Author Topic: Tig welding  (Read 982 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Tig welding
« on: July 02, 2020, 01:54:21 am »

Is Tig welding something that can be learnt through practice, experimentation, gootube videos, and reading, or is this one of those skills that really needs to be taught by someone with years of experience?

I'd love to know how to weld, but am wondering how best to learn.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 02:02:53 am »
there's two elements

a) knowing what to do (which includes everything to do with setup and machine settings) and
b) actually doing it.

The latter requires considerable skill and manual dexterity. It takes a lot of practice to get any good at it, and people learn differently.  However if you don't have someone showing you the ropes you may well waste 100% of your time when practicing, because you may be effectively trying to do something that is at best more difficult than it  needs to be and at worst may be downright impossible.

cheers

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 08:56:08 am »
I picked up the actual welding bit pretty quickly. Though having said that, it consisted of weld repairs to aluminium cylinder heads. Being relatively thick sections of metal, I assume it's easier especially if you're too heavy on the pedal. My work on thinner sections of aluminium was probably 80% "industrial" 10% decent 10% lucky.
Obviously, knowing how to set up is vital, Our welder had blobs of paint on all the settings, so this was something I never learned - or needed to.
Having someone experienced teach you is probably best, they can watch/react to what you are doing right or wrong, and explain it
Watch out for people spraying WD40 while you weld   ;D

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 09:07:06 am »
It takes a lot of practice to get any good at it, and people learn differently.  However if you don't have someone showing you the ropes you may well waste 100% of your time when practicing

This.

I tried to teach myself TIG welding 2 years ago for framebuilding (thin wall tubes - not the most beginner-friendly of quests!), I could spend whole days in the welding booth practising, but I eventually gave up and drifted off because I couldn't find someone to tell me what settings to use on the welding machine and I didn't have enough experience to be able to read my results and know a) if they were any good and b) how to make them less bad.

I found some videos on YouTube that specified settings, but they didn't match the options on the welder I had access to and there are so many possibilities for combinations it was beyond me.


Re: Tig welding
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 09:30:53 am »
How are you at other physical skills that require fine motor control, concentration and empathy with materials?

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2020, 12:36:17 pm »
I was very good at gas welding during my early days as a Blacksmith apprentice, I went on to do atomic hydrogen welding, when I first tried Tig it was second nature for me as I found it very easy.

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2020, 01:26:12 pm »
There's a few things going on here, from my experience of learning to weld recently.

First, you probably can go straight to TiG but starting with MiG is probably a good idea.  Mig equipment is a lot cheaper and the skills you will learn are transferable.

Then, I would go to a course, doesn't have to be long, but having someone tell you what you are doing wrong and teach you to evaluate your mistakes is worth it, no YouTube will do that effectively.

Getting used to welding different things is also invaluable. It isn't the same, welding 12 gauge as it is 3mm, 6mm or even 16mm. I'd also say doing some stick welding is also useful.

After about 3 years, welding not that often, I am beginning to feel that I could use Tig effectively, but I may be overstating it, as I haven't tried.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Tig welding
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2020, 02:14:27 pm »
I was very good at gas welding during my early days as a Blacksmith apprentice, I went on to do atomic hydrogen welding, when I first tried Tig it was second nature for me as I found it very easy.

I think you lot have found your tutor!

erm can you do automotive? I've got a motorhome needing a lot of work...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Tig welding
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2020, 07:52:52 am »

Thank you everyone for your help and advice.

Guess I shall see if there is somewhere round here I can do a welding course, even if it's just the basics to start me off.

Thanks

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Tig welding
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2020, 08:56:09 pm »
I found mig welding easy to get to grips with. I use a Kemppi MinarcMig evo which does mig/mag and it would be a good place to start.

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2020, 10:03:38 pm »
I use a Kemppi MinarcMig evo which does mig/mag and it would be a good place to start.

Not _quite_ entry level kit ....

If anyone's interested, I've been very happy with my R-Tech kit, I have the small MIG https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/mig-welder-r-tech-i-mig180/ they do a small TIG for a little less, from what I can see this is entry level for something useful, to which you need to add your gas bottles. I've found it generally performs as well as I can, although 16mm proved to be a challenge. It switches easily between MIG & MMA, which is nice. The only thing I've found slightly annoying is that the display only shows the current when you are welding, you can't set it first, which matters more with stick probably, than MIG, but either way, the actual number doesn't mean that much. I also like that it looks like I'm supporting an LGBT welder.

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2020, 09:09:58 am »
My very first career was as a smiths apprentice and we started learning gas welding. We would never use it on the job, but gas welding was deemed to be fundamental. If you can gas weld, you can weld anything.

 Depending on your dexterity and general tool skills, I think it's entirely feasible to learn on your own, but I would start with mig. 
I assume this is for a bike build?. Start with 6-8mm pieces, work your way down. Learn to do longer complicated routes in one go. Rising, falling, upside down. The key is to learn to control the temperature and manipulate the 'puddle'.
Lots of videos on youtube.
Both mig & tig has become a lot more affordable and a lot smarter.
Invest in good welding shirt, gloves and helmet. 
Accept that welding sparks are really hyper intelligent creatures and will find a way around your PPE and into your ear canals, etc, regardless what you do...usually at the most critical moments.

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2020, 07:15:50 pm »
The only thing I've found slightly annoying is that the display only shows the current when you are welding,

I was learning TIG on the R-Tech TIG201 which has a similar 'feature' of not being able to get a reading for the second of your two pulse currents - you had to eyeball it from the position and reading on another dial. It was this and another something to do with the pulse settings (I can't remember what; not enough range on the pulse time, perhaps) that made it particularly frustrating for me.


Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Tig welding
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2020, 08:57:06 pm »
I use a Kemppi MinarcMig evo which does mig/mag and it would be a good place to start.

Not _quite_ entry level kit ....

If anyone's interested, I've been very happy with my R-Tech kit, I have the small MIG https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/mig-welder-r-tech-i-mig180/ they do a small TIG for a little less, from what I can see this is entry level for something useful, to which you need to add your gas bottles. I've found it generally performs as well as I can, although 16mm proved to be a challenge. It switches easily between MIG & MMA, which is nice. The only thing I've found slightly annoying is that the display only shows the current when you are welding, you can't set it first, which matters more with stick probably, than MIG, but either way, the actual number doesn't mean that much. I also like that it looks like I'm supporting an LGBT welder.

It was entry level for me and paid for itself on its second outing, which I think is good value. What I meant, thobut, was that mig/mag would be a good place to start.

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2020, 09:20:55 pm »
The only thing I've found slightly annoying is that the display only shows the current when you are welding,

I was learning TIG on the R-Tech TIG201 which has a similar 'feature' of not being able to get a reading for the second of your two pulse currents - you had to eyeball it from the position and reading on another dial. It was this and another something to do with the pulse settings (I can't remember what; not enough range on the pulse time, perhaps) that made it particularly frustrating for me.


Interesting, I sort-of assumed that it was a "feature" of the bottom end machines. Certainly with MIG/MMA and possibly with TIG, I suspect the impact of that will only be during the learning phase.  I've already got used to tweaking the volts and speed based on the weld quality for MIG, my recent foray into MMA was another learning curve, where I ended up looking at the amp display while waving the stick somewhere behind me at a random bit of scrap. Again, once you know where the settings are (11 o'clock for 90 Amps) the actual value matters not a lot.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Tig welding
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2020, 10:31:26 pm »
Depending on your dexterity and general tool skills, I think it's entirely feasible to learn on your own, but I would start with mig. 
I assume this is for a bike build?. Start with 6-8mm pieces, work your way down. Learn to do longer complicated routes in one go. Rising, falling, upside down. The key is to learn to control the temperature and manipulate the 'puddle'.

Actually wasn't thinking of it for a bike build. Was asking mostly as I keep finding myself wanting to attach two bits of metal together on a project, and thinking "this would be so easy if I knew how to weld"

Can you get combined MIG and TIG units? I wonder if I can find someone locally to do a welding course in English...

How are you at other physical skills that require fine motor control, concentration and empathy with materials?

Well based on the stuff I've been posting in the fettling thread, I've been soldering up parts that are 1mm x 1mm... Does that count?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2020, 10:50:09 pm »


Can you get combined MIG and TIG units?


yes, but you still end up with almost as much kit as having two separate welding sets. The reason is that the only parts that are common between the two processes are the power supply, some of the controls on it,  and the ground lead. And even the ground lead may be connected differently inside the set for the two processes. This leaves the welding torch, gas bottle, regulator, pipework, wire feeder, filler material and most of the associated controls as specific to each process.

cheers

Re: Tig welding
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2020, 09:33:15 am »
I keep finding myself wanting to attach two bits of metal together on a project

Sticking metal together was my motivation, too. It's clear that you would be able to weld but
Quote
I've been soldering up parts that are 1mm x 1mm... Does that count?


It's a useful indication of your mechanical dexterity, but it is a separate skill set.

My experience (going from a non-welder to being able to stick metal together) is that in hobby mode - occasionally doing stuff - I'm unlikely to get to the quality that professional welders (or even proficient hobby welders) achieve, but I don't let that stop me. If I end up grinding more away, or having to fill gaps, it isn't the end of the world.

I think you've mentioned issues with storage space previously, welding is quite bulky. If space is an issue, think about MMA (stick) welding, most MIG welders will handle that and you don't need a gas bottle. It is a bit more tricky than MIG, as you have to adjust for the shortening electrode and control is much harder. But, it is an easy way to stick metal together. Aside from the welding gear and PPE you will need at least one angle grinder (two is easier) and steel to play with, 3mm stock is a good starting point. Where you weld may be another challenge. MIG is best indoors because of the gas shield, stick is ok outdoors. A steel bench is also a very good idea, half or more of the time sticking metal together is spent preparing and setting up, I have one of these which is excellent https://www.7050ps.com/welding-bench-600x580x6---laser-cut--collect-117-p.asp but not the lighest item! If you don't have a steel bench, remember stuff that is being welded gets Very Hot, so wooden benches or normal furniture is unsuitable. Consider that hot sparks are part of the experience, too.


While I have advised taking a course, I wouldn't fixate on that. Jumping right in is likely to be satisfying too, and getting critique on the results by posting here on on a welding forum will help refine. Visual examination of welds can generally identify what is wrong.

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Tig welding
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2020, 11:28:24 am »
Can you get combined MIG and TIG units? I wonder if I can find someone locally to do a welding course in English...
Yes you can, for example (click the image)
 
Being a MIG unit first it only does DC TIG, that is good enough to learn on and for many jobs.  But if you want to produce the finest art work such as seen in the Binky videos (episode 12 for example) on the widest variety of materials (;)) and thicknesses you need an AC capable unit like the one shown by nikki.
2020 targets: None
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.