Tig Welding Basics

TIG Welding Is Used for Many Metals

tungsten inert gas weldingTungsten inert gas welding, or TIG welding, is additionally referred to as GTAW, or simply gas tungsten arc welding. Whilst much like gas welding. This utilizes a tungsten electrode to produce the actual arc as well as heat for your weld.

The advantages to utilizing TIG welding will be it can easily be employed to weld much more types of metals as well as alloys. You will get thoroughly clean welds. You won’t get spatter or messy welds that require cleanup by grinding. Tig welding produces an excellent robust, clean, plus neat and tidy weld.

Before starting welding you need to make sure that you take all the proper safety precautions. You need to have a good quality welding mask preferably for tig welding. The light given off by arc welding is enough to burn your eyes, and it can burn your skin, like a sunburn. Make sure that you are wearing leather gloves and a leather welding jacket to protect your arms and neck. Make sure that your jacket fastens all the way up to your neck. You want to wear heavy cotton shirts and trousers. You also need to wear heavy closed shoes. You should have a welding screen and warning sign so others can avoid the area, and you need to make sure it’s well ventilated.

Once you have set up all the safety precautions, it’s time for you to get down to welding. Before you can do any welding you need to make sure that you have the right electrode. Different metals need different tungsten electrodes. Grind the electrode down so that it has a nice point. When you are welding that point will get worn down to a rounded tip. A pointed electrode tip gives you a better weld. It will be smaller and more directed.

Make sure to grind away from you so you don’t contaminate the electrode. After you grind the tip, you need to put the electrode in the right holder. Then you choose the right settings on the welding machine. Different metals need different settings. Check your manual for the right settings.

Clean your metal and your table. That will give you the best welds. Clamp your metals down to your table so they don’t move when you are welding.

To start a weld keep the tip about an inch from your metal. You don’t want the tungsten tip to actually touch the metal. You want to heat your metal quickly so you can start the weld pool from the arc created.  Use the electrode to create a weld pool then add filler material as required.

The way you weld depends on what metal you are welding. After you finish your weld you might want to grind it down, depending on if it is going to be seen or not. That will also give you the chance to check your weld to make sure that there are no holes or gaps.

It may take some practice to get good welds, but don’t be discouraged. Once you have it, you can weld just about anything.

Learning How To Tig Weld

Once you learn how to tig weld you will be considered a serious welder and for many an artist. Tig welding really is an art form. Most people will not see this however creating the perfect bead of weld in the place you want it does require skill and creativity.

how to tig weldThe Tig welding process can be used to weld many metals, brass, aluminium, steel, copper, bronze, nickel alloys and gold.

Tig welding or tungsten inert gas welding begins using a tungsten electrode that once struck creates an arc to heat and fuse metals to be welded. The tungsten electrode does not actually touch the work but is held at a distance from the work that is enough to create heat and, with the aid of a filler electrode, fusion occurs.

To eliminate the need for flux a shielding gas is used in a similar manner to mig welding and is delivered via  the tig torch itself. The gas, generally pure Argon, protects the weld from outside contamination.

Setting up the Tig welding machine is a key component to learn how to tig weld and can be summarized as;

–          Set up gas supply to tig torch

–          – Set up welding inverter power. This all depends on the type and thickness of the metal / alloy to be welded. This should be available in the welding machine manual.

–          Attach earth clamp.

–          Grind tungsten electrode to a point, the grinding is important, grind the point along the length of the electrode and not around it, the length of the grind should be two and a half times the diameter of the electrode, grind a small flat at the tip, not a sharp point. Grinding in this manner will prevent any welding ‘wander’.

–          To start welding the torch needs to be held at between 70 to 80 degrees. Keep the tip about 1/8 to ¼ inch from the work being welded. Practice controlling the arc ‘puddle’ width at approx ¼ inch wide.

–          Next add filler rod to the weld in small blobs or dabs, always try to keep the torch at a constant distance from the work and a smooth weld speed. Push the weld rather than pull.

Once you learn how to tig weld it is a most satisfying accomplishment. Tig welding is a very clean process and requires little or no clean-up. This makes it ideal for welds that are highly visible in a decorative situation such as furniture, stainless steel or aluminium components and art work.