LEARN TO TIG WELD
Learning to TIG weld is the most rewarding skill you can learn. As one of my customers said " It's like I've got a new super power". Made me chuckle, but he's spot on. It opens new avenues, you can make new parts or repair damaged old ones. The list is literally endless.
Before you start, whether learning in your garage or attending one of my courses. You need to know some terminology about the technique. So here's a basic list to start you off.
Think of TIG welding, particularly aluminium, as planning a bank robbery. You need to do loads of planning, preparation and set-up, then get the job done really quickly. Thats TIG welding in a nutshell. The longer it takes the more heat input you put into the work piece and in the blink of an eye, it's all gone Pete Tong.
So, you get the weld pool established quickly, then you're out of the blocks, running your weld, monitoring and controlling the heat input as you go.
The three ways you control the heat input are, speed of travel, pedal control and feeding the rod. So a bit like a drummer in a band, you're monitoring and doing at least four (yes, four) things at once. Which leads me to terminology.
1.) Stand off - When I'm training people I often say "You're lifting" This is when I'm referring to the person lifting the TIG torch a bit higher. This is what STAND OFF is. The height between the TIG torch electrode and the parent material you are welding. It has to stay a constant distance, approx 2-3mm.
2.) Speed of Travel - The speed at which you move your torch hand. This is another way you can control the heat input. The faster you move, the less heat you'll put into the ally.
3.) Pedal control - Like twisting the throttle on a motorbike, the more you put your foot down the more amps you use, increasing heat. You can also manually 'PULSE' the pedal to really reduce heat.
4.) Feeding the rod - For most of the time you don't need to learn how to push the rod through your hand. It can be awkward whilst wearing a TIG glove. But you just need to remember rods come in different sizes and the more you put in the weld puddle the more you cool the weld. Bit like putting milk in a cuppa. This can be really helpful.
Like anything, whether playing a sport or riding your motorbike, to get better you need to practice. Learning to TIG weld is exactly the same, but you need to practice the correct technique. If you want to learn more check out my TIG welding course details and read the course reviews.