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How To TIG Weld Aluminum – Pointers and Troubleshooting with Eastwood


everybody it’s matt from eastwood
company and welcome to another edition of eastwood tech videos they were
talking about aluminum welding there’s a bunch of different ways that you can
weld aluminum but today we’re going to cover probably the most popular two ways
that’s TIG welding and mig welding we’re going to start off with the more
difficult of the to take welding TIG welding is a more difficult process it’s
sort of like oxy-acetylene welding and which you have a torch flame and you
have a thorough that you’re adding to it so before you start welding aluminum the
take water highly suggest learning the basics on steel and then you can start
jumping into a window so today I’m going to just kind of fast forward and assume
or hope that everybody is watching this at least has a general grasp on how to
welding process works or jump right into it so with TIG welding aluminum there’s
a there’s a couple key things you need to do that makes you a success allows
you to get a successful take weld aluminum probably the number one most
important thing is keeping the metal queen keeping everything clean really
aluminum welding and TIG welding in general really needs to be as close to
surgically clean as you can get especially on aluminum so when you’re
starting with a fresh piece of metal this is one that we just have a
brand-new piece of metal you can see on the back side here it looks no it looks
pretty darn clean and that’s there’s no huge grease spots on it or anything
really offensive on the back of it but in reality that’s assets of special
coating they put over the top of the metal to keep it from corroding while
it’s just sitting on the shelves that coding you cannot take well throw it’s
going to get going to cause a dirty well to pop it’s butter and caused some
issues so what I’ve done on the other side here as i clean the metal off i use
just today really quickly one of these little angle grinders with a 36 grit on
it if it’s something that’s a thinner grit or something don’t want to use as a
group as aggressive the sanding disc could definitely use it DA sander with 80 grit or 120 or you
could you know downgrade to a 120 or something for one of these discs even
one of the little cookies the like abrasive discs work work as well I’m so
I’ve hit this with it with the 36 grit and you can see it’s a little bit
different of a shade of metal on there and that’s a that’s a queen metal now
what happens is if this metal since we clean this metal we would sit for a
couple days or if it sits for a month on the molecular level this is starting to corrode getting
corrosion just from the atmosphere from the air even one holding this that’s
happening is it enough to cause an issue where while we’re standing here probably not but if it sits for weeks
months definitely at that point he could start to cause an issue so what i always
suggest to do I got good a good tip is every time before you go to weld
aluminum is take a stainless brush I like to try and keep a dedicated
stainless brush just for aluminum in a separate one that I would use for steal
this one for women and I would go over this piece here with the wire brush
where we’re going well just to knock any potential corrosion that got on the
surface just from you know when it’s sitting around or potentially if
something just call you dropped on your workbench or something dirty there you
can you can take any of that off so that’s how to prepare the the piece of
real quick way if you want to really get it as clean as possible the pre-painting
prep our llovio see that’s the key thing i do want to mention you want to use our
llovio see pre-painting prep we can use straight acetone simple green or
something like that to clean your part do not any other under any circumstances here’s a heavy duty cleaner like a break
between our chassis clean or something that’s aggressive like that a car
between they have a an ingredient in them that leaves a residue on the metal
that even after you wipe it off and let flash off there’s a residue that could
potentially be on the metal when you burn we start melting the metal it burns that
residue and it creates basically what is mustard gas so it’s a you know obviously
very harmful don’t want to breathe that in so if you make sure you use a low v
OC formula like the pre straight acetone or simple green or something like that a
less aggressive cleaner those ones are all okay and the flash off and be just
fine so again that’s cleaning it so TIG
welding aluminum there’s a couple key things would take welding aluminum you
do need to use a hundred percent Oregon pretty much all take welding you need to
use a hundred percent argon the other thing is you’re going to flip your
machine if you have an Eastwood machine right here this switch here you’re going
to flip it over to a seaside you should be familiar with the the amperage hear
your pre in your post well I like to crack the pre flow up a little bit
higher and the post flow i like to crack a little bit higher as well so i have
that turned up a bit from where I would well don’t steal the reason being is
that with aluminum as a lower melting temperature it’s going to solidify a
little slower you need to keep your torch and we’ll show you a little bit
held over the area the West Gabba well that you put in need to hold your torch
over for the post flow allow that metal too cool solidify and you keep a little
bubble of shielding gas around it so that’s why that’s really important to
make sure that your post flow is turned up a little bit the the other dial
that’s pretty important here is the clearance affect some machines may call
this a balance control on our machine is called a clearance effect essentially
what you’re doing in a short version of this you’re changing the sine wave
that’s coming out of the machine going from positive and negative there’s a
sine wave that’s going up and down by playing with this style you can
basically make the sine-wave hang to the positive or the negative side so it can
it can hang for a split second or two longer what this means to you why you
care that basically changes how much that changes the size of your puddle and
how much the machine actually cleans how much the torch cleans when you’re
welding aluminum there’s an additional process that does not happen in steel
which is actually cleaning the metal before you start actually adding filler
rod to it so with this by turning more negative you’re going to get an error
more narrow puddle that’s going to clean less so the more negative it is the West
queening you’re going to get the more you turn it towards the positive side
the more your puddles going to get wider but you’re going to a larger cleaning
area this is important if you’re welding different types of aluminum if you’re
welding apart that’s actually on a car that were there was on a car it may just be a casting that’s a more
dirty women on the way I always describe it as if you’re welding a part that’s
off of a you know a nineteen twenties car a piece of aluminum that’s from
nineteen twenties they obviously used much poor quality than if you were
welding something that was from a 2010 Mercedes they’re going to use a lot
nicer aluminum so you may have to change your acquaintance affect your balance
control to compensate for the quality of the metal so with what we’re welding
today this is fresh clean aluminum i’m using what’s called a das lens here just
pull my torture so i’m using a gas lens set up which uses a little screen on the
inside this this gasps let’s setup is much more efficient with the gas
coverage the shooting gets coverage over the area that would be weld which means
that you can get away with which means it cleans better and you can get away
with running a little more towards the negative side when you’re welding
aluminum so for this what we’re welding today I’m going to stick to negative 3
for the clearance effect i could probably even drop a little bit lower if
I wanted to before we’re doing today that’s a nice safe spot so everybody’s
all setup will check our cords here make sure everything’s everything’s tight you
know that good alright so we ever argon we consider a
hundred percent Oregon setup and i’m going to put on some safety equipment
here the helmet and the gloves and i’ll put the machine on and we’re just going
to show you the process for TIG welding i’m going to try and talk you through it
as we’re doing it because I feel that it’s better to kind of see rather than
listening me listening to me go on and on about it thinking you guys can learn a little bit
by just watching the process that seen what it’s supposed to look like so we’ll get gloves on here you want to match your filler rod as
close as you can to what your welding the rod that we offer is a 4000 series so two BR 4043 that’s a
type of aluminum and you take wire that you get is going to have a the type of
the type of filler material that is on the top there so NER 4043 is a good
all-around filler wire you can use this for most should say most all repairs you’re pretty safe with using other is
going to be instances where you may have something that’s that’s a different a
much different grade of aluminum that you may have to upgrade or upgrade your
filler wire to match more closely what you’re welcome so we’ve got a shooting guess on and sit
down here so before I actually start welding show
you so what you’re going to want to do move
this all over here when you start welding we’re going to where we’re going
to actually hold our hand our torch in the same spot for for a beat or two for
a second a couple seconds we’re going to wet the torch clean the metal really
well you’ll see that they’ll be like a white halo that will kind of the ark
will dance around then kind of put a white halo around we’re welding once you
see that forming then you can start giving it a little more throttle a
little more pedal more amperage and you’ll start to see a shiny puddle open
up once you start to see that Shaunie patil open up that’s when you’re about
ready to add the rod common mistake that we see people make is that they soon as
they start the ark they started filler on what a quality and you need to kind
of wait let that puddle open up then you can add your filler rod and start moving
so i’m gonna equip so let me start here and then we’ll kind
of talk you through it let me know when you’re ready to do as
you can see it’s got a dancing around there and give it more throttle get a
little tiny there now I can add my still ride sad filler rod moving you can see that
white halos kind of following where I’m welding and I am pumping the pedal a little bit
that’s the kind of keep my heat and check with aluminum being such a
heatsink I guess we want to make sure that the piece doesn’t get too hot we
don’t blow through so I’m just kind of going along and that’s why you hear that
amperage the the sounds kind of changing as I very the aperture my foot all right now here at the end I’m going
to back off real slow and one last stab a filler everyone hold my torture over
there hear it now once you hear that stop that’s when you can when you can
let off so we had a little bit of a little bit of a brown hero that you see
there at the end it means that there was a little bit of
contaminant on this it could have been just for my fingers touching this could
have been a little bit there showed up at the end so again if you really really
really clean that the partner religious with it you can really get a you know it
surgically clean piece you won’t get that little brown hello there for what for what we’re doing here i
prize should just wipe it off but it doesn’t hurt anything you know again 44
just demonstrating the process but you can see on this piece here you see that
flip it up here there’s that you can see the white here
well thats its kind around our whole entire world that’s the cleaning area
that we are talking about so if we turn the setting we turn that
setting up more towards the positive side so if we go from negative 3 to say
negative 1 this puddle is going to open up quite a bit and you’re going to see
that he’ll open up quite a bit as well so that’s that’s the know that you have
to play with that down to get the sweet spot as you’re learning so that’s the
basics to take welding aluminum hopefully if you follow some of these
little tips and tricks that gave some of the steps can help jump-start you in to
land some really nice aluminum welds the most important thing is that you need to
practice practice practice practice that’s probably the most important thing
with TIG welding in general especially aluminum start practicing on your own
before you actually start welding something that you care about so thanks
for watching if you have any ideas for future tech videos or anything else
you’d like to learn from us for free to leave us a comment in the the video
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watching we’ll catch you next time yeah yeah yeah yeah

Bernard Jenkins

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