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Old 10-08-2012, 10:06 PM   #3121
ER70S-2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clintnz View Post
..........it would make things easier on small & fiddly stuff, especially for a beginner.
Self taught hobby guy stuff: alum gets stupid hot really fast. I tack welded all 4 corners, on both sides of this patch (8 tacks). I didn't wait long enough for the piece to cool before doing this weld (on the right). You can see how it almost 'fell out the bottom'. The plug on the end is where I had to fill the sink at the end of the weld. (hook up the pedal, it's why TIG is so cool. If I had been watching anything besides the puddle, I'd have seen the entire bead sinking.) Whenever possible, use something behind the weld to support the alum. Once hot, it will fall out, just like liquid mercury. Use lots of heat sink and don't continue welding until you can touch the alum. I'm not posting this pic because I'm proud of it. Also note the fresh clean, stainless brushed, base metal. (actually, this pic was brushed again after the weld)



Here you can see lots of heat sink and an alum backer (sticking out on the right). If I'm welding thinner alum, I'll use a steel backing so I don't weld it to my piece. Steel is a poor choice and may cause contamination, IIRC copper is a better choice. You can also see the oxide cleaning zone halo around the bead, in this case I could turn up my balance (more penetration), the cleaning zone is wider than necessary (but you should be able to see it). This would put more heat in the weld.



Quote:
Originally Posted by clintnz View Post
As a n00b to welding Alu anything thinner than about 5mm seems to belong to the 'extremely sensitive material' category
The material above is 3mm (.125") Note: the shorter the arc length the better. I try to keep mine under 1/8", but still dip the tungsten into the puddle frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clintnz View Post
I understand the principle of pulse & what the adjustments to to the output do, what I want is some ballpark guidelines for where to set them for best results on a given weld, so your advice on current levels is just what I need. I was bracketing the recommended amperage for the weld but it sounds like that should be the peak, with the base at a lower level & go a bit slower. How about the pulse width setting?

Cheers
Clint
Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroAcres View Post
Do yourself a favor, turn the Pulse OFF, untill you get a good handle on welding without it, for a welder just starting out it just adds to the frustration level.

Work on puddle control, speed and feeding the wire FIRST...get that down, then after that start playing with the pulser.

JMO...YMMV..
As NitroAcres said, screw the pulse, learn how to weld first. There are more than enough complications without trying to figure pulse on top of it all. My squarewave welder is older and doesn't have pulse.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #3122
clintnz
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Thanks for the tips guys. I did have another try with the pulse at the suggested settings but it wasn't helping so took the hint & left it off. I had another good session last night until I had converted almost every flat piece of 3mm alu in the shop into a melted mess Some of the messes did start to look a little more like welds however:



ER70S-2's point about a steel backing causing contamination is a good one, I have been doing these flat on my bench & I think that's probably why the welds still look a bit dirty despite the stock being cleaned up well. When I tried a corner weld held up in the air it was much cleaner.

Cheers
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:51 PM   #3123
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you're welding a position that is a full pen with an exposed back. you really shouldn't have to result to shielding the back side but you can if you must. what you worry about is oxidation on the back side on larger welds. typically you avoid that with an aluminum backing/fusing plate and you simply burn in to that.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:33 PM   #3124
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Those aluminum welds are looking better. Usually its not a little cupon you are welding so the heat does not hang around the same.

When aluminum is right, its Dip, dip, dip...... at a pretty good clip. always back off the heat near the end of the weld. Back off twice as much if the end is at an edge. I start at the edge if I can that way its easier and will look better.

With aluminum travel speed and heat work with each other. Keep running beads and you will see.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:45 PM   #3125
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Well I posted months ago looking for tips as I was tackling building my own exhaust. I finally finished so I figured I'd post back some photos. I got some good advice here and elsewhere and certainly learned a lot in the process of making it. I feel very comfortable with stainless now. Anyway, here's a couple of shots of the final product.







I like that last one as it shows the first header flange I cooked which prompted me to go on a mission to learn how to weld stainless better and then on the right is the last header flange I made which I think sums up my learning curve.





There's more photos in my build thread but I feel like the bike is "finished" for the moment. My fancy pants X pipe didn't work as well as my H pipe (H = 1hp gain) so I'll have to remake that as the H was only done as a test. Still, I learned a lot in making the whole thing and the bike runs great making some kick ass torque. Quite happy.

Gregor
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:13 AM   #3126
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That is some right pretty welding, right there.
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:43 AM   #3127
Sutherngintelmen
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Very first weld ever yesterday - flux core 1/8" butt joint. Gotta start somewhere!

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Old 10-13-2012, 10:21 AM   #3128
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Some advice on how to change this rack on the back of my subframe. I need that upturned bit made flat. Can I just cut it off, then bend a new piece and butt-weld it on? My woodworking background says, no way, butt joints are bad. But will it work with welding? Or should I use an insert to strengthen it...? Advise me!

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Old 10-13-2012, 10:58 AM   #3129
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Take rack off, heat the bend red hot, and straighten it out.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:10 AM   #3130
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Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
Take rack off, heat the bend red hot, and straighten it out.
I don't own the proper torch -- I think. What is the proper torch? I do own a MIG welder...
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:14 AM   #3131
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Do you have a weed burner and a propane tank?
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:17 AM   #3132
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Do you have a weed burner and a propane tank?

Dry grass hillsides in all directions. Nobody has that gear around here.

Not to be too cheap...but what's the cheapest rig to get that piece hot enough to bend without folding?
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:37 AM   #3133
Toysrme
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Sutherngintelmen, looks way too cold to me, increase the wirefeed/amperage.
if you're using a little 110/220v chinese box you'll never get it hot enough to do any quality welding with it. (flux core REQUIRES spray transfer. that over 180amps on 0.035 wire. otherwise its short circuit and the flux gets burried in the weld causing inclusions. eventually leading to cracking)

DiabloADV when you weld metal, the weld is stronger than the base metal. yes, you can cut it off and weld it back. support & tack it well like you want it & then get at it. its a small part so you can easily turn it around to keep the welds flat & easy.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:02 PM   #3134
David R
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If I were to heat it and bend it, it would wrinkle almost for sure. I would cut the bend out, find rod, tube or pipe to slip inside of it and weld. I would NOT do it on the bike.

Nice thing about metal. If you take too much off, I can put it back on.

I suck with wood!

Good luck, show pics when done.

David

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloADV View Post
Some advice on how to change this rack on the back of my subframe. I need that upturned bit made flat. Can I just cut it off, then bend a new piece and butt-weld it on? My woodworking background says, no way, butt joints are bad. But will it work with welding? Or should I use an insert to strengthen it...? Advise me!

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Old 10-14-2012, 07:51 PM   #3135
Sutherngintelmen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toysrme View Post
Sutherngintelmen, looks way too cold to me, increase the wirefeed/amperage.
if you're using a little 110/220v chinese box you'll never get it hot enough to do any quality welding with it. (flux core REQUIRES spray transfer. that over 180amps on 0.035 wire. otherwise its short circuit and the flux gets burried in the weld causing inclusions.
Thanks - i'll experiment with faster wire / more amps and see what happens. Didnt make the very logical connection between speed and heat. The wire was 0.030 with feed on 40 and amps at 3 of 4.

Using a Hobart 140 which has an OH sticker on it but may just be c-suite and marketing
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All pics < 6/30/12 deleted by Apple Now with SmugMug supporting ADV
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