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-   -   Learning to tig weld sheet (http://www.allmetalshaping.com/showthread.php?t=16656)

zekeymonkey 04-24-2017 03:08 PM

Learning to tig weld sheet
 
I'm currently working on learning to tig weld. After I get a reasonable handle on tig, I'll work on Oxy.

I've been practicing on some 18 and 20 gauge steel. I've found lots of information and examples on tig welding thicker material, but very little useful information on thin stuff. In particular, I've found very few pictures of what a good bead looks like on sheet metal. Can some of you post pictures of what a good bead on body work should look like? Also, how wide of a bead do you try to maintain?

Thanks

Steve Hamilton 04-24-2017 05:29 PM

Hi Ezekiel
Don't have a picture but here are a few tip to get you started.
.040 tungsten, 45 amps, argon set at 10 on flow meter .035 ER 70s-6 filler
Good eye sight or glasses to magnify, I have prescription lens just for welding they have the reading part for the whole lens , not normal bifocal.
I Also use a cheater lens in the helmet ( cheap couple bucks at weld shop)

Good fit up is your friend!!!!!!! I like to have no more than .015 gap

Start out just running a puddle on a scribed line, no filler.

Cut a one foot square of 18 ga. Scribe lines 1 inch apart, When you can run the puddle and keep a consistent bead width for a foot long weld on all scribe lines, then make a a new square and do the same but now add filler.

Since the sheet is thin the puddle goes almost through, so very little filler is needed, the filler is more than half the thickness of the sheet.

Bead width about 1/8 th to 3/16 inches. Not an even ripple pattern just dab about every 3/8 to 1/2 inch.

A tall bead is no needed and will need to be ground off later!

Steve

Gareth Davies 04-25-2017 02:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Hamilton (Post 136066)
Hi Ezekiel
Don't have a picture but here are a few tip to get you started.
.040 tungsten, 45 amps, argon set at 10 on flow meter .035 ER 70s-6 filler
Good eye sight or glasses to magnify, I have prescription lens just for welding they have the reading part for the whole lens , not normal bifocal.
I Also use a cheater lens in the helmet ( cheap couple bucks at weld shop)

Good fit up is your friend!!!!!!! I like to have no more than .015 gap

Start out just running a puddle on a scribed line, no filler.

Cut a one foot square of 18 ga. Scribe lines 1 inch apart, When you can run the puddle and keep a consistent bead width for a foot long weld on all scribe lines, then make a a new square and do the same but now add filler.

Since the sheet is thin the puddle goes almost through, so very little filler is needed, the filler is more than half the thickness of the sheet.

Bead width about 1/8 th to 3/16 inches. Not an even ripple pattern just dab about every 3/8 to 1/2 inch.

A tall bead is no needed and will need to be ground off later!

Steve

That's good advice and exactly the kind of exercise to give an apprentice. We never let anyone touch filler wire until they can run straight, consistent beads first with just the torch. Next step is a butt joint, then a lap joint, then corner welds. It all starts to fall into place then.

Practice different ways to hold the torch to find the most comfortable and consider some means of taking the weight off the torch leads - always had them round my neck - as that will reduce the strain on the torch and make for easier manipulation.

Once you get the feel for it, aim for higher amps and quicker travel with the weld pool as the more you reduce the HAZ, the less hammering and dressing you will have to do afterwards.

Good luck and post up some photos.

neilb 04-25-2017 04:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zekeymonkey (Post 136058)
I'm currently working on learning to tig weld. After I get a reasonable handle on tig, I'll work on Oxy.

i did it the other way around, learnt to weld O/A first, then mig then tig

Gojeep 04-25-2017 05:10 AM

Best thing you can do it match the tungsten and filler wire to the metal thickness. All the same thickness and will make a much easier job of it.
Later when you start using filler wire, just straighten some mig wire if you have a matching thickness to the steel. I cut off a length and then clamp one end in the vice and give the other end a quick spin in the drill.

cliffrod 04-25-2017 06:33 AM

No TIG master here but I have a bad habit of thinking "This will only take a minute", sit down and do a little, then a little more.. then maybe a little more later.. Usually this means I'm just wearing a t-shirt instead of putting on long sleeves or my welding jacket. In the end, my inner forearms, neck and under my chin get fried. The insides of my elbows are peeling as I type this.

Keep covered up, in a way that works with your posture.

zekeymonkey 04-25-2017 09:20 AM

Thanks for the good advice. I'll post some pictures in a few days once I get a chance to spend some time practicing.

zekeymonkey 04-25-2017 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cliffrod (Post 136079)
No TIG master here but I have a bad habit of thinking "This will only take a minute", sit down and do a little, then a little more.. then maybe a little more later.. Usually this means I'm just wearing a t-shirt instead of putting on long sleeves or my welding jacket. In the end, my inner forearms, neck and under my chin get fried. The insides of my elbows are peeling as I type this.

Keep covered up, in a way that works with your posture.

I've been mig and stick welding since I was about 18 or 19 and still have a lot to learn about those. At 19 though, I learned the lessons of always covering up the hard way. I was welding some motor mounts in an S-10 wearing cuttoff shorts. It was only going to take a minute. Well, it took more than a minute and I had red burning legs for at least a weak after.

billfunk29 04-25-2017 10:33 AM

Cover up
 
Ditto on the cover up. Don't believe the TV car shows with guys tig welding with no gloves and a T shirt.

I've had the whole welding rod get red hot because it hit the tungsten at the same time the other end hit ground. (Under a dash) Burned slots right through my gloves. Bare handed would have really sucked.

Wear gloves and use short rods in tight places.

norson 04-25-2017 10:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Hamilton (Post 136066)
Hi Ezekiel
Don't have a picture but here are a few tip to get you started.
.040 tungsten, 45 amps, argon set at 10 on flow meter .035 ER 70s-6 filler
Good eye sight or glasses to magnify, I have prescription lens just for welding they have the reading part for the whole lens , not normal bifocal.
I Also use a cheater lens in the helmet ( cheap couple bucks at weld shop)

Good fit up is your friend!!!!!!! I like to have no more than .015 gap

Start out just running a puddle on a scribed line, no filler.

Cut a one foot square of 18 ga. Scribe lines 1 inch apart, When you can run the puddle and keep a consistent bead width for a foot long weld on all scribe lines, then make a a new square and do the same but now add filler.

Since the sheet is thin the puddle goes almost through, so very little filler is needed, the filler is more than half the thickness of the sheet.

Bead width about 1/8 th to 3/16 inches. Not an even ripple pattern just dab about every 3/8 to 1/2 inch.

A tall bead is no needed and will need to be ground off later!

Steve

I do the same with the glasses, My trig-focals don't work. Magnifiers too. Now I'm trying bicycle headlights to light things up a bit.
Norm


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