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TIG welding for dummies ?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by ryan22re, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    So I have been playing around with the TIG welder and I think I am getting pretty good at laying a bead. I started practicing by just making a puddle and then dragging it along in a "D" shaped pattern. Slowly but surely I started getting better (at least I think so) and finally worked my way up to adding some filler rod and laying some beads. So far I'm practicing on scraps of flat stock, no corners or anything like that.

    Have any tips for the beggining TIG welder? Have any fixes for shakey hands? It's almost like I need to take a chill pill before I start welding. I've tried different positions and using the torch with my left and right hand with limited success. What about grip on the torch? Would that make a difference? Right now I kind of hold it like a pencil.

    How would you practice your TIG welding? I.e. welding particular shapes or tubing or what?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'm also a TIG 'beginner'. My boss is giving me tips and letting me practise on my own time. I use a piece of 2x4 or whatever is handy as a rest for my hand (or elbow or forearm) I'll go as far as clamping a rest somewhere, and it does make a big difference.

    I find fillet's are easiest because you can pretty much rest the cup against the work and stay way steadier. I practise outside corners, fillet's and butt joints with a small prep or gap. I get lots of practise welding up machining errors on mild steel...

    If there was some easy and quick fix for shaky hands I'd be all over it. sometimes it seems the harder i try to keep steady the worse the shaking gets. A couple of times I've busted out laughing at myself for looking like an epileptic drug addict in need of a fix...

    Personally I think it might be to 6 cups of coffee I drink before noon though. :doah:

    Rene
     
  3. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Having in the past earned a living partly by using a TIG I can tell that for me caffeine and TIG welding didn't mix at all. I don't drink coffee, so you can imagine what the super-mega-bladder-buster cup full of Mtn Dew from Toxic Hell did to me. The tremor I have from my motorcycle accident doesn't help.

    That being said, I've never been able to "walk the cup". Dragging it disrupted my welds more than it helped. I've learned to brace the outside edge of my torch holding hand. You should learn to use both hands. Sooner or later a weld will come along that screams for the opposite hand. You also learn to stage your skip-welding very carefully. Don't want to start a weld with your hand resting near where you just welded.

    I've learned that when you start shaking that trying to relax is far more effective than trying to hold still.
     
  4. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    make sure you are comfortable.. you probably cant lay nice tig welds if you are in a position that makes you not be able to breath normally and easily...

    use a steady rest... I like something with a gentle curve in it so my arm slides along it easily...

    pre-practice your whole travel line beforehand... this way you will know if you are going to snag anything or get into an uncomfortable position BEFORE it happens... (I find its seem to happen just when I have run that "pefect weld" and opps... I snag and dip the tungsten or something)

    count in your head... heat... dip.. travel.. get a good rythym going,,, become your own "pulser"

    make sure you have all problems worked out beforehand... not DURING the weld

    Use clean equipment and work area... it cant be clean enough for tig

    practice.. practice.. practice...

    Both lincoln and miller make excellent tig welding videos (they come free with a welder) ,,,, look on their websites for free learning materials
     
  5. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    It's a lincoln 175 something or other.
     

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