Best welding tricks

5 welding equipment guides: how to become a better welder and how to select the best 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.

And another tip is use the old school type of collet body(not gas lens) and one size smaller cup than you would use for steel that still provides good shielding. A smaller old school (not gas lens) TIG cup confines the shielding gas envelope to the puddle so that arc energy is not wasted in the form of frosty cleaning action outside the weld. A lot of Old timers use the small cups, they just don’t know why. Pay attention next time you weld aluminum and use a small cup and then turn the shielding gas flow down to around 12-15 cfh with a #6 cup and see if things don’t quiet down a bit.

First, practice handling the gun without actually welding. Rest its barrel in one hand, and support that hand on the table. The other hand operates the gun’s trigger. Stand in a comfortable position and move the gun steadily over the work surface. Adjust your posture and gun movement so that they feel natural. Attach the work lead to the workpiece, and hold the gun so the wire meets the weld surface at about a 30-degree angle. Touch the wire very lightly to the surface, squeeze the trigger, and gently pull the gun toward you to make your first test weld. The wire should melt off into the weld puddle at an even rate and make a steady crackling noise as you go. Adjust the welder settings if needed.

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Always know what gas your wire requires — whether it’s 100 percent CO2 or argon, or a mix of the two. \While CO2 is considerably cheaper than argon and good for penetrating welds on steel, it also tends to run cooler, making it usable for thinner materials. Use a 75 percent argon/25 percent CO2 gas mix for even greater penetration and a cleaner weld, since it generates less spatter than straight CO2. Here are some suggestions for shielding gases for common types of wire: Solid Carbon Steel Wire: Solid carbon steel wire must be used with CO2 shielding gas or a 75 percent CO2/25 percent argon mix, which is best used indoors with no wind for auto body, manufacturing and fabrication applications. Aluminum Wire: Argon shielding gas must be used with aluminum wire, which is ideal for stronger welds and easier feeding. Stainless Steel Wire: Stainless steel wire works well with a tri-mix of helium, argon and CO2.