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Practical TIG Welding: Step 3: Welder Settings

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Step 3: Welder Settings


00:00 - With our torch set up and our material prepared, we can now move onto the next step of the process and adjust our welder's settings to suit the material we'll be working with.
00:09 We've already explored the various functions that you'll find on any good quality TIG so we're not going to detail this further here.
00:16 If you need a refresher, you can revisit the welder settings section of the course.
00:20 Once you understand the individual settings, you'll find our recommendations for starting points for each material in the material specific section of the course.
00:29 This is only intended as a starting point though and you may need to fine tune these settings to get the exact results you're after so don't be afraid of experimenting on some test pieces before committing to your actual workpiece.
00:42 If you're confused by any of these settings or what they do, make sure that you refer back to the welder settings module in the understanding a TIG welder section for a more detailed explanation and for baseline settings that relate to different materials, check the material specific welding skills section.
01:01 At a high level, we need to remember that we'll be selecting DC for ferrous materials like mild steel, chromoly, stainless, or titanium.
01:09 Working with aluminium will require you to switch your welder to AC mode.
01:13 This sounds simple enough but it's an easy adjustment to forget if you're frequently switching between ferrous and non ferrous materials so it's always worth double checking.
01:22 Once you've selected your mode then providing you've got a high frequency welder, make sure it's set to high frequency start so that you don't have to touch the tungsten to the work piece in order to initiate the arc.
01:35 Next it's generally always best to use the 4T mode instead of the 2T mode so that you can manually control the start and finish cycle with a press hold then release of the torch button.
01:47 By learning with the 4T mode, you'll have a much greater ability to fine tune the weld.
01:51 It also allows you to relax on those longer welds because you don't have to keep the button depressed which helps you focus on the welding technique and feeding in the filler rod.
02:02 Now it's time to set your pre and post gas flow.
02:05 As we learned earlier, this is the amount of time that the gas solenoid allows the gas flow through the torch before the arc begins and after it finishes.
02:13 Different materials have different requirements for this so check the material specific guides for some more exact numbers.
02:20 Start amps and up slope which ease you into the weld cycle once it's been initiated are next.
02:25 It doesn't really matter what material you're working with when it comes to these settings, this is more about starting off softly so you can get everything perfect before creating the molten weld pool.
02:36 Setting the start amps to 50% of your peak amps and the up slope to 2 seconds is a good place to start as a baseline.
02:44 The pulse settings are next and they're important.
02:46 If you need to reduce the amount of heat, say if you're working with thin materials for example, pulse mode is extremely useful because you're cutting down on the time that the amperage is penetrating the material.
02:58 With the pulse frequency setting, the lower the number, the less pulses it performs per second.
03:03 Besides keeping heat down, a slower pulse can also help you with your filler rod timing and helps keep your welds looking more uniform.
03:12 Generally, you're going to want to start with around 2 Hz to get comfortable but check the material specific guides for more detailed info on whatever it is you're working with.
03:22 The pulse balance setting is something you can fine tune when you become more proficient at welding but for now, this is best left at 50%.
03:31 Lastly, let's look at the downslope and end amps which complete the 4T cycle.
03:35 Starting with 2 seconds and 50% of the peak amps works as a great baseline.
03:40 It's enough to help blend the finish of the weld, especially when working with aluminium and chromoly.
03:46 If you're working with aluminium in AC mode you're going to have a few more things to adjust too.
03:51 AC balance if you remember from the earlier modules cleans the natural oxide that forms on the aluminium as you weld but it's a little counter intuitive in that the larger the oxide layer, the lower the percentage you need.
04:04 We need to find a balance with this because a lower percentage also means less penetration.
04:09 Aim for 65 to 75% on very clean good quality aluminium and go from there.
04:15 The last AC specific setting you need to configure when working with aluminium is AC frequency.
04:21 Set a high frequency up to approximately 100 Hz if you want a more focused arc for more precision.

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