3 welding equipment advices: how to become a better welder and how to select the top welding equipment. TIG Torch angle should only be around 10 degrees or less: Ideally, torch angle should only be around 10 degrees or less. Too much torch angle will deflect the heat and melt the rod before you ever get it into the puddle. This causes the rod to ball up and blob into the puddle. That’s bad. You don’t want that. You want to slip the filler rod into the puddle so that you can get a consistent bead. There are exceptions to this…like when you are using a lay wire technique and leaning the torch back while you walk the cup. But if you are dipping the rod in the puddle, too much torch angle usually is not a good thing.
Extend your Tungsten Electrode out Far enough but not too: Too short of a tungsten stickout from the cup will not let you hold a close enough arc length and will not let you see the tip of your electrode. You need to be able to see the tip of the electrode without getting a kink in your neck in order to keep your arc length right. Some textbooks are just plain wack when they only recommend extending your electrode one tungsten diameter past the end of the TIG cup. Holding too long an arc will not pinpoint the heat well enough and will let your rod ball up and blob into the weld.. but we already covered that didn’t we? I remember a consulting gig once where the welder at the aluminum body truck repair shop could not get the aluminum socket weld to puddle. The only thing wrong was that the electrode was recessed back in the cup. Once I extended it out about 3/8″, Everything was fine. ( I also talked them into getting some helium argon mix.)
Just about everyone who tries TIG welding feels challenged at first. This is understandable, given all the things you have to watch for and think about, while simultaneously coordinating the motion of both hands. In most cases, a foot pedal or torch-mounted amperage control will be used — for starting, modulating and stopping the flow of current. I have coached many people as they learn these skills, and I have received my share of questions over the years. Here are a few frequently asked questions — and answers — that should be helpful, particularly for beginning and intermediate welders.
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For the best control of your weld bead, keep the wire directed at the leading edge of the weld pool. When welding out of position (vertical, horizontal or overhead welding), keep the weld pool small for best weld bead control, and use the smallest wire diameter size you can. A bead that is too tall and skinny indicates a lack of heat into the weld joint or too fast of travel speed. Conversely, if the bead is flat and wide, the weld parameters are too hot or you are welding too slowly. Ideally, the weld should have a slight crown that just touches the metal around it. Keep in mind that a push technique preheats the metal, which means this is best used with thinner metals like aluminum. On the other hand, if you pull solid wire, it flattens the weld out and puts a lot of heat into the metal. Finally, always store and handle your filler metals properly. Keep product in a dry, clean place — moisture can damage wire and lead to costly weld defects, such as hydrogen-induced cracking. Also, always use gloves when handling wires to prevent moisture or dirt from your hands settling on the surface. When not in use, protect spools of wire by covering them on the wire feeder, or better yet, remove the spool and place it in a clean plastic bag, closing it securely.