We got a snow day so I went in to finish up my grades and play with my welder.
I tried a higher amperage but you can see the results... Not pretty. The one on the left was at about 150 amps, AC smooth, 1/16th tungsten and filler rod. Didn't last more than 5 seconds. The next was turned down to about 100, the next 80, and the last two are at 65. I switched to 1/8 rod on the last tungsten and managed to keep it going for a long time, although I probably *should* have changed it because it got contaminated... I did also turn up the gas to 20 CFM. I also started leaving the gas on when I was done longer to keep the tungsten cool- pretty sure that was what was causing the coloring in them.
The results. Might not look like much but it is getting better (I hope)! It can be tough welding over top of junky welds but they are starting to smooth out. Finally getting the dip/jump rhythm. The thicker rod makes it a lot easier to dip/jump for me.
I'm also starting to get the hang of telling when the base metal is too cold or hot to weld. To cold and the puddle just won't carry and the rod beads up on top. Too hot and it sinks in and looks "filmy" after it cools. Just right- you get a nice puddle that is easy to carry, the rod melts nicely, and the finished weld is nice and shiny with the "stacked dimes" appearance.
I didn't try the thicker tungsten yet. Any suggestions for welding THIN aluminum? Thanks for y'alls help so far!