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Thread: Tungsten balling up, what's wrong

  1. Default Tungsten balling up, what's wrong

    finally, i was able to use my 255ext which i purchased last dec. i was very busy and also was looking and waiting for the CK superflex cables which i ordered from a store in the US.

    so when i received all the accessories, including gas lens, i happily and excitedly tried my 255ext for my project. i was so disappointed. the tungsten would flare and ball up after running 2-3inches of weld. i was only doing DC as i was welding mild steel. i even set the machine to DC easy setup. it's the same. the tungsten would ball up after 2 inches or a little bit more than that. i thought my settings were wrong so ok, let me put it to DC easy setup. and i was still experiencing the same. i had 10 2% lanthanated and 2 ceriated tungsten sharpened. i've used them all because all of them balled up. i even had to resharpen so i can continue troubleshooting.

    i doubled check all my dinse connections. i checked the gas. i even took a video of the flow meter to make sure the ball is going up and gas was flowing. but i know the gas was flowing because i'm welding 2-3 inches in length. the work clamp is connected to the + dinse connector and the tig torch is connected to - dinse connector. i also tried different torches. the CK torches i bought from weldfabulous and also the torches that came with the 255ext. i tried 17 and 9 torches. btw, i only tried 2.4mm electrodes,set up. tried different combination, still the tungsten was balling up. also, another thing i noticed was, sometimes the 2T was failing. i've already release my foot in the foot pedal and the arc won't die until i put the torch away from the material i was welding. here's another issue why i'm thinking the unit i have is faulty. i put the machine to 1 pulse per second. during the weld, the pulsing is almost not noticeable. at 1 pps, you should really notice and hear it. it's almost like a constant arc.

    i've tig welded a lot before using my cigweld 175i+ and it's nowhere this bad. i did not experience something like this. the problems with my cigweld tig feature is i can't have a food pedal with and it doesn't have gas solenoid so i have to open and close the valve in its torch.

    so i bought the pricey 255ext for its bells and whistles. and i'm so disappointed.

    i called everlast australia. he told me that he's surprised as well and that he already referred the matter to the technical support. in the meantime, he asked me to use the stick mode using a stick rod of course and initiate an arc. this, he said, should, in effect reset the software of the machine.

    the stick mode was ok. it welded without any problem. after which i went back to tig setup. so connected the work clamp and the tig torch properly again.
    this time it improved. i would say big improvement specially using 17 torch. i can now weld around 6 inches before the tungsten flares up and balled up. but not with the 9 torch. with the #9 torch, it's still the same. roughly 1-2 inches into the weld and the tungsten would flare and ball up. btw, for dc easy setup, max amp is 90a. for my own setting, with 1 pps, maximum amperage was to 85. the #9 torch from CK is rated up to 125a.

    really disappointed. i had to go back to my cigweld to finish what i've already started.

    not sure now if everlast australia can replace my unit or i can get a refund for it. i'm still talking to them. i don't want a refund as much as possible. i want a working unit. my hopes were very high and i was excited about it becaus i have a lot of personal projects lined up.

    i hope you can help me out troubleshoot.

    btw, i haven't even tried the AC, only DC. it took me a whole day testing and isolating what could be the problem.

    thanks,
    joe

  2. Default

    Gee,

    Most everyone who gets a 255EXT raves about them, and for good reason. You're on DCEN, right?

    Maybe you got a lemon somehow. It's undoubtedly on warrantee in Oz, so you could probably take it back for free repair or replacement.

    But the sequence of events of your getting new CK torches at the very outset of obtaining the machine suggests, to me, that you may have a TIG torch problem, not a machine problem. I mean, I told you not to get that #9 torch, ha, ha, ha... So, I'd put an OEM torch and/or the OEM hose/cable, to rule-out a CK torch/hose problem. I'd check the orientation of your collets, collet bodies, and insulators, too.

    Otherwise, take some photos of your front panel and post them here. Maybe we can spot something obvious setting misshap, like it being set to 4T, or something.
    Last edited by christian; 02-05-2018 at 01:08 PM.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  3. #3

    Default

    Could be that you might be using the wrong type of tungsten. Pure tungsten (green band) should never be used in any kind of inverter machine. Most of the others should work fine. Also the tungsten diameter might be too small. Even though we've seen amperage ranges for each diameter, inverter machines run hotter. I wouldn't use a 1/16" any higher than 100 amps. Just a few things to think about.
    Everlast 250EX with cooler and WP20 Torch
    Millermatic Mig Welder
    Gas welding setup
    A bunch of Snap-On tools
    And a Brain

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Gee,

    But the sequence of events of your getting new CK torches at the very outset of obtaining the machine suggests, to me, that you may have a TIG torch problem, not a machine problem. I mean, I told you not to get that #9 torch, ha, ha, ha... So, I'd put an OEM torch and/or the OEM hose/cable, to rule-out a CK torch/hose problem. I'd check the orientation of your collets, collet bodies, and insulators, too.

    Otherwise, take some photos of your front panel and post them here. Maybe we can spot something obvious setting misshap, like it being set to 4T, or something.
    hi christian,

    i don't think you can blame the torch. i did mention that i also used the torch that came with the machine itself. i mentioned that i tried all the combinations to isolate what could be causing the issue.
    collet orientation? i tried different collets and there is no such thing as collet orientation because you can only put in the collet in one way. i don't understand what you mean by collet orientation but i can tell you i tried different collets. i tried different gas lens and the ones which are not gas lens.

    i'll post some photos of the panel later so you can see the settings. but i can tell you that i've checked everything. did i not mention that i also used the DC EASY SETUP? the likelyhood that you can go wrong with it is slim, in terms of settings, right?

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    Last edited by diyjer; 02-05-2018 at 06:56 PM.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly1944 View Post
    Could be that you might be using the wrong type of tungsten. Pure tungsten (green band) should never be used in any kind of inverter machine. Most of the others should work fine. Also the tungsten diameter might be too small. Even though we've seen amperage ranges for each diameter, inverter machines run hotter. I wouldn't use a 1/16" any higher than 100 amps. Just a few things to think about.
    hi grizzly944,

    i've used the same tungsten that i've been using with my cigweld 175i+ which is ceriated 2.4mm. i've also used 2% lanthanated tungsten 2.4mm. i used up 10 different lanthanated and 2 ceriated. all balled up after 2-3 inches of welding. 255ext was set to dc easy set up which is 90amps max. and for my own settings, i put it to max 80.

  6. #6
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    Default

    How about a picture of the weld? Does it sound right when welding or is there noise like on AC? Is this the same bottle of argon you have used with your other welder? The tungsten looks like it's getting contamination from somewhere.
    Last edited by Rambozo; 02-05-2018 at 07:34 PM.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    How about a picture of the weld? Does it sound right when welding or is there noise like on AC? Is this the same bottle of argon you have used with your other welder? The tungsten looks like it's getting contamination from somewhere.
    hi rambozo, not sure about the sound. i don't konw about an AC sound because i haven't welded in AC. i haven't used 255ext in AC. yes, it's the same bottle of argon 5/2 i've used with my cigweld. but i haven't used pure argon with my cigweld because it doesn't in AC. and right now, i'm just welding mild steel with argon 5/2. it has no problem with cigweld 175i+. the other thing is my weld with 255ext is not as good with my cigweld. because my tungsten with 255ext is flaring up at least a bit which i don't get with my cigweld.

    ok, before we go further with many variables, may i ask, what could really be the usual reason for the tungsten to ball up? from what i've read, and what i've watched in youtube with the best welders around, usually when you are in AC with the wrong direction of flow or when you wrongly connected your torch and work clamp. anything else obvious which can directly contribute to balling up of the tungsten?

    i've attached here my welding photo from 255ext and from cigweld. i can not brag about my welding skills but based on my cigweld weld sample, you can really see here that i'm struggling with the way my 255ext is behaving.

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  8. Default

    Yeah,

    I was teasing you, just a little, not trying to actually blame.

    But, now I think I notice that you're stating that you're using the Argon/CO2 C25 mix of gas with the 255EXT TIG, that you use for the Cigweld MIG unit, rather that 100% Argon to TIG weld with the 255EXT.

    If that's the case, that's your problem.

    Get some 100% Argon for both TIG welding steel on DCEN and also for welding aluminum on AC.

    Easy peasy!
    Last edited by christian; 02-05-2018 at 09:42 PM.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Yeah,

    I was teasing you, just a little, not trying to actually blame.

    But, now I think I notice that you're stating that you're using the Argon/CO2 C25 mix of gas with the 255EXT TIG, that you use for the Cigweld MIG unit, rather that 100% Argon to TIG weld with the 255EXT.

    If that's the case, that's your problem.

    Get some 100% Argon for both TIG welding steel on DCEN and also for welding aluminum on AC.

    Easy peasy!
    Hi Christian,

    Assuming I haven't used 100% argon, are you telling me my cigweld machine can tig weld using not 100% argon and everlast 255 can not? Are you saying everlast 255 can only tig weld using 100% argon?

  10. Default

    Yes,

    Everlast and most all other TIG welding units produced today weld using 100% Argon, generally speaking, though sometimes a little Helium can be blended in to get more heat output.

    If you're using something other than 100% Argon, it's no wonder that you're having trouble.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  11. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Yes,

    Everlast and most all other TIG welding units produced today weld using 100% Argon, generally speaking, though sometimes a little Helium can be blended in to get more heat output.

    If you're using something other than 100% Argon, it's no wonder that you're having trouble.
    thank you. i will report back to this thread again once i've corrected my fault and failure. i'm just amazed that my cigweld can tig using argon 5/2 and everlast can not. well, if it's designed that way, so be it. i talked to the everlast guy yesterday who's helping me troubleshoot the issue and he said it should be alright with that gas.


    anyway, to settle this once and for all, i'll use 100% argon and see what happens.

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    Last edited by diyjer; 02-05-2018 at 11:59 PM.

  12. Default

    Gee,

    That tank is 5% CO2, 2% O2, and 93% Argon.

    Yeah, that's definately a MIG gas to us. Most here on North America use C25 or 100% CO2 for short-circuit MIG, or Argon C5-10 for spray-arc transfer.

    100% Argon for that 255EXT will undoubtedly get you going on TIG.


    Quote Originally Posted by diyjer View Post
    thank you. i will report back to this thread again once i've corrected my fault and failure. i'm just amazed that my cigweld can tig using argon 5/2 and everlast can not. well, if it's designed that way, so be it. i talked to the everlast guy yesterday who's helping me troubleshoot the issue and he said it should be alright with that gas.

    anyway, to settle this once and for all, i'll use 100% argon and see what happens.

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    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  13. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Gee,

    That tank is 5% CO2, 2% O2, and 93% Argon.

    Yeah, that's definately a MIG gas to us. Most here on North America use C25 or 100% CO2 for short-circuit MIG, or Argon C5-10 for spray-arc transfer.

    100% Argon for that 255EXT will undoubtedly get you going on TIG.
    it is primarily a mig gas. but since my cigweld can do tig using that gas (argon 5/2), i also thought that the gas that you use affects more of your weld, like the quality of your weld that you produce, rather than your tungsten/electrode? because the purpose of the gas, more than anything else, is to shield the weld. but i know at some rate, it's also protecting the tungsten (could this be it for everlast?). we'll soon find out.

    ..this is what happens when a computer programmer do welding...

  14. Default

    Yeah,

    No sweat. The 100% Argon will make everything right.

    Maybe you got lucky on the Cigweld 175 MIG unit also doing TIG with the same gas due it being a primarily CV unit.

    You're going dig that 255EXT, especially when you get pretty good on aluminum.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  15. #15

    Default

    Miller or any other one will not weld with that gas. It is a mig gas and it oxidizes the tungsten. That's the issue. I don't know why your CIG weld will do it. YOu may get away with it somehow, but it sure is a poor choice. Not sure who told you at Everlast, but that simply isn't true. Pure argon is really the only gas TIG has ever used since 100% pure helium was dropped due to the expense and problems it had. Some Helium blends are used to boost a marginally suited tig to weld a thicker material, but still no oxidizing gas is present.

  16. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Yeah,

    No sweat. The 100% Argon will make everything right.

    Maybe you got lucky on the Cigweld 175 MIG unit also doing TIG with the same gas due it being a primarily CV unit.

    You're going dig that 255EXT, especially when you get pretty good on aluminum.
    well, i'm really hoping that this $AUD3K+ machine can outdo my $AUD1k+ cigweld machine which doesn't allow me to use foot pedal, doesn't pulse,

    i'm still trying to find the direct effect of the shielding gas to the electrode which is the tungsten (ceriated, lanthanated, whatever). for now i could only think of the stabilizing effect of the shielding gas to the arc. if unsuitable shielding gas is used, one can have an unstable arc. i'm not sure how an unstable arc will contribute to the balling up. so if if it's unstable arc, it will flare up and ball up the tungsten?

    i'm learning little by little.... thanks to all of you here who are willing to help.

  17. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    Miller or any other one will not weld with that gas. It is a mig gas and it oxidizes the tungsten. That's the issue. I don't know why your CIG weld will do it. YOu may get away with it somehow, but it sure is a poor choice. Not sure who told you at Everlast, but that simply isn't true. Pure argon is really the only gas TIG has ever used since 100% pure helium was dropped due to the expense and problems it had. Some Helium blends are used to boost a marginally suited tig to weld a thicker material, but still no oxidizing gas is present.
    thanks mark. lesson learned here. now i know that my gas argon 5/2 is oxidizing the tungsten. that's the on-the-spot reason for my problem. i had the misconception that the gas is only or mainly for shielding the welded metal and has nothing or little to do withe electrode.

    i'll sleep better tonight. thanks to all of you in this forum.

  18. #18

    Default

    I've dealt with this two or three times this week with customers using 75/25 and reporting a serious "machine" problem. But like I tell most people...and even tried tonight and succeeded with one guy wanting to report me to my "boss" because he didn't agree with me and then got his father on the phone who said he was an experienced welder who didn't agree with me, if it is DC and lift start and creating an arc, the welder is doing it's job. If the tungsten is balling up or "burning", it isn't the welding machine's problem. It's an environmental thing.

  19. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    I've dealt with this two or three times this week with customers using 75/25 and reporting a serious "machine" problem. But like I tell most people...and even tried tonight and succeeded with one guy wanting to report me to my "boss" because he didn't agree with me and then got his father on the phone who said he was an experienced welder who didn't agree with me, if it is DC and lift start and creating an arc, the welder is doing it's job. If the tungsten is balling up or "burning", it isn't the welding machine's problem. It's an environmental thing.
    mark,

    i've rushed home. bought pure argon. the guy in the store even double checked with me if i want pure argon and asked me if i'm going to weld aluminum or stainless steel. confirmed. i went home and put the 255ext on DC EASY SETUP. same thing happened. the only difference this time is that the weld looks cleaner (not great, that's on me). as you can see in the photo, on the 7th cm, i had a bad flare up and the tungsten balled up again. photo posted here as well. somehow i'm i'm struggling to make beads. but that's another story and it's me. thought i can tell you, i can weld better using the cigweld. i'm struggling with the 255ext. again, that's not the main issue here. btw, during that 7cm of welding or so, i was experiencing flare up, little ones, until it culminated to a big one and the tungsten balled up.

    so now i've used pure argon in DC EASY SETUP and the tungsten balled up just the same. what's could be my next step/move? i'm beginning to think if i really have a lemon.

    i really appreciate input from anyone.

    joe
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  20. Default

    Gee,

    That's not the tungsten balling up.

    It looks like you've dipped your tungsten in the puddle. That's the molten metal jumping onto the tungsten. When you do that, it's time to regrind all of that off, every time that happens. Get a nice taper with a longitudinal grind on it. Keep a close arc, but without touching the puddle.

    If you don't keep the tungsten free from dipping metal, it can/will often spit back particles into the puddle and make more mess.

    Additionally, it looks like you're welding on galvanized. And even though it looks like you've ground off the strand to be welded, nearby galvanized/zinc coating has a tendency of contamination jumping up on the tungsten and making a mess. I mean, you can join galvanized stuff, but it can be more messy, and the fumes are toxic too.

    What's your Argon flow rate? 15 CFH or 7 Liters for about 100 amps is a place to start.

    That cup size looks a little small, or is that just a larger style gas lens?

    Try some nice cold-rolled steel or hot-rolled steel with the mill scale ground off of it, so that what you're TIG welding is bright, clean metal alone.
    Last edited by christian; 02-06-2018 at 10:25 AM.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

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