Polarity reversal, inverter or not, A/C or D/C, need info (sic; lessons)................

madprofessor

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Got all my welding knowledge pretty much OJT over some 40 years, never been to an actual welding class in my life. Classroom is the missing part here, basic book learning about reversing the stinger and the ground, using an inverter type welder or other, difference between A/C and D/C welders, etc.
Question #1: When should the stinger be plugged into the negative connection, and what type of welder would require doing that?
...................#2: What's the difference between my cheap 80 amp inverter stick welder and a non-inverter type?
....................#more and etc.: Hoping some experienced/knowledgeable folks will jump in here for more related issue questions (ie; free welder lessons).
 

Denny

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An inverter type welder will allow the arc to be steadier and smoother. It’s my understanding. All I know is some materials require polarity reversal to get a quality weld. Some materials prefer to be welded with d/c like stainless steel (most alloys) and aluminum. That’s all I remember from welding class 35 years ago.
 

madprofessor

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That stainless steel and the aluminum would be MIG or TIG, correct? Shielding gas welding. Want to learn it, my welder will do TIG if I buy everything for it. Current sales note: The $130 Ironton version of my Klutch welder is on sale right now for $100 at Northern Tool, but the additional TIG kit for it is $120.
Add to that a big gas bottle, the first fill of Argon shielding gas in it, a high pressure regulator, and a flowmeter, just to get started on TIG.
 

dthames

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"#1: When should the stinger be plugged into the negative connection, and what type of welder would require doing that?" A traditional DC welder would be an answer. Reversing the polarity on the stinger will change the heat so more is on the workpiece or more on the rod.
 

madprofessor

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AC has the current flowing one way, then the other, switching at a rate based on the AC frequency,
Right, VAC, Volts Alternating Current. But I thought an inverter welder worked like a diode, converting AC to DC so that it acts as a DC welder. Have I just got the terminology wrong, confusing myself?
 

Snaker

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I missed this thread. Oh well, maybe something to add.
I'm a uneducated welder, had my own and used some at work.

I had AC stick, DC stick, wire feed/MIG and gas torch.
What I found is to do simple/general welding, on non-critical welds, a little base knowledge can get you going on most welders.
To get deeper, you really need to study the brand/model manuals, they seem to do things their specific ways.
Then the consumables: you have to study up on which consumables for what job (I used the general-purpose rods maybe 90% of the time).
The consumable brands can have some differences as well

The challenge I found was trying to match the consumable to the welder to the job.
I had a nice chart that was oriented from the consumable side and used that to select which rod for which job.
The package the rods come in often tell you about that and will tell you to switch polarity if necessary.
Check out some packages at the store/website and save anything that is in detail

Even my MIG setup had me switching polarities by swapping wire connections for aluminum and I think stainless steel.

Inverter: Inverter is DC to AC. Rectifier is AC to DC

The TIG kit: Don't know. Go on a welder site and ask ( tractorbynet.com has a busy welding section)
Problem is you will most likely have a bunch of pro's and know it all's scoffing at your setup, so be ready.
I do think a TIG kit on a small 120ac low-end rig might be iffy.
 
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