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ddickey

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#1
I've had an ESAB 215ic for a few years now. I decided I want to learn how to TIG so I leased a tank of Argon and am ready to go. I have three different sizes of tungsten rod but none of them are ground to a point. What ange is a good starting point and can I use my belt sander to do this? I don't have any filler metal. What would be a good filler rod to buy for low carbon hot rolled? I just want to figure it out on some cheap material I have around the garage.
 

dennys502

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#2
I use a green silicon carbide wheel on my bench grinder or chem sharp for the tungsten. It is a little spendy. I do short the tungsten to get it hot.



As for filler rod I use ER70S-6 .035 diameter by 36" long.
 
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JR49

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#3
What ange is a good starting point and can I use my belt sander to do this?
I'm very new to tig myself, having just got my AHP alphaTig 200 the first week of Dec. But I have been doing a lot of reading (Welding Tips and Tricks.com is a great resource). Lots of different opinions on tungsten point, I think the majority say the point length should be two times the dia. of the tungsten, so whatever angle it takes to make it that long. I've read where guys use every type of grinder there is, but one belief is common to all, use a dedicated wheel-belt-disc-diamond or ???, for only tungstens. Otherwise you can contaminate the tungsten with particles of whatever else you grind with that belt.
I'm sure you will get some better and more experienced answers that mine, and I'll be interested in reading them as well. One thing I can advise you based on my two weeks of practicing BUY MORE TUNGSTENS, cut them in half, and have them ground and ready to use or you'll spend all your practice time regrinding the one you have, each time you "dip it", and, as a beginner like me you will be dipping it in the puddle a lot !!! Enjoy your new welder, and Merry Christmas, JR49
 

Ray C

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#4
I do a fair amount of TIG (see below) but, am not a professional by any means. If you're new to TIG, don't get hung-up on tungsten tip points. A good general purpose point should look like a freshly sharpened old-fashioned #2 lead pencil. It's a fairly long point. I use a belt sander. 3/32" lanthanated is my go-to electrode. As for filler rod, you cannot go wrong with ER70S-2 or S-6 in 3/32 and 1/16" diameters. The two fillers are very similar but S-2has more alloying elements (aka deoxidizers like Si) so it will "blend" better with lower-grade carbon steel such as A36, 510 (construction grades). As a beginner, you won't notice the difference. The piece down below was welded with 70S-6 because the base metal is known and good quality (1045) stuff and therefore does not need the deoxidizers. Both types of rods have the same physical strength properties. S-2 has more Si so you will see more glass beads floating to the top.

Don't go crazy buying all kinds of different electrode types or diameters. 3/32 and 1/16 for both electrodes and filler rods will cover all your basic needs.

Don't forget... Practice, ask questions and watch Jody Collier's (Welding tips and tricks) videos.


EDIT: When you're first starting, my advice is to avoid practicing on metal with mill-scale. Get a flap wheel angle grinder and remove the mill-scale. Mill-scale causes all kinds of problems when you're first learning.

Regards

Ray C.



IMG_20171225_184141.jpg
 

Asm109

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Ray C Word. I agree with everything you said.
Second the advice to watch Jody. www.weldingtipsandtricks.com They also have a forum focused on welding. Great place.
 

DSaul

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I've been using this tool sharpener from Harbor Freight to grind tungsten. https://www.harborfreight.com/multipurpose-sharpener-99823.html If you remove the plastic tool guide, it just leaves a nice diamond wheel to hold the tungsten against.

I use 2% Lanthanated tungsten for everything with a gas lens and varying cup sizes depending on the type of material being welded.

ER70-S2 works well for mild steels and high carbon steels. ER 312 is more expensive, but it works for most steels and is good for joining dissimilar steels, like mild or chromoly to stainless.

TIG likes bright clean metal, so clean off any mill scale and contaminants before welding.
 

7milesup

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I was recently on Youtube and found a guy that uses pretty much only one size tungsten which is 1/8". I can see his point because after getting my Lincoln TIG200 about 2 years ago, I find the small tungsten that I purchase (.40 and 1/16) to be pretty much worthless.

Also, get a gas lens kit and extra collets for the size tungsten that you will be using.
 

Asm109

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I find it works best to use a tungsten diameter close the thickness of material you are welding. You are not going to do any welding on razor blades or beer cans with a 1/8 tungsten. I do a lot of tube structures in .065 to 1/8 wall. For me a 3/32 electrode can span that range. Of course if I were welding 1/4 inch or thicker I would go up to the largest electrode I could.
 

benmychree

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Before I retired and sold my business, I used mostly 1/16 thoriated tungsten and welded mostly stainless steel 304, and used 308 filler, although most of our parts were tube, and simply fused together with an inert gas purge inside. Since stainless is a poor conductor of heat, it does not take much current to weld it and does not need large diameter tungsten for work up to 1/4" thick approximately; I have not welded with tig for quite a while, but do have an inverter type welder that can do it, although I fear my tremor might preclude success.
 

rwm

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As stated earlier, a 3/32 electrode will work fine for just about anything. Jodi did a great video on tungsten grind angle:


The main trick to grinding tungsten is to use a clean abrasive and grind so the marks are longitudinal to the tungsten (not circular). I grind mine so the length is about 1.5 times the diameter. I have been using Ceriated but I think much of this is Voodoo. I may give lathanide a try. Thorium is radioactive so there is a theoretical risk to inhaling the dust. It may or may not be a real risk.

Robert
 
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