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Thread: New 250EX

  1. #1

    Default New 250EX

    Hi all,
    Newbie to tig here. First time posting. Pulled the trigger on an Everlast 250EX and the water cooler. I have a lot of respect for you guys out there that can tig weld aluminum. I can't worth a damn. I purchased a new 125 tank off ebay cause the LWS doesn't have that size to sell or lease. Brought it down with anticipation of leaving it there to get it purged and filled at the disposal. The guy says he'll do it while I wait. Now let me preface this with when I got the tank delivered it was empty and the valve was wide open. I told the filler this and he just shrugged and proceeded to pipe it into his manifold of about eight 330's. He put in a short burst of argon, then disconnected and let that go out into the atmosphere. Then he hooked back up my tank and opened the manifold letting the pressure of eight 330 tanks into mine. This took about 15 minutes time. I sat in the truck as it was cold out. Paid the guy his 65 dollars and went home. Hooked up the tank to my new Argon flow meter that came with the unit and it reads 1800lbs. So I kinda figured I didn't really get the full tank being that it was equalized pressure from their tanks that were 'full'. I know a full one at 70 degrees should be around 2200. Anyway I have spent countless hours trying to fuse two pieces of aluminum together without success. Got a dedicated stainless steel brush, acetone, played with all the settings etc... Using 2% lanthanated 3/32 electrode. 120 hz on the frequency, cleaning on 30%.
    about 120 amps on current setting, electrode neg., pre-flow on 1 sec, post on 8. Sure I've dipped the tip more times than I care to remember trying to get the hang of this, but it just seems more difficult than it should be. I have had A Lincoln mig welder for 30 years now and a stick welder for ten that I am pretty good at making a good looking and strong weld. I tried it on dc doing some soft steel and it works much better and the arc is more stable. Had someone shut off my gas at the tank mid-weld to just see the difference with gas and then no gas and it was quite unmanageable without. I know I'm rambling here and thank you guys for reading this through but I think I have a slightly contaminated tank of Argon being it was filled the way I described. As I said...less noticable on DC doing steel but crappy on aluminum. I am able to run a flat bead of 4043 on some 1/4" plate but that's about it. Anyone have any thoughts?

    .

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Aluminum is more touchy about clean dry argon, and almost everything else. It will amplify any mistakes, so I would first get good with DC on steel, then try aluminum. If your bottle was open, who knows what is in there. You can try running an argon filter/dryer and see if that helps. If you can run a clean 4043 bead on plate without sooting, your gas is ok.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  3. #3

    Default

    This could be unrelated but might also be helpful.

    Are you using the provided foot pedal? Have you tried using your torch trigger switch instead of your foot pedal? I ask because I purchased a 250EX 5 months ago, finally started using it for aluminum more in the last few weeks and noticed the arc control and characteristics were very inconsistent. Steel and stainless was manageable but aluminum was baaad. Using the torch switch made a huge difference in arc quality. Got in touch with Everlast tech support, tested the foot pedal with a multi-meter and found it was bad. Luckily I caught it while under warranty and new one is on the way.

    Like Rambozo said, aluminum is PIIIIIIIICKY... Even down to your foot pedal.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Aluminum is more touchy about clean dry argon, and almost everything else. It will amplify any mistakes, so I would first get good with DC on steel, then try aluminum. If your bottle was open, who knows what is in there. You can try running an argon filter/dryer and see if that helps. If you can run a clean 4043 bead on plate without sooting, your gas is ok.
    Thanks for the reply Rambozo. I will practice some more on steel, but I really bought this thing for aluminum. I do not have an argon filter or dryer so I have to just go with what I have. I really cannot run a "clean" bead on aluminum with a fill rod. It does come out a little sooty. The only really clean thing I can do is run and melt a clean 'path' on some 1/4" plate with just the torch...no filler. I also have notice that I cannot see any "frost" from the cleaning action from the balance control on any aluminum, squeaky clean or dirty. Watching u tube vids I can definitely see frosting on other peoples cleaning action. Never on mine. it is set on 30% and my torch is EN. When i turn up the balance towards 50% my electrode starts to ball up and recede. AAARRRGGG!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gustaf View Post
    This could be unrelated but might also be helpful.

    Are you using the provided foot pedal? Have you tried using your torch trigger switch instead of your foot pedal? I ask because I purchased a 250EX 5 months ago, finally started using it for aluminum more in the last few weeks and noticed the arc control and characteristics were very inconsistent. Steel and stainless was manageable but aluminum was baaad. Using the torch switch made a huge difference in arc quality. Got in touch with Everlast tech support, tested the foot pedal with a multi-meter and found it was bad. Luckily I caught it while under warranty and new one is on the way.

    Like Rambozo said, aluminum is PIIIIIIIICKY... Even down to your foot pedal.
    Yes Gustav I am using the foot pedal. I originally started out using the trigger and then went to the pedal thinking it was my technique or settings on power. So not much change with the pedal. How do I go about checking the pedal? Do you have pin-out diagram? Tomorrow I will try the trigger again. The DC arc seems so much more manageable when doing steel as I'm so used to fcaw with my mig and the flux already on the outside of a stick rod. The A/C buzz on this machine is so annoying.

  6. #6

    Default

    Sorry to say the A/C buzz never goes away. You want it to sound like an angry bee. I wear earplugs and it helps a little on the noise. Steel is definitely more forgiving than aluminum. I enjoy the challenge though.

    About the foot pedal, I got in touch with Everlast warranty dept. with a complaint about arc quality and pedal issue. Everlast tech support got back very quickly with a picture and instructions on which sockets on the pedal's plug to check with a multi-meter. If you have a multi-meter, it's super easy to check everything. I would contact tech support and ask for the troubleshooting diagram. I contacted them in the morning and by afternoon the replacement was in the mail.

  7. #7

    Default

    Here is an update to my new 250EX Everlast welder. I made the decision to bring the tank back to the gas guy with more than 1/2 of it left. Told him my problem with aluminum and the fact that this was my first time here and a new tank as well. He remembered me from last visit. He said he would dump the tank, purge with nitrogen and refill. Come back in an hour. Went to breakfast, came back in an hour, he told me he purged the tank twice with 20llbs of nitrogen and refilled with argon. No charge he tells me and let him know how it works. I go to work, get home after and hook it back up to my rig and low and behold, I can now weld aluminum. Settings were the same as I left them on my original tank. My very first bead was butt welding 1/16th coupons of flat stock 3" X 5". Came out very respectable for the first time. I could not believe my own eyes. No sputtering, black smoke or bubbles!
    A/C balance on 30%, nice frosting of about 1/16th on bead edges and all. I'm very relieved it's not the equipment or me. Now just have to practice a million hours. Thank you all for the suggestions and help!

  8. Default

    I hate to be a cynic here

    But you either got the nicest company to do business with you're ever gonna find, OR,,, you weren't the first and they were already aware of a contamination issue they had...

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