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Old 04-24-2017, 03:08 PM
zekeymonkey zekeymonkey is offline
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Default 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
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:29 PM
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Steve Hamilton Steve Hamilton is offline
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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
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:26 AM
Gareth Davies Gareth Davies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hamilton View Post
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.
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:53 PM
norson norson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hamilton View Post
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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Old 04-25-2017, 11:22 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norson View Post
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
Over-magnification is fine for welding. If you use a +2 for reading then you can use a +2.5 or even a +2.75 for welding.

Illumination always helps, too.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:51 AM
Bevelhead Bevelhead is offline
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No matter what you weld with, be it stick, TIG, MIG ,O/A . You will find it difficult to lay down a good bead unless you are COMFORTABLE. I always weld sitting down if possible. Also resting the ball of your hand on the work piece allows you far better control of the TIG torch. Maintaining the arc length is critical to puddle control, and prevents the electrode touching the work piece, meaning an electrode regrind most times.

Even when I am running rods (stick welding) I will always rest my hand or arm on something so you only need to control your hand, not the whole arm. You learn to slide/reposition your hand whilst running a bead without stuffing it up.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:24 AM
ojh ojh is offline
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I always support the hose to keep the weight off your wrist, that frees up your torch hand. For sheetmetal I use -2, -6 is more common but -2 both finishes easier and quicker to puddle, almost like silicon bronze. -2 is not as strong and I don't use it on structural stuff, just body skin where it has to metal finish.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:12 PM
zekeymonkey zekeymonkey is offline
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I've been practicing based on the above suggestions and I think I'm getting better. I'm still have a tough time seeing the puddle. I really like my auto darkening helmet with MIG, but with TIG I'm not very happy with it. When I was at Wray Schelin's I used Ben's helmet with a gold lens in it and the puddle was much easier for me to see.

Does anyone here prefer a gold lens for TIG welding? If so, what brand of lens do you recommend?
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:14 PM
longyard longyard is offline
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I've started a new thread on welding helmet upgrades.
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Old 04-25-2017, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zekeymonkey View Post
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
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