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"Built Dam Strong!"

29 August 2012

Running out of gas is not usually a problem I face.

Being lactose intolerant with an inherent love of dairy ensures that. But, today, I ran out of Argon. So, tomorrow or Friday I will have to make a trip to my LWS (Local Welding Supply, or in my case, not so local, or even open on Saturdays anymore . . . grrrrr . . . ) and exchange my 300CFH bottle.

Running out of Argon should imply that I was welding a lot. I was!

Today's goal was to completely weld up the other runner of the "inner" section of he manifold, so I got crackin'!

First up, taper the joint that I had cut in the 45* el, as started out just plain flat:

After that, it was time to finish up the inside of the other runner since it is way easier to do that when you don't have things in the way! Setting up the purge:

Section to be welded:

My friend Remo sent me some tape he has used:

This stuff RAWKS! It is way better than the other foil tape I was using before. I'll get into it more shortly.

I also decided to first fuse the pieces together:

And then run a cover pass:

I think it turned out pretty well.

The next bit of work involved more fitup. I couldn't take pics as I needed all available limbs and appendages to get things lined up and marked, but, I finally did that and started tacking:

After more cleaning and tacking and cleaning and tacking and purging and cleaning and tacking, etc., I check the fitment:

I took the next picture to point something out:

Keen observers will notice that the pipe and el are slightly different diameters and that the el is offset towards the right in the picture. While this might not "look right" from the outside, the inside is the part that matters. Gasses/fluid will "stack" on the outside of turn, and it is always best to keep the outside of turns as smooth as possible to eliminate as much friction and turbulence as possible.


I also took the time to "graduate" to a shorty cap since I will be getting into more complicated stuff soon enough. I don't like short caps because you have to "waste" tungsten by chopping them roughly in half, which increases costs and uses up more of the tungsten more quickly.

Now, here's the reason why I like the EZTape:

NO RESIDUE, even after welding for a while on the thing and it being darn hot.

Internal shot as best as I could, though it is not focused on the right spot:

External pics of the fusion welds:


Now, a note about purging. Argon is heavier than oxygen. Typically, you want to introduce the argon into the enclosed space so that it sinks to the lowest part of the interior of the weldment and then "floods" the weldment until all the oxygen is "floated out." In order to do that, you need to allow the oxygen to escape. Note the holes:

Since I wanted to make sure that all the oxygen was displaced from the runner I was welding on, I made sure to allow the argon to flow through that runner the most.

The holes also allow excess pressure to vent. If you get your weld hot enough and don't vent the pressure, the hot, molten metal will be forced out of the puddle from the inside, sometimes explosively. Having hot metal spewed at you is NOT fun. (I have the scars to prove it.)

After I fused the pieces together, I started capping them. I didn't do a perfect job mostly do to the fact that I need thicker filler rod that doesn't melt back from the puddle so quickly and it threw my timing off something fierce. No excuses, though. I'll have to run another cap pass to fill in the undercut:

Another inside shot:

Even with all that heat, no "sugaring" at all!