Steel that won't weld?
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  1. #1
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    Default Steel that won't weld?

    Was fabbing up a small frame and I can't get this steel tubing to TIG weld for shit. It pops and spits and won't take a good bead at all, autogenous or with fresh er70s6. Tungsten is sharp and clean, 15chf on the argon. Material was buffed bright with a flap wheel. 3/32" tungsten, #7 cup with standard collet body. 5/16 - 3/8 stickout.

    What the hell? I got 1 good weld (uphill) and the rest look like shit. Even just ran a puddle on a hidden part of the frame and that was porous.

    I'm out of stuff to try.

    Sent via CNC 88HS
    Last edited by Cole2534; 08-30-2021 at 08:48 AM.

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    Do you know the material (A500, A513, 1026, 12L14)? Easy machining alloys are (roughly) exclusive of easy welding.

    But it's more likely the surface of the material is contaminated. "Buffing bright" won't remove coatings and oils from either the rolling mill or the distributor's storage yard. Stick 6010/6011/6013 doesn't care. TIG very much cares. Wipe down with acetone or something similar.

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    First weld was o.k. and now all welds after wards are bad ?
    Sounds like your out of argon, got a hose leak, kink, etc.

    Stick weld it as suggested above, I would grab some 7014 and run it on a.c.
    Very nice weld, no arc blow, what's not to love ?

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    I would confirm that you actually have argon flowing. looks oxidised like there is very little gas like the regulator shit the bed.

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    The phot is a little fuzzy, but it appears as tho the vertical weld is crystalized, as in too hot. however, 15cfh isn't enough if the air isn't dead calm. Check to make sure the gas line has no leaks, the cup seals correctly, and you don't have a small coolant leak in the torch if it's a water-cooled unit. (ask me how I know )

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    Be sure you’re using the correct filler rod - er70s etc. - if you try gas welding rod it will give you that same problem,
    I know the first weld was ok but that can happen with gas welding rod

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    What a day. I added some more detailed pics in the first post.

    1) I am using my spare reg, my main blew out but I got it repaired. Definitely getting argon to the torch.

    2) will increase to 20cfh and pick up a gas lens.

    3) if a fresh sanding pad won't get it clean, I guess I'll wipe it down with acetone. Or is there a better choice?

    This has me stumped because 2wks ago I used this machine to to do a shaft repair that came out great and before that did some light work in 304ss.

    Sent via CNC 88HS

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    First guess would be contaminants, possibly inside the tubing. Other (remote) possibility is trapped air expanding IF all the tube ends are closed and these are the last welds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    First guess would be contaminants, possibly inside the tubing. Other (remote) possibility is trapped air expanding IF all the tube ends are closed and these are the last welds.
    They are open root welds so that could be a concern.



    Sent via CNC 88HS

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    I had this same problem not too long ago, ran great then went south all of a sudden. Turned out to be the argon. As I neared needing a refill, some unknown gas made it to the torch, caused porosity and immediate oxidization. The cylinder had gas contamination bottled right in. Switched bottles and the problem disappeared.

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    The fact that your vertical weld looks half way decent and the horizontal weld is porous could point to contamination as well. The molten pool on the horizontal could be letting something rise to the surface and cause the porosity. Just for grins, can you shift the whole thing ninety degrees and try again with the weld now being vertical? Doesn't really solve your problem, but being the inquisitive type I would want to know.

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    Laminations in the steel? Try welding a test coupon and bend it in a vise to failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    The fact that your vertical weld looks half way decent and the horizontal weld is porous could point to contamination as well. The molten pool on the horizontal could be letting something rise to the surface and cause the porosity. Just for grins, can you shift the whole thing ninety degrees and try again with the weld now being vertical? Doesn't really solve your problem, but being the inquisitive type I would want to know.
    I can certainly give that a try.

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    From the looks of the second picture, I'd definitely be starting with gas.

    Before I tig something I douse it with acetone and give it a good scrub, even if I machined it dry.

    Grind it all out and build the joint up.

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    Everybody will flame me for this, try 308 rod. I have run into the same issue. Once it was argon, changed the bottle and it all went to shit. Change the bottle again and all is good. 308 is SS but it works a treat when you have issues like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hvnlymachining View Post
    I had this same problem not too long ago, ran great then went south all of a sudden. Turned out to be the argon. As I neared needing a refill, some unknown gas made it to the torch, caused porosity and immediate oxidization. The cylinder had gas contamination bottled right in. Switched bottles and the problem disappeared.

    This was my first thought, I've had it happen too. Second thought was to look for cracks in the hoses and leads, air can get sucked in, not just leak argon out. Moving the hoses can open and close the splits, causing irregular problems. Also had that happen and yeah, that surprised me too.

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    Definitely not the material, had terrible issues on some other steel today.

    Dismantled the torch, it was all correct. Tried flow from 15-30cfh. I think it might be an issue with the collet body. It looks fine, but makes a lot of noise, as in whooshing noise.

    I checked the hose for leaks by closing the torch valve, then the cylinder valve with the pedal down. Flow dropped very rapidly while pressure fell off slowly. This machine has the dinse type quick connects, all things considered I think my teat was a good sign.



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    One way to check your argon is to start your arc on a piece of steel, create a puddle stop and hold your torch so the post flow shields that area and if it doesn’t stay bright silver your gas is contaminated.

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    Big thing people dont realize is the CK collects can screw deep into torches and block the gas path. To solve this, you have to screw the gas cap in all the way, then screw the collet in, then lock the collet by installing the gas cup. Then unscrew the back cap.

    I have used mostly weldcraft for the last 20 years, but I am switching over to CK and yes this happens a lot.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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  26. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bondo View Post
    Big thing people dont realize is the CK collects can screw deep into torches and block the gas path.
    I checked that last night, neither the collet body nor cap will block the gas port on this torch when fully tightened.

    I dismantled the torch, and there was some gunk in it. I cleaned it out and my welds got MUCH better. I'm not sure how or why it happened, but it seems there was a little tiny bit of something in there that began to outgas when heated. I sanded some steel bright and ran a few inches of flat bead with excellent results. Still don't like the collet body arrangement, my new lenses should be here today.

    On another note- has anyone tried this weld cleaner from surfox? It's not cheap, but if it works I'd give it a try.

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