Most welders will tell you starting TIG welding for the first time can be quite challenging, but once you’ve mastered it, the rewards are endless. It’s all about controlling the torch and heat, co-ordinating both hands (and sometimes a foot pedal) and, at the same time, watching what’s happening to the weld pool.
It’s much like learning to drive a car but, we all know, practice makes perfect.
Use The Right Equipment
Before starting any welding job, make sure to have the right gear and always remember to read and understand the operating manual when using new equipment. Remember your safety is more important than the task at hand.
Make sure your power source can do what you need it to do. DC TIG machines are ideal when welding mild and stainless steels, but you’ll need an AC/DC power source to weld these metals and aluminium too.
Ensure the filler rod matches the parent metal and, for best results, pre-sharpen your tungsten electrodes at the correct angles using a tungsten grinder.
Choose from a wide range of gas or water- cooled TIG torches and accessories available from BOC.
Use welding-grade Argon gas or an Argon/Helium mix for thicker base metal, especially for aluminium. Argon/Hydrogen mixes are ideal for 300-series stainless steels. Always ensure you wear the correct safety protection, such as a welding helmet, safety footwear and well-fitted TIG gloves, and fire-retardant clothing. Check your workshop is clean and safe and all cylinders are properly restrained.
Get It Clean
Like most welds, it’s important to ensure your base metal (and filler metal) is clean before welding. This is especially true for TIG welding and when working with stainless steel or aluminium. To prevent contamination, use a stainless-steel brush and iron-free grinding and sanding discs to clean stainless steel. If you use a stainless-steel brush to clean mild steel, don’t use it again to clean stainless steel or aluminium. BOC Gas & Gears have a range of cleaning, pickling and passivating solutions for stainless and aluminium.
What’s also a good idea is to pre-clean your TIG fillers by scrubbing lightly immediately before use with a clean scrubbing pad.
Good Support Will Save Your Body And Weld
Finding that right position will help you achieve a smooth and continuous weld. It will also help your wrists, elbows and back, so, where possible, allow yourself a sitting position with good support, especially for your hands and arms.
Slow And Steady Wins The Race
Once your machine parameters are set you are ready to start.
This is where practice comes in. You will need to control the angle, movement and distance of the torch in relation to the work piece so it’s just right to achieve your desired welding result. To get you started with the right products, refer to the BOC Essentials Guide or talk to the friendly staff at your local BOC Gas & Gear store. They are more than happy to help with your gas and welding queries.
Call 131 262 for your nearest store,
For more information visit www.boc.com.au