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Thread: First run (with some problems) - Power Tig 225lx

  1. Default First run (with some problems) - Power Tig 225lx

    Hello friends,

    I bought at the end of last year a PowerTig 225 lx while I was visiting USA. I am from Brazil. Unfortunately by that time these machines were not sold here (I don't know if it is now, as I am seeing a brazilian flag on the Everlast website).

    Turns out I only had time to test the unit this weekend. I have had previous experience on stick welding, never tig welding.
    Unfortunately I have had a hard time trying to start the arc. I was not able to, I don't know what I am doing wrong.
    Could be even a problem with the unit, but as I am not an experienced welder, it is hard to say.
    I did a lot of research, watched several videos prior to start hands on.

    The HF seems to be working (several sparks coming from the electrode to the piece, but I wasn't able to start the arc)

    Could you guys see these two videos and try to help me with this issue?
    http://youtu.be/CWlyvFzi0pI
    http://youtu.be/K7nqH6zImAg

    I was trying to weld a 2mm steel sheet, with a 2%, 3/32 ceriated electrode at 50-75 amps.
    I also tried to use a 2% 1/16 lanthanated electrode at 40-70 amps.


    Thank you all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Do you have the manual if not got to (http://www.everlastgenerators.com/do...ertigfinal.pdf) see if you have it set up right. If so go to Technical Support on Everlast site and email them.
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  3. #3
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    Without the rest of your settings it's hard to say what is going on.

    For 2mm steel sheet try the following settings:

    Either of the two electrodes you mentioned will be ok.
    Torch plugged into -, work clamp plugged into +
    Pulse Off, and the blue knobs won't matter then.
    80 Amps, Yellow knobs don't matter for DC (steel) switches: DC, 2T, TIG(HF)
    Preflow .5, Post Flow 10, Upslope 0, Down Slope 0
    Pure Argon set to 6 LPM
    Then hold the tungsten 1 - 2 mm from the metal.
    Trigger with the torch switch and see how that works for you.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Without the rest of your settings it's hard to say what is going on.

    For 2mm steel sheet try the following settings:

    Either of the two electrodes you mentioned will be ok.
    Torch plugged into -, work clamp plugged into +
    Pulse Off, and the blue knobs won't matter then.
    80 Amps, Yellow knobs don't matter for DC (steel) switches: DC, 2T, TIG(HF)
    Preflow .5, Post Flow 10, Upslope 0, Down Slope 0
    Pure Argon set to 6 LPM
    Then hold the tungsten 1 - 2 mm from the metal.
    Trigger with the torch switch and see how that works for you.
    Clean your metal and the tungsten too! I couldn't tell if the tungsten was overheated or contaminated, or both, but resharpen it or install another one that is ready to go. Base metal needs to be very clean when tig welding, as does the tungsten and filler rod.

    Aside from the machine settings being wrong, my first thought was the torch being hooked up to the positive terminal (reverse polarity) instead of the negative terminal.

    Factor in machine settings and any gas flow issues as outlined above, and you could have numerous things issues at one time causing you grief.
    Andy
    New Everlast PowerTig 250EX that is begging for me to come up with a few welding projects so it can stretch it's legs. Did someone say aluminum???

    MISC. TOOLS:
    Atlas 618 lathe
    Milwaukee Porta Band with custom made stand
    Dewalt 4-1/2" angle grinder
    Dewalt 14" chop saw

    Strong Hand Nomad portable table
    Juki sewing machine I've had for years (yes I know sewing is for girls)

  5. #5

    Default

    Major issue is that you were holding the torch way too far off the metal. You should be starting the arc no more than 3mm off the metal. You have a huge arc gap. Are you using the torch switch and 2T? 4T? or are you using the pedal in 2T?

  6. Default

    Friends,

    first of all, I would like to thank you (Kempy, Rambozo, Andy and Performance)
    your help was really appreciated.

    Today I was able to start the arc a few times with no major problems. I was holding the torch very distant from the piece. That was the major part of the problem.

    I was using almost every setting that Rambozo said, torch in the negative (-), clamp in the positive (+).
    The only difference was:

    -in the up slope, down slope (does it affect in 2t?? I was guessing it doesn't)
    -the amperage (which I THINK was contributing for not starting the arc) that was too low for the selected tungsten.

    However, I wasn't able to make a beautiful bead. While I was welding, I had the impression that I saw flames. When I finished, I realized that the bead was "burned".
    First thing I did was increasing the argon (I'm using 100% argon) from 6 to 10lpm. Then I started again. Same thing. Completely "burned". I recorded another video today, please see the sparcs coming from the welding. I think it is not normal.

    http://youtu.be/3ndXBjjzbg0

    Please give me your thoughts. What am I doing wrong? [

    Ps. There is an attached file in which you can see the weld bead. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by marcio; 03-05-2013 at 12:54 AM.

  7. #7

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    You're holding it too far off the metal for one. The other is that you haven' t cleaned the metal and you are burning up mill scale, part of the reason for the sparks. You do see a slight flame from the torch. It isn't what you think of as an arc, but rather a cone of plasma which looks like a flame. Another issue is you aren't steady and that torch is all over the place and it is tilted into the direction of travel. The top of the torch should be tilted away from the direction of travel. Another possibility is that you have contaminated gas.

  8. #8
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    You might want to put something under your torch hand to rest it on, like a small block of wood. You have to be a lot more steady and hold the arc gap even at all times, as Mark said. The best thing is first to practice without an arc or helmet. Just practice moving the torch smooth and steady, holding the gap at about 2mm. You will need to be able to slide your hand while keeping the gap exactly the same. It does take practice. As Mark also said tilt the torch the other direction so the gas blows out in front of the direction you are going. The sparks are from contamination. Be sure to grind your tungsten if you ever dip it into the weld puddle. It's hard to tell from the picture, but I think I see grinding scratches on the steel you are using. If so that's good, if not as Mark said remove any mill scale before welding. Also the steel needs to be good quality. If your grinding disc has been used on lots of other things, get a clean one, as paint, oil and other things can be transferred by a dirty disc, or wipe down the metal afterwards with acetone. The main thing is that for TIG everything needs to be clean.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    You might want to put something under your torch hand to rest it on, like a small block of wood. You have to be a lot more steady and hold the arc gap even at all times, as Mark said. The best thing is first to practice without an arc or helmet. Just practice moving the torch smooth and steady, holding the gap at about 2mm. You will need to be able to slide your hand while keeping the gap exactly the same. It does take practice. As Mark also said tilt the torch the other direction so the gas blows out in front of the direction you are going. The sparks are from contamination. Be sure to grind your tungsten if you ever dip it into the weld puddle. It's hard to tell from the picture, but I think I see grinding scratches on the steel you are using. If so that's good, if not as Mark said remove any mill scale before welding. Also the steel needs to be good quality. If your grinding disc has been used on lots of other things, get a clean one, as paint, oil and other things can be transferred by a dirty disc, or wipe down the metal afterwards with acetone. The main thing is that for TIG everything needs to be clean.
    Rambozo, Performance, Thank you.

    I was able to do a better job today. You were right, the piece that I tried to weld yesterday was grinded. But somehow I think it was contaminated. Here in Brazil acetone is stricly controled (it is used for making drugs). Sales to a particular is forbidden. We only find it mixed with other solvents in drugstore, sold as a nail varnish remover.

    You will laugh, I'm sure you will, but that may have been the cause of the "burned bead" yesterday: Today while I turned on my unit, I realized that the internal cooler makes a lot of "wind". Yesterday I had my unit close to the area I was working. Maybe this is the cause.

    My weld is far from perfect, but I had a huge improvement. Click image for larger version. 

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    And yeah, having my arm resting and my body steady made all the difference. You guys helped me a lot, you were able to solve all my mistakes. Thank you.


    Ps. What would be a good setup for start practicing weld in an aluminum 1,5 mm (1/16) sheet?

  10. #10
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    Yeah, I didn't think to mention wind. TIG and breezes do not mix. Be sure to shield the weld area from wind. Lacquer thinner, alcohol, or carburetor cleaner are acceptable cleaners as well. As with any solvents be sure to have good ventilation when using.

    Starting settings for the aluminum:

    Pulse Off, and the blue knobs won't matter then.
    60-70 Amps, AC Frequency 120, AC Balance 30%, switches: AC, 2T, TIG(HF)
    Preflow .5, Post Flow 10, Upslope 0, Down Slope 0
    Pure Argon set to 8-10 LPM
    #7 or #8 cup with 1/16" or 3/32" Tungsten. 2% Thoriated , Ceriated or Lanthanated.
    Last edited by Rambozo; 03-05-2013 at 07:58 PM.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcio View Post
    Rambozo, Performance, Thank you.

    I was able to do a better job today. You were right, the piece that I tried to weld yesterday was grinded. But somehow I think it was contaminated. Here in Brazil acetone is stricly controled (it is used for making drugs). Sales to a particular is forbidden. We only find it mixed with other solvents in drugstore, sold as a nail varnish remover.

    You will laugh, I'm sure you will, but that may have been the cause of the "burned bead" yesterday: Today while I turned on my unit, I realized that the internal cooler makes a lot of "wind". Yesterday I had my unit close to the area I was working. Maybe this is the cause.
    It's really easy to contaminate the grinding wheel when removing rust, paint, grease, etc. Just the other day I ground down a urethane coupler and then tried to grind a piece of metal to prep for welding. I caught myself with the contaminated flap disc and was able to switch it for a new disc, but that would have made a mess if I tried to tig weld over the top of that contamination.

    A loss of shielding gas, dirty metal (or coated metal) , or a contaminated tungsten are all giveaways of the sparks that are seen when you strike the arc in your video(s). Also, I didn't even notice this until I just watched your most recent video, but you should be traveling from right to left (torch in your right hand, filler rod in your left hand) if you are indeed right handed.

    When the time comes for you to start adding filler rod, the rod will always be "ahead" of your weld puddle and you will dip it is as needed. I can't think of all that many times when I needed to go left to right when tig welding (I'm right handed), unless there was some obstruction in my way or I didn't want to start out in a tight corner welding blindly with the torch and gas cup blocking my view.

    Acetone is used here for making drugs too, but the difference is that in America, we don't worry too much about that. That would explain all the "dopes" walking around on the streets!

    Put up something on top of your welding table to block the wind from taking your shielding gas. You can use lumber, plywood, a few sheets of metal, practically anything that will keep the wind from affecting your weld area. Even hanging a blanket up will give you a little shielding from the wind.
    Andy
    New Everlast PowerTig 250EX that is begging for me to come up with a few welding projects so it can stretch it's legs. Did someone say aluminum???

    MISC. TOOLS:
    Atlas 618 lathe
    Milwaukee Porta Band with custom made stand
    Dewalt 4-1/2" angle grinder
    Dewalt 14" chop saw

    Strong Hand Nomad portable table
    Juki sewing machine I've had for years (yes I know sewing is for girls)

  12. Default

    Andy and Rambozo,

    Sorry for the late answer!!! I got back to work and therefore I had no time to play with my machine.
    I will try to do some aluminum welds this weekend with the setup you said!

    Andy, like I said, I had some previous background on stick welding. I was not expecting that contaminants could cause so much trouble!! The wind was caused by the unit fan, then it was pretty easy to deal with that: I just changed the unit position!

    Thank you all, I will post my updates as soon as I try to do my aluminum homework.


  13. #13
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    Most "burning" is cause by oxygen getting into the molten puddle, check for argon leaks, and make sure your torch is put together good. Keep any breezes away from the welding and make sure the metal is not contaminated....along with the tungsten. Good luck!

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