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what filler rods,etc to buy?

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  • what filler rods,etc to buy?

    For tig use.What would be the most popular and versitle assortment of filler rods,cups(or lenses)etc. would you buy starting out?
    I plan on aluminun,stainless and tubing(later)
    I got some 4043 and er312 both 3/32 from work.
    Should I get higher grade stainless? What is the food service and medical
    Have no idea on the aluminum. Is there a most versitle filler
    Thought about 1/16 and 3/32 fillers
    And .040,1/16 and 3/32 tungsten.Lanthenated or thoriated or ???
    Cups or lenses ???

  • #2

    As far as cups and such go, I used to have a variety until I purchased a couple of gas lenses, I now use these exclusively - except for the smaller tungstens, but I'll get some other lenses when I get around to it. 1/16 small size and a 3/32 large size.

    As for Tungstens I've got:

    2%-thoriated (Red Tip)

    2% Ceriated Tungsten (Orange Tip)

    1% Zirconiated (Brown tip)

    thoriated are for DC welding and the other two I use for Aluminum.

    I'm no authority on welding rods, but you might find the following helpful. In my shop I use the following rods:

    1/16 ER80S-D2 - 4130 Tube, anything that needs to be rigid, eg roll cage.
    1/16 ER70S-6 - General welding of steel. Great all round rod for steel. Runs/wets really well. Can be used as a subsitute for ER80S-D2.
    1/16 ER70S-2 - I've got some of these cause my supplier didn't have either of the above. Sits in between the two for rigidity.

    1/16 ER308 - For 304 stainles
    1/16 ER309 - Used for joining stainless to steel.
    1/16 ER316L - For 316 stainless, can be used for 304

    1/16 & 3/32 ER5356 - For Aluminum.

    1/16 ERTi-2 - For Titanium.

    Your local supplier should be able to give/sell you a booklet that lists materials and suggested filler rods.
    You may have trouble find some of the above as they are often sold under trade names - they should have some sort of colleration chart though.

    You'll note that for most I've got 1/16 filler rod. If I need a larger dia filler rod, I usually just feed two 1/16's at a time. I've also got some ER70S-6 mig wire in 0.04 dia. for doing thin tubes. You can't feed it off of the roll, it's kind of springy and tends to spool off in a big mess. I cut off small lengths around 8 inches long and use them.

    Hope this helps some.



    • #3
      Hello AAA, I was wondering what advantages do you see when using the ceriated or zirconiated type tungsten?

      I have only used pure tungsten for aluminum and if a change will benefit me then maybe I will.
      Jerry Streets
      J P Streets Welding LLC


      • #4

        Ceriated has the advantage it is non radio active unlike Thoriated. It can also be used in both AC and DC applications, meaning you don't have to by to different packs.

        Zirconiated can only be used for AC but can take a little more heat that Ceriated.

        Both can take more heat than pure tungsten and are less prone to contamination and require less initial current to establish the arc.

        The main reason I have no pure tungsten is that in my part of the world (Australia) it's pretty well impossible to buy them.



        • #5
          Have you tried any lanthanated tungstens(black)? These work well for me on AC or DC. I remember you posting a photo of some of your work and would value your opinion of the lanthanated.

          Several on the Google site prefer the zirconated over pure especially on transformer type tigs. Say they do a better job and last longer than pure.



          • #6
            Thanks AAA


            • #7

              No, haven't tried Lanthanated.
              The place where I get most of my gear from only sells tungstens in packs of ten, mind you they also give me a 90 day account on everything, including LPG for my vehicle.
              Next time I'm visiting their competition I'll grab one and check it out.



              • #8
                DEA, keep your selections of filler metal and tungsten to a minimum during the learning curve.

                I assume you got a starter kit with your Tig torch, 150-200 amp kits would normally have 1/16, 3/32, & 1/8" 2% thoriated tungsten, collets for each. and cups (#6,7,& 8). For 90% of your welding you will be able to use the 3/32 tung. with the largest cup ( this applies to DC or AC welding with your inverter tig machine).

                As far as the filler metal 3/32" 4043 is the most versital to start with on Aluminum. The 3/32" 312 SS will work for your stainless to stainless and stainless to mild steel applications ( 308 would be prefered for food grade applications on 304 SS). Mild steel to start with 3/32 ER70S2 or ER70S6.

                As your skill improves you will find that on thinner materials a smaller diameter filler metal is better but requires more skill and control. I can count on one hand the number of times I have used a tungsten smaller than 1/16" in the last five years even on .010 material.

                Keep your selections to a minimum during the learning curve, it will reduce confusion and more importantly reduce initial cost.

                Gas lens are nice and I use them frequently but it's added cost and the larger cup body is harder to see around while learning.


                • #9
                  Thanks again
                  Is 308 stainless better than 312 on the food grade stuff?What about 347?
                  I thought the gas lenses would allow more stick out.Speaking of that,is no more than the inside diameter of the cup prefered method?
                  And what about arc length.
                  What little I've done so far the aluminum1/8in beads look better than the stainless1/16in?


                  • #10
                    308 is the common recommended filler metel for 301, 302, & 304 base material, 312 will work but will not give you the color match (alloy/chemistry) as for 347 alloy Check the Mckay and Stoody filler metal selection/application guides, they both have a lot of good info.

                    The gas lens reduces turbulance of the gas by passing it through a fine screen and giving you better coverage of the weld puddle with lower flow rates but I normally do not extend the tungsten out of the cup any further than normal. I normally do not excede 1/2 the cup dia. unless I need to get into an inside corner then I'll extend the electrode enough to maintain my 1/16" arc length.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jerry
                      Hello AAA, I was wondering what advantages do you see when using the ceriated or zirconiated type tungsten?

                      I have only used pure tungsten for aluminum and if a change will benefit me then maybe I will.
                      I know I'm not AAA but I'll chime in anyway. Recently, on the advise of dseman, I switched from pure to zirconiated for ac and from thoriated to lanthanated for dc.

                      The zirconiated makes quite a difference! I've noticed:
                      1. better arc starts/restarts.
                      2. longer lasting/less contamintion.
                      3. better current handling, smaller tungsten required, more focused arc.

                      The lanthanated is pretty comparable to thoriated but non radio active.

                      dseman, if you read this, Thanks!



                      • #12
                        For aluminum (or al-loo-min-ium if you happen to be a Brit!), I've always used the guidance on the attached chart for filler metals.