TIG welding takes time to master. It is a continual learning process as one learns new lessons and puts them into practice. The result is worth the time invested. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
Mastery over new skills is a part of the rewards of TIG welding. It is often more gratifying than the flawless work itself. You may have laboured away at the basics for weeks. If you are ready to move on to something bigger, here are 5 simple tricks that the Pro TIG welders use.
Foot Pedal Amperage: Most new welders are taught to stick the current output at 200 amps and control what you need with the foot pedal. This may have been fine in the old days, but modern TIG machines allow far greater control over the output current. The pros adjust the welder so that the required amperage is set when the pedal being depressed three-quarters of the way through. If you need only 30 amps, there is no point in struggling to hold the pedal with a 200 amp setting. Relax your foot with the appropriate setting.
Understand Aluminium: This is one of the primary reasons why people pick up TIG welding in the first place. However, remember that not all aluminium alloys can be welded. The sheets may appear to be welded together, but they may crack within a few days. Research your metals. Find out which one you are using.
Torch Angle: A basic tip that many people forget is to maintain a torch angle of 10 degrees or lower for the best results. This angle allows for fine welds without blobs from overheating or chunks from under-heating the filler metal.
MIG for TIG: If you run out of filler metal when welding steel, substitute it with your MIG steel or stainless steel wire. If it is too thin, double it up. MIG steel wire is almost identical to TIG wires and a MIG spool will work fine for most steels. Just remember to get replacements when you get the time.
Hold the Gas: When welding aluminium, most beginners tend to use more gas to prevent oxidation. What you really want to do is reduce the flow of the shielding gas. Aluminium conducts heat too fast – which is why it needs such high temperatures (also to break through the oxide layer). A fast gas stream obviously cools it down faster, resulting in a weld that is more brittle.
Always take notes and review them later to learn about what may have been the cause of the mistakes and what great results they bring. With time, you will soon be able to locate potential problems and eliminate them.