Steel that won't weld? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    You can search the forum and I am sure you will find a thread where someone says a spider crawled inside there when the torch was just sitting around and melted to the head.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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    I dug into my scrap bin and found some rusty/dirty sq. tubing to test and had no problem welding with my first Miller (330BP) purchased in 1971.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 4b096a49-a056-4316-b231-859b2ce5ee3b.jpg  

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    Looks like a gas problem to me too. Are you welding in a breezy area? Any chance the gas is being blow away?

    With that said you really should clean with acetone before welding, also with that level of contamination you'll likely need to grind off the bad weld before re-welding as well. Just my 2 cents.

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    I think its a gas problem, I had a welding friend tell me his spool gun wouldn't work for aluminum, when he would pull the trigger the gas would come out, but as he welded the regulator couldn't keep a steady flow of gas. So try a new tank of gas and a different regulator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portable Welder View Post
    I think its a gas problem, I had a welding friend tell me his spool gun wouldn't work for aluminum, when he would pull the trigger the gas would come out, but as he welded the regulator couldn't keep a steady flow of gas. So try a new tank of gas and a different regulator.
    These come in handy for finding flow problems:
    Torch Gas Flowing Meter Tester Argon Flowmeter For Mig/Tig Brand New Durable | eBay

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  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portable Welder View Post
    I think its a gas problem, I had a welding friend tell me his spool gun wouldn't work for aluminum, when he would pull the trigger the gas would come out, but as he welded the regulator couldn't keep a steady flow of gas. So try a new tank of gas and a different regulator.
    Swapped in a fresh Victor reg, issue persisted.

    Quote Originally Posted by gary-sc View Post
    Looks like a gas problem to me too. Are you welding in a breezy area? Any chance the gas is being blow away?

    With that said you really should clean with acetone before welding, also with that level of contamination you'll likely need to grind off the bad weld before re-welding as well. Just my 2 cents.
    Always! I learned how to weld from pipeliners. Weld, clean/grind, weld, repeat....


    Edit- just to be sure it wasn't the equip, I ordered a new CK20 setup. Can't have too many torches!
    Last edited by Cole2534; 08-31-2021 at 10:20 PM.

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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 has also happened to me on two different occasions. swap the tank out with a different one and see if the problem persists

  9. #28
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    The last batch of seam out tubing I bought had a waxy corrosion preventaive / drawing lube on it. Clearly the application process was a full dip as it was extra heavy on the inside. Weld prep (GTAW) included cleaning the inside of the tubes carefully.

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    If I run into to issues like that first thing I do is to grab a clean piece of stainless scrap. Keep welding, torch and gas settings all the same then put in a freshly ground piece of tungsten and without wire just make a big spot weld. Just stop the pedal and hold is there for 5 seconds then left off and hold the torch still until post flow is done. If the tungsten doesn't look perfect(no color change) and freshly sharpened after then you know its not the work piece but your equipment.

    Doesn't solve the issue but helps cut down on chasing your tail.

    Also don't be afraid to run over the joint hot and fast without wire to burn off nasty junk. Don't need to actually melt the metal doing it just get it hot enough to burn stuff off. Don't forget to drill some holes in the tubing so you have a way for gas to escape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    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,
    When it gets that bad, I regrind the point and use S.S. rod.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rons View Post
    When it gets that bad, I regrind the point and use S.S. rod.
    347ss rod is my filler of choice and E3 (purple) tungsten is my electrode of choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    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.
    Not this body. I have a heavy bundle of ER308 and always like using it. In a way the stuff inspires more confidence. One less thing that could screw things up ...

  14. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    Swapped in a fresh Victor reg, issue persisted.



    Always! I learned how to weld from pipeliners. Weld, clean/grind, weld, repeat....


    Edit- just to be sure it wasn't the equip, I ordered a new CK20 setup. Can't have too many torches!
    It's been a few weeks - what was the solution?

  15. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanso View Post
    It's been a few weeks - what was the solution?
    Increased cleanliness. Usually a bright sanded finish means absolutely dead clean....until your flap wheel absorbs some oil. Application of acetone and clean rags did the trick. I also ditched the dirty buffing wheel.

    Sent from my SM-G981V using Tapatalk

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  17. #35
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    Further observations-

    These welds were for a table base at home. Wife love it in the raw condition so it never got painted. The welds that came out clean after additional cleaning have a rust patina on them, the ugly welds are still as bright as the day they were buffed.

    To me this is an indication that the flap wheel was contaminating the steel's surface with some level of oil.

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    When you get everything just right, and the bead starts looking like stacked dimes, make sure you spell liberty correctly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by David_M View Post
    When you get everything just right, and the bead starts looking like stacked dimes, make sure you spell liberty correctly.

    Kinda like this...
    20211126_074715.jpg

    It's autoge so it's a little sunken, prodec 304 to 15-5

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  23. #38
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    Needs a little more gas flow or post-flow? Sorta oxidized there...

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    I think it's just the different metals, pre and post are set way over sufficient for some reason someone keeps changing it.

    If you are talking about the rainbow, that's normal with some stainless steels.

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    Late to the party but I've personally had issues with mig welders that turned out to be a sticky regulator. We were only able to tell because I watched the gauge while another guy welded and it would work fine for a bit, then the pressure would go down to almost nothing then spike back up to normal like nothing happened.


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