Success, More or Less

Welding Techniques, Theory, Machines and Questions.

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SteveHGraham
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Success, More or Less

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed May 24, 2017 7:09 pm

Today I took the steel I pickled and welded it. I had four pieces. After trying to keep up with aluminum, I figured steel would be a lot easier, and it was.

Here is a photo.

Better?

I had some issues. It's hard to start and stop at the edges of things. Is it best to always weld TOWARD edges? I know that's preferable, but when you do a long weld that starts and ends at edges, you're only welding toward one edge. I suppose I could overcome that by starting with a short left-handed weld toward the first edge and then starting over with my right hand.

That brings up another question: why is it so hard to re-start a bead? I find that when I have to stop and start over (filler rod running out, etc.), it's very hard to get the end of the bead to melt. I have to go a little ahead of it, start a new bead, and then back up a little.

The welder was set at 156, which is a lot for 1/8", but it seemed like it was barely enough. Wondering if there is a common error that makes a welder act like it's set too low.
05 24 17 TIG practice steel small.jpg
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed May 24, 2017 8:02 pm

Better!
Practice practice practice!

Before you restart, hit the the spot where you stopped, and a little more, with a little stainless brush. A shot of air too will help.
Numbers....mean nothing to me. I learned how to weld, with stick, on some big-old Lincoln generator type machine. All were leftovesr from a shipyard. The dials were brass, and had raised numbers once upon a time, but were long worn off. Fat dirty hands in fat dirty gloves....and a whole lotta weldin'.
I have also found that one welder to another, and even of the same brand and model, are not the same. My PowCon doesn't jive with my Lincoln, and the Miller is different yet.
Best to go by 'braille'. Something that will become easier as you go....

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

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed May 24, 2017 8:08 pm

I am wondering if my tungsten is an issue. When I was welding aluminum, it kept discoloring to maybe 1/2" back from the tip. To use it for steel, I jammed it in the belt grinder. Even after that, I had about 1/8" of darkened metal behind the sharpened part. I believe the heat of the belt grinder discolors it, but I'm not sure.

I don't know if a discolored/burnt/whatever tungsten would cause the amps to drop. I was melting the bejeezus out of aluminum with a discolored tungsten.

I know the aluminum was clean, but the tungsten turned black anyway, and I figured it was normal.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

dbstoo
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by dbstoo » Wed May 24, 2017 8:21 pm

If your tungsten is turning black there is something odd going on. Are you using the tungsten (without putting a fresh point on it) after it becomes contaminated?

Dan

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed May 24, 2017 8:22 pm

I will not lie. I have tried to finish some beads in aluminum after contamination, but I do get up after that and grind it back.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

dbstoo
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by dbstoo » Wed May 24, 2017 8:28 pm

As you come to the end of the weld you should back off on the amps and add filler. Then (and this is important) you should hold the torch over the weld till you see if solidify so that the shielding gas keeps it form oxidizing. If the gas shuts off before the weld stops glowing you should extend the "post flow".

Dan

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed May 24, 2017 8:32 pm

I will try to remember that. It also seems like I need to blow the air out of the line before starting to weld. I was getting black soot at the beginning of every aluminum bead, and it seemed like it was because I was starting off with accumulated air instead of argon.

I've never heard anyone say you should blow the air out, though.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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GlennW
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by GlennW » Wed May 24, 2017 8:35 pm

I always start that way, every start.

I tap the pedal to start the argon flow with the torch away from the part, then position the torch and start the arc while it is still flowing.

It's just second nature and I don't even think about it.

You only need to be about an inch away.
Glenn

Operating machines is perfectly safe......until you forget how dangerous it really is!

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed May 24, 2017 8:43 pm

I did it from a somewhat shorter distance today. That was invigorating. Not quite as exciting as starting a fire in the shop garbage, though.

I've always gotten away with shooting belt grinder dust into the trash. It turns out you should not do that after throwing out a paper towel soaked in acetone. The experience provided me with a free dancing lesson.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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GlennW
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by GlennW » Wed May 24, 2017 8:51 pm

Acetone is pretty volatile stuff...
Glenn

Operating machines is perfectly safe......until you forget how dangerous it really is!

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed May 24, 2017 9:33 pm

It was a good reminder that I needed to replace my old fire extinguisher.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

rrnut-2
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Re: Success, More or Less

Post by rrnut-2 » Thu May 25, 2017 5:21 am

Yep, keep the trash away from the grinders, welding area and cutting torches. And have plenty of fire extinguishers just in case. I am afraid of fire in the shop, so I have two big CO2 extinguishers and 3 big dry chemical extinguishers. Torch cutting is done outside.

Jim B

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