Any TIG welders that can help me?

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I recently setup my stick welder for TIG. I've never TIG welded before, done plenty of Brazing, Stick and MIG.

IMG_1474.JPG

This is the welder and the AMPS setting I've been using, it's running as DCEN.

Using 100% Argon at 20 cfh, 3/32 Red Tungsten rods, 3/32 filler, using a number 8 cup with the screen has diffuser.

It's a strike to start, no pedal with manual gas valve on torch.

My welds look decent but are very narrow 1/4in. I've been keeping the Tungsten sharp, material clean, torch at a 10-15 deg angle, tip about the thickness of a US quarter away from material.

IMG_1475.JPG



Any suggestions? I've been watching weld.com and MR. TIG YouTube videos to help home skills.
 
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waldoar15

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What's the question?

Is that contamination at the start or end of your weld? That could be from lack of pre and post gas flow with your manual torch. A dedicated TIG welder will usually have a pre and post flow timer to keep the gas flowing a little longer.

The bead itself probably looks like that because you're moving too fast and adding more filler rod than you need since you're not joining two pieces of metal together.
 

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The results I see here are normal when TIG welding mild steel. Try a piece of stainless, this won’t happen.

If it’s not a high strength joint, stainless filler will help with the bubbling or you can use something like a silicon bronze filler.
 
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The question is what is causing the weld to be so narrow? The height is about normal for a Stick/MIG.

It's a scratch start so still trying to get the hang of starting stopping while keeping shielding gas on the weld.

I'll try running lower amps and moving slower

This is all just pratice, not really ready to weld up anything yet. I'll see if I can find some scrap stainless. I have some 3/32 stainless filler rod.

The end goal is to be able to weld fittings onto my brew kettles.
 

wyowolf

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Check out Jody at weldingtips and tricks dot com... lots of good info.
make sure its CLEAN... wipe with acetone and grind off mil scale...
with SS you are going to have to purge BOTH sides of the weld or it will sugar up bad... ask me how i know :( and SS is tricky because it wont dissipate heat like reg steel will, you will def want plenty of practice on scrap SS before you try it for real... quite different than mild steel...

the craters at the end is lack of gas coverage... there is a way to "snap out" of the arc and maintain gas coverage... since you dont have a pedal.



 
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cegan09

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scratch start or lift start with no pedal is going to be a long road of practice. You basically need to get your amp setting perfect since you can't adjust on the fly. Welding kettles with that setup is going to be tough at best. With your setup your only heat control is your arc length. The longer the arc the more spread out the arc and puddle, and the more amps you'll need, or the slower you'll need to move, all of which put more heat into the part being welded. Conversely the shorter the arc the less amps you can use and the less overall heat goes into the part.

Stick to mild steel for now. Stainless isn't anything special, and since it's more expensive it's just a waste until you get comfortable with regular steel.

A TIG bead should be narrow, or more narrow than MIG or stick. Off hand looking at your picture, it looks like too much filler for not enough forward progress. The beads are more smooth than rippled. I would focus on moving the bead forward a little more before each filler addition. It will also help a lot to move to real joints. Bead on a flat piece are good for learning the initial muscle memory, but they don't seem to help people learn as much as trying a real tee or fillet joint. If you are plasma cutting that metal however you need to spend time to grind the edges fully clean of plasma slag. If you don't they'll be ugly and porous from contamination.

You're having gas coverage issues at the end, which is one of the downsides of scratch/lift start. I've never used a setup like that so I can't give good pointers on how to properly terminate an arc while keeping gas coverage.
 
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Check out Jody at weldingtips and tricks dot com... lots of good info.
make sure its CLEAN... wipe with acetone and grind off mil scale...
with SS you are going to have to purge BOTH sides of the weld or it will sugar up bad... ask me how i know :( and SS is tricky because it wont dissipate heat like reg steel will, you will def want plenty of practice on scrap SS before you try it for real... quite different than mild steel...

the craters at the end is lack of gas coverage... there is a way to "snap out" of the arc and maintain gas coverage... since you dont have a pedal.



I’ve watched numerous videos of Jody’s and subscribed to his email TIG “crash” course. Have also watched quite a few of “Mr TIGs” videos. I watch several videos a day, take notes, get about an hour 3-4 days a week of seat time, most of that is spend cleaning and re-grinding the tip. Gets old but understand it’s part of it. Trying to find a local person to help me out, but with oil money around it’s hard.

Ran out our argon today have to wait till Thursday when the welding truck swaps my bottles.
 
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scratch start or lift start with no pedal is going to be a long road of practice. You basically need to get your amp setting perfect since you can't adjust on the fly. Welding kettles with that setup is going to be tough at best. With your setup your only heat control is your arc length. The longer the arc the more spread out the arc and puddle, and the more amps you'll need, or the slower you'll need to move, all of which put more heat into the part being welded. Conversely the shorter the arc the less amps you can use and the less overall heat goes into the part.

Stick to mild steel for now. Stainless isn't anything special, and since it's more expensive it's just a waste until you get comfortable with regular steel.

A TIG bead should be narrow, or more narrow than MIG or stick. Off hand looking at your picture, it looks like too much filler for not enough forward progress. The beads are more smooth than rippled. I would focus on moving the bead forward a little more before each filler addition. It will also help a lot to move to real joints. Bead on a flat piece are good for learning the initial muscle memory, but they don't seem to help people learn as much as trying a real tee or fillet joint. If you are plasma cutting that metal however you need to spend time to grind the edges fully clean of plasma slag. If you don't they'll be ugly and porous from contamination.

You're having gas coverage issues at the end, which is one of the downsides of scratch/lift start. I've never used a setup like that so I can't give good pointers on how to properly terminate an arc while keeping gas coverage.
I tried a lap joint today with 16ga scraps, yeah wasn’t pretty by any means. Going to clean up some thicker scraps while I wait for gas and retry.

I’m tempted to see how this TIG works on my Trailblazer 275 vs the Dialarc...I have long enough leads.
 

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One thing I forgot to add, When you want to end the arc but dont want a crater, get a piece of scrap or metal or something and continue arc onto that piece then you can end it without leaving a crater in what you are welding.... learned that from Jody. I have the same problem, no footpedal control :(

I’ve watched numerous videos of Jody’s and subscribed to his email TIG “crash” course. Have also watched quite a few of “Mr TIGs” videos. I watch several videos a day, take notes, get about an hour 3-4 days a week of seat time, most of that is spend cleaning and re-grinding the tip. Gets old but understand it’s part of it. Trying to find a local person to help me out, but with oil money around it’s hard.

Ran out our argon today have to wait till Thursday when the welding truck swaps my bottles.
 
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I noticed today in just running puddles (no filler) that no matter how long I sit there with the arc going the puddle isn't getting very wide. I adjusted my torch height to where the cone is more the puddle size needed, the arc becomes erratic or I loose the arc. I'm running at 100amps verified with arch running by clamp on meter to torch cable, to me that seems like quite a bit. Using a bench grinder to sharpen to a very fine point with the grind grains running parallel to the tungsten, thinking about using a belt sander to see what difference that makes.
 

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How thick is your material? Rule of thumb is 1 amp per thou of thickness, so 100 amps is good for material just under 1/8" thick.

You want your arc as short as possible, I think the thickness of a dime is the quoted starting point.

Again, TIG beads are not huge. They should be smaller than anything you are used to with MIG or Stick.

More pictures will help with feedback, preferably with something for scale like a piece of filler.
 
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Probably 1/4in, I’ll mic it tomorrow and and get get more pics with a better relation to size.

So cranked the amps to 130 and it worked well just heated the everliving piss out of the material and tungsten.
 

cegan09

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TIG is a hotter process than MIG, but if you're keeping the arc as short as you can, the heat effect zone should be limited. Yes the tungsten is going to get hot. Guess I should have asked what diameter tungsten you're using?

If it's really 1/4" material, you need more than 130amps to get any meaningful penetration. Otherwise you're just laying a bead on top of the metal, not bedding into it. 1/4" is probably a bit to thick for learning on. When I teach noobs I start them on material 0.09" - 0.125" thick.
 
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TIG is a hotter process than MIG, but if you're keeping the arc as short as you can, the heat effect zone should be limited. Yes the tungsten is going to get hot. Guess I should have asked what diameter tungsten you're using?

If it's really 1/4" material, you need more than 130amps to get any meaningful penetration. Otherwise you're just laying a bead on top of the metal, not bedding into it. 1/4" is probably a bit to thick for learning on. When I teach noobs I start them on material 0.09" - 0.125" thick.
Tungsten is a 3/32 2% Thoriated, I'll try to dig and find some thinner material, I'm pretty sure it's 1/4in.
 

cegan09

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Doh, you said it right in the initial post...

Yea, find something closer to 1/8", especially if your goal is eventually to do thin kettles. Start with the 1amp per thou of thickness rule and go from there.
 
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Getting better....1/8 material.....cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more then welded. No filler just a torch only run..120amps.
IMG_1609.JPG


Got a little harbor freight folding welding table so I could sit and pratice vs being hunched over.

View attachment 594193
Used a filler rod and you think the material is all clean and it's not
 
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IMG_1610.JPG


The second attachment was giving me fits


A buddy has a blasting cabinet I can use. I'm going to take my coupons there and blast them vs wire wheel, then grind, then flapper, wipe with acetome to get them clean.
 
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GreenMonti

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78FCA508-CF30-4C7F-AF69-DF88F8D840F5.jpeg
B5C743A2-6422-447B-8FFB-8F0C8860AF8E.jpeg
I have an old dialarc machine. The serial number brings up a build date of 1978. I have a foot pedal and high frequency, although I’ve had it go out on me during projects before leaving me to scratch start and stick to the set amperage.

Those images are of .030” thick plate. The welds are .060” wide. (Wider then they need to be) The one weld that looks like a stack of coins has filler wire added. It is only about .020” above the parent material. In my opinion, people use way to large of filler rod. I used .020” filler in those pics. I regularly use .025” filler on material that’s .050” thick and like in the pics, I punch all the way through in one pass. I use 1/16 2% thoriated tungsten.

If the goal is to weld keggles or general brewing fittings. I think you should get some thinner material than 1/8” personally. Due to the ferrules and sanitary tubing being about .060” and kegs are about .045”-.050”.

As mentioned, you tig welds are going to be smaller in weld width. Yes, things are going to get hotter because of the slower travel speed.

Be careful with the blasting of the material to clean it before welding. Silicates will imbed in the material and your weld will bring it all out and it won’t weld very well. You’ll see it in the puddle.

Another thing that will make material seem dirty when using filler. Is not keeping the filler inside the gas envelope from the torch. The hot end of the filler will oxidize when removed from the puddle and then you put all that crap into the weld on your next dab of filler. I like to use the number 12 cups and gas lense. A number 12 is close to an inch in diameter. That seems bulky I know. I personally love them. Bigger cup means you can hang the tungsten out more if needed. Your tungsten should only stick out a maximum of the diameter of your cup. Your number 8 is about, 3/8”?? This also means your filler has to stay in the same tiny 3/8” zone that your 3/32” tungsten is also occupying.


Sorry for the long post
 

wyowolf

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Im seriously jealous of that!!

Besides the cup, what settings did you use? if you dont mind me asking...

View attachment 594274 View attachment 594273 I have an old dialarc machine. The serial number brings up a build date of 1978. I have a foot pedal and high frequency, although I’ve had it go out on me during projects before leaving me to scratch start and stick to the set amperage.

Those images are of .030” thick plate. The welds are .060” wide. (Wider then they need to be) The one weld that looks like a stack of coins has filler wire added. It is only about .020” above the parent material. In my opinion, people use way to large of filler rod. I used .020” filler in those pics. I regularly use .025” filler on material that’s .050” thick and like in the pics, I punch all the way through in one pass. I use 1/16 2% thoriated tungsten.

If the goal is to weld keggles or general brewing fittings. I think you should get some thinner material than 1/8” personally. Due to the ferrules and sanitary tubing being about .060” and kegs are about .045”-.050”.

As mentioned, you tig welds are going to be smaller in weld width. Yes, things are going to get hotter because of the slower travel speed.

Be careful with the blasting of the material to clean it before welding. Silicates will imbed in the material and your weld will bring it all out and it won’t weld very well. You’ll see it in the puddle.

Another thing that will make material seem dirty when using filler. Is not keeping the filler inside the gas envelope from the torch. The hot end of the filler will oxidize when removed from the puddle and then you put all that crap into the weld on your next dab of filler. I like to use the number 12 cups and gas lense. A number 12 is close to an inch in diameter. That seems bulky I know. I personally love them. Bigger cup means you can hang the tungsten out more if needed. Your tungsten should only stick out a maximum of the diameter of your cup. Your number 8 is about, 3/8”?? This also means your filler has to stay in the same tiny 3/8” zone that your 3/32” tungsten is also occupying.


Sorry for the long post
 

GreenMonti

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Not at all. I don’t have any secrets. My weld machine is much older but, it still has the same selector switches on the sides which put you in amperage ranges. The the dial puts a cap on how much you get. Right.
Those welds were done with the selector on the low range and the dial maxed out. Using a pedal.
I’m sure you know that a pedal just means the settings aren’t as critical. Personally I would would control the heat of the weld by the speed of travel and not the arc length in the cases of no pedal.
 

cegan09

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schiersteinbrewing those are looking better. The first picture looks really good, but I know you said it's without filler. The second one looks a touch cold, maybe not enough amps, or too much filler. The porous spots are probably gas coverage related, or you could a big blob of contaminates.

Make sure you wipe down your filler too, everyone forgets that can be dirty.

Stick with the thicker stuff until you're comfortable with the motions. Thicker material is much more forgiving and easier to learn the basics on. If you jump right to .060" and thinner you're just going to piss yourself off. work down in steps until you're at kettle thicknesses.
 

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This isnt a great contribution, but learning to TIG after not welding since HS basically. This is what I did using my lift start TIG, no pedal around 15 amps... the trick is to not blow off the ends... razor blades are cheap and pretty good practice if you cant get much steel to practice with like me...

20180201_184105.jpg
 

GreenMonti

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While I can’t speak to the op’s patience level. I suggested thinner material to get to the end goal faster. Thick material in my opinion doesn’t lend any benefits towards thinner material. Arc gaps are different, the materials move differently, etc....
Once the shift is made the same frustrations will still be there. Just more cost and time to get there.
Thin material welds completely different which is why there are sheet metal welders and fabricators, iron workers.......

Very tight arc gap and arc length control is what separates success from failure along with the ability to feed filler. I’m not talking about grabbing the filler 3-4” back and feed till you run out either. The ability to feed the entire length of wire without leaving gas coverage is what’s required. I suggest sitting in a favorite chair with a favorite beverage watching or listening to another favorite and simply feeding the wire over and over to get the hang of it. If a challenge is wanted during this excercise, then feed the wire through the hole in the end of a crescent wrench trying not to touch the sides.

I’m only out to offer advice to make a great weldor. Pushing hard outside comfort zones makes individuals grow at a faster growth rate. I wish I’d kept count on how many weldors I’ve taught to TIG weld.
 

GreenMonti

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Another thought I had.
Are you welding outside or in an area with a draft? It doesn’t take much to blow the gas away from a TIG weld
 
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schiersteinbrewing those are looking better. The first picture looks really good, but I know you said it's without filler. The second one looks a touch cold, maybe not enough amps, or too much filler. The porous spots are probably gas coverage related, or you could a big blob of contaminates.

Make sure you wipe down your filler too, everyone forgets that can be dirty.

Stick with the thicker stuff until you're comfortable with the motions. Thicker material is much more forgiving and easier to learn the basics on. If you jump right to .060" and thinner you're just going to piss yourself off. work down in steps until you're at kettle thicknesses.
I've been using 1/16 filler, I do wipe it down (between every start and stop) and the Tungsten (after grinding).
 
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While I can’t speak to the op’s patience level. I suggested thinner material to get to the end goal faster. Thick material in my opinion doesn’t lend any benefits towards thinner material. Arc gaps are different, the materials move differently, etc....
Once the shift is made the same frustrations will still be there. Just more cost and time to get there.
Thin material welds completely different which is why there are sheet metal welders and fabricators, iron workers.......

Very tight arc gap and arc length control is what separates success from failure along with the ability to feed filler. I’m not talking about grabbing the filler 3-4” back and feed till you run out either. The ability to feed the entire length of wire without leaving gas coverage is what’s required. I suggest sitting in a favorite chair with a favorite beverage watching or listening to another favorite and simply feeding the wire over and over to get the hang of it. If a challenge is wanted during this excercise, then feed the wire through the hole in the end of a crescent wrench trying not to touch the sides.

I’m only out to offer advice to make a great weldor. Pushing hard outside comfort zones makes individuals grow at a faster growth rate. I wish I’d kept count on how many weldors I’ve taught to TIG weld.
I have plenty of 16ga sheet scraps from the CNC plasma that can be cut into coupons. I have attempted to TIG the 16ga and it was a disaster...even with several tacks the material warped between the tacks.

I have filler rods just about everywhere, to practice feeding with both hands during "down time".
 
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I have plenty of 16ga sheet scraps from the CNC plasma that can be cut into coupons. I have attempted to TIG the 16ga and it was a disaster...even with several tacks the material warped between the tacks.

I have filler rods just about everywhere, to practice feeding with both hands during "down time".
to make you feel better I will post this hideousness... .025 SS sheets... it did not go well at all... warping buckling etc... reg Steel razor blades were WAY easier than this...

20180127_115844.jpg
 

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Thin stuff warps, plain and simple. Stainless even more so. Combating it requires clamping and chill bars (essentially heat sinks you can clamp the work onto that gets rid of heat quickly). Kettles have the advantage of being round so they hold shape nicer, but coupons will heat soak and warp really easily. This is where having a good handle on TIG basics helps. The shorter you can keep the arc, and the faster you can move while getting good welds will cut down on the overall heat input to the part and reduce some of that warping. But if you're holding a long arc and moving slowly because you're still not confident, things are going to overheat and warp a lot.

A common mistake on thin stuff is to reduce amps too much, which then forces them to move slower to get good penetration, which raises the overall heat input to the part. Especially where you don't have a foot pedal you need dead on power, short arcs, and the confidence to move quick.

That's why I teach noobs on thick stuff. They need that muscle memory worked out before they move down in thickness and start dialing in all their settings.
 

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Thin stuff warps, plain and simple. Stainless even more so. Combating it requires clamping and chill bars (essentially heat sinks you can clamp the work onto that gets rid of heat quickly). Kettles have the advantage of being round so they hold shape nicer, but coupons will heat soak and warp really easily. This is where having a good handle on TIG basics helps. The shorter you can keep the arc, and the faster you can move while getting good welds will cut down on the overall heat input to the part and reduce some of that warping. But if you're holding a long arc and moving slowly because you're still not confident, things are going to overheat and warp a lot.

A common mistake on thin stuff is to reduce amps too much, which then forces them to move slower to get good penetration, which raises the overall heat input to the part. Especially where you don't have a foot pedal you need dead on power, short arcs, and the confidence to move quick.

That's why I teach noobs on thick stuff. They need that muscle memory worked out before they move down in thickness and start dialing in all their settings.

Thats 100% true... that is exactly what happens, and I have LONG way to go to get to that point...
 
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Glassbeaded the coupons, then a wire wheel, then mineral spirits, then acetone, Increased to my largest cup a #10, bumped the amps from 120 to 127, went from 10lpm to 12lpm on gas (mine measures in lpm not cfh so have to do math), 1/16 filler, pretty good results

56218465433__ECC3428C-AE8F-4581-BEFC-64F088F69F23.JPG
 
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IMG_1616.JPG

Coupon on the left is the way most of mine look...coupon on the right is after 10 min of flapping with 60 and 80 grit....media blasting takes forever also...any suggestions on cleaning process? I have also used the grinder and then flap it works okay.
 

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I wouldnt think you need to clean the whole thing like the one before... just the area thats getting welded I should think should be sufficient...
 

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Some hot rolled steel just has a ridiculous layer of mill scale. I've had coupons from similar stuff that just takes ages to get clean. No good way around it.

100% overkill, but if you have a mill and a fly cutter or face mill you can just run a light pass to take it all off.
 

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Some hot rolled steel just has a ridiculous layer of mill scale. I've had coupons from similar stuff that just takes ages to get clean. No good way around it.

100% overkill, but if you have a mill and a fly cutter or face mill you can just run a light pass to take it all off.
Or a surface grinding machine
 

GreenMonti

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Thin stuff warps, plain and simple. Stainless even more so. Combating it requires clamping and chill bars (essentially heat sinks you can clamp the work onto that gets rid of heat quickly). Kettles have the advantage of being round so they hold shape nicer, but coupons will heat soak and warp really easily. This is where having a good handle on TIG basics helps. The shorter you can keep the arc, and the faster you can move while getting good welds will cut down on the overall heat input to the part and reduce some of that warping. But if you're holding a long arc and moving slowly because you're still not confident, things are going to overheat and warp a lot.

A common mistake on thin stuff is to reduce amps too much, which then forces them to move slower to get good penetration, which raises the overall heat input to the part. Especially where you don't have a foot pedal you need dead on power, short arcs, and the confidence to move quick.

That's why I teach noobs on thick stuff. They need that muscle memory worked out before they move down in thickness and start dialing in all their settings.
Heat input does come into play. It’s also basic geometry due to the fact that welds shrink. That puts stress into the pieces causing them to distort. An example of this is a piece of acrylic that is exposed to water on just one side. It will warp and distort due to a very small amount of expansion on just the one side.
Weld on just one side of square tubing will cause it to bow and not be straight anymore. Pre load the same square tube in the opposite direction and after the weld has cooled it will be straight. Knowing the pre load is another story and changes with every situation.

Clamping a piece behind and on top of thin material helps in two ways. It’s also not difficult to accomplish in the home shop. It also lends the ability to back purge the coupons if someone so desires. Stainless requires it if the weld is to be sanitary. In the case of these lap weld samples that are being pictured. Just one piece across the top clamping them to the table is all that’s needed. A series of tack welds that are about 1/4” apart is the widest I’d go if I wasn’t clamping the pieces heavily.

I still stand behind my advice of welding the thinner materials right now if that’s the end goal. Learning what is required in order to keep the samples flat and what the materials require will not change. These requirements have been the same since welding sheet metal was invented. Low amperage tight arc gaps is a low light small puddle hard to see environment. Thick material is nowhere close to the same.
Setup the gauntlet and force the adaptation. You’ll inherently reach the end goal faster and have more skills built up before you try welding on your brewery.

Schiersteinbrewing, if there’s anything you’d like to see just ask. I’ll do my best to show you and help you. I’m a 5 1/2 hour non stop plane ride from you but I’m willing to help the best I can. I just need to know what your questions are.
 
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GreenMonti

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Here is a quick example of why I recommend such a large cup on the torch. I just finished welding this 2” sanitary ferrule on a keg for a dual purpose vessel in my brewing system. You see just how tight life becomes welding on a ferrule. In my case I use a blank cap that has a hole for the purge to escape and while I don’t use a gasket (it’ll melt) I do use the clamp to hold the cap on the ferrule.
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GreenMonti

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Since I’m board I thought I’d go ahead and throw these up. I truly am not using anything fancy. The machine nor the helmet makes the weld. It truly is the user. Anyone can do this.

I also put in a bottom drain on the old keg pictured above. I got the skirt PLENTY HOT once apon a time. Haha
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Old machine stashed in a dark corner. 1978 ish model. You have to be patient with this machine. It doesn’t react very fast to what you want. New machines are almost instant to your request. Not this one.
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Cheap $20 steady eddy weld hood. I can’t tell you how many airplane parts have been welded with one of these cheap hoods. This one is newer as the crusty one is at work. I got tired of hauling it back and forth. Auto hoods for me TIG welding don’t get along. My hands get in the way and I get flashed. So I quit using them a long time ago.
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0.035” filler cause I don’t have any smaller right now
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Air cooled manual gas control torch. Flex head, though I don’t bend it much ever.
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I hand sharpen my tungsten on a 6” bench grinder white wheel. Nothing special.
 
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