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Erratic, Noisy arc when trying to TIG aluminum


I am new to TIG welding and I seem to have a problem when it comes to starting and maintaining a proper arc on aluminum. The arc is VERY erratic and noisy and will NOT form a good puddle. The arc has a fan like pattern that spans several inches (Almost like a rooster tail off of the back of a boat). The arc seemed to also be moving up into the cup and has blacked the electrode. However, when I attempted to TIG mild steel (in DC) all worked as expected.

I am using a NEW Lincoln Electric 175 Pro TIG, which I purchased NEW 7 years ago but have only now gotten around to trying to use.

The set up that I was using for aluminum is as follows: Electrode: 3/32 tungsten (green). The max current was set for about 150 amps in the AC mode. I had the ground directly connected to my weld piece. I did prep the tungsten with a rounded (ball) as per the instruction video. The material that I was trying to test weld on was a cleaned 1/8" wall 1" aluminum tube.

I hope you can help shed some light on this.



too much argon flow on the torch.

if you are using a gas lens, swap to a standard style collet body and cup, set the argon to about 13 and watch the arc settle down to a quiet buzz.

and let us know how this works out for you


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