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Thread: Tungsten balling up, what's wrong

  1. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    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.
    i can tell you with all honesty, i did not dip the tungsten in the puddle. and how about the previous photo i uploaded which really shows the balling up and no spatters. i've done this so many times. i know when i dipped my tungsten into the puddle. i've posted another photo prior to this. it's the same thing. this is just worst. and with my cigweld, even if i dip the tungsten into the puddle, it's not like this as well. nowhere near. look, everytime i do this testing, i will grind 10 lanthanated adn 2 ceriated tungsten to a nice taper. so evereytime it will ball up, i will change it to a new one.

    i also ground two galvanized metals where i did grind the whole surface as in clean metal. it's the same result. i hate saying this, but i tig welded galvanized with my cigweld 175i and there was no issue. i also tig welded a combination of cold-rolled steet and galvanized and no issue with cigweld.

    and yes, what you can see here is a larger style gas lens.

    but i'm open to any possibility, so i will weld clean metal alone tomorrow. which is kind of odd because are we saying 255ext is limited? too picky? but i'm willing to do anything just to pinpoint the real problem.

    now i don't know anymore. i thought using pure argon will solve it. i'm not a welder, but i've welded with tig before with a few projects around the house. funny thing is, i was not even using 100% argon with cigweld but it gave me decent welds. as i've said, i just don't like that machine because there's no foot pedal, i have to turn on and turn off the gas on the torch valve itself, it's lift tig, and it's very basic. but it never gave me this kind of problem. as you can see, i welded fine in the photo i posted here which is a combination of galvanized iron which i grind only on the edge where it meets the cold steel. no problem at all and i can say it's a very good weld compared to my weld using the 255ext. i have done a considerable tig weld with similar appearance and strength.

    for 255ext, my flow rate is 15 chf. i've tried 12chf as well. i've also tried a little over 15chf with 255ext. i even videod the flow meter using my phone just to make sure the ball is going up as it's supposed to during actual welding. i set the flow rate using the purge button. i believe i'm doing things by the book except using 100% argon which i already did today.

    sorry for my english. it's not my native tongue. i'm trying to explain as best as i could what is happening.

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    how about this? is this not balling up?

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    again, thanks for inputs.
    Last edited by diyjer; 02-06-2018 at 12:20 PM.

  2. #22

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    Yes, that is galvanized or a coated metal.

  3. #23

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    Yes, that is a horrible condition of your tungsten on the CIG weld and it is a form of ball and the tungsten is oxidized heavily. It may not be balled as much but that is poor condition.

  4. Default

    Well,

    Maybe another piece of the puzzle is that you could be starting with the tungsten stick-out being too far.

    About 1/4" is good.

    How about posting a photo of your tungsten newly dressed up in the torch.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    Yes, that is a horrible condition of your tungsten on the CIG weld and it is a form of ball and the tungsten is oxidized heavily. It may not be balled as much but that is poor condition.
    mark, sorry if i did not make myself clear. all the balled up photos of tungsten i shared here were from using the 255ext. i never had a balling up using my cigweld 175i+.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Well,

    Maybe another piece of the puzzle is that you could be starting with the tungsten stick-out being too far.

    About 1/4" is good.

    How about posting a photo of your tungsten newly dressed up in the torch.
    christian, i really appreciate your input, but i know all about stick out. i've read a lot about this, i also watched so many videos in youtube, specially that of jody, on how to tig weld. i've done stick, i've done mig, and done tig with my cigweld. i've finished a few projects around the house with my cigweld. i've also tried 1/4, a little bit more, i've tried the non-gas lens, gas lens, and i still get a balling up. it's like i've tried quite a number of permutation and combination just to know where i'm doing it wrong.

    btw, i also know that using with using a gas lens, you can have a little bit of a longer stick out as long as you up the flow a bit. but not to much because too much flow might also fireback in a certain way.

    but yeah, i will post a photo of my stick out later. i have a day job so i can only do this after office hours.

    what i want to say in a way is, if i haven't done successful tig welding previously using another machine, i will really doubt myself or i won't have the confidence to say that there is really something wrong with the 255ext i have now. i've followed everything i've learned in reading and in watching so many youtube videos from pros and from beginners on how to do and what not to do in tig and other welding processes that's why i was able to successfully tig weld using my cigweld. that's why i'm disappointed that i can't do what i've done using my cigweld with a machine which has got more bells and whistles. i'm far from a good welder, but i really know how to handle the torch, etc. again, my only mistake was that i was under the impression that i can use a non-100% argon gas for tig welding simply because it worked in my cigweld. but i corrected that variable in the equation. so i'm expecting that it will work in my favor now. it didn't.

    thanks
    Last edited by diyjer; 02-06-2018 at 07:05 PM.

  7. Default

    Well,

    Forget about the repeated use of the word "Cigweld".

    Start like a real newbie.

    You've got the right gas now.

    Get rid of the galvanized metal.

    The settings for DC are hard to mess up.

    It seems like your gas flow is OK.

    Now, let's see your torch and tungsten in pristine condition, ready to weld.

    Keep a tight arc, but not too tight.

    Then let's see what your bead looks like after doing those things.

    And, using "permutation" in a sentence is pretty good for any English-speaker. Ha, ha, ha...
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Well,
    Forget about the repeated use of the word "Cigweld".
    Start like a real newbie.
    You've got the right gas now.
    Get rid of the galvanized metal.
    The settings for DC are hard to mess up.
    It seems like your gas flow is OK.
    Now, let's see your torch and tungsten in pristine condition, ready to weld.
    Keep a tight arc, but not too tight.
    Then let's see what your bead looks like after doing those things.
    And, using "permutation" in a sentence is pretty good for any English-speaker. Ha, ha, ha...
    ok, i will refer to it as my other machine. but i'm really a newbie in the sense that i've never tried tig welding on vertical yet, downwards or upwards. in my opinion, i consider myself a newbie for as long as i can not comfortably do vertical welding. all my tig welding were and are being done flat/horizontal or at least on a table. i can do verticals in stick or in mig. but not yet in tig. because, so far, i still didn't have a need to tig vertically

    i can't get rid of the galvanized metal. a lot of my projects are made of galvanized iron or a combination of cold rolled and galvanized. and isn't it that it should be ok as long as i grind it to shiny and clean metal? i always wear a 3m mask and eye protection when i do that. but yeah, i'll tig weld pure cold rolled metal later for the sake of troubleshooting this issue. in case i won't have the same problem tig welding non-galvanized iron later, what will it prove? for one, my 255ext is limited to welding non-galvanized iron (even if grind(ed) to shiny metal) which i will be very disappointed because my other machine has no problem with it, and two, it's the contamination of the tungsten that is causing the balling up? my theory (because it happens fast), based on what you commented earlier, is that, while i was welding the grinded galvanized iron, along the way, while my tungsten is flaring up a little, and because it's flaring up a little, for some reason, small particles of the metal i was welding on flew back to the tungsten which caused it for flare more. and the process is repeated until the tungsten flared up more and finally it can't withstand mounting contamination so it balled up.

    just a theory.

    ok, here's another question. didn't you all tig weld galvanized materials at one point in time? do you only use tig on non-galvanized iron/metal?
    Last edited by diyjer; 02-06-2018 at 08:41 PM.

  9. #29

    Default

    Clenlyness is next to godliness! I've Tig welded galvanized before. It is necessary to clean the metal down to a shiny finish and then wipe it off with a no oil residue solvent. Many use acetone, I use Coleman lantern fuel (white gas), or denatured alcohol. I don't like acetone because its easily absorbed into your skin and might cause damage to your liver and other organs. I hate the smell also. I like denatured alcohol best.

    Not being able to weld galvanized isn't limited to the 255ext, but just about any welder that I know of except for your prized Cigweld of which many have never heard of.

    In any type of welding. proper joint preparation is important, in tig welding, it's required.
    Everlast 250EX with cooler and WP20 Torch
    Millermatic Mig Welder
    Gas welding setup
    A bunch of Snap-On tools
    And a Brain

  10. Default

    Yeah,

    Please, don't even refer to "your other welder".

    Pretend you never owned it.

    Proving you can TIG weld on typical, clean steel will become a baseline for you.

    Then you can move on to dealing with galvanized on actual projects that you may have, afterward.

    Think of yourself as a student in a classroom or laboratory.

    Master the basic bead on plate first, under ideal conditions.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  11. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly1944 View Post
    Clenlyness is next to godliness! I've Tig welded galvanized before. It is necessary to clean the metal down to a shiny finish and then wipe it off with a no oil residue solvent. Many use acetone, I use Coleman lantern fuel (white gas), or denatured alcohol. I don't like acetone because its easily absorbed into your skin and might cause damage to your liver and other organs. I hate the smell also. I like denatured alcohol best.

    Not being able to weld galvanized isn't limited to the 255ext, but just about any welder that I know of except for your prized Cigweld of which many have never heard of.

    In any type of welding. proper joint preparation is important, in tig welding, it's required.
    i also grind the galvanized to shiny finish. wide enough and not only the part where i will weld. in wiping it off, i use something specifically for preparring galvanized iron for priming and painting being used by the auto industry. i'll check exactly what it is. and i always use disposable gloves in all these even if it's not acetone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly1944 View Post

    Not being able to weld galvanized isn't limited to the 255ext, but just about any welder that I know of except for your prized Cigweld of which many have never heard of.

    .
    i'm really surprised about this statement. for one, that most, if not all, welder can not do galvanized. probably because i was previously living in the world of my prized Cigweld welder which has no problem with it.

  12. #32

    Default

    Cigweld is old ThermalArc Chinese machines in the last few years. Galvanized is not weldable unless 100% clean. You have not cleaned it where you welded. The fact there are burn lines where the galvanization has burned off proves it. The discolor as well. You are not getting it clean. You may be polishing it, but you are not getting down into the metal. And it is nearly impossible to clean the galvanized off properly enough for TIG welding. Stick or MIG, possibly, but TIG no as the galvanized often gets buried into the metal as it is ground.

  13. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    Cigweld is old ThermalArc Chinese machines in the last few years. Galvanized is not weldable unless 100% clean. You have not cleaned it where you welded. The fact there are burn lines where the galvanization has burned off proves it. The discolor as well. You are not getting it clean. You may be polishing it, but you are not getting down into the metal. And it is nearly impossible to clean the galvanized off properly enough for TIG welding. Stick or MIG, possibly, but TIG no as the galvanized often gets buried into the metal as it is ground.
    so going forward, if i want to use 255ext for tig welding, i have to stay away from galvanized or i will risk on having the same problem. i think i can live with that. i just need to order only metals which are not galvanized. nobody mentioned in youtube how you mentioned it here about galvanized iron. at least none in those that i watched.

    yes, i can agree with you that i did not fully clean it. or i only cleaned the part and a little bit of what's on and on the adjacent to the part to be welded. i'm keeping my hopes high when i tig weld a non-galvanized later on. i hope i will not have the same problem. but i'm sad because i have to part with my galvanized materials if i want to use 255ext. it's just to much grinding and cleaning needed to use 255ext with them based on what i'm learning here. but it's a small price to pay if i can make good welds with 255ext
    Last edited by diyjer; 02-07-2018 at 04:06 AM.

  14. #34

    Default

    Welding galvanized iron, with or without a respirator is hazardous to your health. The fumes created from the burning of Zinc will make you extremely sick if the respirator isn't just right.

  15. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    Welding galvanized iron, with or without a respirator is hazardous to your health. The fumes created from the burning of Zinc will make you extremely sick if the respirator isn't just right.
    thanks for the reminder. i promised myself after this small project, i will stay away from welding galvanized. it's just that there is a big part of the project where i have no choice but to use galvanized iron because the material is only available in galvanized iron. but the good thing is, the remaining part of the project can be welded using mig. with mig, i can really wear my 3M mask ( a very good one) and i can mig weld in a bit of open space so i don't breath the fumes. and it's only spot welding. mig welding is not as picky as tig in terms of environment consideration.

    most of the projects in the queue can be done with non-galvanized steel. i prime and paint them anyway. it's just that, from experience, galvanized ones tend to last longer when it comes to rust. specially if you prepare them properly before priming ang painting. after the primer and the paint are long gone, the galvanize layer will then fight the rust. so the metal has more layer of protection. most of my remaining projects where welding will be involved are indoor items. so if i prime them and paint them properly, thew will also last without rusting.

    on the weekend, i will try my best to test the AC as well with aluminum. i haven't bought the filler yet.

    got to go and test the 255ext with cold steel...clean cold steel. focus on the task at hand first. will report back later....
    Last edited by diyjer; 02-07-2018 at 06:14 AM.

  16. Default

    hi everyone, i'm happy to say that the latest test was successful.

    here is the sample weld bead..
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    here is #17 torch before welding showing the stick-out
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    #17 torch after welding. looks clean, no balling up
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    #9 torch before welding
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    #9 torch after welding
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    looks like the galvanized aspect is the issue after the pure argon issue.

    thanks everyone for your inputs.

    onwards to weekend, i will try the AC on aluminum and stainless steel. because i have projects as well involving these two metals. in fact, i will be needing one distinct feature of the 255ext which is the spot weld. how good can it be in stainless steel? i have to spot weld solid stainless steel rods to each other at certain bends. i will post that project once i've finished it. it won't be soon though.

    anyway, i'll update this thread again for the weekend testing on aluminum and stainless steel....

    thanks again.

  17. #37

    Default

    AC is not used for Stainless Steel. Only for Aluminum and Magnesium.

  18. Default

    Nice,

    That bead-on-plate looks great now!

    The proverbial planets are in alignment...
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  19. #39

    Default

    Glad to hear it Diyjer. I use to have trouble welding aluminized exhaust pipe with my Miller 251 mig I had to make sure I had it ground off or I would get welds that looked terrible.

    Mark
    Garage stuff

    Everlast 255 EXT

    Miller 251 mig
    30A spool gun

    Miller 211 mig

    Lincoln SP 250 mig

    Lincoln buzz box

    Thermal Dynamics
    Pakmaster 75XL plasma

  20. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    AC is not used for Stainless Steel. Only for Aluminum and Magnesium.
    yeah, i was meant to say for aluminum. but i'm going to weld stainless steel as well. thanks

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