The welder came today via UPS!
I assembled it all and played around a little with some scrap aluminum and steel I had lying around. It was already late at night by the time I got started, so I didn’t do any actual welding. That is, I didn’t want to open up my new box of filler rod and try legitimate TIG welding. Instead, I melted the metal and played around with pushing the puddle around.
The aluminum was just like I expected from watching YouTube videos. The AC makes a very distinct buzzing noise. The steel was a different story. When I switched to DCEN (Direct Current, Electrode Negative) mode and struck an arc, I was amazed. TIG welding on steel is so quiet! My only experience with welding thus far is playing around with a wire-fed MIG welder from Home Depot as seen below:
Here I’m really just making sparks and welding random pieces of steel together. It’s loud, sparky, and smokey (I know, I know – flux coated wire). But the TIG arc on DC, if it made any noise, was drowned out by the welder fan and the flowing argon.
I didn’t use any filler rod on the steel either. I won’t have time to mess with it for the next week or so, but so far everything seems to be working great!
Some melted steel:
The patch of goo on the right is a pile of leftover slag from my Home Depot welder fun that I melted with the new TIG torch.
Here is the ugly melted aluminum.
I’m aware that the two pieces aren’t joined properly and that the weld penetration isn’t deep. This was just a little bit of playing around with my new toy on the day I received it. By the looks of the weld, I contaminated my tungsten a bit. Time to practice practice practice!