Old Fashioned Cleaners That Are Safe To Clean A Grill Tig Welding How To – Tig Welding Aluminum Castings with A Miller Dynasty 200 Amp Inverter

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Tig Welding How To – Tig Welding Aluminum Castings with A Miller Dynasty 200 Amp Inverter

One of the things you learn if you have a small Miller Dynasty 200 a/cd/c inverter Tig welder is how to weld on thick aluminum sheets with less amperage. I have had the opportunity to Tig weld aluminum with two really popular Tig welding inverters that use either 115v or 230v power; Miller Dynasty 200dx and Lincoln Invertec v205t. Both machines are high quality power sources but both of these welding machines are limited to an output of around 200 amps. Being limited to 200 amps lets you run smarter not hotter. Instead of just setting the amperage to 275 and advancing like you would on a heavy duty Tig Welding Machine, you have to use your head. Preheating thick aluminum parts is a proven way to reduce the amperage needed to weld. But how do you heat up a prep when you’re in your garage and don’t have access to a heat treating oven or an oxy-fuel torch? Well, here are some tricks I’ve learned:

Use a gas grill. But make sure the aluminum part to be welded doesn’t have anything harmful that will ruin the burgers you want to eat next week. (It would actually be a good idea to have a cheap grill dedicated to pre-heating aluminum parts)

Wrap the piece in aluminum foil and place it on the stove over medium heat until the heat penetrates the piece. (About a beer or two later the part will be hot enough to boil)

Use a small propane torch and leave it until the part is hot enough. (Just hot enough to spit should be fine.)

Another tip for reducing the amperage required to Tig weld aluminum is to use a 50/50 or 80/20 argon/helium gas mixture. The added helium really does make a difference. Not only will you need less amperage, but aluminum will burn faster and cleaner than pure argon. Trust me on this one!

Lastly, I recommend using as small a Tig glass as possible. Some people refer to them as Tig welding nozzles but in any case it is the ceramic tip that goes on the end of the Tig lamp that directs the shielding gas to the weld and protects the tungsten electrode from oxidation. Using a smaller Tig cup requires less shielding gas. For example a #7 cup may need 15-20 cfh while a #4 cup only needs 8-10 cfh. The less gas blowing on the part makes a big difference in amperage. Furthermore, the arc energy dissipated in the form of cathodic etching (also called cleaning action) will only go where there is gas shielding so there is more arc energy to focus on the weld hole.

I was reminded of all these tips just last night when I welded a 4 inch machined 6061 aluminum stud using a Miller Dynasty 200 amp Tig welding inverter. I needed to replace some material that had been cut by a faulty machine shop on a prototype part that had already invested a lot of machine time. I used the exact welding tips I mentioned earlier in this article: I put the part on the stove and preheated it to around 200 F (literally one beer). I used a 50-50 argon / helium mixture, and I used a 3/32 dia electrode with a #4 ceramic Tig nozzle. I was really surprised when I only needed about 170 amps to get the job done, even though the part was pretty massive.

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