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5 Ways to Simplify the TIG Welding Process

If anything can go wrong while welding, it will most likely go wrong while TIG welding. Technique and materials for TIG welding need to be just right. If there is ever a type of welding that demands a bit of practice and even jotting down some settings, it would be TIG welding. However, the added complexity of TIG welding doesn’t make it impossible. There are a few things you can do right from the start that will help you create solid welds without needing too much time to practice.

Pay Attention to Your Filler Metal Size

If you use filler metal that is too large, you’ll add too much material to the weld puddle and possibly distort the metal. Even worse than that, too much filler metal will draw the shielding gas away and lead to distortion of your metal work piece. A small filler metal will melt before it even reaches where you’re trying to weld, piling up metal where you don’t need it.

Use the Right Electrode Size

TIG welding produces the least amount of heat out of any welding process, but welding with too much heat can still cause a lot of damage to your TIG cup or your metal work piece. If your electrode keeps balling up on the end or quivers while you’re welding, switch to a smaller size.

Burn Off the Impurities in Your Metal

If your metal is particularly greasy, it won’t be enough to wipe it clean with acetone or another cleaning solution. While you’ll begin with that, you’ll then sand or grind down the metal, and then heat the metal with a torch in order to burn off the impurities. Keeping it at a low heat output, run the TIG torch along the place where you plan on welding in order to make sure you’ve burned off all of the grease. If the metal isn’t clear when you run the torch along the joint, you’ll need to grind it again until your next pass at low heat produces clean metal. Be careful that you don’t overheat the metal, especially if you’re working with aluminum.

Grind Your Electrode Properly

A sharp electrode that is ground down properly will help you hold a tight arc and produce a clean weld. While there are plenty of ways to grind an electrode, the best tool is a diamond wheel where you hold the electrode in a vertical position so that the tip is ground to a pencil point with the grain going the length of the electrode rather than across the length of the electrode.

Maximize Your Heat

If you watch a lot of TIG welding videos online, you’ll notice right away that TIG welders tend to hold their torches at an angle that is quite close to 90 degrees, and rarely more than 10 degrees from 90. Since TIG welding uses less heat, you need to concentrate your heat into the weld joint so that the metal heats up and the filler metal can penetrate deep enough into the joint.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with TIG welding tips, but learning these 5 basic practices will save you quite a bit of time when you get to work. 


Ed C.


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