Amelia Whitehart September 12, 2019

Here are some tricks about welding equipment and how to make the best buying choices. The welding setup, welder settings, and electrode selection will impact how fast welders can work. Industrial welders invest time in planning the size and shape of their welding areas, how parts are laid out, and how they supply their shielding gas. Testing settings or an electrode on a piece of scrap metal, especially for a beginners, will save time in the long run. Learn more about setting up an efficient shop here. Welding Downhill Increases Welding Speed: While welding downhill is a faster way to weld, it’s not as strong as welding uphill. On most projects it’s not worth sacrificing strength and durability for the sake of welding speed. However, if the metal is thin enough, then welding downhill won’t make the weld weaker and may even be the correct technique for the job. Learn about uphill and downhill welding and see these diagrams of vertical and downhill welding.

TIG welding is similar to to a MIG welder as it uses an electric arc in the same was as MIG welding does but differs in a few ways. Instead of a continuous spool of consumable wire, a TIG welder uses long tungsten welding rods that are manually slowly fed into the weld puddle to join the metal. TIG welding requires gas, usually argon, to protect and cool the weld puddle from external contamination. TIG welding is more suited to welding thinner materials such as stainless steel and aluminium as you can get the power down lower to reduce the risk of blow through and can even weld two dissimilar metals. Suitable for tricky welds such as S curves but TIG welders are still capable of welding heavier materials depending on the machine. TIG welding takes more practice that MIG welding as the process is much more manual with controlling the torch, welding rod and gas by hand (and foot for the gas) but once mastered will produce the highest quality welds making it the better choice where perfect, precise welds are required but due to the manual process is the least productive.

Look for ways to create more efficiencies in the welding process. This includes examining such things as wire diameter, wire feed speed, voltage, travel speed, gas type, transfer mode, etc. For instance, if the shop is currently welding with a short arc process and a 75/25 blend of shielding gas, it may be more effective to switch to a different gas and a spray mode of transfer. Or, a change in process may be warranted based on the condition of the part. If there is oxide on the part, it may be easier to change to a process that will overcome contamination problems rather than try to clean each part before welding. Your welding supplier should be up to date on the latest technology and be able to advise you on new processes, machinery and consumables that can optimize welding at the shop. In some cases, it may be better to double bevel a joint to prepare it for welding rather than single bevel it. It is recommended to double bevel any material that is more than 3/4″ in thickness. Just this simple change in procedure can save quite a bit in weld metal. On a 3/4″ thick piece, a double bevel will use 1.45 lbs. per foot of weld metal while a single bevel will use 1.95 lbs. per foot. Looking for the best TIG Welders? We recommend Welding Supplies Direct & associated company TWS Direct Ltd is an online distributor of a wide variety of welding supplies, welding equipment and welding machine. We supply plasma cutters, MIG, TIG, ARC welding machines and support consumables to the UK, Europe and North America.

Put a glove, block of wood, folded up heat resistant cloth or something non-conductive on the welding table to rest your arms or elbows on and to protect your arms from shock hazard: Do you enjoy getting shocked? Me neither . tig welding aluminum with your high frequency switched to continuous means that the high freq is always looking for a path to follow. So even resting your forearm on the metal table can let that high frequency current bite you just when you least want it, like right when you are near and edge and you are being extra careful not to melt the edge away and then ZAP!. Who needs that? Put a glove, block of wood, folded up heat resistant cloth or something non-conductive on the welding table to rest your arms or elbows on and to protect your arms from shock hazard. Also do whatever it takes to rest your torch hand on a steady object. Again, a block of wood, a balled up tape ball etc can all be used to give you something to rest your torch hand on.

Some welding equipment handbook: how to become a better welder and how to select the best welding equipment. How do I choose what size Tig Welding Rod should I use for the job? For sheet metal up to 1/8” thick, don’t use a welding rod that is bigger than the thickness of metal you are welding…at least not much bigger. A good example…is using a 3/32 rod for welding .040 metal. That will just give you a fit. The amperage is low and the weld puddle needs to be small in order to prevent blowing a hole…and then when you dip the rod into the puddle, the rod is a big heat sink and sucks the heat right out of the puddle making it hard to maintain a consistent size bead. But Beginners should probably not be practicing on really thin metal. If you are a beginner you should be practicing on around 1/8 ” thick metal, and the bigger the rod, the easier it is to feed. For 1/8 ” metal, Use larger diameter rods (3/32” to 1/8”) So here is the rule….thin metal, use a thin rod Thick metal, use a thicker rod. This might seem like a no brainer, but I have answered a lot of questions like this about the rod melting before it gets to the puddle. If torch angle and arc length are right, its usually the rod size.

Keep in mind that heavy-duty MIG welding often produces a lot of heat, sparks and spatter, and requires a lower degree of dexterity than some other forms of welding. Therefore, using thick, stiff leather gloves that provide a higher level of protection is smart. Similarly, choose leather footwear that covers your entire foot and leaves as little room as possible for spatter to fall along your ankle line. High-top leather shoes and work boots often provide the best protection. Finally, always be sure you have adequate ventilation per OSHA recommendations and check material safety data sheets (MSDS) for each metal being welded and filler metal being used. Use a respirator whenever required by the MSDS.

Should the electrode accidentally touch the metal or the filler, the electrode often becomes contaminated — meaning some of the rod or base metal gets stuck to it. Once the electrode is contaminated, the arc cone becomes misshapen, making it difficult or impossible to aim the arc with precision, and the boiling contaminants on the electrode may spit out impurities, further compounding your problems. The angle between the torch and the base metal is important, too. You need to angle the torch slightly to see the puddle, and provide access for the filler rod. A 15-degree angle is a good starting place, although some welders prefer a bit more or less. If you hold the torch at 45 degrees (or more), you’re losing a lot of the coverage from shielding gas, and the flatter angle will make the puddle longer than it is wide. For the record, the torch is tipped with the electrode pointing forward, in the direction of motion. Source: https://www.weldingsuppliesdirect.co.uk/.