The Easy Way to Use a TIG Welder
TIG welders are slightly more complicated to use compared to your MIG or Stick welders, and this comes down to one main fact; TIG welders are used primarily for their precision welding so you have to have a certain level of skill and experience to use one of the effectively. They also happen to be a lot more expensive than MIG or Stick welders, and for many people renting them out for a day or two is usually the cheapest way to get your hands on one.
TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas but in recent years it has been technically called Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, or GTAW for short. Whilst MIG welding first made its appearance in the 1940’s, TIG is actually even older with its development being in the 1930’s when the TIG welder was used as a major part of World War 2 in the process of welding aircraft parts.
The First Steps to TIG Welding
Before you begin any kind of welding, or dealing with any type of equipment that uses gas and heat you should always put safety gear on and make sure that the work area you are going to use is free from any highly flammable products. The first thing to do is prepare your surroundings and work area, and then put on some protective eyewear (or headwear such as a welding helmet), along with a fire-resistant suit and a pair of good gloves.
By the end of gearing up no skin should be exposed and every aspect of health and safety should be ticked off.
Now you can begin setting up the welding device…
Using The TIG Welder
Setting up the TIG Welder is the next step that you need to take and what you will notice with all types of TIG welder is that there is a ceramic nozzle that needs connecting to the main part of the welder. These are used to direct the argon gas. There is also a copper sleeve that holds an electrode, and finally an adapter that you can use to plug the torch into the front of the machine.
That completes the torch assembly.
The next thing you are going to need to setup is the foot pedal control which helps you to control the heat that is used during the welding process; this connection is simple so just follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are finding it difficult. Each TIG welder is different but the general setup should be the same and easy to follow.
Beginning to Weld With the TIG Welder
Just like we cleaned the work station at the beginning you will need to make sure that your welding material is also clear from dirt, rust or any other obstruction that could cause the weld to fail. You can use either wire brushes or grinders at this stage dependant on what material it is you want to weld together.
You will need to securely clamp both parts together making sure that there are no gaps, it is very important at this stage that both parts are as tightly knit together as possible to avoid any future complications.
Once they are together you use something like a small tack weld that is designed to hold both parts in place until you have TIG welded the parts together. Hold the TIG welder at a 70 degree angle remember to use the foot pedal in order to regulate the temperature. Once you have a consistent weld puddle take the filler rod and then begin holding it at a 15 degree angle to the work-piece.
You can now start to fuse the two pieces together, with the rod acting as a reinforcement, in terms of the puddle you must remember that you need to push the puddle in the opposite direction that the torch leans in, for MIG welding you lead the puddle in the same direction as the torch so try not to forget this pointer.
Once you have successfully completed the weld double check that the two pieces are firmly joined and that you are happy with the results, if you are then that is all there is to a TIG weld.
There are many types of welding styles and some of them require more skills and experiences to master, once you have done a simple weld like the one we have guided you through here you can turn your hand to T-joint welding where you connect two pieces of metal at a right angle, but only move onto this type of welding once you feel comfortable enough with the basics of TIG welding. Try not to overdo it to start with other you will become frustrated.
Happy TIG welding!