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Old 04-28-2014, 08:49 AM   #741
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All of the guys at home welding and having crazy crazy electrical issues.

Your welding machines likely have a spare ground in the back (above and beyond the wall plug) you need to run a wire from your welder to a grounding rod (can be a small one) that you jam in the ground outside of your garage. this will get rid of all electrical interference.

I was getting a "whomp" through my stereo I use while I was welding just through the high-frequency start and once I added the HF grounding loop it went away.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:56 AM   #742
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I I tried out rare earth tungsten yesterday on the synchrowave at school. I wasnt terribly happy with it. I had good gas coverage and even with a clean tungsten the arc was all like, **** you I'm just going to go in a circle about 3/8" in diameter. And it literally just went in a circle, round and round and round. I did kind of end up with a blobby ball on the end because I was using 3/32nd tungsten at 175 amps with a #8 cup. I was considering 1/8" tungsten but we only had thoriated in that size and I really wanted to check out the hype from this rare earth stuff. Not impressed, weld came out ok though and the tungsten didnt split down the middle like the thoriated probably would have at that size/amperage combo with A/C.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:15 AM   #743
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I notice that happen when the weldment is too heavy for the amperage.

if your welding say 3/8-1/2" aluminum with 175A and your "welding" with no filler waiting for it to heat up the arc wanders.

The blobby ball your talking about makes me think your A/C balance was too low (cleaning) and it was causing the arc to wander because its heating the tungsten up too much.


If your limited to 3/32" tungsten, welding AC and need to keep that A/C balance to keep a good weld, try lowering the frequency into the ~60hz range with no pulse and if your welding heavy material you will need to pre-heat it with a torch.
High frequency makes cool noises but its hard on tungsten. 60hz is about the frequency that the old transformers use and will actually help get good penetration compared to 100+ if your having tungsten issues at the expense of a wider bead.

Preheat lets you weld with lower amperage and the tungsten will keep its form too.


I haven't had the chance to play with arc form modifiers like some of the high end units have, but im sure if you fucked that up (like some people do for jokes at a school) you could really have some issues.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:52 AM   #744
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That was a transformer machine running at 60hz. I was using like 45 as the balance because I completely forgot what to set it to, probably should have gone to more like 60. I was literally welding billets together. Once the part was hot the weld was a lot nicer but the arc still wanted to just move in a circle, not a random pattern in a circle shape, a circle, spinning around. I wish I could have pre-heated but I didnt have a clean stainless brush, and my only choice of a heat source was acetylene O2 tank was empty to so it would have been soot city.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:24 AM   #745
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ok. wasn't sure about the miller tig machine and what it was.

40 is waaay low. 55-60 is as low as you ever need to go. welding a clean billet you can probably go as high as 80%. it will reduce the etch zone and being a clean billet you wont be pulling much crap through...that will make it weld a lot hotter in the part too, so you will throttle back a lot compared to 45% LOL. Oh, and your tungsten wont turn into a piece of ****.


basically the welding issue here is welder setup and not the tungsten. you would have been really pissed regardless of the tungsten with that setup.

Did the tungsten ball so hard that it dropped off in a molten ball into the aluminum? I had that happen when I was learning to weld the stuff. had to drill a 3/4" hole in the part and weld it shut because of the contamination issue that caused.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:26 AM   #746
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to everyone: don't be afraid to grab some scrap and **** with welder settings. Pay attention to what your doing though or its pointless practice.


Remember what works and what doesn't and you will be able to troubleshoot issues like being discussed.


Here is the beginning of a one off oil pan for a Miata fe3.

Fe3 miata oil pan
by HellaFab, on Flickr

just a bit more work contouring the bottom half to closely match the Miata subframe so the wings allow for maximum oil capacity without negative ground clearance compared to the rest of the drivetrain. I wont be making any more of these.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:39 AM   #747
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I saw the tungsten ball starting to fall off or look liquidlyish at one point and I quickly pulled off the pedal. I think that might have been when I really wasnt paying attention to the settings at all and had left the balance in the highlighted range which was like 20% for some reason. No idea why it was highlighted special on the *****. Having the diversion that just has amperage adjustment and a button to switch between DC and AC with decent settings for both made me forget everything about setting up the welder.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:54 PM   #748
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
That was a transformer machine running at 60hz. I was using like 45 as the balance because I completely forgot what to set it to, probably should have gone to more like 60. I was literally welding billets together. Once the part was hot the weld was a lot nicer but the arc still wanted to just move in a circle, not a random pattern in a circle shape, a circle, spinning around. I wish I could have pre-heated but I didnt have a clean stainless brush, and my only choice of a heat source was acetylene O2 tank was empty to so it would have been soot city.
You should watch this, funny he just posted it. This guy is pretty darn knowledgeable and got a great list of videos:
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:26 PM   #749
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As someone who has used 2% ceriated (grey) on countless aluminum jobs i will say that welding with that big monkey fist is something you just get used to. At home i use the e3 stuff just because i found it to work best on stainless.

But as far as AC welding, getting that good round ball on there and pulling the tungsten back into the cup has always worked just fine for me. That's on a 30 year old tig machine too. I just took my time getting things warmed up and just dab dab dab get my **** going and move along. It has always turned out fine for me... You can go back even in this thread to see what me and other coworkers have done butchering aluminum.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:57 PM   #750
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrx7 View Post
You should watch this, funny he just posted it. This guy is pretty darn knowledgeable and got a great list of videos: Tungsten Electrodes Review - YouTube
I guess I was using the off brand of E3 since it was purple paint. Container said rare earth. Didnt pancake for me, just made the monkey fist if I held it at 175 amps for a while. Though after one grind it ended up with the nodules sticking out everywhere. Whatever, for was I was doing just pointing the heat in the general direction, dabbing the filler where I wanted it to go and praying generally worked.

At home I use 2% thoriated for everything, I just have problems with it cracking down the middle when on A/C, its very bizarre.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:54 AM   #751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
I guess I was using the off brand of E3 since it was purple paint. Container said rare earth. Didnt pancake for me, just made the monkey fist if I held it at 175 amps for a while. Though after one grind it ended up with the nodules sticking out everywhere. Whatever, for was I was doing just pointing the heat in the general direction, dabbing the filler where I wanted it to go and praying generally worked.

At home I use 2% thoriated for everything, I just have problems with it cracking down the middle when on A/C, its very bizarre.
How are you grinding it? They do crack easy depending on the method of grinding which shows up as soon as you start welding.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:17 AM   #752
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thoriated is **** for ac. always cracks eventually.

The e3 tungsten I use is purple too. works great up to 200A in 3/16". that's what I used for the oil pan flange in the picture above. besides burning the **** out of my hand with the radiant heat, there was no problems with the weldment.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:40 PM   #753
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First attempt at making a collector today for a miata I don't have yet..

Used a bandsaw for cuts.. Came out ok fit was less than perfect
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:48 PM   #754
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What is your welding setup for that?


amps, gas flow rate, and cup size/type

it looks like the amperage is more or less right, but there wasn't enough shielding gas and/or the material wasn't cleaned well before welding.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:11 PM   #755
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Was using 50-70 amps, gas lens #8 cup flowing 20-25 argon, thoriated tungsten.

Used a fresh flap disk to deburr the edges and cleaned it with a lot of acetone..

My fitment was terrible on the two half's so I had to use more filler than I would of liked

I plan on making another one, this was just to get my feet wet and figure out my angles and make sure my jig was good
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:15 PM   #756
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What filler did you use? The weld looks like that time I thought I was welding mild steel and it turned out to be stainless.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:20 PM   #757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shlammed View Post
just a bit more work contouring the bottom half to closely match the Miata subframe so the wings allow for maximum oil capacity without negative ground clearance compared to the rest of the drivetrain. I wont be making any more of these.
I feel your pain. Best of luck with your oil pan. The most difficult thing I made is my oil pan. I did steel because I end up using the pan as a ramp across the subframe when I install the engine.

It's parallel with the subframe once the trans is on the cross member. 4 quart sump. plus the filter & cooler is 6 quarts.



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Old 04-29-2014, 02:23 PM   #758
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completely clean your weld piece within what would be the heat affected zone at a bare minimum.

I use a stainless wire wheel before I cut the angles into the collector.

You will be able to get more tips with a clean weld than welding with dirty material.

That being said, something is up with your setup or welding technique. it should be clean looking with the setup you describe but its showing a lot of grey.

Try cleaning the material and watch your torch angle.

50amps is pretty low for schedule 10. definitely run 70-80. You will notice you can run more amps in the narrow parts of the collector because there is more material there to work. you can probably up the amperage to about 90-100 in those areas.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:24 PM   #759
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shlammed View Post
but there wasn't enough shielding gas and/or the material wasn't cleaned well before welding.
Yeah, looks like my welds because I rarely clean (besides a quick wipe with non cloro brake cleaner) and I use the same grinding wheel and wire wheel on everything.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:41 PM   #760
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Quote:
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What filler did you use? The weld looks like that time I thought I was welding mild steel and it turned out to be stainless.
Using 309L

I welded up the inside after welding the outside, because the gap was atleast 1/8" so I'd say that had a major role in the outside weld looking like it does..

I just started welding a couple months ago so I'm still learning, this was my first time welding on stainless

Thanks for the advice
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