Shop / Tools Wanted: TIG Welding Stainless Steel Tips

UNSTUCK

But stuck more often.
Location
Magna
I have a SS welding project coming up in the next week or two and was hoping to get a few tips on where to start. I've never tig welded SS before. I assume it's very similar to tig welding mild steel though. It's all 12 gauge 304. Right now the sheet is "mill cut", but I want to try to polish it up before it gets cut up and bent. That should really make the polishing easier later on.

There will be T welds, groove welds and overlapping welds.

-What type and size tungsten do I want to use? Sharpen to a point or ball? Stick out length?
-What size filler rod? I assume I need to use 304 rod?
-What's the max amps/running amps setting? I'll be using an Everlast Powerpro 256 machine with input voltage that usually runs north of 240v.
-Do I need to use pre/post flow? If so, what times should I use? Arc force setting? Pulse on or off?
-All my cups are ceramic. What size should I use?

I think most of those machine settings are for AL, but I have the option to mess with them so figured I'd ask.

Any other tips and tricks you want to share? This is all flat table work and for the most part pretty wide open welding. So the positioning should be pretty good. As you can tell, I'm a total novice to tig welding. Very little time with it. I'll have material to use for coupons to practice and dial in the welder, before I start the real thing. Just looking for a good starting point.

Thanks for your help.
 

Agility Customs

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What machine are you using? are you planning on back purging the weld?
 

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
Stainless moves around a lot. You'll want to skip weld and let it cool, practice on some scrap first. I always use a foot pedal for good control on that sort of stuff. You may find some benefits to using flux on the backside of the weld (there's a special paint on stainless flux that helps prevent making crystals on the backside).
Usually you'll use 308L filler with that. 1/16" will give more control. A 3/32 tungsten should be ok, if it's getting too hot an 1/8" will work. 2% thoriated, ground to a taper with a small land at the tip. There are some good videos on YouTube about properly grinding tungstens.
 

Agility Customs

Supporting Vendor!
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Everlast Powerpro 256 machine. Back Purging? I thought that was only for welding SS tube. Or are you talking about post flow?
We back purge flat plate all the time there are a few back purge blocks you can buy that are pretty slick. I just built mine but it makes welding stainless way nicer and the backside of the weld looks just as nice as the front side. Other than that 4x4_welder covered it pretty well
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Location
West Haven
All good advice above.

I would highly advise back purging as it isn't just for tubing, it is just easier to back purge with tubing. Stainless Steel likes to get "sugary" on the back side of the weld when not back purged. I've built myself several purge blocks over the years that use and have a dual regulator but in a pinch I have used aluminum foil to create a dam of argon and fill it then weld with satisfactory results.

Mike
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Location
West Haven
Also I upsize a bit on the cup depending on the position of the weld to ensure a good coverage of gas to the topside of the weld as stainless steel is easy to overheat and have it look dull and grey. In order to keep the nice shiny weld and colors that people associate with when welding SS, proper and adequate gas flow/coverage is mandatory.

Mike
 

UNSTUCK

But stuck more often.
Location
Magna
Well I ran into a snag. All my parts are cut and just about ready to go. The tig welder I was planning on using for this job just blew up! I was setting up to do a small AL job at work. Turned it on and it made a loud pop. Fan still runs, LED screen still lights up, I can adjust settings, and I get gas flow when I step on the pedal. I do not get an arc. AC or DC. Took the cover off and I see nothing burnt. I don't smell the common burnt electrical smell either. I'm working with Everlast Tech support now, but it sounds like I might have to send the welder to them.

I was really hoping to weld up this project on Saturday. Just wondering if one of you guys would be willing to help me out with it? There are basically two 12 ga. plates that need to be be welded up. Each plate has a total of 22 holes that need to be filled in that form a T joint, top and bottom. The holes are 1/8" wide and 1/2" long. Each plate then has a hinge that needs to be welded on. It's 16" long, but can be stitch welded.
The parts will come fitted and ready to weld, minus a final wipe down before welding.
 

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
I'd do it for the gas money to go get my box van that has all my welding gear in it. It should only be about $500-
It sounds like you blew a capacitor on your machine. I had a wire feed welder do that on a job site, not a fun day.
 
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