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What Are the Best TIG Welding Tips?

TIG welding is versatile and uses less energy than other welding methods.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2014
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TIG, or tungsten inert gas, is a type of welding process in which a gas is used to prevent contamination of the tungsten weld. These gases can be harmful, as can the bright light the welding process causes, so some of the most important TIG welding tips focus on the welder's safety. All welding should be done in a well-ventilated area, and the operator should wear all appropriate safety equipment, including a safety mask, gloves, and fire retardant clothing. If the operator is new to the process, he or she should only proceed under the guidance of an experienced welder who can give TIG welding tips during the process.

The most important preparation step in the process is the cleaning step. Most TIG welding tips will be ineffective if the metal being welded is not properly cleared of rust, grease, dirt, and other contaminants. Using a wire brush to do this job may be sufficient, but for more stubborn rust and dirt, a wire wheel mounted to a drill may be necessary. The heaviest duty jobs will require an angle grinder, which is a power tool that rotates a grit wheel at high speeds. This tool will remove material from the piece being worked, and it will produce sparks, so the user should wear protective equipment when operating an angle grinder.

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Other TIG welding tips focus more on the actual process. Many pros will recommend making tack welds before making a full pass along the metals being secured to each other. This means the operator will make small, short connections to secure the two pieces together before making a full pass. The pieces will already be clamped together for security, but they may still move slightly; making tack welds reduces or eliminates the likelihood the pieces will move before the full weld can be made.

It is important to learn the different types of welds one can make. TIG welding tips may include learning about butt welds, corner joint welds, T-joints, lap joints, and so on. Each type of situation will require different preparation and execution; the metal itself may even need to be altered to allow the tungsten to seep in between the two pieces of metal for a stronger bond. The motion the operator will need to execute during the process may also vary, though many experienced welders recommend a back-and-forth motion that is slightly arced.

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