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.

Arc Welding Basics

Arc welding is considered the easiest and most readily available of all the welding processes. Nearly everyone can gain access to an arc welding machine and learn how to arc weld. Also known as stick welding,  the technical name for this type of welding is manual metal arc welding or otherwise, MMAW.

arc weldingArc welding is used in all fields of metalworking and engineering for both fabrication work and maintenance. Metals that can be welded include mild steel in thicknesses from 1/16th up to 2 inches, stainless steel, and cast iron. Arc welding is an excellent method of repair work to cast iron castings.

During the arc welding process is that the arc generates enough sustainable high intensity heat to melt the intended metal at any point it is directed to. Combined with the filler / electrode this action effectively fuses two pieces together.

Choosing an Arc Welder

For general purpose use a welding machine with an AC/DC output is ideal. Using the DC output will give better results as this setting allows easy starts with less sticking. Other advantages using DC settings include easier overhead and vertical welding, less cleanup due to splatter and good looking welds.

As far as power goes the more power you can afford the better. Having said that most arc welding applications can be handled using a machine of 225 Amps. However a machine that has a lower amp rating can still be used to weld say 1 inch steel by making several passes of weld to build up the required bead size.

Since there is a serious shortage of reliable welders to draw from and the demand is increasing daily, you can understand why knowing that welding is not difficult to master is an important thing to know. It is estimated that approximately 80% of all American companies that hire arc welders find it hard to fill vacancies as they come open. It has also been reported that the average age of qualified and professional welders is 54 years. That is a high rate considering that those individuals will be retiring soon. It seems that the field of welding is one of the nation’s best kept secrets when it comes to getting ready for employment in the future.

Many people consider arc welding to be a dangerous occupation because of the electrical currents from high voltage that are used. In the past this may have been true, but today’s advancements in safety equipment and regulations the risk has been reduced by a large amount. Today, arc welding is not any more dangerous than working with plumbing and carpentry. Maybe it is time to get started with a whole new career.


Gas Welding – How It Works

gas weldingGas welding or oxygen-acetylene welding is made possible because there are some gasses that burn at extremely high temperatures. With this process, oxygen as well as acetylene are fed from holding tanks to a torch and then when needed ignited. This combination makes a gas that burns at an incredible 5500 degrees Fahrenheit. This process was first put into use during the early part of the 1900s. The individual doing the welding holds a filler metal rod in one hand and the torch in the other, and using the intense heat at the end of the torch melts the filler metal into a joint which fuses two pieces of metal together.

This process can be used to fuse pipe together or to repair splits. It is particularly useful with pipe that is less than 2 inches diameter. It can also be used to work with sheet metal, as well as just about any metal that is used in industry. Gas welding is a bit slower than when using arc welding but it is also seen to give the welder much more control over the work they are trying to do.

There are some things to remember when working with gas welding that must be kept in mind for the sake of safety.

  • For the sake of safe storage, keep cylinders of oxygen and other gases stored separately with at least 20 feet between them, or they can be divided by a proper firewall.
  • Cylinders can burn easily so it is recommended that they be kept away from any combustible and flammable materials.
  • Maintain cylinders in storage areas where others cannot get to them to tamper with them, away from heat and to prevent damage to them.
  • Cylinders should always be maintained in an upright position, and when possible, chained to retain this position even when jostling takes place.
  • Always check the valves to assure they are closed prior to moving the cylinders.
  • Always have regulators and defending caps in place.
  • Never pull cylinders. Instead roll them on their bottom edges when moving is necessary.
  • During transport, reduce the cylinder movement by placing chains around them to prevent falling and extreme movement.

Oxy-acetylene is the typical combination used in gas welding and is generally chosen for general cutting and welding work including work to repair rips and tears in metal. Each gas is contained in its own cylinder and combined through the use of separate hoses leading from regulators attached to the top of the cylinders. These hoses then lead to the torch where they are attached to create the mixture needed to create the intense heated to work with metals.

The regulators are necessary to control the flow of gases, and a non-return valve is also needed to prevent the possibility of detonation of the acetylene tank. This valve is all part of the checks needed for proper and safe use of oxy-acetylene gas welding.

Other equipment required to work with oxy-acetylene gas welding would be a check valve, welding torch, cutting torch, rose-but torch, and injector torch. All of this equipment do different types of gas welding and allow the user to make the right cuts or joints that are required for the work they are completing.