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Old 01-10-2013, 06:45 PM   #3244
dorkpunch's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Blackfoot, ID
Oddometer: 5,373
Random question here... I'm playing with some aluminum. Using 1/16th 2% thoriated? (red) tungstens, running mostly about 70 amps using an old buzzbox set to AC smooth with a high freq arc stabilizer- welding aluminum.

Here are a few of my tungstens:

Sorry, its a poor pic. The left have just been sharpened, the middle obviously got dabbed with filler rod , and the right 2 are my question- they have a small ball at the end. Doesnt take long for the ball to form. Is that okay? Varying sources say the tungsten needs to be balled for aluminum, and others say sharpened. Seems like I get a more focused (read: hotter) puddle with the point, but the ball works fine as well.

Also curious as to the colors- sometimes I can go quite a while (for me) without the tungsten changing colors, other times it seems like the first weld it changes colors. Is the color a sign of contamination? Normal?

Still not pretty but I'm getting better.

Couple of shots of the welder just for fun:


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