Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: cant weld aluminium for shit - advice ??

  1. #1
    GTFO of my ED doctor ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    irgendwo
    Posts
    4,077

    cant weld aluminium for shit - advice ??

    best advice wouldbe stop and give it to some cunt who can weld - which for my current parts is what im doing. i dont even trust myself to tack the tubing

    in the meantime for entertainment purposes id like to try and figure out wtf im doing wrong

    ill put up some pics later, but essentially it goes something like:

    - parent alloy gets dull/matt and starts to pit, leave it a sec longer and the material starts to sag
    - filler rod doesnt take onto the surface, instead just balls up and sits as a blob
    - 3sec later it all turns to liquid and all falls to the ground

    at no point do a see a weld pool. i cant feed filler rod into anything. the filler doesnt take, ist just stubborly sits as a separated ball of Slop. i cant progress the 'bead' anywhere to let the material cool down as there is no weldy-sticky action to move away from. i just end up with a line of dull pitted slightly saggy and melted material with blobs of filler left and right (which arent really bonded, just sitting on the surface)

    material is acetone cleaned. rods and tunsten are clean/new. gas is sitting around 12. tried pretty much twiddling every knob to see if i can get it to make a difference (even to just the initial weld pool formation) and i get jack all.

    ideas?
    Mit freundlichen GrŁŖe

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Duckworth View Post
    "I think that in a racing engine, the closer it is to disintegrating, in general the better its performance will be "

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    sydney australia
    Posts
    286
    Have you got the machine set to AC Ed? What type of tungsten are you using?

  3. #3
    GTFO of my ED doctor ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    irgendwo
    Posts
    4,077
    have tried both zirconiated and thoriated

    and yeah, AC, tried shifting the cleaning balance and frequency, tried different starting ramps as well as final amp power, all mixed and matched to frequency etc so not to just blow massive holes in things.
    Mit freundlichen GrŁŖe

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Duckworth View Post
    "I think that in a racing engine, the closer it is to disintegrating, in general the better its performance will be "

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    455
    What are you actually welding?

    - Go and grab yourself some thick 6mm or so alloy plate and make sure it's big (so it will take a heap of heat if you go gun happy with the amps).
    - Try running a bead on the plate. Your torch should be on a 45*ish angle or so (if you're right handed the torch should run right to left). If you have a weird angle then it's going to struggle to form a weld pool. Tungsten should be 10mm out from the end of the torch.
    - How are you sharpening the tungsten? Belt sanders are good, you want to sharpen it so the grooves from the sander / stone wheel run in the same direction as what the gas would.
    - Keep your filler rod well away from the torch, until your weld pool has formed. From what you described your filler is too close and blobs up. You want to wait till the weld pool forms and feed the filler into the pool.

    Sorry if some of this seems basic but I don't know exactly where you're at with it all.

    But yeh get some plate and try that, only because I don't know what your welding and if its shit material you won't get anywhere.

    Also make sure your earth is good, gas is actually reaching the torch etc. What amps do you have it set on and what thickness was the material? Some photos would be handy or a video would be even better (just simulate how you would do the weld obviously not with the welder on)

  5. #5
    GTFO of my ED doctor ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    irgendwo
    Posts
    4,077
    ill get some pics

    1.5mm aluminium intercooler tube presently (obviously the edge of a 1.5mm tube makes me extra nervous). have previously run good beads on chunky ass old cast intake manifolds no probs, but have never had any luck whatsoever joining thinner aluminium tube.

    can tig carbon steel and stainless a-ok. dont have heaps and heaps of torch time, but enough that i can bang out a half decent steel weld on demand

    not brag worthy, but the bits stick together:

    Last edited by doctor ed; 16-04-18 at 10:58 PM.
    Mit freundlichen GrŁŖe

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Duckworth View Post
    "I think that in a racing engine, the closer it is to disintegrating, in general the better its performance will be "

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Bowling Green KY
    Posts
    1,001
    Quote Originally Posted by doctor ed View Post
    - parent alloy gets dull/matt and starts to pit, leave it a sec longer and the material starts to sag
    - filler rod doesnt take onto the surface, instead just balls up and sits as a blob
    - 3sec later it all turns to liquid and all falls to the ground
    Go get some stainless steel toothbrushes. You will never, ever, ever, use these for anything other than alloy. Ever. Wire brush the parts until you feel the brush start to drag, you'll feel it once all the oxide layer is off.

    Any kind of extruded thin wall tubing has more oxide than normal on it and it's a bear to get through, and if it's "shiny" or polished up tubing it's an extra pain in the dick to get it all off. The stainless brush will change your world, and make you a much happier guy.

    See that black gunk on your weld above? That's the tungsten that's been dipped in aluminum or the aluminum was dirty.

    Crank your A/C balance up to full tungsten meltdown, and then back it off about 25%, this will help if you're using the normal 2.4mm tungsten.
    Last edited by Xnke; 17-04-18 at 12:53 AM.

  7. #7
    GTFO of my ED doctor ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    irgendwo
    Posts
    4,077
    Yep, polished thin-walled alloy tube of dubious origin. I picked up some stainless brushes on the way home this evening, along with a new grinding stone for my tungsten. Starting fresh, try again

    And yep, material above was filthy (welded a v-band to a used cat). Cleaned it, but was still filthy. Welded pretty well all things considered.
    Last edited by doctor ed; 17-04-18 at 06:30 AM.
    Mit freundlichen GrŁŖe

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Duckworth View Post
    "I think that in a racing engine, the closer it is to disintegrating, in general the better its performance will be "

  8. #8
    Registered User Rz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Posts
    5,260
    anodized?

  9. #9
    Ease Up Turbo Commotion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bogan City
    Posts
    813
    I welded intercooler pipework for someone a while ago and they supplied the material. Iím guessing they got one of them kits from eBay with the polished looking bends. It didnít weld too bad but had a skin to it. Was an interesting material. I didnít gind the surface down. Just chopped in bandsaw and deburred. Iíve never had too much need to remove the oxide layer for tig. I find the cleaning action of the phase seems to work adequate. I normally have to spend a bit of effort cleaning if itís older or dirtier material. Thatís my other tip. Donít use abrasives to cut ally, use a band saw and circular saw blade and use carbide burrs to clean up and deburr. A small hand operated bandsaw from trade tools was one of the best tools for welding ally that I bought.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    505
    yep, stainless brush or wire-wheel is your friend. That cheap polished crap is a pain to get though the skin. Accidentally used a section of it when doing the cooler pipes for my daily as an offcut had the right angle

  11. #11
    Bannered takai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    10,189
    Anyone found a stainless wire wheel that fits into a 1/4 hex holder? I use a brass one for stainless, but would love a stainless one for alu. At the moment im using a massive cup thing which is hard to get into crevices or brushing AN weldons etc.
    Chris
    ------
    I cant get no sleep...
    AE86 race car thread is finally up to date | Supposedly i have a new daily project too
    I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. - D.H.Lawrence

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Bowling Green KY
    Posts
    1,001
    Commotion brings up a good point-never use aluminum oxide grinding or sanding materials on alloy you want to weld, aluminum is soft and it will embed hard oxide bits into the metal. Then when you weld it, that crap gets pulled into the puddle and causes problems.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    505
    Quote Originally Posted by takai View Post
    Anyone found a stainless wire wheel that fits into a 1/4 hex holder? I use a brass one for stainless, but would love a stainless one for alu. At the moment im using a massive cup thing which is hard to get into crevices or brushing AN weldons etc.
    there's a snapon brush that's not hex but works really well in a drill etc that I've used for getting into crevices, looks like https://www.wire-brush.co.uk/wirebru...6mm-Arbor.html

    I got a box of small stainless wire wheels that I use in the drill for cleaning alloy prior to welding, has fairly soft/compliant bristles and works really well. Looks a bit like https://www.wire-brush.co.uk/wirebru...6mm-Arbor.html
    Last edited by jasonp1977; 18-04-18 at 05:41 PM.

  14. #14
    Bannered takai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    10,189
    Quote Originally Posted by jasonp1977 View Post
    there's a snapon brush that's not hex but works really well in a drill etc that I've used for getting into crevices, looks like https://www.wire-brush.co.uk/wirebru...6mm-Arbor.html

    I got a box of small stainless wire wheels that I use in the drill for cleaning alloy prior to welding, has fairly soft/compliant bristles and works really well. Looks a bit like https://www.wire-brush.co.uk/wirebru...6mm-Arbor.html
    Yeah, those little wire wheels are what im after, but with a 1/4 hex shank. Maybe i should just buy another cheap $30 drill for leaving wire brushes on in the welding drawer, rather than using the old impact driver.
    Chris
    ------
    I cant get no sleep...
    AE86 race car thread is finally up to date | Supposedly i have a new daily project too
    I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. - D.H.Lawrence

  15. #15
    Gas Turbine enthusiast da9jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Radelaide
    Posts
    5,093
    Have a look on wish/banggood etc. They always have random shit mounted on 1/4 hex.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    Tow car/camping bus: 2011 D40 Navara ST

    Baby mobile: 2016 Nissan Qashqai

    75 Mini Clubman club racer - DCOE powah

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    83
    My tig has a amperage dial on the foot pedal (god knows why), on occasion it gets accidentally wound down and the machine doesn't see the full power have set it to. The result is a dull grey surface and I can't get the puddle to form and go shiny, eventually the metal slumps away.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •