Proper TIG techiniques

dirtydezracer

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OK so I'm trying to learn how to TIG. I've been practicing a bit and several important questions have arisen as a result.

1.) What Is the importance of filler rod?? I've been practicing, just to get used to the torch, without it and am curious why it should be used if not needed to fill a gap. Is the fusion of the two parent pieces not strong enough if there is no gap??

2.) big circles or small circles? Upon studying the TIG welds of others, I've noticed some are a wide bead and others are tight. Is this purely asthetic, or are larger or smaller beads stronger?

3.) Where "pinholes" are noticed in the weld, is it improper techinique to try to smooth them out on a second pass?

I'll post pics later in an attempt to get some constructive criticism.

Thank you all in advance for your expertise.

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boltonbros

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the pinholes are just from curostion(not right spelling) on the metal you just need to clean the metal a little better. when i am tig welding two metals together i do not do circles i just get the two metals melted and add filler metal at the edge of the puddle and then i place the torch at the edge of the puddle and move forward by doing this it leaves the fish scale look and is strong.

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1992f150

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You want to use filler rod to build up the joint to give it more strength. No filler rod, the base metals will sink in alittle and not be as strong....it really depends on the joint, but the only joint I can think of where you dont use filler rod is an outside corner. Filler rods can contain some other alloys to help the weld.

As far as circles, I use no circles. How much heat and filler rod you add will effect the width of the bead. Also using a larger diameter tungsten makes a bigger weld, thus used on thicker metal.

Without seeing your "pinholes" it sounds like porosity, which is air holes in the metal. Try turning your regulator up and use more shielding gas. Also like mentioned clean off your metal, use a wire wheel brush to get it clean and see if the pinholes go away. If your pinholes are really porosity, you want to grind out the bead and reweld it. you will see the pinholes go very deep, and there can be trapped air tunnels you cant see that will resurface once its heated up again with another weld.

Id suggest going to lincolns website they have free online articles to read.

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In_the_works

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I'm no pro, but another thing to watch for is making sure that you joints are nice and tight. TIG doesn't like gaps at all. I usually oscillate the torch just a little bit to steal more of the base metal from the piece being welded. In general, you don't want to make a wide bead, because of how easy it is to get good penetration with TIG. If you bring the torch out too far onto the lower workpiece, you'll end up wearing it thin, and losing a lot of strength.

'96 F-150 4x4 ex cab
'02 Maico 250
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ACID_RAIN28

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Don't turn the gas up, that will not fix the problem, there is junk on the tungsten or in the weld, shorten up the electrode in the cup, with only like 1/8 inch sticking out, and try to turn you gas down, mabey sometimes it blows the weld away. Around 13-18 cfm. Some like to grind out a poruse weld and I and others like to weld over it again, alot of times there is just not enough rod added and the more you add it will stabalize the pool getting rid of the holes.

Just doing a fuse weld with no rod will leave the materials welded very brittle. Circles are used in gas welding. The weld should be no smaller than the sum of the thickness of the two pieces, such as a 1/4" weld for a 1/8" union.

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dirtydezracer

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First off thank you for your input thus far. I tried to post pics but I cant get my file size down that low(400000 bytes??lol)Does anyone know of a trade school in the so cal area that teaches TIG welding without having to go through all of the other B.S. I will not likely use in the fabrication of trucks(I.E. stick welding ect.)?? I just want to get to the root of the knowledge which I need to aquire in order to build trucks that break less than the competition. Thanks--Paul

P.S. If I can get the files smaller I will post pics.


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1992f150

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mt san antonio college in walnut...if you dont want to go there, try to find a place that offers aircraft/aerospace welding, since that is pretty much all tig.

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dirtydezracer

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I will give that a shot. Did you have any formal education or did you learn just by doing? All of the talk on these boards with regards to pre/post heating metals has me worried about the pocesses of properly tempering, as it does not seem that a concensus was reached. Thank you once again!

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ntsqd

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You could have been welding clean metal and still get the porosity. If so, you are too hot, too much current and you are boiling the metal. I like to start people out on Stainless Steel for this reason. It is a lot harder to boil stainless.

TS

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SpareChangeRacng

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I am just finishing a short 8 week class in TIG at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. It was a very informative class with lots of lab time. OCC is well nkow for their welding program too. There is a prerequisite, meaning you are supposed to have taken a beginning class (with gas, stick, MIG, etc.) before you can take TIG, but I don't think they check. Steve
 

dirtydezracer

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TS,

Yeah I noticed that stainless was harder to boil too, thats what I tried first. I am pretty sure that I had too much current going through, as the welder was up aroud 90 amps. Penetration was incredible though, much better than the MIG work I have done.


Steve,

Thank you for that tip. I might be able to get into the class just by talking to the teacher( do you know the name of yours?). OCC is much closer to me that Walnut is, plus there's a lot of hot chicks there!! ;-)
PS How's that ranger coming, I think I've seen it cruising around.

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1992f150

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Walnut has no hot chicks...Yes I have been taking welding classes in highschool then another 2 years at college, mostly structual stuff though. If you decide to go to Mt s.a.c. call the welding dept. and get ahold of Ben Eisley, hes a pretty cool guy and if you tell him you just want to learn tig he will reccomend which class to take. They also offer a saturday fabrication class, but with the budget stuff alot of classes are being cut.

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dirtydezracer

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Yeah what's up with that it's all cholas huh. Not exactly my style. Thank you for you input, however I will likely opt to drive 25 minutes and be surrounded by hot chicks, as they like dirty greasy guys right??LOL! Mt. Sac is about an hour and a half from me so its not really too practical cuz I still need to work too. Thanks again and fish on!
--Paul

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SpareChangeRacng

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Talk about no chicks - try going to Cal Poly Pomona! I bet Kritter could back me up here. OCC was a very nice change in the way of girls.
Now back to trucks/welding. The 2 professors I have had at OCC are Bill Galvery and Richard Hutchison. Hutchison is the one I have now for the TIG class, and seems a little nicer. Both teach the TIG (actaully all welding classes) classes thoug, and both seem to be good guys. Plus both really know their stuff, have a TON of experience in welding and in teaching. Galvery actually just won an award from the AWS (american society of welders) for teaching or something huge (I was pretty asleep when they announced it).
You could try and talk your way into the TIG class if you show them you know your way around the shop and have some general experience with welding.
I highly doubt it has been my ranger you have seen around. It has been torn down since last September for it's makeover! When it is done I'm sure you'll see it though - just follow the cops sirens, cuz I'll be FLYING - haha Steve
 

dirtydezracer

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Steve,

Thanks for your input on this post I will attend as soon as the course is offered. With respect to seeing your truck, is there another ranger running the spare change stickers? I've seen that truck rolling though Laguna(blue I think??must have been last summer) Mine was a white toy single cab fully caged 1 piece Tacoma front end. I'd post a pic but my files are too big. I think our trucks sized each other up. j/k I feel you r pain on being temporarily de-comissioned. I just miss my truck!! The bike doesn't compare

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SpareChangeRacng

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My truck is white, and it was going through laguna daily last summer (didn't start tearing it apart til September) I live in Newport and used to work in Dana Point, so I'd drive PCH everyday.. I believe I am the only one sporting a spare change sticker, but I could have been copied! Are you the one that lives on the non-ocean side of PCH just south of the Treasure Islkand project? If so I used to stare at your truck every time I got stuck in traffic.
There is the 2nd half of the TIG class I am in starting in about a week. I think there is one spot left if you wanna try and get in it. I'd call up and talk to Hutchison if you have time. The class is from 6-9:30 Mon and Wed. Steve
 

dirtydezracer

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Thanks Steve I'll be calling tonight, hopefully he will get back to me soon, we might be classmates.
Yes, that was my truck on the PCH by the former treasure Island trailer park, and my roomate has the big silver disco Expedition. LOL. Talk to you soon.--Paul

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SpareChangeRacng

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I'd call ASAP. I talked to Hutch as I left last night and he said there is 1 spot left still. We won't be classmates though. I only took the 1st 8 week course, because I don't really have time to stick around for the next 8 weeks. It is the same class, but the guys that are taking the 2nd 8 weeks just get more lab time and can skip lecture. I just wanted to get an idea of how to do it, and how to set it up right, and then I can practice more on my own time. I did a bunch of different joints with regular steel, and then just started on aluminum and stainless (which is a painto do RIGHT by the way).
Oh - and I always wondered about the disco exped! Steve
 

1992f150

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yea aluminum is a pain in the ass, SS I never really had problems with though, seems pretty much like normal steel to me just slower. For aluminum, using a bigger tungsten with the green color tip helps, make sure that you have a flat or round ball tip insted of a point like you do for steels. FWIW, Using more heat and adding rod faster can help.

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SpareChangeRacng

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Aluminum is not a problem - I seemed to be welding it just fine. It seemed MUCH easier then SS. I can weld SS like normal steel, but my professor said the weld itself should come outgold in color if it is done right. This I could not do. You have to keep the heat WAY low (so the nickle in the metal doesn't burn off), and go super slow - I could not get it to weld right. It seemed the bead was just laying on top if I kept the heat that low. Steve
 
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