Just bought a TIG Welder but Ive never welded in my life?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by oldtimer54, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. oldtimer54

    oldtimer54 Member

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    Hi guys I just bought a 3 in 1 TIG Welder its a SIMADRE 2014 5200DX :http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trk...0&_nkw=SIMADRE+2014+5200DX&_sacat=0&_from=R40
    Ive brazed all my bikes, Ive never welded before so I need to get up to speed.
    Anyone here want to help me get up to speed? Ive tried to make a few beads but they look really bad and the back side of the bead looks worse (to much amps?) Does anyone know how to set the controls on this rig? Ive been looking on Youtube but I don't find any info on metal prep, how to setup the Argon, what AMPs to run on what thickness metal, pre / post gas settings, slope settings stuff like that. Could you guys take a look at that machine and fill me in on how set it up? Any advise at all would help. Thanks.
     
    #1 oldtimer54, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  2. FFV8

    FFV8 New Member

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    Buy some 1/16" silicon Bronze rod. You are familiar with brazing, and you can braze with the TIG torch just about the same way. Starting here will get you up to speed on using the arc instead of a flame.

    Too much current usually melts through. Too little & you stay in one spot too long heating the the metal - and the HAZ grows. Think of the arc as the flame on your torch - turn up the current & the flame gets hotter. Increasing the tungsten size is like changing the tip on your OA torch.

    The auction for that machine has very little info. For TIG welding steel, use DC current with the negative connected to the torch. Pre-flow on that machine can be set fairly low, about 10 to 20 % of the dial. Set the post flow at 50% of the dial to start.

    Metal prep? Clean. A freshly sanded surface with no scale is good. TIG uses no flux, so everything must be CLEAN. Even TIG brazing is done without flux.

    Argon? Try a flow of 10 SCFH on the flowmeter. A lot depends on the cup size & local conditions. Indoors in still air? not much argon is needed. Outdoors in a light breeze? Use a bigger cup & more flow.

    Amps are heat. Since you don't have a foot pedal to set the heat as you weld, you will need to adjust the current & do a short test weld - like setting the flame on your OA torch.

    The down slope is a control that you would need to read the manual for. Big commercial MIG machines have slope control, but I can't even guess at what this control does on a TIG. Try a 50% setting & see what it does. Then try 10%.

    For videos, look here:
    http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/

    He has hundreds of videos on Youtube.

    Now, it is sunday, and you want to play with your new machine.

    Grind a point on a 1/16" tungsten & put it in the torch. Use a cup with about a 3/8" hole at the tip.

    Grab a piece of steel 3/16' to 1/4" thick. Clean it off with a flap wheel to fresh, bare steel.

    Set the current to 50 amps. Start the arc & hold the tungsten about 1/8" from the plate. Get a puddle started, and move the torch just like you would the OA torch. Just drag a puddle, no rod.

    Now grab a piece of solid copper house wire with the insulation removed. Start a puddle on a clean spot on the plate, and dab the copper at the puddle like you would with the OA torch & a brazing rod. This is copper brazing.

    Practice, practice, practice. Try different amp settings. 100 amps max for 1/16" tungsten.
     
  3. oldtimer54

    oldtimer54 Member

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    Thanks. I didn't know I could braze with a TIG? Ill have fun trying out your advice.
     
  4. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    FFV8 has offered you some great advice. Following his lead will get you going but the best part was where he says, "practice, practice, practice.

    Once you get the basics of machine set up mastered, and even that will take some experimentation until you learn the ins and outs of TIG, your best course of action is to practice until you can do it without thinking about what you're doing. It will eventually become easier and easier.

    I also agree that your prior experience with brazing will help some. You should already know the importance of watching the puddle (bug) and controlling it. TIG is very much like what you've been doing except the electric arc is providing the heat instead of a flame.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

    Tom
     
  5. sub66

    sub66 New Member

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    its been 10 years but about 35 psi on the tank atleast. clean metal.
    otherwise u just need a simple pictoral of good vs bad welds. everything you need to know consists of test then refer to the visable weld and crossreference w t pictoral chart concerning depth w comes quickly.

    same for spark plugs actually :)
     
  6. tigmaster

    tigmaster Member

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    O.T. Just read this thread after I sent P/M....No foot pedal,then like stated above by ffv8,play with the amp settings to find the sweet spot then run beads without rod to get Your speed of travel down then add rod,and see if You need to bump up the amps a bit more....Use the arc like the blue cone of an Oxy-act torch flame....Have fun!....Tigmaster....
     
  7. rustycase

    rustycase Gutter Rider

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    FFV8 made a great presentation and I won't muddy the waters.
    Jody, over at the weldingtipsandtricks is excellent... many, many vids to watch there.
    ...I'll say 1 thing... argon from the torch is only getting to the front side. Requires special setup with purge for back-side also, or solar flux which is expensive.
    Anyhow, maybe that's why the back-side of your project is not so pretty.
    I also have a china tig box. Of course I wanted dynasty! Wasn't in the budget.
    (Who am I joking. I have no budget!)
    Mine arrived doa. I stopped the paypal payment.
    Mfg shipped me a replacement board... good to go, no problems since.
    I released the funds soon as it worked.
    2 or 3 years now... sporadic projects with it. Always good to go.
    Best
    rc
     
  8. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    If you're concerned with 'the back side' or inside of tubing/tanks, you can attach a seconday tube from your flow meter and aim it at the back of your work or flood a tank or tubing with your shielding gas to keep the backside of your weld clean. I've used this method successfully many times. It uses a little more gas but keeps both sides of the weld shielded from the effects of oxygen getting to the metal until it cools.

    Tom
     
  9. oldtimer54

    oldtimer54 Member

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    I had the amps up to high and the TIG was melting through the thin metal. Going to start low and move the amps up. I think I need a foot pedal? Thanks for the advice keep it coming.
     
  10. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    If you were "burning through" then you'll want to lower the amps, not raise them. Not familar with your machine but I'd say start at 30 amps and see where that takes you on thin metal.
    Also don't try to make one long weld. Stitching is better on thin stuff. tack here, move away and make another tack. Keep doing that making short tack welds until the parts are held together then go back and start filling in the gaps but again use the stitch and skip method. The thinner the material you're welding the more experience it will take to do a good job.

    You'll also eventually see the problem of your work bending, or leaning in toward the side you're welding on. This is due to metal shrinkage. Try alternating the weld from one side to the other, if possible, to keep your pieces from leaning or warping away from where you want them.

    Tom
     
  11. oldtimer54

    oldtimer54 Member

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    I mean I will start with low amps now and if needed raise them. Right now Iam just making beads on scrap metal until I get the hang if it. Thanks for the advice.
     

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