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Tips to focus the arc on 200 PI

02-22-2010, 07:05 PM
I have been playing with this thing for a few days but can't seem to get the arc focused into a tiny bead on Aluminum. I am not using filler rod just playing around getting used to it. I am wanting to build some custom jetski parts and would like the cleaning just to the edge of the puddle and a small 3/32 ish size bead.

1/8 inch alum very clean new, cleaned, and brushed. Cleaning is turned down as low as it will go. AC freq. is turned all the way up to 100. Pulse on and peddle is about 7ish. I have had the pulse everywhere but freq. seems better at 25hz, width about 50% argon is about 7 LPM. gray band tungsten 3/32 ground about 45 degree angle with a tiny flat spot #6 lense.

I don't know where to go.

So give me some starting numbers for a tiny bead and some alternative and ill give it a shot tomorrow night.

Also if someone can post up some tiny beads on 1/8 alum. I would know that it can be done with this machine. I was making them ugly with a mig then grinding them down and sanding and polishing. But that takes FOREVER.

02-22-2010, 07:16 PM
Welcome to the forum Speedfreak. I am not an expert with AL welding but we have some members here who can surely assist. I have approved your post and promoted you to registered user so your posts will appear without moderation.

02-22-2010, 07:19 PM
After rereading your posts I have a couple of ideas. Try a 1/16th tungsten for starters. That should give you a smaller arc point. Use the smallest filler rod you can get. That is about all I have but I'm no expert at AL TIG.

02-23-2010, 06:11 AM
I have the 16th and it seems to melt away before it forms a puddle. I havent tried to grind different tips on it just the recommended 2x the diameter. Ill try that to see what happens tonight

I know that it must be a setting problem but I cant figure it out.

02-23-2010, 07:18 AM
Based on your last comment you must have your leads plugged in backwards. Recheck and use the guide put together by robrob under multifunction units. Keep in mind it may not seem logical but TIG uses straight polarity which means your ground clamp on the 20PI unit goes to the LEFT plug marked + and your Tig torch goes on the RIGHT plug market - . It is easy to get polarity mixed upk if you have the ground on the - plug then you are in reverse polarity which is good for some forms of welding, like DC I like to use it for some metals. With reverse polarity most of the heat goes toward the torch; in straight polarity most of the heat goes toward the object metal. That's all I can think of, also if you check other posts one of the guys noticed a similiar problem and one of the plugs on one of the circuit boards came loose so open the case and with power off and unplugged check to see if any plugs are loose or came off. Good luck.

12-19-2010, 10:11 PM
Good call jbman, also make sure your clean, take your stainless brush and put your hand at the front and brush, brush vigorously, or clean with 3m scotchbrite on power wheel, 1/8alum with dissolve your 1/16 tungsten, use 3/32, sharpen both ends so you can do a quick change, you need plenty of power, especially with shop temps at this time of year.

12-20-2010, 02:40 PM
ok, let me tell ya what to do... youre balance is too high, turn the dang pulse off. set the ac balance around 30%... you want baby welds on aluminum? why? i dont understand why you would want reinforcement on the welds other than aesthetic reasons... 1/8 aluminum with a 3/32 tungsten and ac frequency pegged, you should max amps around 100... sharpen your tungsten as though you were wleding steel and move along smartly. the thing about aluminum is this... once it starts to gain heat, the puddle gets wider, its simple physics.. its hard for me to tell you how, but next month, when the welding videos come out, i will be sure to make a very small and very tight ac tig weld on aluminum...

fyi, even when welding the tops back on a pop can, i still am using a 3/32 tungsten...

another thing you might try is switch to a lrge lens on the torch, put a bigger cup on it... say a 10 or 12# cup bump the flow up some and move faster... the more deliberately you add filler, the more bead definition you have on aluminum... you can also vary the height and width of the puddle with your filler.

12-20-2010, 09:31 PM
another thing i just thought of.... you arent gonna control your "cleaning" lines... it cleans what it must... aluminum is like this... you can brush it, rub it, polish it, scour it, bath it in caustic soda and rinse it in sulfuric acid to get rid of the oxides.... the very millisecond that you get rid of the oxides, guess what?????? they start forming again... it is what it is

i do NOT agree with using 3m scotch brite pads on a mechanical grinder to clean aluminum, they smear the surface of the parent metals burying the oxide layer under the surface...

if you want polished and pretty welds on aluminum, you must first: learn how to weld aluminum
second: get a SOFT stainless handbrush and at a very fast pace, brush the welds as though you are trying to polish them
third: then get some rubbing compound and a buffer and start working

albeit, this process will polish out the finished product, its gonna immediately start forming an oxide layer and dull... it is what it is

last thing i would like to point out is do a search on this forum and you will find loads of info in regards to aluminum and the tig process

hope this helped