PDA

View Full Version : What Equipment to TIG with SA-200?



AMMO22
03-17-2011, 11:32 AM
I am getting some requests to do some aluminum jobs, but unless it is something that I can carry by hand to my welding class/shop, I can't really TIG it. So I have a 1989 Classic I SA-200 on my truck, and I know a lot of pipe guys have a TIG setup. So can anyone list the correct equipment that would allow me to TIG mobily?

old skool
03-17-2011, 03:22 PM
AC Machine / Hi Freq Unit / Tig Torch / Argon

AMMO22
03-17-2011, 03:30 PM
AC Machine / Hi Freq Unit / Tig Torch / Argon

What is a good example of an AC machine and HF unit? Can I get them through Lincoln Electric?

old skool
03-17-2011, 04:36 PM
Hobart / Lincoln / Miller / Thermo dynamics / Anyone of the major welding names. Check out all the welding supply websites, sometimes some pretty good deals with free shipping etc.

AMMO22
03-17-2011, 05:45 PM
I have searched and searched and haven't found anything that will let me use my SA 200 to do TIG, I know its possible, but I am striking out so far.

calweld
03-17-2011, 05:48 PM
You are not going to do any AC aluminum Tig with a SA-200. DC tig only, probably scratch-start.

Roger
03-17-2011, 05:59 PM
TIG torch with gas valve and 100% Argon will work to weld steel. You will have no remote amp control with your SA200.

Most think you must have AC TIG welder to TIG weld aluminum. That is nice along with all the modern controls, High Frequency to restart arc after each half sine wave crosses zero volts.....but your welder is DC only.

DC- is used for most TIG welding in this mode most heat is directed at work and is used to weld steel.

DC- with helium shielding gas can be used to weld aluminum Aluminum quickly forms aluminum oxide layer over just cleaned aluminum. DC- provides no cleaning action. Aluminum oxide requires higher heat to penetrate. Helium shielding gas provides this higher heat to penetrate this just cleaned thin oxide layer and a deep penetrating weld. Helium provides some cleaning action. Expensive high quality Helium is required.

DC+ with Argon or helium can be used to weld aluminum with thin penetration on thin aluminum. DC+ electron flow has good cleaning action but puts more heat into torch. Torch over heats well before its amp rating. Water cooled torch better handles this extra heat. Larger electrode is needed to handle this extra heat without spitting electrode tip into puddle.

AC TIG has many advantages with modern welders you can adjust AC balance to get only need amount of cleaning action so more heat into weld. Square wave AC and more on dedicated TIG welders. As you know your SA200 has no AC power for a TIG welder.

AMMO22
03-17-2011, 06:09 PM
The DC- makes sense, just like welding a aluminum with regular TIG setup. So would I just need helium and a TIG torch(incl. water cooler) and run it right from where my stinger and ground are now on the SA 200?

I promise I can weld a little, but this isn't a normal setup and I am uneducated in this area. Just wanted to get that out there because I feel like the question I'm asking sounds like a neewbie (although I still have a very great deal to learn).

Roger
03-18-2011, 12:14 AM
Here are some of the problems.

Without high frequency start you will scratch start. Scratch start on a start plate to eliminate start defects. Nice to have remote start/stop switch for clean stops not provided by pulling away torch otherwise run off plate is used. Can't turn down amps with foot control as metal heats up during weld so you need to speed up travel during weld to control heat.

Treat it as learning experience. Start welding steel until you are good at TIG welding. Only then try aluminum TIG welding with expensive helium shielding gas and water cooled torch. Maybe it will be easy to learn for you if you have done lots of gas welding. Can't pull back TIG torch to control heat like gas welding. This is not a fast, easy learning process even with a modern TIG welder. Good luck you will need it.

Stick electrode holder can clamp onto welder end of TIG electrode lead.

If you are at welding school you can try TIG welding using TIG welder without foot amp control and HF start to see how much harder it is to weld this way.

AMMO22
03-18-2011, 06:49 AM
Here are some of the problems.

Without high frequency start you will scratch start. Scratch start on a start plate to eliminate start defects. Nice to have remote start/stop switch for clean stops not provided by pulling away torch otherwise run off plate is used. Can't turn down amps with foot control as metal heats up during weld so you need to speed up travel during weld to control heat.

Treat it as learning experience. Start welding steel until you are good at TIG welding. Only then try aluminum TIG welding with expensive helium shielding gas and water cooled torch. Maybe it will be easy to learn for you if you have done lots of gas welding. Can't pull back TIG torch to control heat like gas welding. This is not a fast, easy learning process even with a modern TIG welder. Good luck you will need it.

Stick electrode holder can clamp onto welder end of TIG electrode lead.

If you are at welding school you can try TIG welding using TIG welder without foot amp control and HF start to see how much harder it is to weld this way.

Thanks Roger,
I started TIG this semester, we are just past mid-terms and on mild and stainless using a HF start, I have finally gotten to the point where I'm making consistent tight thin beads, so far stainless is the only thing giving me minor problems with the filler metal sticking slightly, but it still turns out looking good, without too much penetration.

Now I guess I have to try my hand at scratch start, I know the guys that are in the pipe welding II class have water cooled machines and no foot pedal.

I believe the wider range of materials I can work on with my truck setup, the fewer jobs I will HAVE to turn down. Thanks

DrIQ
03-18-2011, 09:34 AM
As has been pointed out your SA-200 is DC only. DC works very well in the scratch start mode to weld steel using DCEN, without remote current control is is very challanging to fill the weld crator when finishing the aluminum weld.

With DC tig the DC- puts 70% of the heat into the work and 30% on the electrode. DC+ put 70% of the heat on the electrode and 30% of the heat on the work.

DC+ works well on thin aluminum because the + side of the AC arc is what provides the cathode (oxide) cleaning and due to the high heat on the tungsten the tungsten size must be increased.

DC- is used for welding thick aluminum but has no cleaning so the material must be extremely clean.

The cleaning action I refer to is the white frosted area on each side of the weld bead and to the front of the weld puddle/crator where the aluminum oxide is electrically etched from the material.

SundownIII
03-18-2011, 11:02 AM
Roger,

You may wish to go back and check your "advice". You've given the OP some really bad information.

In tig welding, DC+ IS NOT used except in rare cases where the base material is very thin. DC+ puts the majority of the heat into the tungsten rather than the workpiece. DC- puts the majority of the heat into the workpiece. In AC tig welding the DC+ portion of the sinewave does the cleaning of oxides.

Frankly, I read your advice and sat back shaking my head saying what the he11 is this guy talking about.

AMMO:

The bottom line is that you have neither the equipment or experience to be taking on aluminum projects. I would recommend that you go to millerwelds.com and click on the Resources tab. There you will find an offer for their Student Pack. It's $25 including shipping. Included in that package is an excellent Tig Handbook, a GMAW Handbook, a GMAW-P Handbook, as well as a bunch of other useful goodies (like welding calculators).

That Tig Handbook will explain the details of AC Tig welding of aluminum. There are cases where DC- is used for tig welding aluminum with helium as the shielding gas, but it's normally reserved for thicker material.

Your SA 200 is a DC only welder. It is NOT suitable for welding aluminum. It will tig weld steel, but requires an experienced hand to bring it off.

AMMO22
03-18-2011, 12:28 PM
I know that my machine is DC only (I knew that well before I ever though of buying one). I was only trying to find out what equipment could allow for TIG welding using my machine. I can TIG fairly decent using a HF box at college, but apparently I have to be a pro before attempting to TIG with a Pipeliner, sorry to waste anyones time only to be told I can't weld.

SundownIII
03-18-2011, 12:48 PM
Ammo,

If you don't want to be treated like someone who doesn't have a clue what he's talking about, then I suggest you educate yourself so you could ask "better questions".

And yes, at this point, I would say that you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

How can anyone take on "aluminum welding jobs" when they don't have a clue what welding the material involves?

Roger
03-18-2011, 01:06 PM
Thanks for pointing out my senior moment. Fixed it. I am also dyslexic not fixed.

You can weld aluminum with DC welder. His welder does not have remote amp control making TIG welding more difficult not impossible.
Original HeliArc welding used DC, Helium shielding gas, tungsten electrode and hand held filler rod. Now called TIG or GTAW and is still used old HeliArc style by professional welders for thick aluminum at places like NASA.

I will say it isn't the best welder for TIG welding aluminum by far.

DrIQ
03-18-2011, 01:11 PM
Ammo,

Take Sundown with a grain of salt he seems to have a problem with every new guy that joins this site and for some unknown reason is more inclined to rant and offer critisism than be of real help. A prime example is his partial repeat of my post on dc welding but with his sarcasm included

SundownIII
03-18-2011, 01:45 PM
OK Mr DrIQ,

If you're so freaking smart/helpful, why don't you tell the OP how to tig weld aluminum with his SA 200.

My original comments were not directed at you. They were directed at Roger who gave very bad advice. He has since gone back and edited most of it.

If the OP had done ANY homework, he'd have known he doesn't have the right equipment to be tig welding aluminum. His comment about "Can I get them thru Lincoln Electric" proves that.

Being nice and confusing the he11 out of the OP with a bunch of mumbo jumbo doesn't cut it in my book.

And yes, Lincoln does sell AC/DC tig machines. Both transformer and inverter based. They also sell AC/DC engine driven welders but the SA 200 is not one of them.

MangleWeld
03-18-2011, 01:57 PM
It is real hard for some of us not call a spade a spade when it is staring you in the face!!

Broccoli1
03-18-2011, 03:02 PM
I have searched and searched and haven't found anything that will let me use my SA 200 to do TIG, I know its possible, but I am striking out so far.

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=tig+welding+with+an+sa-200&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

AMMO22
03-18-2011, 04:11 PM
Thanks Broccoli1, I had seen those threads last week, but they didn't give any specifics on equipment needed, so I thought (unfortunatley) that I would pose the question here on Weldtalk. I have learned one thing from this thread, and that is when in the future I don't understand something don't come here and ask the question.

I am an instructor in the AF, and have been for nearly 3 years, my students come directly from basic training ready to learn their new job of assembling, disassembling, testing, and supporting any explosive item the AF has. Now when they get here, they know very little to nothing about building a GBU-12, JDAM, etc. You would be amazed at the dumb questions I get in a day, but I never belittle my students, I answer their questions to the best of my ablity. I am sorry I didn't wake up one morning and know everything there is to know about welding, unlike a few others. It has been an interest to me for a long time now, so I work at Sheppard AFB full time+ and go to school full time for welding, maybe one day I will get there. Thanks to those who actually tried to help anwer my question (however uneducated it may have been)

Broccoli1
03-18-2011, 04:20 PM
Brett,

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=32320

This thread from the Google search seemed to have the info and the last person in the thread mentioned he Tigs all the time with his SA-200

Probably send him a PM

AMMO22
03-18-2011, 05:15 PM
Brett,

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=32320

This thread from the Google search seemed to have the info and the last person in the thread mentioned he Tigs all the time with his SA-200

Probably send him a PM

Thanks again for helping me, the last guy has a SA-250 (diesel machine), I don't think those are strictly a DC machine.

Broccoli1
03-18-2011, 06:47 PM
The DC- makes sense, just like welding a aluminum with regular TIG setup. So would I just need helium and a TIG torch(incl. water cooler) and run it right from where my stinger and ground are now on the SA 200?

I promise I can weld a little, but this isn't a normal setup and I am uneducated in this area. Just wanted to get that out there because I feel like the question I'm asking sounds like a neewbie (although I still have a very great deal to learn).

The cost of the helium will probably stop you in your tracks:)


How you plan on powering the water cooler?;)


Anyhoo- I believe all of the SA machines are DC - don't know fer sure but I think they are designed with that in mind because they are purpose built for DC weldin' and they don't want any AC nonsense in them.:D

AMMO22
03-18-2011, 07:31 PM
The cost of the helium will probably stop you in your tracks:)


How you plan on powering the water cooler?;)


Anyhoo- I believe all of the SA machines are DC - don't know fer sure but I think they are designed with that in mind because they are purpose built for DC weldin' and they don't want any AC nonsense in them.:D

You're right about the DC, but the generator on it produces 3000 watts of 60Hz AC, which would probably allow it to run other things easily.

monckywrench
03-18-2011, 08:17 PM
USAF solution:

You are on a flying base, so go visit the EMS Fab shop folks and pick their brains, maybe buy a pizza. Such shops usually have nice gear they don't use nearly enough. They might let you visit on swings or weekend duty and TIG a little.

Have the SA in your truck when you visit for an icebreaker/conversation piece. :)

Oh, by the way. STAY IN until they drag you out kicking and screaming.

Retirement is worth every bad day or difficult human you will deal with while you are in, and the civilian world makes the Air Force look like a beacon of genius by comparison. :D

Roger
03-18-2011, 09:10 PM
Ammo,

If you don't want to be treated like someone who doesn't have a clue what he's talking about, then I suggest you educate yourself so you could ask "better questions".

And yes, at this point, I would say that you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

How can anyone take on "aluminum welding jobs" when they don't have a clue what welding the material involves?

He like a lot of new welders came here to get clued in hopefully with out being berated. Everyone has to start some place. Better than many he states he is taking a welding class. That tells me he has a clue.

SundownIII
03-18-2011, 11:54 PM
Roger,

Now you, and the rest of the Debbie Do Gooders, have pissed me off.

Go back and read the OP's original post. Read several of his other posts. He may be new to the boards but he's been in a college welding program for over a year I suspect. This is based on his comment that he only has two semesters left before graduation and the fact that he hopes to leave with about "four" certs. Do the freaking homework

In that same first post he indicated that he wanted to be able to tig with his SA 200 and that he wanted to do aluminium "mobile". Does Lincoln sell equipment that will enable him to do that.

The came a bunch of BS responses from the "good guys" who didn't tell him a dang thing. Bunch of gobbly gook about AC and DC+/DC- and tigging with DC.

The freaking answer he should have been given was:1. yes you can tig steel/ss with your SA 200 (pipeliners do root passes all the time) but it's not an ideal situation and requires considerable practice to become proficient.
2. You cannot do moblile tig on aluminum with your machine. It was not designed for that and you're wasting your time trying.

Besides, why is the OP looking at taking on aluminum work that he doesn't even know what it takes (machine/equipment) to do the work.

I would hate to think that I just spent a year of my life in a welding program and still didn't understand the basic processes.

It just seems that we now have a generation coming along who think they're owed a simple, polite, accurate and straightforward answer to any any question (no matter how dumb) that pops into their mind. What ever happened to doing a little homework on your own. He11, in 15 minutes with google I can find everything one would need to read to put together an aluminum capable tig setup.

The other problem with relying only on the internet/forums is that you'll get as much bad information put out as you do good. Sometimes it's due to a brain fart, but sometimes (actually more often than not) it's simply garbage put out by posters who don't know any more than (and sometimes less) the OP.

Why don't more of you guys stop worrying yourself about being so dang nice and "politically correct" and be more accurate/informed about the advice you give.

The internet seems to have created a new generation of folks who are unable to think for themselves and are unwilling to do any real research and study on their own. They want short sweet answers with no effort.

If I had spent a year+ in a college welding program and asked the questions I saw in this thread, I'd be embarrassed with myself. I sure as heck wouldn't be on a message board looking for answers "so I can take on some mobile aluminum projects".



Edit: After posting I went back and read your first response to the OP. I notice that you were nice and polite to the OP. The only problem was your post was chock full of Bu11Sh1T. Even after cleaning it up, it's more confusing/misleading than anything I've said. You throw out a bunch of BS about Helium. Have you ever used Helium in the tig process? I suspect NO, because if you had you'd know it has no place in thin material. Actually, by the time you posted your BS thread, Old Skol and Caldweld had already told the OP everything he needed to know.

Why don't YOU focus on being more technically correct and worry less about how "politically correct" others are?

AMMO22
03-19-2011, 01:58 AM
Roger,

Now you, and the rest of the Debbie Do Gooders, have pissed me off.

Go back and read the OP's original post. Read several of his other posts. He may be new to the boards but he's been in a college welding program for over a year I suspect. This is based on his comment that he only has two semesters left before graduation and the fact that he hopes to leave with about "four" certs. Do the freaking homework

In that same first post he indicated that he wanted to be able to tig with his SA 200 and that he wanted to do aluminium "mobile". Does Lincoln sell equipment that will enable him to do that.

The came a bunch of BS responses from the "good guys" who didn't tell him a dang thing. Bunch of gobbly gook about AC and DC+/DC- and tigging with DC.

The freaking answer he should have been given was:1. yes you can tig steel/ss with your SA 200 (pipeliners do root passes all the time) but it's not an ideal situation and requires considerable practice to become proficient.
2. You cannot do moblile tig on aluminum with your machine. It was not designed for that and you're wasting your time trying.

Besides, why is the OP looking at taking on aluminum work that he doesn't even know what it takes (machine/equipment) to do the work.

I would hate to think that I just spent a year of my life in a welding program and still didn't understand the basic processes.

It just seems that we now have a generation coming along who think they're owed a simple, polite, accurate and straightforward answer to any any question (no matter how dumb) that pops into their mind. What ever happened to doing a little homework on your own. He11, in 15 minutes with google I can find everything one would need to read to put together an aluminum capable tig setup.

The other problem with relying only on the internet/forums is that you'll get as much bad information put out as you do good. Sometimes it's due to a brain fart, but sometimes (actually more often than not) it's simply garbage put out by posters who don't know any more than (and sometimes less) the OP.

Why don't more of you guys stop worrying yourself about being so dang nice and "politically correct" and be more accurate/informed about the advice you give.

The internet seems to have created a new generation of folks who are unable to think for themselves and are unwilling to do any real research and study on their own. They want short sweet answers with no effort.

If I had spent a year+ in a college welding program and asked the questions I saw in this thread, I'd be embarrassed with myself. I sure as heck wouldn't be on a message board looking for answers "so I can take on some mobile aluminum projects".



Edit: After posting I went back and read your first response to the OP. I notice that you were nice and polite to the OP. The only problem was your post was chock full of Bu11Sh1T. Even after cleaning it up, it's more confusing/misleading than anything I've said. You throw out a bunch of BS about Helium. Have you ever used Helium in the tig process? I suspect NO, because if you had you'd know it has no place in thin material. Actually, by the time you posted your BS thread, Old Skol and Caldweld had already told the OP everything he needed to know.

Why don't YOU focus on being more technically correct and worry less about how "politically correct" others are?

Someones parents didn't hug them enough!

Since you are keeping tabs on me SuckdownerIII, here are the classes (welding related) I have taken to date at Vernon Jr. College here in TX.
1st Semester - Intro to MIG
2nd Semester - Intro to Stick, Intro to Blueprint for Welders, and OSHA Safety
3rd Semester(currently) - Pipe Welding I, Intro to TIG, Metallurgy

Now I do have a good understanding of MIG and stick, but I am new to TIG and have the basics for that. Thank God my education isn't determined by you and your willingness to help a newbie learn.

old skool
03-19-2011, 09:53 AM
Hey Sundown,
Gotta agree with ya 100%, been doing this chit for a whole lot of years & some of these "expert" answers on this site amaze me, would like to see them put a overhead patch on a thin walled aluminum pontoon using scratch start dc tig with helium. When your sole source of income is based on your reputation for doing top quality work you have to have the right equipment & the knowledge to use it.

Roger
03-19-2011, 01:00 PM
I come from opposite side there is so much info on Internet, good and bad, written and video stop thinking about it and try it. I imagine he will learn scratch start TIG welding in his welding school so go ahead and try scratch start TIG welding aluminum. Then he is the expert on difficulty and practicality of the process. It will not kill him?

monckywrench
03-19-2011, 08:33 PM
The freaking answer he should have been given was:1. yes you can tig steel/ss with your SA 200 (pipeliners do root passes all the time) but it's not an ideal situation and requires considerable practice to become proficient.


True. The answer is many, many hours of practice. We trained our pipe students on "scratch start only" because that's what most of them will see in the field and they must be able to do it to make a living on the road.

The students didn't reflect on it "not being ideal", they just kept practicing until they could do it. (All amp setting was done by testing on scrap. We taped over the pointers on the Idealarcs and spun the cranks before morning class so they learned to set heat properly every time. When they went to test for a job on some old trashed eight-pack they could cope because they knew not to rely on the indicated settings.)

To judge by the happy hired humans who came back to thank us, Old School training works.

AMMO22
03-20-2011, 10:33 AM
Just to clarify things a little.............

I think led some to misunderstand things a bit. I know I said I wanted to take on some aluminum jobs, but I didn't mean for it to sound like I was going to buy the equipment and head out the next day and start welding aluminum with it. I am currently halfway through my TIG semester at school, and would never dream of taking on a job if I couldn't do it properly and proficiently.

I am decent with aluminum using a spool gun, maybe it would be more practical for now to use that.

When I go back to class starting tomorrow, I will post pictures of my SS TIG so Sundowner can see I'm not just some hack at welding, I'm just not understanding everything there is to know and how it works with TIG at the time. But I do think there could have been a more respectful way for this thread to go.