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  1. #1
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Any of you frequently use .020 or .040 tungsten?

    I accidentally ordered 10 .020, curious if you guys have any tricks/tips for such thin electrode.
    What is your normal 'go to' diameter for frames, 1.6mm?
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  2. #2
    Plays with tools
    Reputation: customfab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    I've used .040 once, to weld a 50 micron nozzle into it's holder. I'm not sure what anybody would ever use .020 for. I run 3/32 for pretty much everything but heavy aluminum where I'll switch to 1/8

  3. #3
    RCP Fabrication
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Ignoring aluminum....

    .040 is rated for 15-80 amps. They also break off at the collet with almost no force if you catch it on something.
    I also feel that 80 amps is pushing it for .040 and for consistent amperage, or heavy pulsing of the pedal (or the machine) it tends to be good for slightly less.

    .065 is rated for 70-150 amps. Properly sharpening the tungsten for thinner metals makes a world of difference, especially with an inverter. Making it as needle sharp as possible will allow a .065 tungsten to light up and maintain down to 15-20 amps. With a transformer machine, probably 30 amps would be the minimum.

    My issue really comes in on the high-end. When welding on dropouts I frequently "floor" the pedal with the machine on 100 amps when the dropout is cold. A .040 wont take it, and a .020 would probably just melt off.

    I would also recommend switching to 2% Lanthenated when you order new tungstens (dark blue). They light up better at lower amps, last longer and are no radioactive like 2% thoriated are.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I was wondering about a tungsten issue the other day, how short do you guys let them get before you throw them out? does a short tungsten have any negative effect on how hot it will stay, and possibly get contamination easier at lower flow/post flow settings? any other reason to throw them out sooner? i pretty much throw them away when they are too short to sharpen say 1.5" or so. I am pretty much only saving the shorties to use with a flush endcap. although I haven't used that one all that much lately.
    also any reason not to sharpen both ends?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: zank's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    In my experience, so long as it's long enough to be held by collet at the desired stick-out, all is good. I prefer to sharpen only one end and keep the collet end clean. I do bevel the edges of the collet end in order to ease insertion. No lube though.
    Mike Zanconato
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