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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok all you tig zen masters... any tips or tricks for filling the inevitable holes that I'll blow out?
Best I can come up with so far is lower amps, plenty of filler to keep it cool and lots of patience.
Anything else I'm missing?
Thanks!
 

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Move as fast as prudently possible. Don't be afraid to move to another joint/cluster to allow a joint to cool off either.
 

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RCP Fabrication
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Don't fill them. Once you have a hole in a tube its junk. Just keep practicing on not making holes rather than trying to fill them.
 

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Practice, practice, practice. I know the frustration. I thought I was ready to start on my first frame after doing about 10 90 deg joints on .035 st scraps. Decided it would be a good idea to do some test ht and bb joints with the real tubing sizes and geom that is planned for #1. It payed off, because I badly burnt the first st (.025), second was much better, and third time was a charm. My heat control and filling still gets better every inch I weld.

I got really worried about speed to my detriment. I finally started slowing down and really paying attention to the puddle size and hitting the center of the puddle with the filler. Things started to click then, and the welds still had decent color, no grey.

What size filler are you using? I've been using both .045 and .035. For a rookie, I do better with the thin stuff using .035.
 

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What welder, settings are you using? I'm sure you've seen the thread:
http://forums.mtbr.com/frame-buildi...d-cad-drawing-would-love-feedback-900417.html
It's the only place I've seen all the actual settings discussed. Use bunged up's setting and see what happens. Heatsinks are a big help, move fast, but you need enough heat to move fast. Sort of the goldilocks settings, not too hot, not too cold. Weld one side, then go somewhere else. Heat management takes time to master, not that I'm a master. 17 bikes later and I get "aha" moments all the time.
cheers
andy walker
Walker Bicycle Company | | Walker Bicycle Company
Flickr: afwalker's Photostream
 

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Learn to let off the pedal when things get hot. Don't ever pull the wand away, in panic, because that makes the hole much worse. It's common to get panicked and to just want away from the mess, but don't do it.

Remember, filler cools the puddle down, so it's safer to add filler when things get sketchy.

I'm glad you're still working at it. It's been years, man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm glad you're still working at it. It's been years, man.
Yeah Steve, it's been awhile. Unfortunately a couple of pesky tumors and treatments in '10 and '13-2 weeks ago (with a jaunt representing another bike company in between) derailed some of my plans. Hope to have a ht done soon and to be racing cross on my own frames this Fall.

Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm doing pretty good practicing just laying beads down and now it's time to hit the practice tubes.

Todd
 

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Yeah Steve, it's been awhile. Unfortunately a couple of pesky tumors and treatments in '10 and '13-2 weeks ago (with a jaunt representing another bike company in between) derailed some of my plans. Hope to have a ht done soon and to be racing cross on my own frames this Fall.

Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm doing pretty good practicing just laying beads down and now it's time to hit the practice tubes.

Todd
Good luck- these guys helped me so much I feel like I took a welding course- such an amazing resource here. Now more practice for me, because I'm pretty scared to blow a hole in my frame, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good luck- these guys helped me so much I feel like I took a welding course- such an amazing resource here. Now more practice for me, because I'm pretty scared to blow a hole in my frame, too!
Thanks Dude. I appreciate the support. I've been following ur thread myself, great work! Keep it up
 

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Hey;

People tend to practice on 90* joints most of the time. Make some marginally to severely acute ones too, as they are the hardest to manage. You will find you have a much harder time keeping the heat even between tubes - or on the center of the puddle - on the acute variety. You will also get practice welding "the flat" side, which has it's own challenges. The open side of the joint requires biasing your arc toward the parent tube, as the mitered edges become very vulnerable to melting away.

Aha moments? Yep. I was welding some aluminum yesterday. For whatever reason, I have never been a big pedaler. Maybe it has been too much of a distraction up until now, but I'm starting to get a better subconscious sense of the thing these days. Yesterday, without really thinking about it, I just started stomping the pedal for all it was worth. On the street it would have gotten me a ticket for erratic driving, but with the welder... it may have been the best stack of dimes I've ever laid. Neat!
 
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