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larry53
04-20-2008, 06:42 PM
What would be the approx. setting in amps using a tig to weld 6061 aluminum tubing with a wall thickness of 1/8 inch?

tstom
04-20-2008, 09:30 PM
A lot of this depends on the machine you are using I have a Sycrowave 250 Miller and I usually set the machine to 200 amps so I have lots of power to puddle at the start but then usually use about 1/2 pedal on the foot control to weld. Try and get some scrap tubing to get set up on. A machine with some type of amperage control while welding is a must to get a good job on aluminum

larry53
04-20-2008, 09:52 PM
I will be using a Miller Sycrowave 180.

tstom
04-20-2008, 11:19 PM
Is that an inverter machine? is so that is plenty if not it's still enough but you will probably need all 180 amps to get started. you should be able to puddle Al in 3 seconds or less when starting to weld ...you didn't say if you had a foot pedal or hand held amp control so I'll assume you do The heat you need half way through the weld is way less than you need to get started because Alum absorbs heat so fast if you don't have amp control then preheat the tube and use a lower setting around 100-120 amps
Do you have wave balance control? if yes set it about 6 (1-10) scale toward penetration

larry53
04-20-2008, 11:52 PM
I do not know if it is a inverter machine or not. I bought it new about 2 years ago. Like I say it is a Miller 180 syscrowave. It does have a foot pedal and a balance control. The control goes from 0 to 4. When I start the weld should I set to max amps or slightly under that? Thanks for the help.

tauntdesigns
04-21-2008, 09:49 AM
It weighs in at 250 lbs, so I think it is a transformer type, not an inverter.

tstom
04-21-2008, 11:30 AM
I think you will need max amps to start the puddle then back off a little to keep a good bead ..try the wave balance at 3
I'd use a 3/32 pure tungsten and a 3/32 filler rod

larry53
04-21-2008, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the help, it will be a few weeks before I try and see if I can weld the tubing.

larry53
05-03-2008, 12:46 PM
I was able to weld the aluminum tubing. The first attempts looked bad but the welds are starting to look close to a roll of dimes. Thanks for all the information. Now I need the practice to improve.

johntm
10-28-2008, 09:05 AM
The amperage rule-of-thumb I was taught is to use the thickness in thousandths of the metal as a guide for setting the amperage. On mild steel, .125" plate welds at 125 Amps. For Aluminum, increase the amperage about 20%, for copper, even higher, and for metals that concentrate heat like stainless steel, use about 20% lower.

twocik
11-02-2008, 02:39 AM
I'm actually looking into a welder and this thread has answered a lot questions for me so far. I'm looking into a Lincoln 175 Tig/Stick and a miller 180 welding machine. I think the thickest I would be welding would be .250 at most.

Would something like the miller 180 or Licoln 175 work or should I look on to something else ?

mc-motorsports
11-02-2008, 03:16 AM
Preheat, preheat, preheat! And CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN! And use Zirconiated tungsten, they are made for aluminum, used by Hi-Tech Trailers, they are the ones who make most of the Nascar trailers, local company, thats how I got turned on to the Zirconiated tungstens.
Pure tungsten is used for the old machines, more conductive than alloyed or even stripped tungstens, but has a lower melting temp. Just go ahead and use thoriated before you use pure, thoriated will take more heat. And grind the tungsten to a point for a pretty weld... Your lack of inverter technology will make the tungsten melt back or ball up after a short time, so you'll have to resharpen the tungsten quite a bit, but it will make a hell of a difference in arc control.
Another thing, get a gas lens! $7 that makes all the difference in the world. Use a 3/32 Zirconiated tungsten, argon/helium mix if you can, and since your welder is not an inverter type(all the difference in the world), preheat, even though it seems like 1/8" is thin.
I'm certified and I use a Syncowave 200.
And if you get good using a Syncrowave 180 and you step into an inverter type such as a Dynasty or Invertech, you'll laugh at how easy it is! Promise!
And when your ready to take on some 3/4" aluminum, mark a line on it with a sharpie marker... Preheat it until the black line burns off and turns light brown and start welding! Or do what I do, preheat it until you can poke it with the 4340 filler and you feel it stick, JUST A LITTLE BIT. Weld enough aluminum and you'll find your own little tricks to make things go faster.
MC

mc-motorsports
11-02-2008, 03:19 AM
BTW, I'll argue that any aluminum welding over 1/16", any joint, can benefit greatly from preheating.

mc-motorsports
11-02-2008, 03:21 AM
I'm actually looking into a welder and this thread has answered a lot questions for me so far. I'm looking into a Lincoln 175 Tig/Stick and a miller 180 welding machine. I think the thickest I would be welding would be .250 at most.

Would something like the miller 180 or Licoln 175 work or should I look on to something else ?

Invertech 205T(smallest inveter type welder I would purchase) or any of the Miller Dynasty welders... Intevter technology is the cats ass! Learn on the old school transformer type, then try an inverter, if budget allows, you won't go back! The MC-Motorsports garantee! LOL!

Rattletrap
02-04-2009, 02:36 PM
How hot should the aluminum be pre-heated to?

mc-motorsports
02-05-2009, 02:35 AM
I use a black Sharpie Majic Marker, as soon as the marker burns off (flashes off and the line turns light brown), your pleanty hot.

In recent years, I can poke the base metal with the filler rod and when I feel the filler stick, ever so slightly, start welding. That one is hard to explain, and no I don't jab the material, I pretty much only touch it, takes some experience.

MC

Rattletrap
02-05-2009, 11:23 AM
I use a black Sharpie Majic Marker, as soon as the marker burns off (flashes off and the line turns light brown), your pleanty hot.

In recent years, I can poke the base metal with the filler rod and when I feel the filler stick, ever so slightly, start welding. That one is hard to explain, and no I don't jab the material, I pretty much only touch it, takes some experience.

MC

Thank you MC

I am to say the least a newB welder and I'm starting with aluminum. Primarily 6061. I have the Lincoln Invertec 205 with a watercooled torch. So far it seems like a great welder.

mc-motorsports
02-05-2009, 11:58 AM
That is an excellent welder. I'm a miller guy myself, but the Invertec 205 is a VERY nice machine. Good buy! Perfect for maintence and light welding jobs. If your welding 8 hours a day, you might want to get into a Dynasty. But I do know people who use the 205 all day every day.

MC

Rattletrap
02-05-2009, 12:15 PM
That is an excellent welder. I'm a miller guy myself, but the Invertec 205 is a VERY nice machine. Good buy! Perfect for maintence and light welding jobs. If your welding 8 hours a day, you might want to get into a Dynasty. But I do know people who use the 205 all day every day.

MC

I was originally looking at getting the Miller machine, but I found an extremely good deal on this machine. Money Talked!!!

I use this machine intermittantly and its primarily small stuff that is on the bench. I have used it for 8 hrs quite a few times and so far its worked flawlessly. It's me who is the problem.