about 9 0'clock). If this is your first time, I would work on running some beads on one piece before I tried welding a lap joint together. When I started out I could lay a killer bead but lap joints, corner joints and such would just burn away. Took a lot of hood time till I figured joints out. You didn't mention filler metal, 4043 or 5356 has worked fine for me, 4043 being a little easier to work with as a novice, but after more practice 5356 is just "different", not harder.

Do you have a way to measure the thickness of the aluminum in thousands? If so measure and set your amperage to maybe 15-20 more than the thickness in thousands. Putting your main amps to 200 like that gives you a very touchy pedal. After you get better you may want it that way so you have complete control, but for now, cut down on the variables.

I can't tell if you have it set to pulse, if so, turn that off for now, just an unneeded variable at this point. I would up the gas pressure a bit, again, after practicing you wont need as much but it will help in the beginning because your arc length is probably not ideal yet. How much stickout, what cup size, etc. Need more information.

The thing about aluminum Tig welding that I learned, is that once you have the coordination down, and know what to look for during the weld, settings, materials, cleanliness, and all the other variables don't amount to as much as the internet would have you believe . You naturally adjust for things on the fly. But in the beginning, having one setting off will make you go from nice welds yesterday, to disaster the next day. I went from never holding a TIG torch, to welding up my 1984 Aluminum boat in about 3 months. Just caught fish out of it this morning :) An old aluminum boat is about the toughest form of welding there is.

Initiate the arc, let the frosty cleaning action spread a little, keep raising amps till a shiny puddle forms, add some rod and start moving, that's all there is too it :D
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Re: Trying to weld aluminum

Postby BigD » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:23 pm

My guess would be wrong, bad or not turned on gas. Settings are fine, they may or may not be ideal but that is far from not ideal.
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Re: Trying to weld aluminum

Postby 5th Street Fab » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:37 pm

Groisch wrote:I’ve been trying to learn how to weld aluminum but I can’t figure it out I’ve tried every setting and I just can’t seem to get a puddle to form I think the problem is I’m using some Lowe’s aluminum and not like 6061 but I’ll attach a picture and if anyone could tell what I’m doing wrong it would be much appreciated. Thanks
Looking this pic it looks like you didn't get a puddle started before you added filler and it just melted and balled up the filler onto the part. And definitely get more cleaning action. When you're that low on it you can't weld aluminum very well if at all.

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