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gtaw welder: : Welding is a fabrication process that involves the use of heat and/or pressure to form a durable joint between two separate pieces of material.

Depending on the part and production specifications, industry professionals employ different welding techniques to create the desired assemblies.

Two of the most common welding methods used are MIG and TIG welding.

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Tig welding

gtaw welder, is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld.

The weld area and electrode are protected from oxidation.

Or other atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas (argon or helium).

Get the background

In Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, a tungsten electrode is used to heat the metal.

While Argon gas protects the weld puddle from airborne contaminants.

TIG welding can be used to produce high-quality, clean welds on most materials.

Including steel, stainless steel, chromoly, aluminum, nickel alloys, magnesium, copper, brass, bronze, and gold.

Follow the steps below to get your TIG welder up and running and start welding masterpieces today!

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Put on safety gear.

Before operating any welding machine, make sure to put on protective eyewear.

Thick, fire-resistant clothing, and a welding helmet with an eye shield.

Connect the TIG torch.

All TIG torches have a ceramic nozzle for directing argon.

A copper sleeve for holding an electrode, and some way of cooling themselves.

Use the adapter from your accessory package to plug the torch into the front of your machine.

Plug your foot pedal into the machine.

The foot pedal is used to control the heat at which you are welding.

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Select the polarity.

You will pick different settings based on the type of metal that you are welding.

If you are using aluminum, place the welder on the alternating current (AC) setting.

If you are using steel or other metals, place the welder on the DC Electrode Negative (DCEN) setting.

  • If your welder has a high-frequency setting, it will also need adjusting.
  • For aluminum, the switch will need to be on a continuous high frequency.
  • For steel, it should be on a high-frequency start.

Grind the tungsten.

The thickness of the metal to be welded and the welding current are used to determine the size of the tungsten rod.

Make sure to grind in a radial direction around the circumference of the tungsten, not straight toward the ends.

  • Use the face of a fine stone to grind the tungsten electrode.
  • Grind so that the electrode is pointing in the same direction as the rotation of the stone as a safety precaution.
  • Grind the tungsten to a balled tip for AC welding and a pointed tip for DC welding.
  • To make a butt weld or open corner weld ground the tungsten to a five to six-millimeter stick.

Set up the gas flow.

You want to use a pure Argon gas or mixed Argon gas such as an Argon-Helium mixture.

Remove the plastic protective cap.

  • Shift the valve body by quickly opening and closing the valve to clean any debris out of the threaded valve body.
  • Screw the regulator on, then screw the nut tight while simultaneously twisting the regulator until it is seated in the valve.
  • Tighten the regulator using a spanner, making sure that the pressure knob is backed off counter-clockwise.
  • Put on the gas hose and flowmeter, then turn on the cylinder valve. Make sure to turn on the cylinder valve gently and in small increments.
  • Usually, a quarter-turn revolution is enough.
  • Finally, check for any leaks by listening for a wheezing sound or using an aerosol leak detector spray.
  • Set the gas flow rate by adjusting the cylinder regulator.
  • Though the rate may vary depending on your project, usually the rate stays between four and 12 liters (3.2 US gal) per minute.

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Set the amperage.

The amperage allows you to regulate the control you have over the welding process.

  • The thicker the metal, the higher the amperage.
  • The more coordinated you get with the foot pedal, the higher you can leave the amperage.
  • Some conventional current ratios are: 1.6mm, 30 to 120 amps; 2.4mm, 80 to 240 amps; 3.2mm, 200 to 380 amps.

Clean your welding material.

 Your surface must be clear of debris before you begin to weld.

  • To prepare carbon steel, use a grinder or sander and polish it down to bare, shiny metal.
  • For aluminum, it is best to use a dedicated stainless steel wire brush.
  • For stainless steel, just wipe down the weld area with some solvent on a rag. Make sure to store the rag and chemicals in a safe place before welding.

Insert the tungsten electrode into its collet.

Unscrew the back of the electrode holder on the collet, insert the tungsten electrode, and screw the back on again.
Generally, the electrode should hang about 1/4-inch away from the protective sheath on the collet.

Clamp the parts together.

Use an angle iron and/or a flat bar with c-clamps to secure the parts you want to weld together.

Tack weld the parts together.

A tack weld is a very small weld that is intended to hold a part in place until the final weld can be completed.  Place tack welds every few inches where your two metals meet.

Hold the TIG torch in your hand.

Be sure to hold it at about a 75-degree angle with the tungsten raised no more than 1/4-inch off the metal.

  • Don’t let the tungsten touch the workpiece or it will contaminate your material.

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Practice using the foot pedals to control the heat.

Your weld puddle should be about 1/4-inch wide.

It is important to keep your puddle size consistent throughout the weld to avoid a messy finish.

Pick up the filler rod in your other hand.

Hold it so it rests horizontally at a 15-degree angle from the workpiece at the base where the torch will heat the piece.

Use your torch to heat up the base metal.

The heat of the arc will create a puddle, a pool of molten metal that is used to fuse the two pieces of metal together.

  • Once there is a puddle on both pieces of metal, tap the filler rod into the molten puddle in quick dabs to avoid clumping.
  • The filler rod adds a reinforcement layer for your weld.

Advance the puddle in the desired direction using your arc.

Unlike MIG welding, where you lead the puddle in the direction that the torch is leading, with TIG welding you push the puddle in the opposite direction that the torch leans.

  • Think of your hand motion as that of a left-handed person operating a pencil.
  • While a right-handed person moves their pencil like a MIG weld, with the angles both tilted to the right, a left-handed person has their pencil tilted to the left, though they must push the pencil to the right.
  • Continue to advance the puddle until you have welded the entire area desired and you’ve completed a TIG weld!

Fashion an easy fillet weld.

Start off with a fillet weld to get the hang of TIG welding.

A fillet weld is comprised of two metals joined at right angles.

Run a weld puddle at a 45-degree angle to a 90-degree corner.

A fillet weld should look like a triangle from the side.

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Weld a lap joint.

Form the weld puddle between the edge of an overlapping piece of metal and the surface of the bottom piece of metal.

When these pieces fuse together, dip the filler rod into the puddle.

Make a T-joint to connect two pieces of metal at a right angle.

Angle the torch so that there is direct heat on the flat surface of the metal.

Hold a shorter arc by extending the electrode beyond the ceramic cone.

Place the filler rod where the edge of the two metals meets.

Melt a corner joint.

Melt both edges of the metal where they meet in a point.

Keep the weld puddle in the center of the joint where the two metals meet.

You will need a significant amount of filler rod for a corner joint because the metals do not overlap.

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Create a butt weld.

Center the weld pool on the adjoining edges of two pieces of metal.

This requires more skill than the other types of weld because the metals do not overlap.

When finishing, decrease the amperage to fill in the crater that forms.

Can I weld aluminum with TIG welding?

Yes, but you must use the AC current setting on your welding machine (some types of budget welding machines do not have this feature and therefore are unable to weld aluminum).

You will also want to use an aluminum filler rod and grind your tungsten to a balled or rounded point (as opposed to pointed tungsten for steel and most other metals).

Can pot metal be gtaw welder?

Since pot metal is often an unspecified alloy of different metals, it can be difficult to weld.

To TIG weld pot metal you will probably want to use the AC setting on your welding machine, as pot metal is usually an alloy of aluminum (which requires AC for best results).

Pot metal is generally an alloy of low-temperature melting point metals such as aluminum, zinc, tin, lead, and magnesium, among others.

This makes it ideal for casting but not welding, as many of these metals tend to “vaporize” when welded; they also produce harmful fumes when welded.

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Is TIG or MIG welding better?

It all depends on your application – MIG welding is much easier to learn and weld in many different positions.

TIG welding takes much more time to learn and considerable practice and experience to make good quality welds, especially in different positions.

MIG is a fast process being wire fed, whereas TIG is a relatively slow process, as filler is added to the weld manually by hand.

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More tips

  • The secret of TIG welding lies mostly in getting the weld pool to form simultaneously on both pieces of metal.

  • No flux is used in TIG welding and there is no slag to block your view of the weld puddle.

  • As the gas tank nears its end, you will want to raise the flow rate because the mix of gases is not as pure at the bottom of the tank.

  • No smoke or visible fumes should be produced as a result of TIG welding.
  • If visible smoke/fumes occur, you may need to clean the metal more thoroughly.
  • Contrary to popular belief, TIG welding however does produce invisible fumes that have recently been re-classified as harmful to your health.
  • Even though TIG welding is perhaps the “lowest fume” type of welding, it is still advisable to use a respirator or fume extractor wherever possible.

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  • If your metal is clean, no sparks should be produced as you weld. Sparks will usually be caused if:

    • Your tungsten is dirty/contaminated. Bits of metal stick to the tungsten electrode; a little is fine, but a lot will cause sparks and an erratic arc. Simply re-sharpen the tungsten with a stone grinder.
    • The metal you are welding is dirty or rusty.
    • You are welding without the Argon gas turned on.
    • You have too long of an arc; tungsten too far from the workpiece being welded.
  • TIG welds can be made in all positions, including Flat, Horizontal, Vertical and Overhead. Just be aware that when welding out of position (vertical, overhead, horizontal), you have to account for gravity affecting your weld pool – usually, this means just turn down the amperage setting a little, and travel a bit faster, otherwise, you will get molten metal having a “dripping” effect off the weld/workpiece


  • Do not use Argon mixed with CO2 as your shielding gas. CO2 is an active gas and will destroy the tungsten electrode.

  • Protect your face with a welding helmet that has a proper shade with filter lenses.

  • Wear dry insulating gloves before turning on the welding machine.

  • Wear safety glasses with side shields under your helmet shade.

  • Wear durable, flame-resistant clothing and footwear when operating a welding machine.

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  • As TIG welding requires more hand dexterity than most other types of welding (particularly for feeding the TIG filler wire at a steady rate), the gloves used for Tig welding are Thinner than the standard heavy-duty gloves used for MIG and ARC welding, therefore extra care must be used when handling hot workpieces, especially if you are used to MIG and ARC welding

  • TIG tungsten electrodes come in quite a few different types.
  • But the Thoriated type (usually has a red painted end) is mildly radioactive.
  • The radiation emitted from the electrodes is generally considered harmless in solid form and when welding, and is only considered an issue in dust form – from when the electrodes are being sharpened – therefore use of a dust mask is always recommended when grinding thoriated electrodes.

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