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Old 08-01-2019, 07:32 PM
BTromblay BTromblay is offline
MetalShaper of the Month August 2018
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Mukwonago, Wi
Posts: 321


It looks good. I get asked from time to time to help out guys who are new to Tig welding. These few pointers may help.

1, Be comfortable. Support your hands and body. Hold the torch with ease. If your torch hand gets hot, put an old glove on the panel to create a barrier. For bench work I use old blocks of steel, clamps or any thing I find, to hold the work and my arms and body.

2, Can you see what you are doing? If you can see well, it will show in your welds. Add magnifiers or an external light if needed. Get your face in there, guys will weld straight armed stiffs like Frankenstein and their welds look like it.

3, Practice feeding the wire one handed. I recommend doing it at home in front of the TV. Hold the wire between your thumb, pointer and middle finger. Advance the rod by pinching your pointer and middle finger on the wire. You can advance the entire 3 foot rod, with out adjusting your grip.

4, The Tig torch is directional with heat. The tungsten should be lined up with the weld seam. Often new welders will hold the torch where the tungsten angles across the seam causing un even heat when welding, leaving one side to be cold and the other side to melt away.

5, Slow down at the start. With the Tig, get in position and slowly advance the pedal and start the weld. You can have an arc and not melt the material. Again, you can have an arc and not melt the material, try it. Once you can see this, now advance the throttle of the pedal until the base material starts to melt and now back off on the throttle. It is a valuable exercise in control. New Tig welders start moving their hands before they strike the arc, a habit learned from MIG welding.

6, Welding is like stop and go traffic. Light turns green, start welding by advancing the foot pedal, lille more than needed, to create heat to get the metal flowing. Once in cruise, back off the throttle. When you get to the end of road, start backing off the throttle, "you are pre heating the panel and running out of material", now come to a stop, slowly back off the pedal until the arc goes out. .

7, Use lower amperage when learning. I weld at 40amp in 19 gauge, full penetration, nice small clean bead, narrow HAZ. In time, up the amps when you can move faster over a panel.

8, When vertical, go down. Gravity like molten metal, go with the flow.

9, Tungsten grind. Needle point gives you a wide weld, blunt angle gives you a narrow weld.

10, Practice, Practice, Practice. I tell people all the time that welding is 10% knowledge and 90% practice. People look at my welds and think I have some kind of fancy dancy mystery welder. What I have is alot of 9 hour days building parts.

Hope it help

Bill Tromblay

"A sign of a good machinist, is one who can fix his F$@& Ups" My mentor and friend, Gil Zietz Micro Metric Machine.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:54 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is online now
MetalShaper of the Month October '14 & April '16
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Western Sierra Nevadas, Badger Hill, CA
Posts: 3,283

Hi Neil,
You are getting good info and your work shows improvement.
Fits, tacks, amps, fusion, hammering to planish, filing to metal finish....
sanding, coloring, sanding, filing .... lots of steps.

If you really want an even weld then you have to have steady hands and good vision. You can correct both. Using a steady rest can be a big help. Body position helps. If that is already the best it can be then adding a steady rest can help some more. A broom stick or closet pole or length of tube can work, when added in the horizontal and parallel to the weld, allows your forearms to slide along while welding.
Since you are sailing along so well now, I might add that step one after welding would be to bump the weld to a good level. (Using a straight edge for panel alignment is "essential.") Step two would be knocking down knots of weld. Then planishing the weld end to end, checking for straight... step three. Check file the surface and planish more... four. File again for a good check-over... five. Nit pick and file one last time... six. Sanding for camouflage may help... seven.
This is simply a standard process used by senior craftsmen in many countries, and is not necessarily a rigid rule. But- leaving thin metal might not help your job, overall....
Filing and sanding with 180grit can remove .015" of your metal thickness and more, which can be nearly 50% of the original metal thickness.

Over time and with exposure to many hundreds of sq. yards of hand-built metal autos and airplanes, you do begin to see common results and the marks of those very successful senior men, over the decades.

"All it takes is a little practical experience to blow the he!! out of a perfectly good theory." --- Lloyd Rosenquist, charter member AWS, 1919.
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