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Thread: cant weld aluminium for shit - advice ??

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWP View Post
    I did my first proper bit of aluminium welding with the TIG today.
    Not too shabby if I say so myself
    I'll be quite happy if I can keep this up for my DIY built parts.

    Any tips on how to improve from here would be appreciated... I gather it's just practice.

    TIG is a Unimig Razor200 Digital, #7 ceramic cup, 2.4mm "rare earth" purple-tip tungstens, 2.4mm filler.
    Running at about 90 amps (no pedal).

    A pedal would be a good addition, but a work around is to set your down slope to a large amount and pulse the trigger on and off when you want to reduce heat input during the weld, I often do it when onsite or welding away from the bench.

  2. #92
    25 schmeckles? Do the safety dance.'s Avatar
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    Finally got around to having a play with my new unimig razor 200amp ACDC welder, same as most have.
    Knocked out a dodgy steam pipe manifold with acceptable to me welds. Seems I can play with different amperage settings and have plenty of time with the weld pool, very forgiving.
    Had a quick practice on some old alloy intercooler pipes and no dice.

    Can someone recommend some basic stuff to get me started on intercooler pipes? 1.6mm or 2.4mm electrode? Which colour? Which filler is easiest to learn with? Suitable amperage and other settings I should think about? I do think care about looks just wanna make ghetto pipes.

  3. #93
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    2.4mm 2% lanth is what I use for everything, but I'm definitely not a pro.

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  4. #94
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    I use 2.4 for everything unless it's under 1mm wall thickness. For 2mm wall alloy I'd typically start around 80A (backing off with the foot pedal once the tube gets some temp in it) and use 1.6mm filler.

    Main thing is to ensure the tube is spotless and doesn't have any type of coating. I clean with a stainless brush and wipe down with acetone before welding. If the oxide layer is too thick you'll have a tough time getting the puddle started without the underlying metal melting and falling away before the oxide layer is broken through.

  5. #95
    25 schmeckles? Do the safety dance.'s Avatar
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    I have 2.4mm tungstens (and 1.6 which was giving most grief), ordered some 2mm filler today but might grab 1.6mm also.
    Don't have a pedal. Do I need one as a total noob?

  6. #96
    Gas Turbine enthusiast da9jeff's Avatar
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    I've managed without one on my razor. Just setup the downslope as someone previously mentioned and use that to control heat.
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  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Do the safety dance. View Post
    I have 2.4mm tungstens (and 1.6 which was giving most grief), ordered some 2mm filler today but might grab 1.6mm also.
    Don't have a pedal. Do I need one as a total noob?
    Pedal is literally the best. Not having one is like trying to steer with only option being straight or full lock and wondering why it is so hard.
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  8. #98
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    x2, I much prefer having the additional control the pedal provides. I've got an external slider for using on the torch handle that can also control the amps but I rarely use it, everything is done via the pedal

  9. #99
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    Im having issues with ergonomics with the pedal currently. Could be the A-frame welding bench im using, but it always feels like my leg is at a weird angle to get the pedal, or i get leg cramps.

    Its pretty much impossible to use standing too as the base angle is too high for any form of comfort and after a couple of broken ankles my foot doesnt have enough movement (especially with boots on).

    What sort of ergonomics are people using for their welding?
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  10. #100
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    I've recently moved to a Certiflat Bench so now welding standing up, the front edge of my pedal is pretty thin so don't have any issues with leg cramps etc but it would be nice if the bench was another 100mm higher. I may make a stool with integrated foot pedal holder in the future for longer welding sessions
    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #101
    Bannered takai's Avatar
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    This is what I am using.. with some added junk.


    The massive slab block of a pedal is a bit of a pain, especially compared to your pedal there.
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  12. #102
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    Looks like the typical chinese welder footpedal. If it hasn't got that shitful rotary dial amperage control on that base, you might see if SSC Controls has one compatible......otherwise a taller welding bench and stool will make life a lot easier I'd wager!

    1.6 tungsten I'd guess would be 90% of what you normally weld with on a car too - lower starting amperage on the usual 16 gauge cooler pipes without going stupid on sharpening and getting weird geometry affects. If you can't afford a few different sizes of collets and consumables, probably in the wrong game anyway.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by gxxr View Post
    Looks like the typical chinese welder footpedal. If it hasn't got that shitful rotary dial amperage control on that base, you might see if SSC Controls has one compatible......otherwise a taller welding bench and stool will make life a lot easier I'd wager!
    Yah you have it in one, down to the rotary dial that keeps getting bumped and then it takes me ages to figure out why I canít get a weld pool going.

    Iím actually considering the other way around, shorter stool and same height bench. Looks like that will bring my knee and ankle closer to 90.

  14. #104
    GTFO of my ED doctor ed's Avatar
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    this is (still) my welding bench. kinda makes the pedal a non topic

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  15. #105
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    Ordered eBay pedal. Along with the other filler rods I sholud be welding like a pro by the weekend. Really wanna get a start on these pipes.

  16. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by takai View Post
    Yah you have it in one, down to the rotary dial that keeps getting bumped and then it takes me ages to figure out why I canít get a weld pool going.

    Iím actually considering the other way around, shorter stool and same height bench. Looks like that will bring my knee and ankle closer to 90.
    This pic was what got me thinking about a lower seating position:
    Last edited by takai; 25-02-19 at 09:36 AM.
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    ^^Looks a bit like a posed photo, new welder, water cooler, cart and all miller accessories. I'd reckon a bit difficult to prop your elbow and torch arm against your knee if manipulating the pedal in any meaningful way too.

    I'd say whatever works comfort wise is the aim, that position just looks tiring to me. Wind-up or pump-up stools are handy, especially if not working at a fixed position all the time.

    Those miller pedals are a bit awkward height wise, but not as bad as what you have currently.

  18. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by gxxr View Post
    ^^Looks a bit like a posed photo, new welder, water cooler, cart and all miller accessories. I'd reckon a bit difficult to prop your elbow and torch arm against your knee if manipulating the pedal in any meaningful way too.

    I'd say whatever works comfort wise is the aim, that position just looks tiring to me. Wind-up or pump-up stools are handy, especially if not working at a fixed position all the time.

    Those miller pedals are a bit awkward height wise, but not as bad as what you have currently.
    Oh yeah, its definitely a posed photo, but ergonomically might actually work for me. Even if it doesnt its not an expensive test, ill probably actually just use a milk crate or old desk chair as a temporary test.
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    Quote Originally Posted by takai View Post
    This pic was what got me thinking about a lower seating position:
    That's the same relative heights I got to with my bench and welding chair, with the bench at about the height of my chest when seated. it improved the quality of my welds heaps.

  20. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by takai View Post
    This is what I am using.. with some added junk.


    The massive slab block of a pedal is a bit of a pain, especially compared to your pedal there.
    Ha! I just scrolled back up and saw this pic. I have the same Bunnings folding bench. Definitely try a milk crate as a seat and see if you notice the difference. I use a busted office chair with the back and arm rests removed, in the fully lowered position. About the same height as a milk crate, but you can roll around on it.

    And try a block of wood or a brick as a heal rest so you don't need to have your whole foot on the pedal, just use your toes.
    Last edited by Sprinkles; 25-02-19 at 10:37 PM.

  21. #111
    Bannered takai's Avatar
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    Leaving this here for later:
    Chris
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  22. #112
    Registered User MWP's Avatar
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    Rather spend the couple of hundred than try to make that thing.
    Fabbing and fucking with it until it works well would take far too long. Not worth it.

  23. #113
    BLING BLING PLAYA's Avatar
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    Isn't your wife a doctor? Fuck me just buy a kemppi machine and be done with half the issues.
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  24. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWP View Post
    Rather spend the couple of hundred than try to make that thing.
    Fabbing and fucking with it until it works well would take far too long. Not worth it.
    Nah, was hoping it might give some insight into pedal ergonomics, but evidently not. Misleading thumbnail on mobile.

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAYA View Post
    Isn't your wife a doctor? Fuck me just buy a kemppi machine and be done with half the issues.
    That wont help with trying to figure out how to get my ankle and knee to sit in a comfortable spot.

    Speaking of comfort, i really dislike the big integrated all in one 17R that my welder has, and much preferred the basic non-electronic "scratch start" style 17F torches. Like this:


    They seem to need an adapter for the DINSE connector, but the only ones i can find separately are this type:

    Which has a male threaded connector, not the 3/8x24 male gas thread that the 9/17 TIG torch cable uses.

    Anyone adapted the Razor or something to a standard 17?

    Edit: just went and checked the torch size, itís a #26. no wonder I find it uncomfortable and heavy for small stuff.
    Last edited by takai; 26-02-19 at 10:47 PM.

  25. #115
    Registered User MWP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by takai View Post
    Anyone adapted the Razor or something to a standard 17?
    Edit: just went and checked the torch size, itís a #26. no wonder I find it uncomfortable and heavy for small stuff.
    Would like to know this too. The torch the Razor 200 AC/DC comes with is rather cumbersome.

    Unimig sell this https://unimig.com.au/product/17v-ergo-tig-torch/ for the Razor's, but it still doesnt look too lightweight.
    Last edited by MWP; 26-02-19 at 11:09 PM.

  26. #116
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    After some more searching I found this https://m.aliexpress.com/item/32851851821.html?

    Not sure if itís a standard torch end, or what type of thread it is under the DINSE cover either.

  27. #117
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    Found this too, has CK17 torches in the configuration list even though it says CK9.
    https://weldingstore.tokentools.com....e-35-70-dinse/
    Chris
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  28. #118
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    Pretty sure #9 and #17 share the same body but use different hot-end components. #17 and #26 are different body, same hot-end components.

    If you need to find adaptors, etc... then look at the TIG catalogue here https://iwws.net/catalogue.html.

  29. #119
    Bannered takai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricardo View Post
    Pretty sure #9 and #17 share the same body but use different hot-end components. #17 and #26 are different body, same hot-end components.

    If you need to find adaptors, etc... then look at the TIG catalogue here https://iwws.net/catalogue.html.
    Nah. 9 is smaller overall body and consumables. But it takes the same fitting (3/8 24) as the 17. 17 is bigger and shares consumables with the 26 which is bigger again. 26 is a 5/8 fitting though which just makes it heavier and more bulky.

  30. #120
    BLING BLING PLAYA's Avatar
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    First thing is get the torch lead off the ground so it is not weighing your hand down. Best thing is it supported about hand height with a bit of sag so you can move around. Even over your shoulder or something. Also I have these big aluminium boxes I welded up U can sit things on to get them up higher. I also use those tig fingers from welding tips and tricks so U can slide along what you are welding even though it is roasting hot.
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