For a few years now, TIG welding has been well-known and become the favorite welding technique of many mechanics.
However, it can be new to many people (of course, including you who are reading this article). Therefore, I will give you a comprehensive tutorial on “how to use a TIG welder” below.
Please read it carefully before using your TIG welder.
Table of Contents
- How To Use A Tig Welder (Don’t Put The Cart Before The Horse!)
- Step 1: Select the appropriate Electrode
- Step 2: Rub the tungsten rod (electrode)
- Step 3: Configure your TIG welder
- Step 4: Utilize the suitable gas
- Step 5: Prepare your substance and a welding table
- Step 6: Put on your Safety Gear
- Step 7: It’s welding time!
How To Use A Tig Welder (Don’t Put The Cart Before The Horse!)
Step 1: Select the appropriate Electrode
Commonly, there should have been a suitable electrode in your TIG welder already. Nonetheless, you can replace it with a range of tungsten alloys designed for welding specific materials.
Therefore, using the default electrode that the manufacturer gave you is just fine. For advanced techniques in particular cases, you should ask a specialist or the seller.
Step 2: Rub the tungsten rod (electrode)
The tungsten rod (electrode) of your machine should have a sharp or circular tip. Thus, you need to rub it to some extent, especially if your rod is a new one.
However, the tip will be rounded gradually because of the heat as you weld.
I recommend using a rounded tip for AC (alternating current) welding and a pointed tip for DC (direct current) welding.
While a pointed tip emits a smaller and more directed arc, a rounded tip will radiate the arc.
Step 3: Configure your TIG welder
A standard TIG welder will have three electricity modes – AC (Alternating Current), DCEP (Direct Current Electrode Positive), and DCEN (Direct Current Electrode Negative) for different substances. For example, if you are going to weld aluminum, select “AC.”
On the “Cleaning/Penetrating” screen, set to the “Penetrating” side at around 7/10.
Adjust the “Air on” to approximately 6 seconds (optional).
Set the value of the “Max Amps” to almost 250.
Above are the most common settings. For specific cases, ask a specialist and learn more.
Step 4: Utilize the suitable gas
The gas is vital to protect the weld from being corroded because metal will rust or oxidize extremely fast at high temperatures.
Pure argon is always the best gas, but it is expensive. Therefore, you can use it only in compulsory situations such as on aluminum. In less serious cases, you can use a mixture of Argon and Carbon Dioxide (e.g., Steel).
Remember to turn on the gas when using your TIG welder.
Step 5: Prepare your substance and a welding table
You may need a welding table or a large flat metal sheet to let the electricity run through your workpiece. Also, clamp your metals with these surfaces for the stability when you weld.
Additionally, you should use anti-spatter to spray on the welding table (or the metal sheet) to prevent liquid metal leak on its surface.
Step 6: Put on your Safety Gear
You have to wear thick leather welding gloves, a welding protective hat (a dark helmet is the best), and a pair of closed shoes.
And a welding coat or a long-sleeved shirt/jacket can help to prevent the spark from burning your skin.
Step 7: It’s welding time!
1– First of all, you should hold the electrode about one inch from the substance.
(If you let them touch each other, molten metal will stick to the electrode. If this accidentally occurs, turn off the machine and stop welding, remove and grind the tungsten rod. Then, start again.)
2– Next, stomp on the foot-pedal to lead the current and heat into the metal.
You will have to melt the metal and begin the weld pool in seconds. You’ll know it when you see the metal becomes liquid.
Start from an edge, touch the rod when the pool shows up.
Notice: The longer the heating time is, the more distorted the metal will become.
3– Once you have formed a weld pool, you can decrease the pressure on the pedal a bit, which helps to manage the amount of heat and current flowing through the metal.
Tip: As welds will shrivel when they cool down, you could change to another side to keep the welds and a side of the metal even.
To make the next welds, remove the clamps and build a new weld pool by stomping on the pedal again.
Next, gradually release the pressure on the pedal reasonably to adjust the current. If the metal burns so hard and smells, you should cut down on the heat from the current. Vice versa, if the substance does not seem to become fluid yet, let’s make it hotter.
You can repeat this process in other tasks.
After completing any projects, turn off the machine and store it in good condition for maintenance.
Now You Have Known How To Operate A Tig Welder…Do It!
To sum up, all of the above are seven necessary steps on how to use a TIG welder in the most common welds.
However, in individual cases, you may need to consult an expert. Or if you have any further questions about your circumstances, comment below, and I would be pleased to give you the answers.
Thanks for reading!