No announcement yet.

TIG Questions

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • TIG Questions

    I just got my TIG (Miller Econotig) and instead of asking the same questions that have probably been asked 100 times before, I figured I'd ask if there are any good sites that have FAQs or Tutorials on TIG welding?

    I do have a question I will ask.. I have a MIG and now a TIG. Is there any way to get away with only using one tank? Not so much the plumbing, but the contents of the tank. MIG uses the Argon/CO2 mix, and the TIG uses straight argon. Can either one use the other's gas? i.e. will MIG (for steel) still work OK with straight argon?

    I've only played with the TIG for a couple hours, but it would seem my biggest problem is touching the tungsten to the work. it seems the tungsten gets contaminated and I have to regrind it in order to stop 'wandering arc'. Within those couple hours I must have reground the electrode at least 8 times. I'm assuming thats way above normal?

    I was pretty successfull at cleaning up MIG welds with the TIG. (no filler). I just need more practice. And I was using a MIG tank.


  • #2
    Hi Mike:

    Just a suggestion, have several tungstens sharpened and ready to go. Then you will just be resharpening in batches. After you get the hang of it, you will touch the work much less often.


    • #3

      No you can't use just one gas,you'll have to keep both. Like Steel B said you'll get better the more you practice. I was dippin the tunsten just like you at first. Now I've had the tig about 7 months and I'm alot better and the welds look better also. I'm on my 3rd bottle of argon. The 8 times wasn't above normal, at first its difficult. Get comfortable ,use both hands, use a table,brace your elbow,get a light shinning on the work where you can see the weld good. Some like a light and some don't. David


      • #4
        turbo, be sure your grinding tungston properly. pointed tip causes wandering. there is a diagram of proper shape on the miller website.


        • #5
          I ground it to a point, then flatten the tip as per the instructions.

          I practiced more yesterday, I think I may have had too much of a gap. I got into a better position and used blocks to move my hand into a good solid position and I was able to control the puddle much better. Still sometimes have problems with starts..thats when I get the electrode stuck to the work. But I found even with a pretty ugly electrode, I could get a decent arc with a steady hand. I also found if I had the tungsten not out far enough, the arc was all over the place....almost like the sheilding gas was blowing it around. At about 1/2" it seemed to work well.

          Here are some pics of my second TIG session. I'm still using a MIG tank. I'll probably pick up a TIG tank today.

          Thanks for the help.


          • #6

            So what you are stating is that you have been using as shielding gas like c-25? If so you weld quality is going to improve a bunch by switching to 100% argon. Also, you need to remove the mill scale from your basemetal, it is a major contaminent to a TIG weld. Plus, TIG welding steel requires the addition of filler metal 100% of the time.
            MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
            Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.

            PM 180C

            HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit


            • #7
              Just to add to what Dan said, your tungstens won't last very long using c-25 for TIG. The co2 will eat up the tungsten. Most use argon, or some use argon/helium blend.



              • #8
                Ok, I got myself an argon tank. I'm doing pretty good with TIGing steel.

                I tried some aluminum. I cant get it to weld for anything. I have it (Miller Econotig) set to AC as recomended. I've tried all power settings. I cant even run a bead on flat stock.

                I can melt the stock no problem, but it never forms a puddle. And if I get it to the point that it melts, it wont "flow" like you were trying to MIG steel without gas. (The gas is on and flowing 20 CFH)

                I get all these black spots all around anywhere the arc jumps to. I took a pic but I cant upload it until tomorrow. I can melt the filler rod but again, it doesn't "flow" at all. Nothing that even remotely looks like a weld.

                I'm using 4043 filler on Home depot 3/4" x 1/8" flat bar. I tried flipping the tungsten to the "new" end since I thought maybe it was contaminated from the steel. But it did the same exact thing.

                How much different is the technique for welding aluminum to welding steel? Maybe I'm doing it all wrong.. I'm going to watch the miller DVD again..

                I know aluminum loves to suck up heat, so does that mean you need to put a lot of heat into it, but for short periods of time?



                • #9
                  Originally posted by turbo2ltr
                  ...I know aluminum loves to suck up heat, so does that mean you need to put a lot of heat into it, but for short periods of time?
                  That's one way to look at it, it souldn't be too much different from welding steel (generally speaking). Aluminum needs the oxides cleaned off, scrub it with a SS wire brush 'til its shiny then wipe clean with acetone or laquer thinner. What tungsten are you using? Some don't handle AC well.



                  • #10
                    I think I figured out part of my problem. The idiots gave me a MIG tank! I thought about checking it before I left but I didn't (of course). After I cleaned up for the night, I looked at it and its argon/co2. GRR!

                    I'll try again tomorrow with straight Argon. I was wondering why, while my technique has improved, my welds still looked dull like yesterday when i was using the MIG tank... They almost look porous even though you really cant see any holes.



                    • #11
                      turbo, you should change the tip for auminum. alum use pure tungston. (green steel & stainless uses 2% thoriated (red band)l


                      • #12
                        aluminum is easier than steel, in my opinion. i clean it with a 3m pad on a die grinder till shinny. i use a 2% thoriated tungsten pointed. i tried the pure and balled it and really didn't like it. the arc is more focused, stable and controllable with a pointed electrode. it will still ball the end but it will be muuuccchhh smaller.
                        never fast enough


                        • #13
                          Thanks guys for all the help. I will get a pure tungsten electrode when I'm returning the tank and try both to see which I like better..
                          I think I will get some smaller rods as well. I bought 1/8 " but I think they are way too thick for the light work I'm doing.



                          • #14
                            Try to use a filler rod or wire that is slightly smaller than the material to be welded. 3/32nds or even 1/16th for 1/8 steel.


                            • #15
                              Here is what the aluminum looked like when I was done mutilating it.

                              What a mess...
                              But that was with a mix gas. I'm surprised no one said anything about the aluminum being anodized (which I think it is). But I ground away the anodize and it didnt make any difference.

                              I have some 2 1/4" solid aluminum round stock that I will try running a bead on. That HD aluminium may be some sort of alloy...