Welding is a very delicate task. For some, they consider it a form of art, and for others, it’s a very tedious job, but once you master it, normal steel becomes an easy touch. There are different types of welding processes, Wire-Feed, MIG Welding, and one of the most famous among other types is the Tungsten Inert Gas or most commonly known as TIG Welding. It is a manual welding process that produces the weld with a non-consumable tungsten electrode that requires the welder to use both hands to finish the job. Instead of using a consumable electrode that conducts current and melts into the metal, a TIG machine uses an inert gas shield to strike the arc and create a puddle of liquified metal. The welder uses a filler rod to fill in the puddle.
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Techniques in TIG Welding
TIG welding has become a popular choice of welding processes where high quality and precision welding can be achieved. If you want to learn more on the basics of TIG welding in this article, here are a few fundamental tips and techniques on how to help you master this type of welding. Being a good welder does not happen overnight. Welding has practical aspects too. It takes years and years of practice to get better.
In TIG welding, it is vital that you need to move the torch in a very controlled and relaxed manner. Keep your hand in a stable position, slightly moving forward, while putting a small amount of space between the edge of the metal and the electrode. According to welding experts, the space between the electrode and the metal should range from 0.3 cm to 0.5 cm. Controlling the arch and keeping it distanced and not letting the electrode make contact with the filler rod or any metal is not easy. For you to control the arc perfectly, you need to take a lot of practice.
In case the electrode touches even the slightest tip of the filler or the metal, the rod may get stuck on to the metal. It may also become contaminated. Once it happens, you’ll have a hard time aiming at the arc even with a precise hand movement. It may also produce impurities that will only make your problem even worse.
One more technique that you need to keep in mind that is very useful in day to day operations is to keep a distance that links the metal and the torch. By doing so, it will be easy for you to get a glimpse of the puddle and gives you a view of the filler rod. Practice angling it for about 15 degrees. Experts suggest that if you could lower the angle down much better. However, if you take the torch by more than 40 degrees or farther away, there is a tendency that you are going to lose sight of the shielding gas, making the puddle look longer rather than making it wider.
You also need to remember that the torch’s work angle is vital. It is usually aligned 90 degrees to the metal, based on a point of view from the end of the joint.
Always remember that there are a lot of things happening as you make a good weld. Control your hand and pay attention to the movement, distance, and most importantly to the torch’s angle from the metal. It may require you to make sudden adjustments with where your torch is. Concurrently, the one that takes the rod has to simultaneously move, adding an exact amount of filler metal, dropping down at the tip of the moving puddle, while keeping the edge of the rod intact on the shielding gas. There are a lot of tricks and tips to remember when doing a weld. The best thing you can do to manage all of these is to practice.
How to Control your Hands
In welding, you need to control your hands for you to make a good weld, especially in this fast-paced world. However, there are times when it’s getting out of touch. To be great at what you are doing, here are some ways that can help you control your hands:
Ensure that all of your equipment and materials are clean and free from any contaminants. Keep in mind that in TIG welding, contaminants are not good. If an electrode gets contaminated, clean it immediately, or have it replace it instead. To clean your equipment, use a degreaser to clean the metal and wipe it gently with a wire brush. Apply a degreaser first before brushing it to avoid any stains. Do not forget to wipe out the rod with a degreaser. As much as possible, refrain from using the same brush for the ones you use for different metals.
The next thing you need to do is to relax. If you’re comfortable welding in a stand-up position, feel free to do so. If you prefer to be seated, go on. Remember that your body movements can affect the result of your weld.
If your hand needs a little support, look for something that will make you more comfortable. Having a workaround for your arms and hands to keep it under control is important. Some professional welders add block supports to keep them in position and sometimes use to rest their arms and shoulders.
Many experts in welding practice before getting on the pass. To do this, go on to your best comfortable position. Add all the support that your body and arms need and make your hands move along the path the rod will pass through as you weld. You’ll often get an idea of what is the best way to weld it. Remember that any pain from your body will make an impact on your work. Doing a practice run will help you keep on track during the real pass.
Of all the types of welding available, TIG welding is the most difficult to handle and quite hard to manage. However, this type of welding is the most versatile in regards to different metals. The procedure of this type is slow, but when you manage to do it correctly, you will be able to produce a high-quality weld.