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Old 08-24-2009, 10:22 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
MetalShaper of the Month October 2012
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Glen Cove, Long Island
Posts: 1,649

Pugsy, NICE JOB, you seem to have those panels flowing nicely. I am going to offer you some suggestions to speed up your work that shouldn’t be hard to learn because you already have tig experience from work. First is high speed tig tacking but you need tight fit up of your panels and a tig welder with an adjustable high end setting and a automatic darkening helmet. Set the gas cup right on the panel at a 30 degree angle with the tungsten protruding half way to the panel. Set the high end on your welder between 70 & 90 amps, the exact setting will have to be determined by you after practicing on the same gauge material. Set your tig torch right on the panel using the edge of the gas cup to align the panels (don’t forget the previously mentioned 30 degree angle) and the tip of your tungsten should be 1/32” offset to the panel split. Now bash the foot pedal all the way down and release it instantly while rotating the tungsten tip 1/16” across the panel split and you have your tack with no build up from using a rod and no feeling like you need a third arm and just the smallest HAZ. Giving credit where it’s due Fay Butler told me how to do this on the phone and with an hours practice I was doing the same fairly well but you need tight fit up for it to work without a rod. I scribe & cut my panels carefully but if I do go off a little bit I force them together (even if it creates a low spot) and just correct that with my planishing hammer. The same correcting can be done with a hammer & dolly, it just takes longer. Once you get good at this almost robotic operation you will be able to tack as fast as a mig welder and much faster than a gas torch.
Secondly I suggest you buy a tig pen and use it to feed straightened .030 mig wire and just run a continuous bead. You should try to run a fast bead meaning almost a fusion weld but adding a wee bit of that .030 wire when necessary so you end up with almost no bead buildup and a small HAZ. That is what works best & fastest for me , try it on some scrap and see if you can feel comfortable with it, it should save you quite a bit of time over your current method. As a final thought I take a flexible straight edge and scribe across my tacks --- sometimes I have a hard time following my weld line, eyes aren’t so good anymore . ~ John Buchtenkirch Name:  #1aaa11aa.JPG
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