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Old 08-28-2012, 08:32 PM
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i'm trying to include image. This was the thickest i tried(.125) and the ugliest. Probably too thick for econotig. Dedicated stainless brush, non dedicated grinder wheel. ground green tungsten to a point.

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Old 08-28-2012, 08:43 PM
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remember most grinding wheels have aluminum oxide so in essence your not doing much with a grinding wheel other than removing material an leaving the same oxide layer you wanted to remove, another thing is try preheating the material you will see you will have easier starts and use less amperage at the same time
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:51 PM
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red or blue welder.

I looked at new welders, and used. found a used miller syncro 250 with water cooler but it was all apart. I was there with cash, my truck with the lift gate, and said I had to weld with it first. to call me back when I could weld with I. . No return calls, then found a Lincoln 255 Sq wave with water cooler, and hand control, It's a good tig welder, for about 20% of new cost. the only thing I don't like is I have to disconnect the tig cables and bolt on the Arc stinger cable and CANNOT arc with High frequency. My Airco AC DC has plug in connectors, Hi freq, that I almost always have on, repairing a lot of rusty or painted Farm and construction equipment, after a while I think I need one of everything, lincoln ac buz box, Lincoln trailer mounted gasoline powered, suitcase mini wire feed, spool gun, etc.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:43 AM
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sure the econotig is not the best machine, but the price is good and makes acceptable jobs in most light situations, though I have even welded up a cracked head.

I don't like the torch withouth cooling, it gets too hot to handle even after a few minutes, that's what I would change the most.

.125 aluminum should get welded pretty well with the econotig.

For aluminum you need to prepare the electrode to a ball point, not a pencil tip, in order to do this you'll need a piece of copper, any copper scrap will do, I have this 2x2 inch piece of 1/8 thick copper stock, that I use for this task.

first off you grind the electrode to a tip, not very pointy, say 45 degrees is ok, then you strike an arc over the copper piece and keep the torch very straight up, don't move it, just keep the arc lit, a short arc is better, a nice ball point will melt and form in the tip of the electrode, now you are ready to start welding aluminum with it, remember you must do this in AC mode, the ball point will not form in DC mode.

Pencil tips are for welding steel and stainless steel only. and you grind them holding them up to the face of the grinding wheel, not the sides, if you don't grind them correctly the arc will jump to the sides and will not let you weld rigth.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:26 PM
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I use Ceriated electrodes for everything now. I grind to a sharp point then flatten the end very slightly. I use a cordless drill to spin them and turn very slowly so there are no grind marks. The inverter welders really like these. especially on aluminum. The Ceriated electrode is a little harder to start for the newbee but this is something you have to learn.

I do alum, 3 types of SS, mild steel and 4130 nearly every day and it is really great to only have to change electode sizes. It's really challenging to weld 1/4 in alum and switch to .019 SS within the same hour.
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