I did some practice welds on some 1.125″ x 0.035″ and tried out the pulser again just for fun. I still am not sure I’ll ever weld a frame up with the pulser, but after tonight I am considering it. I’m definitely getting better!The top weld is with the pulser (84amps peak, 12amps bottom, 45%, 2hz). The bottom bead is straight 64 amps with my foot regulating the input depending on what I felt was needed (in all fairness, my first bead was the non-pulsed and I am out of practice by a couple of weeks). These tubes are 0.047″ wall scrap OXPlat steerer and 0.035″ wall 4130 that was mitered in the new fixture (pretty thick tubing but good to practice on). Surprisingly, the pulsed weld looks much better than my regular way of doing it. Out of practice i guess. Or just got lucky. I laid the filler rod in the joint and put pressure down into the joint while moving the torch along at a not fast but not mellow pace.
The thing I have noticed with the pulser is that you have to trust it. If the miters are really good, and you don’t ball up the filler rod, it’ll lay a really nice bead. If the miters aren’t tight, you can get holes in the tubes pretty quickly…and you can’t see them come on until they’re there. I’m sure the good pulser guys micro-adjust their foot pedal a little so that doesn’t happen, but I’m still trying to focus on not poking the filler rod in the puddle and just laying it down. It does feel like I’m giving up a little control by using the pulser, but the results can be very aesthetically pleasing, if not necessarily better in penetration or joint strength. With the pulser, it’s easier to get each ‘dime’ exactly the same size…looks more consistent. I’ve definitely had straight-amp welds look like this, but just not as frequently or consistently as I’d like. I read somewhere — “perfect practice makes perfect.” This is something I frequently think about when i consider not spending more time getting the tightest miters, or giving the inside of a tube a good scrub cleaning, or skipping a step because of time constraints. Do it right the first time, or it’ll haunt you later on. This is definitely true with practice in TIG welding.