I picked up a new torch, pedal, a gas lens and cup kit, and some lanthanated tungsten electrodes for this latest job I'm working on. I've not welded much aluminum over the years beside large castings. This finer work is way out of my ballpark. The welding class Eric, Ricky and I took in the School of Agriculture at U of I was awesome, but man, I needed to read up about what I needed for this job. Our instructor, Joe Harper, did a great job of covering all of the ends and outs through lecture and demo and I felt really good about my knowledge when the class was over (even if my skill was lacking).
I start reading and talking to Eric last week though and it seems I need to go back to school. It's been almost twenty years since that class happened and it seems some tech has changed that I wasn't up to speed on. I have a cheap AHP AlphaTig that I've not used much but the addition of these new tools transforms this machine. The old pedal felt like it was on or off with very little sensitivity, but the new one helps a lot.
Ignore my first scrap tests pictured here. I was playing with the AC balance, and trying to see what things looked like on the underside when I "stepped into it". I'm happy to report that I've welded some of the thinner parts today and I was able to finish the parts to a happy result since these welds all have to be nearly invisible. It's mainly rosette style welds so it's not too bad, but I was worried about melting through some of the thin to thick areas I'm connecting. Anyway all went well... so far. I'm just glad to be back in the saddle again and continuing to learn and improve.