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Thread: Intro and layin' some newbie beads

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    San Diego county

    Default Intro and layin' some newbie beads

    Hey, Doug, a new 250EX owner here. In maybe 10 to 15 hours of total torch time, I've burned through about 1 150 cuft tank of Argon learning with the new machine. I have been MIG welding for about 20 years, but as a hobbyist. I'm decent with it, but not a professional, daily user. I might have the equivalent of 6 to 9 months of daily use on the MIG. From my MIG welding, I have a decent handle on the concept of penetration and puddle management. It seems TIG is changing the way I think about MIG welding, which is kind of a bonus.

    Anyhow, I've been experimenting with the settings and different materials. Thought I'd solicit some feedback.

    The mild steel are some beads I ran on 1/8" 3x3 square tubing, just for practice. I used very little filler, mostly the beads are coming from low speed pulse. Is that why the beads themselves are a bit concave? I did grind the finish pretty clean before welding, but there was a bit of pitting remaining. Suspect that might have contaminated the weld a bit? Is it acceptable to weld with little to no filler or am I compromising weld strength?

    The pulse settings come, more or less, from Jody at On the mild steel, the heat was about 200A, but 35% background current and 35% peak. Pulse fhz = about 1 . Without pulse, I would have used about 125A and adjusted the puddle with the pedal.

    I've also posted a picture of some some AL practice. You can see where I dipped the tungsten and fouled things up pretty good once or twice. Bear in mind the AL box I made and then I've been adding the practice beads over the last month or so. Some beads I'm more proud of and some less. The corner beads on the box are oldest, as I first fabbed up the box 1/8" x 2" AL stock. It is about 5" x 2" x 2" Also, some are much more recent as my skills have been (somewhat) improved in terms of uniformity.

    I'm thinking much of it seems overheated, I think with the grainy surface texture. Is that right?

    Thank you,

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    Last edited by DWSD; 02-14-2012 at 06:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    San Diego county


    also, if you notice on the steel, the beads aren't round on the leading tip - they have a bit of a point. Is this a function of torch angle or the way I move the torch?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Fridley, Minnesota


    In my humble opinion, the steel welds look good. When I did my first and only welding test for a job, the guy had me fusion weld 2 pieces of 2" stainless pipe together, using no filler. When he cut the pipe apart to show me the inside of my weld, there was full penetration, so I would assume the weld was as strong as it could get, with or without filler. Someone with more experience will surely give you a better critique, but they look nice to me, I'd be proud to call them my own if they were. I just got a 250EX myself, and what little time I've had to play with it, I've been blown away by the performance. Good luck!!
    "It's not magic it's experimental, kind of like washing your hands after pooping used to be." -House

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    San Diego county


    Much appreciated. I've got a lot to learn, but it is fun.


  5. #5


    If that's your first tig welds you got the flat part about whipped! Other than time and learning the machine your on the right track.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    San Diego county


    thank you, Sean. Not some ringer here, just about 10 or 15 hours of TIG helmet time. My feeding rod is pretty shaky and I burn through some of the thinner material, but I'm learning and enjoying myself. I'd like to do some fillet welds that look as consistent.

  7. #7


    Hey doug,welcome to the forum!,10-15 hours, beads look really good!
    powerpro 256
    lincoln 185

  8. #8


    The feed hand takes alot of time. I use a mechanic's glove on my feed hand. A welding glove is too bulky and if hard to learn on. If you use a mechanic glove though they are NOT NOT NOT good for heat. You use it to move hold a hot piece of metal and it will burn you silly. When I was learning to get my feed hand I would just practice feeding rod without welding. It's silly but I would watch tv and feed rod at the same time. It really helped me get it down though. It worked for me but see if it helps. Great welds though. They look alot better than mine did when I started. I was grinding tungsten until my lungs hurt from all the radioactive dust.
    Everlast PowerTig 250EX
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  9. #9


    DWSD. Yea the grainy finish is from too much heat. Also for aesthetics, at the end of the weld I let off on the amps enough to let the puddle solidify. Then melt it again and ad a little filler rod. This covers up the divot in the middle of the last bead.
    Props too. That's pretty good for 15 hours. I've seen "professionals" first hand that couldn't lay a real aluminum bead. Your one up on them.
    Power tig 225lx
    Hand tools up the wazoo.

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