Work Safety

How to Set Up a Tig Welder?

By September 27, 2020April 15th, 2022No Comments
Updated: April 02, 2022

If you are looking to create a beautiful weld, then there may be no better than if you used a TIG welding process. This type of welding process creates stunning looking welds that are easy to clean, but the process can be quite intimidating to a beginner.

Creating a weld using the TIG process demands that the welder know how to connect all the equipment properly to ensure that they are getting the best quality weld. There are also several elements that are necessary to understand to be able to be successful.

Setting up the Weld

One of the best places to begin is by discussing the seven key components for setting up the TIG Weld. For those who are using an air-torch there should also be a special adapter located in the box. By plugging the torch into the front of the machine then connecting the gas outline, the coolant line is attached. Here are the six steps that need to be followed in the setup process:

#1 Connect Your Remote Control

The first of these is to connect your remote control. To accomplish this task,you will need to plug in the foot pedal that came with the TIG welder. You may find that your model uses a fingertip control. That is perfectly okay. It is still the same principle involved.

Once the controller is connected, and you will need to position to control that gives you the highest degree of comfort. This is important because you wanted to be easy to hold and control the torch and having the remote control and a position that is not natural will only hinder your success.

#2 Connect Work Clamp

The next step be to connect the work clamp. To create a good TIG Weld, it is important to have your ground clamp properly connected to your equipment. To do so, you need to give yourself enough room so that the clamp is properly situated on the worktable or at the end of your project area.

#3 Select Polarity

Your next step is to select the correct polarity. Making your selection is based upon the type of not all the time to work most often in project itself. For example, if you are using or creating an aluminum well, then you would set up the front panel for an AC current. For steel alloy or other types of steel welding, the DC setting is the best option.

You will find that some TIG welders come with a stick option included. You may also find that there are two DC options that are available. They are DCEN and DCEP. When using the stick welding option, you must use the DCEP setting.

#4 Shape the Tungsten Element

Next, you must shape the tungsten element so that it can be used for making the weld. This is accomplished by grinding the element to a point, always doing so in the long direction. The point should be about 2.5 times that of the diameter of the element. To help you to properly grind the element, you will need a grinding wheel of 200-grit or finer. You want to make sure that the point is flat.

One common mistake that people make is that they use the grinding wheel for other types of projects. This reduces its effectiveness. Therefore, only use it for this specific task.

#5 Find the Back of the Torch and Loosened

Your next step is to find the back of the torch and loosened. This allows you to remove the tungsten. From there, you then remove the nozzle and the copper collet. The collet and its body are then connected back to the torch and. You can also place the nozzle back onto the torch at this point. This makes it so that the tungsten that has been added to the collet will give you about 1/8 of an inch but no more than 1/4 of an inch.

#6 Setting Up the Power Supply

The next step is critical. You need to connect your TIG welder to the power supply, ensuring that the power supply correctly matches the manufacturer’s standard for the equipment. Some of these welders are already supplied with the plot, meaning all you must do is plug it into a power receptacle and you are ready to go. However, you may find that there are some that require 240 V. If this is the case, there is likely a matching plug to help accommodate this need.

You also want to make sure that the canister of gas is ready. This is done by connecting it to the regulator which is then connected to the gas valve. If a separate power supply is required for the coolant system this should be explained during the assembly process.

Some Important Factors to Know

As part of the assembly process, there are important factors that you need to be aware of. These deal with types of materials, sizes, and power flow. Here are some of these that are essential to keep in mind when performing the setup.

Tungsten Type

Tungsten is usually alloyed with different kinds of metals or elements to achieve a different set of characteristics during the TIG Weld. While it can be rather complicated to explain all the details about this, one thing you need to understand is that pure tungsten is needed for work with aluminum, while thoriated and ceriated tungsten are used for steel and stainless steel.

The tungsten that is used is color-coded. This helps to make it easy for you to choose the tungsten product that works best with the metal you are working with. The chart below gives you the color codes to assist you.

Tungsten Size

The size of the tungsten that is needed for welding is dependent upon the specific application in which it is used. Other factors regarding size include the thickness of the material as well as the amperage needed to conduct a proper weld. Clearly, thicker materials require a great deal more current, which also means that the size of the tungsten needs to be bigger.

For those who are beginners at TIG welding, a good rule to go by is that the diameter of the stick of tungsten should be 3/32 of an inch in size. This chart below will assist you in matching the diameter with the cup size.

Shielding Gas

In the vast majority of cases, TIG Weld will be conducted using 100% argon. When using materials such as carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum, the weld can easily be conducted using pure argon as to shielding gas.

When a hotter arc is needed, you will likely find that a mixture of argon-helium is used to create the shield. For combining metals such as copper alloys and aluminum, where the temperature needed to conduct proper weld needs to be much higher, this shielding gas combination does the trick. It makes it easier and faster to be able to create welds.

Gas Flow

Most welders are familiar with gas flow in MIG welding. In this case, it is usually 35 to 50 ft.³ per hour. However, in TIG welding, the flow is significantly smaller, usually no more than 25 CFH. Very large cup sizes may require a significant increase in flow, but most welds need no more than 20 CFH. The chart below gives recommended flowrates to use.

Polarity

There is an amazingly simple rule that can help you with the polarity needed. Whenever you are welding steel or stainless steel, the DCEN is the choice. For using aluminum and magnesium, you should use AC. You should never use DCEP, as it will likely burn up the tungsten.

TIG Needs Some Expertise

This form of welding is one of the most popular you will find, but it requires a great deal of expertise. It also requires a lot of attention to detail, as you have to ensure that you are doing all of the small things that not only protect you, but it sure you get a proper weld. These steps should help you to meet that goal.

Derrick Irvyn

Derrick Irvyn

A passionate researcher and marketing manager. He made hundreds of reviews on various safety products for the last decade. He is fond of blogging and also likes to hear from the curious people about their experiences and opinions. Derick had a lot of expertise and knowledge, but did not have a lot of experience in writing, although this was something he had longed to do. The opportunity to join the team at DefenseHacks was a dream come true of sorts, as he not only could share his insights with us, but with the world as a whole.

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