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Thread: Aluminum SCH 40 pipe.

  1. #1
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    Default Aluminum SCH 40 pipe.

    Well I finally got my cart built and started using the Itig 200 DX. Played around with some 1/8" thick aluminum plate and was getting pretty good and running descent beads. After a couple of hours of that I moved onto steel. My steel beads suck big time. They look more like mig beads then stack of dimes. More practice I guess. Back to the aluminum I tried to tig some sch 40 3/4" pipe. It was horrible. I could not get a tack going for the life of me. It would puddle one side or the other. Add filler rod and it just turned gray. The more I tried the worse it got to the point it would melt a hole. I am using 2% lanthanated 3/32 tungsten and 3/32 4035 filler rod. I have just about used up the one lanthanated rod that came with the tig and I have to wait for more to be shipped to me. All I can get here is thoraited or maybe ceraited . Some times it would hold a nice small tip and the next time it would eat the electrode.

    Still experimenting with the AC freq and Balance. I have to get this SCH 40 pipe figured out because I have a project that I need to do in about a months time. I have a tube notcher to make nice tight fit up. I wiped with acetone , scuffed with a wire stainless brush and then wiped again with acetone.


    Also my welder came with a stubby kit and for the life of me I could not get it to work worth a dame. It would ball the electrode really quick. Do I need to run more gas with the stubby kit. I have it set so the top of the ball is floating just pass the 20 SCFH. No trouble with the standard size cups.

    How do you determine which cup to use. For electrodes I only have 3/32 and 1/16. Cups go from 4 to 8.

    I found that I only needed 85 to 90 amps to weld 1/8" and get nice beads. Maybe this is cold but if I go to 120 it seems to melt fast and I have to travel fast with a very flat weld bead after. It seems like I never put any filler rod in.

    Another problem I seem to have is I can not weld a lap joint. I just melt away the edge of the top plate like crazy. Less amperage didn't\t help.

    Well back to the shop to keep trying.
    Last edited by nitris223; 11-27-2013 at 06:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Getting two pieces to join can be a little tricky. The good news is once you get that first tack, it's a lot easier to keep things going. The trick is to have both pieces super clean and fitted closely. Then start with a low amperage and let the cleaning action work, moving the arc from one part to the other. This will also build some heat into both parts. Then crank up the amperage to start a puddle, and add some filler. Work the arc to wash that puddle over to the other part. Remember molten metal will flow towards the heat source, and arc force can also push it around. Sometimes a quick blast at higher amperage will do the trick for you.

    You can use thoriated or ceriated as well. Be sure to keep your AC balance below 40% to keep your tungsten in good shape.

    Not sure what is going on with your stubby kit. Is everything sealed up good? 20 cfh is about all you want to run, you can usually get by with less depending on cup size. 10-15 cfh is a good place to start.

    Cup size depends on amperage and the material you are welding. Aluminum needs a larger cup than steel, stainless larger yet, and titanium requires a giant one.

    For thin sheet metal work a 1/16" tungsten and a #4 cup is a good combo for steel. Moving to your 1/8" aluminum, bump that to 3/32" tungsten and a #6 - #8 cup.

    The amount of amperage required depends on a number of factors. With small parts of aluminum, you will find you need less and less as the part heats up.
    With a lap joint, the thing to do is build the weld from the lower part, first. Edges melt much easier, and corners easier still, so don't start there if possible.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

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    Thanks Rambozo. I am going to give it another try tonight. I thought thorinated was only for DC. My LWS only has pure and thorinated.

    As for the stubby kit I am going to give that another go. I am thinking I had the balance to high. I think the 200DX starts at 30% so I will start there. Also bought some short pieces of sch 40 to give that another try. I am going to chuck them in the lathe and give them a good cleaning with some emery paper and then clean with acetone. I will also try longer pieces. Last night I was being a tight arse and trying to use the small cut off pieces about 2 inches long. Wouldn't take much to heat them up and cause some problems.

    I am thinking about getting a flex head torch. I can already see it will be needed for my project. I would like to get as small as possible and get something that is easier to manipulate. I find the stock one cumbersome to manage . I see ones that just have a single red hose, I take it those are for peddle use only. . Is there a certain connector that I need to fit the everlast machines.

  4. #4

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    If you're using pure then that's 90% of the problem right there.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitris223 View Post
    Thanks Rambozo. I am going to give it another try tonight. I thought thorinated was only for DC. My LWS only has pure and thorinated.

    As for the stubby kit I am going to give that another go. I am thinking I had the balance to high. I think the 200DX starts at 30% so I will start there. Also bought some short pieces of sch 40 to give that another try. I am going to chuck them in the lathe and give them a good cleaning with some emery paper and then clean with acetone. I will also try longer pieces. Last night I was being a tight arse and trying to use the small cut off pieces about 2 inches long. Wouldn't take much to heat them up and cause some problems.

    I am thinking about getting a flex head torch. I can already see it will be needed for my project. I would like to get as small as possible and get something that is easier to manipulate. I find the stock one cumbersome to manage . I see ones that just have a single red hose, I take it those are for peddle use only. . Is there a certain connector that I need to fit the everlast machines.
    2% lanthanated works well for everything. The old transformer machines used pure (green).
    Everlast sells really nice CK torches with superflex leads that will be plug and play for your machine. Just call sales.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

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    Not using Pure. Just the lanthanated and ceriated that came with the kit. one of each and with my noobie mistakes they won't last me that long. My LWS only carries pure and thoraited. Nobody around here seems to care about lanthanated. Looking at there stock and the amount of dust I don't think they move much product. I was hoping to find some local to get me by until my order gets here. Probably 2 weeks away. I have some 1/16th electrodes that I will have to try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama585 View Post
    2% lanthanated works well for everything. The old transformer machines used pure (green).
    Everlast sells really nice CK torches with superflex leads that will be plug and play for your machine. Just call sales.
    You say everlast sells CK torches. Wonder why Duncan never mentioned them when I was asking about a smaller flex head torch. Need to get a price on that.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitris223 View Post
    You say everlast sells CK torches. Wonder why Duncan never mentioned them when I was asking about a smaller flex head torch. Need to get a price on that.
    Everlast USA sells them. Sorry I didn't notice you're in Canada.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

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    I think I am going to get a CK 130 torch. Now all I have to find out is will the other 9 series consumables fit. I have some ordered that work with the stubby kit from the 26 series torch. About the only thing I found that might be different is the heat shield may have to be bought from CK if I need some spares.

    Everlast Canada has some flex head torches but I don't think they have the super flex hose. Price wise they are $130. I can do the CK 130 with the male dinse safe loc connector for the same price shipped.
    Last edited by nitris223; 11-28-2013 at 03:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitris223 View Post
    I think I am going to get a CK 130 torch. Now all I have to find out is will the other 9 series consumables fit. I have some ordered that work with the stubby kit from the 26 series torch. About the only thing I found that might be different is the heat shield may have to be bought from CK if I need some spares.

    Everlast Canada has some flex head torches but I don't think they have the super flex hose. Price wise they are $130. I can do the CK 130 with the male dinse safe loc connector for the same price shipped.
    9 and 20 interchange consumables along with what CK calls series 2

    17, 18, and 26 interchange along with what CK calls series 3.

    So your 9 parts will fit, for sure. Some stubby 17/26 cups are actually 9/20 series parts, but others are special. The stubby collet bodies and collets are special and will not interchange. Gas lens is a whole different setup, too.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

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    Rambozo So you are saying even the white heat shield will fit the CK torch. I read somewhere that it was different. I am not sure which stubby kit I have. I added it in on the order when I bought the 200dx so it is what everlast sells as a stubby kit. I know I did see some different size collets, I believe they are 1" and 1 1/8" long. I will have to measure mine and see what I have.

    The trouble I have with my stubby kit is if I screw the collet holder in to the head all the way , the cup will not grab any threads. I have to back off the collet assembly a few threads and s
    screw on the cup to make it work then I can tighten down the cap to secure the electrode. The std kit works fine. Not sure if there was a mix up at the factory with the kits or not. Might give Duncan a call and check.

  12. #12
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    So when I get the CK130, what part # do I need to get stubby collets and what not for spare consumables.

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    The white teflon heat shields are unique for the CK torches, because the CK torches have a beefier (extending closer to the front end of the torch and having a larger diameter there) brass torch head. The extra brass here is probably what gives CK torches better duty cycle than their competitors, but it can make the CK heat shield a little bulkier (larger outside diameter).

    I believe a CK torch will automatically come shipped with a "standard" (which should at least work for standard length non-gas lens collet bodies & cups, and maybe will work for some other configurations - check parts numbers on their web site for your desired configuration):
    http://www.ckworldwide.com/consumables.htm

    (The CK130 you're talking about getting would come with a 2GHS in the box.)

    If you are going to run a stubby / small or large diameter gas lens applications, be sure to get all the parts necessary to make it work (including the proper CK heat shield, if the standard one shipped with the torch isn't correct).

    Enjoy your machine and leaning how to TIG weld - best of luck!
    Last edited by jakeru; 11-28-2013 at 06:01 PM.
    '13 Everlast 255EXT
    '07 Everlast Super200P

  14. #14

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    The only thing you need with the CK-130 is a small gas lense, collets and whatever size cups you want to use. So to be clear, you'll take the torch out of the box, screw the small gas lense in, screw the cup onto it, drop the collet into the back, put the tungsten through and screw the backcap on. I prefer CK wedge collets instead of the finger type. I think two in each size would be a lifetime supply. I use generic gas lenses and cups.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitris223 View Post
    Rambozo So you are saying even the white heat shield will fit the CK torch. I read somewhere that it was different. I am not sure which stubby kit I have. I added it in on the order when I bought the 200dx so it is what everlast sells as a stubby kit. I know I did see some different size collets, I believe they are 1" and 1 1/8" long. I will have to measure mine and see what I have.

    The trouble I have with my stubby kit is if I screw the collet holder in to the head all the way , the cup will not grab any threads. I have to back off the collet assembly a few threads and s
    screw on the cup to make it work then I can tighten down the cap to secure the electrode. The std kit works fine. Not sure if there was a mix up at the factory with the kits or not. Might give Duncan a call and check.
    It does sound like you have some mixed up parts. Do not run the collet body loose. They need to be screwed in all the way to get proper heat transfer and current from the torch body. Heat insulators are the one place where there is not a standard. As Jake said you need to get the kind that go with your brand. The collet bodies, gas lenses, collets, and back caps do interchange between brands, for the most part. It sounds like the insulator with your stubby kit is too thick, for your torch. A CK 130 is what they call series 2 so it already takes the small hardware, and doesn't get a stubby kit. You can see the full list of CK parts for it, HERE. Cups are different for the different types of collet bodies as they have a different thread size; standard, small gas lens, large gas lens, and gas saver.

    There is a special short gas lens, but it requires special reverse collets and you have to cut your tugnsten to proper length to fit. It is NOT the thing to be learning with for sure.

    As to what to get, see what comes with your torch and what you have, but I would start with 1/16 and 3/32 standard collet bodies and collets, short, medium, and long back caps, #4 - #8 standard length cups. To go with a gas lens setup, swap out the collet bodies for the gas lens versions and use the gas lens cups.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

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    Well I like tig welding so far and knew right off the hop that a more maneuverable torch was going to be on the list with in 5 minutes of using the welder. This torch is the new version and not the old blue one they use to sell. It will still be used for high amp applications but some of the places that I have needed welded on sleds would call for something smaller and flexible. Now I am torn between the flex head torch or the flex loc torch. I will pick up consumables and have a good supply on hand because my local LWS has squat for consumables. I will be getting the consumables from weldingcity if possible. Just need to make sure I am getting the right stuff. Weldfabulous is where I will be getting the torch. Maybe I will get just the flex lock head/ handle and the CK 130 flex in complete torch. Maybe the flex loc is the best way to go. I don't think I will be getting a gas saver or gas lens just yet. They seem larger then the series 9 stuff and I need to keep as compact as possible for the time being. Seeing that I also bought the Imig 200 at the same time I have to pick up some spare items for that also. I was at about $250 in spare items but now the new torch will bump that up a bit more. Does anyone know if the mig tips are the same as miller tips.

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    Its funny but when I first started I found the big torch a real problem to. I got one of Duncan's WP-20 torches and really liked it. Then as I got halfway good (~3 years), my preference went back to the big one. Nice having both though.

    Also when I first started I didn't think I would ever be able to do tube: my first attempts were disasters. That didn't take long to get OK at it though. Same with fillets. Nothing, neither torches, electrodes, lenses, helmets, even an amazing Everlast inverter beats seat time at improving your welds when you start out.

    9 times out of ten I find the extra stickout you can get with the lense is more useful than having a small cup when working at difficult angles like in tube work. But I think I mentioned that already.

    Princess Auto has lanthanated but only 1/16" and 1%, which is probably pretty useless to you. Easy to grind though!
    Last edited by Paul Moir; 11-29-2013 at 01:15 AM.

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    I may very well get use to the bigger torch but to speed up my learning curve , I think a lighter , easier to manipulate torch might be nice to have. I find that when things are smaller, gloves are thinner , etc I can work better. It's like when I buy a scope for one of my guns. Most guys will settle with the tried and true 3x9x40. Not me I buy 4x12x40 or 4x12 x16 minimum. The closer I can see the better I can shoot. I use a 4x12 on my 22lr for gophers. I don't wear mechanics gloves when I work on sled. Either thin nitrile gloves or bare hands. Most of time I have to see with my hands when trying to install a bolt in a awkward position. More then once I have been back on to a sled with my hand behind me trying to get a bolt in because that is the only way my hand would fit. That's where I think a flex head or flex loc would come in handy. It won't be the first time I buy a tool and use it very little but it is nice to have when the need arises. I tend to buy extras of everything because I hate waiting for something to arrive in the mail when it is needed right away. It only seems to take longer. If I don't buy it now I may never buy it but I may also turn away jobs because I know I can't get in there with the torch I have. I hate seeing money walking away.

    I have a metal lathe that I bought 5 yrs ago. I don't know how I got along with out it. I know , it sucked. I have made very little money with it, never really advertise what I have but it has saved me a ton of money. One thing I know is that I will buy a extra grave plot when I die because I am taking that sucker with me, I hope to never be with out one again. I thought I was going to have to check myself in the physic ward when I lost the motor on the lathe. I went nuts for 2 weeks waiting for the new motor to arrive. The wife had a straight jacket on stand by.

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    Yeah, I'll go down with a couple lathes myself if I have anything to say about it. They're just cheap ones but they've been customized a fair bit, and I really enjoy running them. They're elegant; they'll be as precise or productive as your skill will allow. The mill seems ham fisted in comparison.

    I didn't mean to suggest you should put up with the big torch until you get used to it in a few years time. Just that in the long run I've come around to liking it after initially hating it. And I do think one of those CK torches might be in my future as well.
    Last edited by Paul Moir; 11-29-2013 at 06:19 AM.

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    Hey Paul. How's the east coast doing for snow this winter. Got a good buddy in Halifax . I was hoping to catch up with him when I went back to NFLD this summer but things didn't work out. By the way I never took any offense to your post. I kind of promised a guy that I would build some running boards for his sled out of aluminum tubing and seeing how he is donating his sled as the guinea pig I hope I can come through. I have about a month or maybe 6 weeks to practice tig welding on aluminum pipe. I have always been a fast learner at most things and I hope I can catch onto this quick enough to make descent welds . I know they won't be perfect stack of dimes but good solid welds . I have seen some of these running boards that guys are paying upwards of $500 dollars for and their tigs welds are nothing to call home about. They think nice powder coating will hide stuff but anyone who welds will pick it apart right away. If I could match theirs I would be happy and he will get what he wants for about $350 less. Win win if all works as planned.

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