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Re: [TCML] Tungsten Electrodes

I just finished making an SRSG and so far I am very happy with it.
I picked up a .250” x 12” rod of Tungsten alloy (MT-185) from Midwest
Tungsten Service for $35. http://www.tungsten.com/mtsprod.html
They were auctioning it on eBay at the time and that was the buy-it-now price.
Welding rods are much thinner i.e 1/16, 5/64, 3/32 etc. I like ¼”
because there are so many collars, holders and fittings that are
readily available on the market for that diameter material.
I used all 12 inches to make a propeller type gap, four 1 1/4”
stationary electrodes and a 7” flying electrode.
In order to cut the stuff you will want to pick up a diamond cutting
wheel for your Dremel or other rotary type tool. They run $15 bucks at
Home Depot and are worth every penny. There are cheaper ones but they
may not last.
I was able to make each cut very cleanly in under 45 seconds and the
alloy never got more than lukewarm.
I then ground a slight round on each end and polished out the
scratches with a small diamond buffing wheel.
Diamond is the best way to cut the stuff. With a die grinder, you lose
a lot of material to the kerf and generate a ton of heat due to
friction. Not to mention it could take several minutes per cut
depending on thinkness.
If you try to score and snap it, you will likely bend and/or crack a
very expensive piece of metal.
But if you want to save the work and spend the money, they will cut it
for you to your specs.
As far as melting goes, at 97% Wolframite, which has a melting point
of 6,192 °F., I don’t think that will be much of an issue. Dont forget
its also used as light bulb filament so you know it can take some
serious heat.
Im not saying its indestructible, all materials will oxidize /
carbonize when exposed to enough juice, but (barring rarer and much
more expensive alloys) Tungsten will do so the least.
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