How To TIG Welding

How To TIG Welding

A lot neater and more precise than MIG welding, TIG welding requires more skill and experience to master. Therefore, you should attend some training if you are planning on TIG welding for the first time. There is no easy way to weld, and you should only do it in the direction of an expert. Here you will discover the basics of How To TIG Welding and how to go through the steps step-by-step.

Safety is always a priority. Learn everything you can about your welder. It is important to ensure that the feed rate and voltage are correctly set, as low feed rates and voltage will spatter. Keeping work areas tidy will reduce the likelihood of fires. The advantages of the TIG welding process are its use of tight angles and fewer fumes.

How To TIG Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas is also known as TIG. TIG is a method of welding that can work well with angles and curves because it uses the plasma process to create gas. As a result, even two different metal pieces can be welded together for a robust joint.

It is suitable for sheet metal, thin sections of mild, stainless steel, aluminum, and non-ferrous metals magnesium, copper, and aluminum alloys.

How Does TIG Welding Work?

Angular electric currents jump between tiny tungsten electrodes in the welding torch and the metal surface, generating high temperatures (typically 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit).

The creation of an arc of electrical energy is coordinated with ionized gas and vapor through a column of arc-generating energy. To make the weld, inert shielding gas is used with non-consumable tungsten electrodes, preventing oxidation and other contamination.

How To Use TIG Welder

Several things contribute to a poor weld, including good cutting skills, neatness, and consistency in width and depth of the weld. You can obtain a smooth outcome by keeping the torch even with the surface. The ideal gap is between 0.125 and 0.50 inches if you want the best results.

Step 1: Choose the Electrode

The correct electrode is probably already inserted in your TIG. However, when it comes to aluminum, tungsten rods are the best choice. Regardless of the alloy (which may include thoriated tungsten, which is radioactive!) the ability to weld specific metals alloys further influences the choice of the alloy.

This particular example uses 6061 Aluminum (the regular or steak-and-potatoes kind of aluminum) to give you some perspective.

Step 2: Grind the Electrode

If you have decided to know about how to tig weld, then It is necessary to grind a point onto brand new rods with a flat tip. You always want to check the condition of your rod before starting any project, as old rods flatten during the welding process. If you would like to weld with AC, use a balled tip and for DC, use a pointed tip. The straight arc is more direct with a tapered tip, while the recurve is much less straight with a balled tip.

Step 3: Insert the Electrode Into Its Collet

It is possible to insert the electrode rod after removing the electrode holder’s back. You should leave about 0.25 inches between the tip and the end. During this process, you can skip the electrode insertion if you already have one.

4. Choose the Right Settings

An electric TIG welding machine usually has 3 settings.  It is possible to weld steel using the DCEN option or DC Electrode Negative and stick welding with the DCEP option.

Remember that the penetrating level runs from 0 to 10, so set it at a level of about 7. Set the amount of time that gas stays on after the arc has stopped and set the “Air on” for 5 seconds on your rig. As a result, your weld stays more durable and less likely to oxidize. I would recommend a maximum amp setting of 250, which is pretty high.

Step 5: Turn on the Gas

Aluminum needs argon gas to weld. You would use carbon dioxide or helium if you were welding steel. When you are handling the wheel, always hold it by the sides, not the top. The detachment could cause severe damage to the hands if there is excessive pressure build-up.

In general, propane gas regulator pressure should be between 20 and 30 PSI, and flow rate (cubic feet per minute) should be between 15 and 25. A gas prevents aluminum from oxidizing in excessive welding heat, so the metal doesn’t oxidize.

Step 6: Prepare Metal and Welding Table

It is essential that there is a sufficient area of metal for electricity to flow through. Therefore, you should especially buy the table for this purpose. If you want to scrub metal surfaces, your best option is a wire brush. If you have an aluminum brush, keep it separate from the steel brush (as best practice). Also, you can use acetone to clean the welding rods for perfectly smooth welds.

I wouldn’t bother with the welds when you’re done as long as you’re not concerned with the way they look. It will weaken your welds and make them look a bit ragged. Instead, you can clamp your metals so you can weld them in the exact spot you want.

Spraying down your welding table with anti-spatter will help prevent metal from sticking when it leaks (and keeping a flat work surface is crucial).

Step 7: Get Dressed Up!

There are dangers associated with TIG welding. Using protective equipment is imperative because it can cause blindness and skin conditions. It is also highly flammable. If you must wear welding safety gear, you should at least wear welding sleeves to protect your arms from sparks.

When wearing a dark helmet, you may need a flashlight to light up the work area, and you should wear hard-wearing work boots. When in doubt, wear a respirator if the area where you are welding lacks adequate ventilation.

Step 8: One Last Check

Is the lead free of snagging and obstruction, and does the torch move freely? To ensure the weld area is suitable, you should ensure that it is clean and free from debris.

9. Let’s, Weld

A reasonable distance to hold the electrode from the metal is about an inch. The electrode should never come into contact with metal. The electrode will leap with molten aluminum if you do so. You should remove, turn off, and ground the tungsten rod if it is brittle. You can quickly inject a lot of current and heat into the metal by pressing down on the foot pedal.

Fast heating of the metal is vital during the welding process. As the metal becomes fluid, you will know when it has happened. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Now you can insert the rod after the pool has formed. Keeping metal hot for an extended period of time can warp it. During prolonged heating, metal will warp more.

“Tack” welds make it possible to weld metal pieces in large beads without clamping them. The first step to create a weld pool is to apply a little heat and current to the metal to dissolve the pedal.

You can alternate sides of a weld as it cools to keep the welds even and to prevent warping on one side of the material.  If you don’t, I bet you’ll find yourself even 1/4″ off where the metal is supposed to be.

Step 10: Draw a Bead

If you used clamps, take them off after tacking. By hammering the pedal down fast, you are creating a weld pool. To balance the current, let off the pedal a little bit. You have dumped too much current into the metal if it begins to burn/melt. Restrain yourself from using the foot pedal. You’ll know you need more power (step harder on the pedal) if the metal becomes flaky but not liquid-looking.

Toto weld aluminum, feed the rod up to the electrode as the rod moves towards the electrode. To form or grow the weld, it is best to place the rod on the electrode side. Leading the electrode is an important part of the process. In welding iron to steel, an electrode ignites first, then a rod follows the heat.

Step 11: Types of Welds

Learning TIG welding means getting both pieces of metal to form a weld pool simultaneously. “Fillet” welds, which join two metals at an angle, are the easiest to perform.

Another weld type is the “lap” weld, which is a flat bond between two metals. In addition to the straight electrode travel, it is hard to keep the weld pool going well for both metals when two metals intersect along their edges, commonly known as a “butt” weld. The heat does not dissipate evenly in corners, which requires some skill. During welding, you can create aesthetic welds as well as strength welds.

Over a long length, cosmetic welding usually looks better than other welding. You can make it by forming a pool of weld, dipping the rod into it, and then moving to the next point. A bicycle or other item with high visibility is ideal for using these bands.

Welds for strength are much stronger – use them instead of welding for beauty on objects that are not meant to be seen. It is important to weld anything that holds a load (e.g., gas or propane tanks). Welds like these require a continuous feed of rod into the weld pool, so the pool moves along continuously.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I teach myself to TIG weld?

There is no point in learning TIG welding by yourself, as the learning curve is steeper for TIG than for other types of welding, and proficiency requires time.

Should I start with TIG welding?

You might need a TIG welder if you need welds of extreme quality. You might need a TIG welder if you plan to make race cars or trucks from chrome-moly tubing. Non-ferrous metals, such as copper, aluminum, and magnesium, might sometimes require the use of a TIG welder.

Do you push or pull TIG welding?

You should use argon gas for TIG welding unless the material is stainless steel, aluminum or steel. While both options work well for MIG welding, the push method works best for TIG welding. TIG welding produces much better results than MIG welding, which is a slower process.

How long does it take to learn TIG?

Does learning TIG welding take a long time? Various factors will determine your learning pace. You should expect that learning TIG welding takes a couple of months and about 100 hours under the hood to become proficient at each new skill you acquire.

Can you TIG weld anything?

The welding process is the most popular amongst metals and alloys. With a TIG welder, you can weld steel, nickel alloys,  magnesium, stainless steel, Chromoly, aluminum, brass, bronze, copper,  and even gold. The TIG process is useful for welding wagons, lawnmower, door handle, bike frame, and fender parts.

What should a TIG weld look like?

In addition to being clean and the same color as the base metal, a good-looking weld appears on both sides. A large amount of heat had built up over the length of the bead, resulting in the burnout of the top weld. In order to avoid this, you should start welding on the left side first and stop after about an inch.

Final Thought

This concludes the study about what is tig welding and how to perform it correctly. Despite the fact that TIG welding is a bit more challenging to master than MIG welding, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll never go back. Once you learn how to use it, TIG is neater, more precise, and more controllable. To make sure you’re safe, purchase the proper protective gear, just like you would with MIG welding.


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