Tuesday, October 4, 2011
How to TIG weld aluminum beverage cans together
I show how to weld aluminum cans together with a cheap import TIG welder. I am not a professional welder, so some of my advice may be unconventional or even wrong, but these methods work well for me. With a 3/32" electrode and large gas lens, I don't have to change the torch setup for nearly any kind of common welding. Let me know if you have any questions or would like me to make more welding videos.
Some things that I have learned:
Don't use pure tungsten electrodes. The new rare-earth blends work very well on nearly all metals.
Sharpen the electrode to a very fine point for low-current welding, and sharpen it like a pencil for higher (eg over 100A) welding.
Keep the electrode balance control electrode negative ("weld") and only shift toward electrode positive ("clean") when absolutely necessary.
The welder's pulse feature turned out to be not as useful as I originally thought. It just seems to complicate things. It's definitely possible to make great welds without it.
Use fat electrodes. Some people claim that using an electrode that is "too large" for the weld current will cause the arc to wander. Nope. Just grind it to a sharp point. Thin electrodes 1/16" and .040" overheat much too easily, and provide no apparent benefit. .040" electrodes are very frustrating.
Use thin filler rod. It's much easier to feed thin rod quickly than feed fat rod slowly. As I mentioned in the video, it's easier to sneak a thin filler rod into the puddle while keeping the torch close to the surface.