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.
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.