If you want to get a welding job using TIG welding, one of the skills you should add is welding a root pass on a pipe. Pipe welding is common in a variety of industries that are seeing significant job growth, and TIG welding is specialized enough that you can land a great welding job if you practice your technique and get the proper welding certification. Here are five tips on how to develop your TIG welding skills for a pipeline.
Learn to Walk the Cup While TIG Welding
When you’re welding around a pipe for a root pass, there may be times when it’s possible to walk the cup. This calls for a steady hand as you move the electrode and use the TIG cup to provide additional stability. Walking the cup should also give you a much cleaner, more uniform weld. While there may be times when you’ll have to freehand your pipe welds, you’ll always be glad you learned to walk the cup.
Travel Forward and Back While TIG Welding
The forward and back motion will be more effective when you’re walking the cup with the electrode for a root pass on a pipe because it will provide deeper penetration into the metal. The forward motion will help the filler metal go deeper into the weld joint, while the backward motion will provide additional heat to help it settle in. Side to side won’t provide the same heat and penetration that you’ll need to make a clean, strong weld on a root pass.
Run Your TIG Welder Hot
While you can certainly distort your metal if you run your TIG welder too hot, don’t be afraid to run your welder hot enough to break down the edges of the work piece in order to get good, strong fusion with the welding material. Running too cool will result in a weak weld, so the key to welding effectively is learning how to weld with plenty of heat without damaging your materials. It’s important to get enough penetration during the root pass, and heat is the key.
During the root pass you’ll also run your filler metal along the weld joint and keep it there rather than dipping it in and out. This ensures you’ll get enough material in on the first pass.
Keep It Hot for the Hot Pass
If you’re already working at a good, hot amperage for your root pass, you can use the same settings for your hot pass. Don’t crank it too hot, or you’ll have a mess on your hands!
Stack Your Weld Beads
When you add your additional passes along the pipe, you can weave your welds in like any other weld joint. Welders typically use either a series of cursive e’s or a kind of side to side arc. During these passes you’ll want to crank up the heat a little bit more. Rather than running your filler metal along the weld joint like your first pass, you’ll dip it in and out to make sure you don’t dump too much filler into the weld joint.