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Ballin Your Tungsten????

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  • Ballin Your Tungsten????

    What is the proper way of BALLING my tungsten for aluminum Tig Welding???
    What Do I Use???

  • #2
    I will assume you have a transformer based machine here. First, sharpen your tunsten to a point. Then, switch the machines polarity to DC+ and strike an arc on a piece of brass or copper. It won't take much so give it a little juice and watch the ball form. Simple as that. Make sure your gas is turned on.

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    • #3
      I sharpen mine to about 30 degrees with a slight flat tip, then let the arc make the ball. I weld alot of DCSP aluminum and use the same tungsten for that and AC. It'll make it's own ball.
      Two turn tables and a microphone.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pangea View Post
        I sharpen mine to about 30 degrees with a slight flat tip, then let the arc make the ball. I weld alot of DCSP aluminum and use the same tungsten for that and AC. It'll make it's own ball.
        Don't you mean DCEP? If not, what does the S stand for?
        Dave
        HH187, TA 185 AC/DC Arcmaster, Hypertherm Powermax 380 Plasma
        Smithy 1220 LX Lathe
        Peter Wright 132 (198lbs) anvil
        Hoods: Jackson Nexgen and Hobart/Miller XLi
        Victor compatible med duty OA setup
        Chop Saw, 4x6 Band Saw

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BillDaCatt View Post
          Don't you mean DCEP? If not, what does the S stand for?
          Dave
          I think he was talking about DC Straight Plarity

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BillDaCatt View Post
            Don't you mean DCEP? If not, what does the S stand for?
            Dave
            I think he means DC streight polarity , but your aluminum parts have to be flawlessly and freshly cleaned , but it's much easier on your torch & welder .

            I will take the whipp'n if I'm wrong
            sigpicViceGrip
            Negative people have a problem for every solution

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            • #7
              Direct Current Straight Polarity. We weld most of our aluminum parts this way because they are .250 and over. On the thin aluminum stuff; .030, we weld AC.
              Two turn tables and a microphone.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pangea View Post
                Direct Current Straight Polarity. We weld most of our aluminum parts this way because they are .250 and over. On the thin aluminum stuff; .030, we weld AC.
                this makes sence to me "haven't tried it " it's true No? that little "cleaning" occurs in the weld , and prep has to be much more thurough?
                sigpicViceGrip
                Negative people have a problem for every solution

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pangea View Post
                  Direct Current Straight Polarity. We weld most of our aluminum parts this way because they are .250 and over. On the thin aluminum stuff; .030, we weld AC.

                  Are you still using straight Argon with DCSP or a mix?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Help me understand as I'm new to this: What is the point of sharpening the tungsten if you're going to ball it?

                    I just break off the end... throw the switch into RP then gun it. Is this a problem with ceriated? No thorium spike to worry about, right?

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                    • #11
                      I had a 35 year commercial app welding professional and instructor teach me a few rules that he believed correct. As I always say, you can't argue with success. And believe me, this guy was succesful!

                      His philosophy was if someone else is paying for the equipment and consumables, the sky is the limit. If YOU are paying, conservation is the key. Here were his rules for the home/hobby/small fab shop. (taken directly from my notes in his class) They work for me!

                      Rule #1: You can do 99 percent of your work with two electrodes, Red and Green.

                      Rule #2: Never file the color tip so you know which is which.

                      Rule #3: You can run 20psi on the shielding gas. Maybe a little less. Gas can get expensive, why waste it? 20psi is plenty for shielding.

                      Rule #4: You CAN ball RED TIP as well as green tip. YOU CAN use RED on ALUMINUM. IF YOU CAN ONLY AFFORD ONE TIP, GO RED.

                      Rule #5: You DO NOT need copper or any other specialty metal to ball your tungsten.

                      Rule #6: If you can afford both red and green tip electrodes, ONLY BALL GREEN for aluminum. Keep RED pointed for steel.

                      Rule #7: File along the axis of the electrode, not around the circumference

                      Rule #8: DCEP for balling. EASY on the AMPS and PEDAL. BACK OFF on the pedal after arc starts. The ball can happen quickly, and you don't want to fry your electrode. You can simply use a hunk of steel to ball. See Rule # 5

                      Rule #9: Remember to switch BACK to DCEN for welding steel or to AC for aluminum so you don't waste your electrode by frying it up with DCEP

                      Rule #10: If it is YOUR money, CONSERVE, but do things correctly. There IS a correct way to both CONSERVE and TIG WELD efficiently and professionally.

                      Just thought I'd share this. Works for me.

                      Hobart StickMate LX 235 AC/DC
                      Hobart Handler 125 EZ
                      Hobart Handler 187
                      Champion 4500
                      Mag-Power MP 55 Plasma
                      Lincoln Precision TIG 185
                      Smith O/A

                      Clarke 95e

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by prowess View Post
                        I had a 35 year commercial app welding professional and instructor teach me a few rules that he believed correct. As I always say, you can't argue with success.WELL STATED And believe me, this guy was succesful!

                        His philosophy was if someone else is paying for the equipment and consumables, the sky is the limit. If YOU are paying, conservation is the key. Here were his rules for the home/hobby/small fab shop. (taken directly from my notes in his class) They work for me!

                        Rule #3: You can run 20psi on the shielding gas. Maybe a little less. Gas can get expensive, why waste it? 20psi is plenty for shielding.
                        Rule #10: If it is YOUR money, CONSERVE, but do things correctly. There IS a correct way to both CONSERVE and TIG WELD efficiently and professionally.

                        Just thought I'd share this. Works for me.
                        Very usefull , thanks for posting ....is the 20 figure not a volmetric amount not pressure??

                        not to be picky , just avoid further confusion

                        Again Thanks
                        Phil J.
                        sigpicViceGrip
                        Negative people have a problem for every solution

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pangea View Post
                          Direct Current Straight Polarity. We weld most of our aluminum parts this way because they are .250 and over. On the thin aluminum stuff; .030, we weld AC.
                          Thanks guys, for clearing that up.

                          Straight polarity, as a descriptive term, has never made much sense to me so I never considered it.
                          HH187, TA 185 AC/DC Arcmaster, Hypertherm Powermax 380 Plasma
                          Smithy 1220 LX Lathe
                          Peter Wright 132 (198lbs) anvil
                          Hoods: Jackson Nexgen and Hobart/Miller XLi
                          Victor compatible med duty OA setup
                          Chop Saw, 4x6 Band Saw

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by prowess View Post
                            Rule #5: You DO NOT need copper or any other specialty metal to ball your tungsten.
                            As vicegrip said, thanks for the info. I never said you needed a piece of specialty metal to ball the tungsten. I always use a hunk of brass or copper because it is almost always much cleaner than whatever piece of scrap steel is lying around. That is how I have always done it and, like you say, it works for me. And, if you are still using pure tungsten for AC welding on a transformer machine then maybe you could benefit by trying some zirconated or ceriated? They are much more stable when AC welding on aluminum than pure is. But alas, if it simply "works" for you, why try anything different.

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                            • #15
                              Hey, guys, no problem. Most of you probably forgot more about welding that I know

                              I was just sharing my notes from an industry professional that shared his knowlege with me. Doesn't mean he is the absolute authority, but I thought it was worth sharing.

                              20 was the flow volume. I believe (been a while so I may be mistaken) that he sometimes ran 15 or so to show us you can save on gas at times. Sorry! I typed my post before my first cup of joe this morning! Should know better! Funny, but my LWS told me "YOU REALLY BETTER RUN 40 or better!". Yea. I'd be at the shop swapping out bottles every other day!

                              One thing about this guy, he really liked to share how to run an EFFICIENT as well as a professional shop. He stressed precision first, efficiency second. The best teacher I EVER had. And man, you should have seen him weld. Talk about stacked dimes. It was unreal. I'm not kidding. Looked like stacked dimes right out of the mint. Absolutely FLAWLESS precision on his welds. I guess if I welded for a living for 30 plus years as a fabricator I probably would have flawless welds too.

                              I know we have guys here that can really run a weld bead, but this guy....yikes. I'll have to see if I can find a coupon he did and snap a picture for you guys. I may have one. Worth taking a look at.

                              Hobart StickMate LX 235 AC/DC
                              Hobart Handler 125 EZ
                              Hobart Handler 187
                              Champion 4500
                              Mag-Power MP 55 Plasma
                              Lincoln Precision TIG 185
                              Smith O/A

                              Clarke 95e

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