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Old 04-20-2017, 12:03 AM
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gimpyrobb gimpyrobb is offline
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Default Learning tig

So I have 2 tig machines that have been sitting waiting for a project. I finally found one and now I need to figure things out. The econotig came with red, green, and blue tungstens, any better than the other for sheet steel? I think green is for aluminum. I sharpened a red and played with some clean sheet. I was able to establish a puddle and even add some filler(.030 from a mig spool). When I tried the bracket (for my buddys 67 chevy van) I couldn't get the two pieces to melt together.

First time tiggin, I'll be reading up on the subject and checking my miller app on my phone I'm downloading. Pics probably tomorrow.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:01 AM
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Be aware that the red thoriated gives off a small amount of radioactive dust when ground. Some people wear a mask to stop ingesting the stuff. I do when I remember but can't always rely on the memory. You can use lanthanated instead, it is similar.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:43 AM
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I have 2 YouTube channels to suggest....Weld.com Tig time series, and Welding Tips and Tricks.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:31 AM
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Blue is 2% Lanthanated, which is a preferred electrode for me and Jody at Weldingtipsandtricks. It is recommended when using inverter machines. Suggest you familiarize yourself with composition of electrodes, since that is what makes them different. Use the identifying color to find the correct ones in your drawer.

Advantage of Lanthanated is being able to hold a point over an extended time. When I first got into tig I purchased and tried all of the different compositions available, and found that Lanth lasted best. Works for steel, stainless, aluminum, cast-iron.

You'll learn to move the arc around in order to heat and melt/puddle adjoining fixtures, so the rod will flow into the puddle.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:09 AM
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I would suggest going to a known good tig welder and ask him to give you a quick lesson. I did that and it made a big difference. Welding in any system is practice, practice.
It helps to be practicing the right things, and getting the rhythm of dabbing right.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:01 AM
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When you make a touchdown and you will, stop, touch up your tungsten, brush the weld and restart, if you dont it can get pretty ugly. And clean to bright metal before you start. A wipe down with a clean rag with acetone and give your filler rod a clean too, you have to do that if you are doing a code so it's a good habit to get into. And put the lid back on the acetone before you start and put it away.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:43 AM
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Haha! Yes, it took me 3 or 4 tries before I slowed down enough to not hit the tungsten with the filler material. I know cleaning and prep is key to a good weld, so it was all brushed down with acetone first.

A friend I graduated with has a dad that was certified welding instructor, I'll have to give him a ring, great idear.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:47 AM
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Acetone is OK. Don't EVER use chlorinated brake cleaner! It gives off poisonous phosgene gas when heated.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
to not hit the tungsten with the filler material
I'd love to say that TIG'ing is like riding a bike and that one never forgets.......... sure..................

It usually ends up being months or years between using it at the farm. That said, this old fat man has to re-learn what not to do. lol

Give it a few hours G'Robb, become one with the Tungsten. I've heard tell that TIG'ing was easier to learn than all of what is done with Stick. That's what I've heard, not what I believe, but what I've heard.

FWIW, I love my Econotig and use it most often. Lighter on the amp size than it's big brothers, but worthy. I love it.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimpyrobb View Post
So I have 2 tig machines that have been sitting waiting for a project. I finally found one and now I need to figure things out. The econotig came with red, green, and blue tungstens, any better than the other for sheet steel? I think green is for aluminum. I sharpened a red and played with some clean sheet. I was able to establish a puddle and even add some filler(.030 from a mig spool). When I tried the bracket (for my buddys 67 chevy van) I couldn't get the two pieces to melt together.

First time tiggin, I'll be reading up on the subject and checking my miller app on my phone I'm downloading. Pics probably tomorrow.
If you want to get decent I would suggest trying a few autogenous welds first so you can get used to using the torch and seeing the base metal break information down. Also don't run any higher amperage than you can keep your puddle under control; Tig welding is kinda like driving a stick shift in that you are in control of ever aspect of the process. I have seen people make perfect full penetration welds in .063 wall tubing at 30 amps and I have seen ugly welds with skips in The penetration at 60 amps; technique is the name of the game on Tig. Details that are usually trivial are tungsten size and makeup- generally speaking if you remember green is for aluminum you are good to go. 3/32" tungsten will handle about anything the average, non-specialized welder will use it for. I can say off the top of my head that I have used 3/32" thoriated (red) for a range of ferrous materials from 24# mild steel to 3" 304 Stainless with no issues.
Travel speed is by far the most critical. Even the way you sharpen the tungsten doesn't matter much. You will want it sharpened for ferrous but the length of the taper is not particularly critical though putting the grain of your grind towards the point helps. Alot of newer Tig welders focus way too much on tungsten sharpening. Keep it clean though.
When you start adding filler, add it to the puddle, not the arc or the tungsten. If your rod is balling up instead of flowing into the puddle you need to adjust the angle of your arc and/or your filler wire.
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