TIG'ing Copper

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TIG'ing Copper

Postby frednurk » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:15 am

Folks,

I am just about to start a pot still build out of 2mm copper sheet. Anyone had any experience TIG'ing copper. I have been doing a bit of research and it seems helium is the right gas to use, but I haven't been able to find anyone locally in Adelaide who has ACTUALLY TIG'ed copper. Just wanted to get a few tips and tricks before I have a crack myself.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby maddogpearse » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:28 am

Have a yarn to wood duck. He burnt his rig up with the tig...
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby WTDist » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:34 am

Did Milky use a tig?
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby maddogpearse » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:37 am

Yep bender got some tig loving too!
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby Zak Griffin » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:02 am

Zak Griffin
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby Wobblyboot » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:01 pm

Are u gunna make a thumper for it? Then u can do single runs :handgestures-thumbupleft: would save u a lot of time.
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby bayshine » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:29 pm

Mate,silver brazing wire will do copper to copper with argon no worries, but I've only had about a 50 percent success rate with copper to copper :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby frednurk » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:58 pm

Thanks all. I'll have a yarn to Milky. The welding on Milky looks pretty darn good.

No plans for a thumper at this stage, happy to do two runs. I was hoping to use copper filler, as I didn't want to have a silver weld. All copper goodness :)
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby bayshine » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:41 pm

bayshine wrote:Mate,silver brazing wire will do copper to copper with argon no worries, but I've only had about a 50 percent success rate with copper to copper :handgestures-thumbupleft:




Sorry that was spose to say copper to stainless :angry-banghead:
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby Bryan1 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:00 am

G'day Fred,
I had a bit of a play tiggin copper for my thumper build and still need to tig the reducers as the soft solder didn't work as expected. Your more than welcome to come on up for a day and I can show you a few tips and tricks.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby Milky » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:34 am

G'day everyone.

When I tig'd bender I did one site glass module just using a sliver offcut of copper from a sheet. Although the weld was "all copper" it was extremely hard to get the heat (amps) sorted to not actually blow holes in it all.

That's why I opted for some cigweld copper filler rods. They are an alloy and have a small amount of silicone in them among some other elements from SS filler rods to allow the pool of molten filler to flow more freely. I'm sorry but I can't remember what the cigweld number of the rods were and I have none left (gave them away) or I would send you some.

I had access to helium for the welding but found argon easier to use, easier for purging to make a sanitary weld etc etc.

If you want an all copper weld, by Al means go for it. But beware that the amount of heat you need to pump into the joint to get it to flow, keep it flowing and also not blow a hole is a bit difficult.

I was also using a big LINCOLN Water cooled TIG with an amp pedal, it is used for precision titanium and stainless welding in my old workshop. A standard tig would still do it but have a few test welds before ripping into the actual product.

And also, thanks for the kind words on build too, cheers!
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby frednurk » Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:39 am

Thanks Bayshine, will have to give that a go. In the pot design I was looking at using stainless flanges.

Thanks Bryan, I might just take you up on that offer!

Thanks again Milky for the detailed reply. I have had a chat with BOC and they tell me they have some other filler rods they can get in from the US which aren't silver. Will have to see how much $$$ they want for them. From some of the welding forums I saw some info that Helium meant you didn't need quite so much heat to get started which made things easier, but interested to hear tat you didn't find it easier.
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby Bryan1 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:01 am

G'day Guy's,
Well decided to have a little play with some scrap copper to see how tiggin would go. First tried on 50 amps but no way could I get a puddle going so raised the amps to 90 and as one can see with the birdshit on the lower part of the first welded side that was me NOT fully getting the enamel off the copper wire which inturn put a bit of crap in the pool. :angry-banghead:

This is the first side I tigged and towards the end I did waver with the puddle thats why the weld is so wide.

tigged copper 001.jpg


Other side and the top of the weld had penetration

tigged copper 002.jpg


Me thinks it's time to get on and get my thumper fixed so what better jobbie to do on a sunday while the still gets upto temp doing a full run of 45 litre TPW run in neutraliser mode as I can be bothered changing the still setup. :)) :)) :))
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Re: TIG'ing Copper

Postby frednurk » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:35 pm

Nice work Bryan! Thanks for trying this out. Nice day here today for a bit of a play in the shed...
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