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Aluminum TIG questions

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  • Aluminum TIG questions

    I have a 180 SD and have quite a few questions, all concerning aluminum. First, no matter where my ground is, how clean the material is, my arc starts are extremely eradic. (sp?) I use pure electrodes, and have found that the best way to select Tungsten size is to use the smallest tungsten that doesn't "spit" the tip. (or create a ball that's too large) I've tried flooring the pedal instantly and ramping power up slowly, but nothing has helped. The HF is working, and after the arc starts, it runs fine.

    Next question concerns material choice. I'm planning on building aluminum sumps, tanks, pans and valve covers, and from everything I've read, 3003 H-14 seems to be the alloy of choice, using 1100 filler. To weld 6061 bungs, fittings and brackets to the 3003, it's suggested to use 5356 filler. Does this sound about right? My AWS filler chart supports these filler choices (for ductility) but I'm allways looking for a second opinion.

    I have another concern about alloys... I have a friend who is going to bring me a Moon style spun aluminum fuel cell, and I'll be heavily modifiying it. The ends of these cells are 1100, while the bodies are 3004. Can anyone tell me what the difference between 3003 and 3004 is? Does the filler choice remain the same?

    Last question. Well, more of a request. My butt and lap joints are looking ok, but fillet welds are lacking. I've attached some pictures of a few lap welds and a fillet. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong!! I've read that you can use 2% With a blunted point for fillets to get a smaller bead with more control. I haven't tried it yet, but what do you think?

    Thanks in advance!
    Matt

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    • #3
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      • #4
        You TIG experts better chime in quick here! I talked MAtt into coming here from the Millersports board with a promise of a quicker response.

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        • #5
          You are welding some pretty thick aluminum for that machine so I think your doing ok.I would try some 1/16 zirconiated brown tip tungstens before I would use the red ones.The are spendy,but worth it to me.They will hande about as much heat as the 3/32 pure ones maybe more.They are my favorite tungsten for ac even with my Thermal-arc inverter.I will let somebody else clue you in on what rod to use for what you are doing.The 5356 is real easy to use for most things.

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          • #6
            Cope,wheres that website.Maybe they would like to be bothered by my posts?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Scott V
              Cope,wheres that website.Maybe they would like to be bothered by my posts?
              lots of interesting stuff there

              http://www.millermotorsports.com/

              i especially like all the pics where Andy is getting all the races teams with their miller welders ... funny

              - jack

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              • #8
                Scott, Miller answers posts slower than anyone except Google! I don't understand all I know about Google; takes me 3-4 hours to see a post and I made one the other day that never showed up. Ernie is a wealth of knowledge, but its wasted on that site IMO.

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                • #9
                  Cope,Aweaver-

                  Cope,I agree seems like Ernie should be here,because he has never seen a Miller product that doesn't flat out beat every other machine in the solar system.On other stuff he is great.

                  Aweaver,It probally work out better if I was at that site so the three hours to post they could filter out all the bad vibes

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                  • #10
                    So, I'm just wondering if anybody's gonna answer my questions, or is this just a good place to gab?

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                    • #11
                      Scott, go on over to Miller, I'm sure Rock could use a break. Actually, all things said, this is the best welding site I have found. Not too many places you can say anything negative about the sponsor or positive aboput the competition.

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                      • #12
                        Hang in there Matt. Dan, Rocky, and Mike Sherman will probably catch up with your thread later. They are a wealth of knowledge on these type questions.
                        Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)
                        The Next Loud Noise You Hear Is Me!

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                        • #13
                          Okay, thanks. I guess SOME people have to work during the day! (I got laid off a week ago.....*******s!)

                          Arbo, is that a Bullmastiff in that picture by your name? We just got a BM / black lab mix. Female named Frank.... 8 weeks yesterday and what a handfull!!!!!!!!!

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                          • #14
                            Matt,
                            Go to www.alcotec.com/techpage.htm and look for 'alloy properties and alloy filler selection'--your alloy questions will be answered after reading this and other information on their site. These guys are well connected with aws and probably the most knowledgeable in the AL field. They also have a catalogue they can send you . I have a copy and there is a lot of good info. Also, don't use pure tungsten, for an xfmr based tig box use the zirconium electrodes as they will handle higher current density and don't seem to contaminate as readily as the pures do when you mistakenly dip it into the pool.
                            -dseman

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                            • #15
                              Matt,

                              It's a boxer, 2yo, brindle with natural ears. All of the "bull" breeds tend to be a little hyper. If you have him in the house, I would highly suggest crate training him. They can be very destructive when alone!
                              Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)
                              The Next Loud Noise You Hear Is Me!

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