TIG welders advices: how to become a more skilled welder and how to select the best welding equipment. Use the smallest tungsten that will get the job done. Use the smallest tungsten to get the job done. …within reason. Another way of saying this is don’t just use a 1/8” electrode for everything. There are jobs where a 1/8” electrode is great like for welding 3/16” thick aluminum. But what if you are welding on the edge of a .030” turbine blade? A .040” electrode will be plenty to handle the 15 amps and will give much better starts than even a 1/16” electrode. Too large an electrode can cause an erratic arc and contamination…and A bad start where the high frequency tries to arc up inside the cup and off the side of the tungsten can easily melt off a thin edge and scrap an expensive part. 2% thoriated or lanthanated tungsten electrodes hold up at high amperage better than most all other electrodes. When welding at higher amperages, often times you can use one size smaller electrode by using 2% thoriated or lanthanated. And that is a good thing.
Tungsten size should be selected mainly according to amperage AND polarity: Tungsten size should be selected mainly according to amperage AND polarity and not always dependent upon metal thickness. When TIG welding aluminum, If your tungsten begins to ball up and quiver, this means your tungsten is getting near its capacity. This can be minimized by using the A/C balance dial and setting it for more penetration and less cleaning…or if you are using a TIG inverter like a miller dynasty, the a/c balance should probably be set to 65-70% EN. For transformer machines like the syncrowave, The a/c balance set to the cleaning side means more of the dcep side of the a/c wave which means more heat is on the tungsten tip = more wiggling. The more to the penetration side, the more the arc is on the negative side and the Less heat on tungsten tip and less cleaning action but the square wave usually provides enough cleaning anyway even in max penetration mode.
All welding requires the application of heat, which melts the metal being welded. With the TIG process, the heat comes from an electric arc that streams between the electrode in a hand-held torch and the metal being welded. The arc and molten metal are shielded by an inert gas, which protects the electrode and base metal from oxidizing. Filler rod is usually added to the puddle of molten metal as the weld progresses. The essence of making a good weld is heat control, which is governed by how you modulate the arc as it streams from the torch. Let’s look at this in detail.
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Improper drive roll selection and tension setting can lead to poor wire feeding. Consider the size and type of wire being used and match it to the correct drive roll. Since flux-cored wire is softer, due to the flux inside and the tubular design, it requires a knurled drive roll that has teeth to grab the wire and to help push it through. However, knurled drive rolls should not be used with solid wire because the teeth will cause shavings to break off the wire, leading to clogs in the liner that create resistance as the wire feeds. In this case, use V-grove or U-groove drive rolls instead. Set the proper drive roll tension by releasing the drive rolls. Then increase the tension while feeding the wire into your gloved hand until the tension is one half-turn past wire slippage. Always keep the gun as straight as possible to avoid kinking in the cable that could lead to poor wire feeding.