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What Equipment to TIG with SA-200?

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  • What Equipment to TIG with SA-200?

    I am getting some requests to do some aluminum jobs, but unless it is something that I can carry by hand to my welding class/shop, I can't really TIG it. So I have a 1989 Classic I SA-200 on my truck, and I know a lot of pipe guys have a TIG setup. So can anyone list the correct equipment that would allow me to TIG mobily?
    Brett
    Hobart Handler 187
    SSgt USAF
    My job is playing with explosives!!

    Wichita Falls, TX

  • #2
    AC Machine / Hi Freq Unit / Tig Torch / Argon

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    • #3
      Originally posted by old skool View Post
      AC Machine / Hi Freq Unit / Tig Torch / Argon
      What is a good example of an AC machine and HF unit? Can I get them through Lincoln Electric?
      Brett
      Hobart Handler 187
      SSgt USAF
      My job is playing with explosives!!

      Wichita Falls, TX

      Comment


      • #4
        Hobart / Lincoln / Miller / Thermo dynamics / Anyone of the major welding names. Check out all the welding supply websites, sometimes some pretty good deals with free shipping etc.

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        • #5
          I have searched and searched and haven't found anything that will let me use my SA 200 to do TIG, I know its possible, but I am striking out so far.
          Brett
          Hobart Handler 187
          SSgt USAF
          My job is playing with explosives!!

          Wichita Falls, TX

          Comment


          • #6
            You are not going to do any AC aluminum Tig with a SA-200. DC tig only, probably scratch-start.
            *** Disclaimer ***

            As I have no wish to toy with anybody's life, I suggest you take this and all other posts with a certain amount of skepticism. Carefully evaluate, and if necessary, research on your own any suggestions or advice you might pick up here, especially those from my posts, as I obviously haven't the skill and experience exhibited by some of the more illustrious and more successful members of this forum. I'm not responsible for anything I say, as I drank toxic water when young.

            Comment


            • #7
              TIG torch with gas valve and 100% Argon will work to weld steel. You will have no remote amp control with your SA200.

              Most think you must have AC TIG welder to TIG weld aluminum. That is nice along with all the modern controls, High Frequency to restart arc after each half sine wave crosses zero volts.....but your welder is DC only.

              DC- is used for most TIG welding in this mode most heat is directed at work and is used to weld steel.

              DC- with helium shielding gas can be used to weld aluminum Aluminum quickly forms aluminum oxide layer over just cleaned aluminum. DC- provides no cleaning action. Aluminum oxide requires higher heat to penetrate. Helium shielding gas provides this higher heat to penetrate this just cleaned thin oxide layer and a deep penetrating weld. Helium provides some cleaning action. Expensive high quality Helium is required.

              DC+ with Argon or helium can be used to weld aluminum with thin penetration on thin aluminum. DC+ electron flow has good cleaning action but puts more heat into torch. Torch over heats well before its amp rating. Water cooled torch better handles this extra heat. Larger electrode is needed to handle this extra heat without spitting electrode tip into puddle.

              AC TIG has many advantages with modern welders you can adjust AC balance to get only need amount of cleaning action so more heat into weld. Square wave AC and more on dedicated TIG welders. As you know your SA200 has no AC power for a TIG welder.
              Last edited by Roger; 03-18-2011, 02:09 PM.

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              • #8
                The DC- makes sense, just like welding a aluminum with regular TIG setup. So would I just need helium and a TIG torch(incl. water cooler) and run it right from where my stinger and ground are now on the SA 200?

                I promise I can weld a little, but this isn't a normal setup and I am uneducated in this area. Just wanted to get that out there because I feel like the question I'm asking sounds like a neewbie (although I still have a very great deal to learn).
                Brett
                Hobart Handler 187
                SSgt USAF
                My job is playing with explosives!!

                Wichita Falls, TX

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here are some of the problems.

                  Without high frequency start you will scratch start. Scratch start on a start plate to eliminate start defects. Nice to have remote start/stop switch for clean stops not provided by pulling away torch otherwise run off plate is used. Can't turn down amps with foot control as metal heats up during weld so you need to speed up travel during weld to control heat.

                  Treat it as learning experience. Start welding steel until you are good at TIG welding. Only then try aluminum TIG welding with expensive helium shielding gas and water cooled torch. Maybe it will be easy to learn for you if you have done lots of gas welding. Can't pull back TIG torch to control heat like gas welding. This is not a fast, easy learning process even with a modern TIG welder. Good luck you will need it.

                  Stick electrode holder can clamp onto welder end of TIG electrode lead.

                  If you are at welding school you can try TIG welding using TIG welder without foot amp control and HF start to see how much harder it is to weld this way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Roger View Post
                    Here are some of the problems.

                    Without high frequency start you will scratch start. Scratch start on a start plate to eliminate start defects. Nice to have remote start/stop switch for clean stops not provided by pulling away torch otherwise run off plate is used. Can't turn down amps with foot control as metal heats up during weld so you need to speed up travel during weld to control heat.

                    Treat it as learning experience. Start welding steel until you are good at TIG welding. Only then try aluminum TIG welding with expensive helium shielding gas and water cooled torch. Maybe it will be easy to learn for you if you have done lots of gas welding. Can't pull back TIG torch to control heat like gas welding. This is not a fast, easy learning process even with a modern TIG welder. Good luck you will need it.

                    Stick electrode holder can clamp onto welder end of TIG electrode lead.

                    If you are at welding school you can try TIG welding using TIG welder without foot amp control and HF start to see how much harder it is to weld this way.
                    Thanks Roger,
                    I started TIG this semester, we are just past mid-terms and on mild and stainless using a HF start, I have finally gotten to the point where I'm making consistent tight thin beads, so far stainless is the only thing giving me minor problems with the filler metal sticking slightly, but it still turns out looking good, without too much penetration.

                    Now I guess I have to try my hand at scratch start, I know the guys that are in the pipe welding II class have water cooled machines and no foot pedal.

                    I believe the wider range of materials I can work on with my truck setup, the fewer jobs I will HAVE to turn down. Thanks
                    Brett
                    Hobart Handler 187
                    SSgt USAF
                    My job is playing with explosives!!

                    Wichita Falls, TX

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As has been pointed out your SA-200 is DC only. DC works very well in the scratch start mode to weld steel using DCEN, without remote current control is is very challanging to fill the weld crator when finishing the aluminum weld.

                      With DC tig the DC- puts 70% of the heat into the work and 30% on the electrode. DC+ put 70% of the heat on the electrode and 30% of the heat on the work.

                      DC+ works well on thin aluminum because the + side of the AC arc is what provides the cathode (oxide) cleaning and due to the high heat on the tungsten the tungsten size must be increased.

                      DC- is used for welding thick aluminum but has no cleaning so the material must be extremely clean.

                      The cleaning action I refer to is the white frosted area on each side of the weld bead and to the front of the weld puddle/crator where the aluminum oxide is electrically etched from the material.
                      DrIQ

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Roger,

                        You may wish to go back and check your "advice". You've given the OP some really bad information.

                        In tig welding, DC+ IS NOT used except in rare cases where the base material is very thin. DC+ puts the majority of the heat into the tungsten rather than the workpiece. DC- puts the majority of the heat into the workpiece. In AC tig welding the DC+ portion of the sinewave does the cleaning of oxides.

                        Frankly, I read your advice and sat back shaking my head saying what the he11 is this guy talking about.

                        AMMO:

                        The bottom line is that you have neither the equipment or experience to be taking on aluminum projects. I would recommend that you go to millerwelds.com and click on the Resources tab. There you will find an offer for their Student Pack. It's $25 including shipping. Included in that package is an excellent Tig Handbook, a GMAW Handbook, a GMAW-P Handbook, as well as a bunch of other useful goodies (like welding calculators).

                        That Tig Handbook will explain the details of AC Tig welding of aluminum. There are cases where DC- is used for tig welding aluminum with helium as the shielding gas, but it's normally reserved for thicker material.

                        Your SA 200 is a DC only welder. It is NOT suitable for welding aluminum. It will tig weld steel, but requires an experienced hand to bring it off.
                        SundownIII

                        Syncrowave 250DX, Tigrunner
                        Dynasty 200 DX w/CM 3
                        MM 251 w/30 A SG
                        HH 187 Mig
                        XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Pulser
                        Dialarc 250 w/HF 15-1
                        Hypertherm PM 1250 Plasma
                        Victor, Harris, and Smith O/A
                        PC Dry Cut Saw and (just added) Wilton (7x12) BS
                        Mil Mod 6370-21 Metal Cut Saw
                        More grinders than hands (Makita & Dewalt)
                        Grizzly 6"x48" Belt Sander
                        Access to full fab shop w/CNC Plasma & Waterjet
                        Gas mixers (Smith(2) and Thermco)
                        Miller BWE and BWE Dig

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know that my machine is DC only (I knew that well before I ever though of buying one). I was only trying to find out what equipment could allow for TIG welding using my machine. I can TIG fairly decent using a HF box at college, but apparently I have to be a pro before attempting to TIG with a Pipeliner, sorry to waste anyones time only to be told I can't weld.
                          Brett
                          Hobart Handler 187
                          SSgt USAF
                          My job is playing with explosives!!

                          Wichita Falls, TX

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ammo,

                            If you don't want to be treated like someone who doesn't have a clue what he's talking about, then I suggest you educate yourself so you could ask "better questions".

                            And yes, at this point, I would say that you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

                            How can anyone take on "aluminum welding jobs" when they don't have a clue what welding the material involves?
                            SundownIII

                            Syncrowave 250DX, Tigrunner
                            Dynasty 200 DX w/CM 3
                            MM 251 w/30 A SG
                            HH 187 Mig
                            XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Pulser
                            Dialarc 250 w/HF 15-1
                            Hypertherm PM 1250 Plasma
                            Victor, Harris, and Smith O/A
                            PC Dry Cut Saw and (just added) Wilton (7x12) BS
                            Mil Mod 6370-21 Metal Cut Saw
                            More grinders than hands (Makita & Dewalt)
                            Grizzly 6"x48" Belt Sander
                            Access to full fab shop w/CNC Plasma & Waterjet
                            Gas mixers (Smith(2) and Thermco)
                            Miller BWE and BWE Dig

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for pointing out my senior moment. Fixed it. I am also dyslexic not fixed.

                              You can weld aluminum with DC welder. His welder does not have remote amp control making TIG welding more difficult not impossible.
                              Original HeliArc welding used DC, Helium shielding gas, tungsten electrode and hand held filler rod. Now called TIG or GTAW and is still used old HeliArc style by professional welders for thick aluminum at places like NASA.

                              I will say it isn't the best welder for TIG welding aluminum by far.

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