Welds Getting Less Bulgy

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SteveHGraham
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Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:44 pm

My TIG welding is continuing to improve. I have much better control of the torch angle and arc length now. I am still getting greyish welds, though. I believe I'm traveling too slow. My rod feeding is horrendous. If I were better at that, I think I'd have more confidence about moving faster.

I was having trouble with convex welds, and someone told me I was using too much filler and not getting good "wetting," which I assume means penetration. Today I managed to create welds that were more concave.

I know there is nothing wrong with my gas, because I've made shiny aluminum beads.

Here is a photo of my latest effort. It was clean and shiny, but I didn't use acetone. Wondering if that affected the color. I've read that the grey color doesn't indicated a bad weld in carbon steel, but that it can be a serious flaw in other metals.
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06 10 17 TIG weld practice steel small.jpg
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mcostello
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by mcostello » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:25 pm

I always thought bulgy welds were stronger, They are showing Their muscles! :)

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BadDog
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by BadDog » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:34 pm

Yes, bulging is better (in general) than undercut, which appears to be what you are getting a lot of now. Some things don't matter, some things do. Various ways to address depending on various factors, but in general if everything is otherwise good you either speed up and/or add more filler, though other adjustments my work better depending on desired results.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:11 pm

I was told my welds were too cold and too convex, and that the way the convex welds formed sharp angles with the base metal would provide a place for cracks to start.

At the same time, I have been told I am putting too much heat into the metal, so my welds are too hot and too cold!
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dbstoo
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by dbstoo » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:30 am

It really helps to understand the terms.

Wetting is where the toes (edges of the weld) blend in with the base metal. Poor wetting looks sort of like the way a drop of water looks on a greased pan. It should look like a drop of soapy water on a clean plate.

Poor wetting is caused by many things including dirty metal. You can google the rest of the causes, since I forget at the moment. :)

I suspect that the "too hot/too cold" suggestions were referring to different welds or different parts of the bead. :)

Dan

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boaterri
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by boaterri » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:26 am

You might want to watch some youtube videos by "Welding tips and tricks". Jodie does a good job breaking down the process and techniques for MIG, TIG, and Stick welding on a variety of materials.

Rick

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:11 am

People are telling me my metal isn't clean enough. I was using acid followed by a wire brush on the drill press. Today I followed the acid with a paint-stripping wheel in the angle grinder, and the metal was 100% shiny. I also used acetone. I can't tell if it made a difference.

The thing that makes the welds shine is speeding up the torch travel, but I am limited by my technique.

I keep having a problem with the amperage dropping off, especially when restarting a bead. I don't know if it's the pedal or what. Once the amps drop, it takes longer to form a puddle, so the welding slows down. That means more grey.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:03 pm

I solved the mysterious amperage problem. The pedal had slid over by the rear rail of the welding table, and the rail was under the pedal. I wasn't pushing the pedal down all the way, because the rail was obstructing it.
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BadDog
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by BadDog » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:06 pm

As said, the hot/cold/fast/slow/dirty/whatever comments are just what occur as likely candidates to folks who take a moment to look at it and try to consider what might cause problems they see. Often there are multiple contributors, and when you show a long weld, the results can vary along the length. When I looked at that last weld, I couldn't get past the obvious undercut which seemed to me the worst of that weld, and which is particularly bad in my world of off-road suspension, roll cages, etc. Trying to get a nice flat to slightly convex weld with good "wetting" is a laudable goal, and trying to improve in all areas is certainly desirable, but lack of consistency is maybe the most important thing you need to work on at this point. But that's just me, a self taught country boy looking at pictures on the internet. If you can find someone local who really knows this stuff to spend a few hours with you to work on YOUR specific observed issues that lead to less than ideal welds, that would likely make more difference that month of guessing and posting.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:45 pm

My technique is still inconsistent, so I think the best thing is to get torch angle, arc length, and rod feeding working before I start searching for the perfect weld profile. It's great to be able to confine the arc and hit what I want to, and I am keeping a fairly decent torch angle MOST of the time, so I am making more progress than the weld indicates.

As you say, some people are making some bad guesses when they give me advice.

One person keeps telling me a flap wheel is the way to get scale off of steel. I got a 60-grit flap wheel made for metal, and it does absolutely nothing to scale except make it shiny. It was suggested that I get a coarser wheel, but right now I need to be able to get a lot of practice metal ready fast, and acid is doing that for me, so I am not in a rush to fix something that isn't broken.

Someone asked if I knew how to use a grinder with a flap wheel; I didn't even know what to say about that. You turn the grinder on and push the wheel against the metal. I didn't take lessons, but that seems like the correct procedure.

People complained about acid and suggested I use a grinding wheel, but a grinding wheel takes a very long time to remove scale, and it cuts the metal up so bad, it's like using a chainsaw to peel an apple. It's hard for me to believe anyone would use a grinding wheel on a project he cared about.

The metal is not dirty, so I am ignoring suggestions about that in order to avoid getting into discussions that waste time. I'm getting a lot of great help, and I don't want to offend people by criticizing their input, but I want to focus on things that actually work.

I've been watching other people weld, and I see that I'm covering very short distances between filler dips. Other people appear to be moving around 1/4", and I'm probably going more like 1/8". I'm going to work on that, and I'm going to try to move faster.
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BadDog
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by BadDog » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:07 pm

Regarding grinders, I've used a 4.5" (my preferred size) angle grinder for just about everything, including removing paint, rust and scale. Flap wheels are fine for finish work, and a good quality coarse option when applied right (toed up, not flat as for finish work) can indeed remove a fair bit of metal and scale. But the worst thing about them is that when that 1/4" or so at the circumference goes dull, it's basically game over for that disk. So I tend to use them for removing high spots (including welding mistakes) in the flat mode, and use 1/8 or 1/4" rapid cutting wheels for removing material, including scale. Again, presenting it mostly flat doesn't gouge the material too bad, and can still move material (including scale) pretty good. My favorite wheels for moving material with an angle grinder are Sait Challenger II wheels. They are expensive and require a pricey backing pad, but their curved face gives you so much control and ability to move material. My cheap consumable bulk go-to is a Griton "flexible" wheel. You won't really see to much flex to notice it (or I don't), but it's pimply face (somewhat like the Sait, which is what caught my attention) gives you MUCH better cut when you present flat but still want to move material without furrowing. Not as easy and not as nice in the finish as the Sait, but about 1/2 the price without needing a backing pad. And with a bit of finesse, it will do the job just fine.
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warmstrong1955
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Re: Welds Getting Less Bulgy

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:47 am

Keep practicing.
If something doesn't work quite right, try something different....right or wrong, recommended or not.

The more you do it, the more you will figure it out, and improve. OJT!

:)
Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

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