Been playing with the TIG welder more. I'm getting closer. I really have very little experience with these but they are soooo much fun! After reading several different (chapters from) welding books, reading about 800 different website's "tips and tricks", and watching 37 million youtube videos, it starts to make sense. I spent some time practicing the movement without any juice- just resting a finger on the table lightly, sliding the torch along, and dabbing the filler rod in. Felt like a doofus sitting there, but that's pretty much par for the course.
Not real pretty, but progress. I actually managed several long welds without gunking up the tungsten once! Some of those welds are from a few years ago when I took a real short community class on welding. I spent an hour or two playing with a TIG and got to try welding stainless, plain old steel, and aluminum. Stainless was really fun to weld, aluminum not so much. We had some really nice welders with the foot pedal control. Makes it really easy to get into position, stomp the pedal, and then back off to a nice heat to match the speed you were moving. No such luxury on my welder- and it shows. I have a tendency to slow down as I weld, and with aluminum (from what I have read) you need to either speed up or back of on the juice because the aluminum absorbs and spreads the heat so quickly. Meaning, my longer welds, by the time I get to the end, have way to much heat and the puddle is starting to sink through the metal. I'm doing better at remembering to keep the torch darn near vertical and the rod more horizontal. Speaking of the rod- dabbing sure doesn't work well for me. I tend to just rest the rod on the base metal and slide it back and forth.
Here's a set of welding videos I found pretty usefull-
LOTS more that have a lot of good info. The interwebs is an amazing tool.
Thought I'd also post a pic of the painted parts for my truck motor. I think it turned out swell! Now if only I had the money for all the internals, I could start stuffing it back together. Hoping to have this "quick summer project" (that's going on 2 years now...) done THIS SUMMER. Expect pigs to fly.