Kevin is working on a sculpture that is a four-cube tesseract and decides to break out the new AHP AlphaTig 200x welder to work on it.

He sets his starting amps at 25, his main amps at 105, and his ending amps at about 25, the same as his starting amps. He has pulse turned off, and has the welder set to TIG weld, DC and 4T (so the finger control on the torch will work). Of course, he has the 100% argon gas turned on, too.

Next, he runs a bead with the TIG welder. It’s clean, clear and quiet. The arc doesn’t wander at all, either. It also has more of a hiss in the torch than the sizzle of most other TIG welders. Kevin also notes that the fan may be a little quieter than other welders.

The consumables seem to last a long time, and the welder has an amazing 60% duty cycle. That means that during a 10 minute timespan, you can weld at full amperage for 6 minutes. Some of his other welders have only a 25% duty cycle. Kevin does have a problem, though, with the 17 series torch, which is rather small for his big hands. So another torch, maybe a water-cooled one, would be a great improvement.

Next Kevin changes the welder over to stick welding (arc welding). He’s put on his leathers to stick weld because of the sparks from the arc welder. He inserts and twists the stinger into the front port marked “stick,” flips the toggle switch from TIG welding to stick welding, and he’s ready to work.

Then he adjusts the amperage to about 95, and gets out some 1/8″ 7018 welding rod, and, for the heck of it, switches the welder to AC. Why AC? Kevin makes the decison based on personal experience. He bought some 7018 H3 AC welding rods, tried using them on AC and got some fantastic welds. To him, AC seems a little easier and cleaner, but he’s still learning.

He gets out some 1/8″ metal plate left over from a gong he’s creating. This machine also has some technology that makes it harder to stick the electrode to the metal. Kevin says he doesn’t know how it works, but it sounds like a great idea.

He fires up the arc weld and welds a bead in AC. As he welds, you can hear the difference in the sound. Then he switches over to DC, and you can hear how it sounds different yet again.

Next Kevin uses the chipping hammer to remove the slag and addresses why some people say to only scratch to remove the slag. “Why do they call it a chipping hammer if you’re not supposed to chip it?” he asks. He taps lightly on the slag, then drags across the edges to get the last of the slag, then uses a wire brush for final clean-up so you can see the AC and DC welds.