Anyone can learn to weld, to put it quite simply. All you need to do is learn a few basic welding techniques, practice safety, and soon enough you’ll be ready to go. The problem that many welding novices tend to come across however is that of ensuring they have a decent grasp on welding corners. If you have never actually welded a corner, then you have no idea as to what can happen, but there are a few things to watch out for:
- Separated Beads: This should not happen, but if you are using inadequate power, or even an inadequate electrode, you may very well find yourself faced with this problem.
- Larger than usual weld Beads: While this is not quite as embarrassing as sloppy welding, it is not aesthetically pleasing, and in TIG welding it should always be avoided. Oftentimes this has to do with the welder’s power settings, though there are other factors that can play their part.
Something that you must come to grips with now is that the weld bead will always be present. There are many who will put forth effort to make it invisible, and there are some who might actually try grinding the bead to render it invisible to the naked eye. To answer your question, yes, you can grind the weld bead, and this is something we will address in another post. In any case, learning to weld your corners properly and even living with a blatantly obvious weld bead is important at this stage of the game.
If you are using Tungsten Inert Gas as your preferred welding method, then you would want to master the push method when welding corners. Yes, TIG welding is difficult to master, but as luck would have it TIG allows for much more control than many other welding types. That being said, let’s discuss the various advantages of the push method.
First of all, the push method provides for a wider weld bead, and ultimately less penetration than any other technique. The electrode will be pushed ahead of the bead rather than behind, and this actually allows the inert gas to push air away from the weld path before the metal is heated. It sounds great but there are a few things to think about:
- Using the push method will not generate the soot that the pull method tends to.
- The push method provides a better view of the weld pool.
- The weld bead will not be as deep.
Aside from the push method, the most interesting thing about TIG welding is the fact that you can use it to weld materials of a lesser thickness. For example, with ARC welding you can only weld material down to 0.048 inches, but when you are dealing with TIG welding, you can weld material all the way down to 0.005 inches. This renders the TIG welding method one of the most useful for work on automobiles, as you can probably imagine considering the thin materials in the body, the frame, and even the engine.
Your welding method is just that: yours. You can make your own decisions, and you can choose between ARC, TIG, MIG, or any of the other flavors that have been developed. Remember that each method houses its own particular attributes, and in the end you will undoubtedly develop a hybrid welding method that will carry you through virtually any project.