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Old 05-19-2019, 07:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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.40 tig consumables.....when to use?

Guys, I have 1/16 and 3/32 tig tungstens, collets and collet holders, and use them for most tig work. Don't have any .040" consumables.

I have some .049 wall stainless tube to weld. I may need to make "pie cuts" in the .750 diameter tube to make tight 180 deg bend. Tiddly-precise work, for me anyway.

Also have some .024" thick and .020" stainless sheet that I'll be making an oil pick up strainer with. Never welded metal this thin before. And, I will need to weld a SS screen onto the strainer....more fine welding.

So.....1/16 tungsten with 30 deg taper, sharp point? or .040 tungsten and consumables?
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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very few people will ever need 040 consumables. 1/16 are very close, i weld down to 20g stainless with 3/32. just keep a sharp and clean tungsten. if there is much to do i'll switch to 1/16.

have you welded much stainless guage material? in my shop its only on special occasion i would consider welding-(seams) on anything smaller than 20guage. i've got perfect eyes and still use a 1.5x cheater lens when goin that small. most often that size i flange and spot weld and/or solder the seams. (in my shop this is mostly of 24g .024" stainless, making door and window pans for local contractors, welding).

if you dont have experience with welding the 020 024 material start practicing. perfect fit up and seam backers/ heatsinks will be required. both sides of the seam if you need to use filler your doing it wrong.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I just use 1/8" for everything, but I kinda suck haha

always thought you only used the smaller sizes to save money, going up a size when they start splitting
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would use a sharp 1/16" for that stuff and it sounds like tracyB has already addressed pretty much everything.

also, be aware that if you don't have a good ventilated weld hood, then hexaviliant chrominate VI is going to kill you at least, that is what they have started telling us at work, so i figured i'd pass it along.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info guys.

No, I've never tried welding anything as thin as .020 or .024 before.
I'll give it a whirl. I can use aluminum for backing heat sink.

Would grinding the tip of 1/16th tungsten, to a sharp point and say...30 degree angle, be the same as, or provide the same arc width as a .040 [ 1mm ] tungsten also ground to a point?

I know arc width is a product of the gap, and thus the length of the arc as well as tungsten grind / shape and diameter and amperage.

I'm wanting a narrow arc, with .020" or almost zero penetration.

Do you use pulse for thin sheet?
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've done some .020 welding repairs at work, without any backers or heat sink, though I'm sure they would help. I'm doing lap/fillet welds, not butt welds. The .040" tungsten certainly doesn't hurt, but I don't think the difference is huge. I usually just use a sharp 1/16" that the torch is already set up for. I do find .035" filler to be very helpful though ( I don't think they sell .020" ) . Let's face it, perfect fit-up seam welding without filler isn't always possible, no to mention the occasional mistake correction/filling. Using the arc pulse feature really does help. Yes, you will blowout some holes ...
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen wilson View Post
I've done some .020 welding repairs at work, without any backers or heat sink, though I'm sure they would help. I'm doing lap/fillet welds, not butt welds. The .040" tungsten certainly doesn't hurt, but I don't think the difference is huge. I usually just use a sharp 1/16" that the torch is already set up for. I do find .035" filler to be very helpful though ( I don't think they sell .020" ) . Let's face it, perfect fit-up seam welding without filler isn't always possible, no to mention the occasional mistake correction/filling. Using the arc pulse feature really does help. Yes, you will blowout some holes ...

Good info, thank you.
I'm still looking for .040 collet and collet holder. I'll get some .035 rod as suggested.

About sharpening the tungsten.....
I use a 6" aluminum oxide wheel on grinder, and grind on the narrow part of it, not the side of the wheel.
I put the tungsten in a drill, and stabilize the end of the tungsten with my finger and thumb as it spins in the drill. Then grind with as light as [ finger ] pressure as possible.

The tip profile comes out "ok", but it ain't perfect. The "cone" is not totally symmetrical when viewed from multiple aspects, it has one side slightly shorter than the other side. This comes about from the tungsten not being true and straight, and spinning in the drill.

Will this [ defect in the profile of the tip ] effect the arc?

For welding with 100 amps.....who cares. At 30 amps......hummmmm?
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You definitely want it symmetrical. I can do a pretty darn good job by hand, but years ago I broke down and got one of the "budget" hand-held tungsten grinders. I assume you're grinding lengthwise ?
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The tungsten is in a 18 volt drill. I hold it in one hand, and stabilize the tungsten tip with the other hand.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What I mean is the grinding marks should go lengthwise, not in a crosswise or swirling pattern.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, lengthwise, however, because spinning in a drill, they are not true lengthwise but slight spiral.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I would not want to use a drill to spin it while grinding, I would much prefer a cone that is slightly off than one that swirls, again low amps it is more noticeable.

while grinding, spin slowly by hand. for that low of amps, grind to a point and leave it. i'm not much for angles, but probably 2-1/2 or 3 diameters would probably be plenty for a max for the length of the grind.

most of the time when it is noticeable is right at startup with the high freq on my transformer machine and then sometimes as I move my hand it will 'wander' a touch before coming back. always wanders in the direction of the grind spiral.

my inverter square wave machine seems to be less effected by it, probably because of the way it ramps the electricity.

and yeah, it would be worth it to play around with the pulser
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Well, I tried grinding 1/16th tungsten, holding in my hand, on the 6" grinding wheel. There's no way I can slowly spin it with fingers, maintaining an accurate angle, and end up with a point "as good as" the one I can get with a drill.

I'm going with slight spiral swirls and a nicely tapered uniform tip, with the drill.
Been welding some .035" stainless tube that is 20mm in diameter.
37 amps, 1.5 pulse, and .030 stainless rod [ mig wire ]....and a 9 shade helmet lens....that is still too dark to see well.

AFTER I made a back purge system and back purged the tube, the welds came out nice......nice enough for me to be happy with and trust to my engine.
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The mig wire is the way to go for the thin 1/16 welds. Used to do a lot of finish stainless welding at a machine shop and thats what we used 90% of the time for machined hose nipples and elbows etc.....also with 1/16 tungsten or sometimes 3/32.
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