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Tag Archives: TIG Welding

  • Defining Tungsten for TIG Welding

    One of the defining elements of TIG welding is the Tungsten. In fact that is what the first letter in TIG stands for: Tungsten Inert Gas. TIG uses an inert gas to shield the weld (typically Argon), a filler rod of a metal that matches what you are welding, and an electrode made of Tungsten that focuses and directs the arc. All TIG electrodes are more than 95% Tungsten, which is a rare metal used because it is hard and has one of the highest melting points of any metal. There are at least 5 distinct types of “Tungstens”, as most people call them, typically color coated based on how much of what other elements have been added.
  • How to Build Simple Engine Mounts for a Hot Rod

    To me building a hot rod or custom car is all about building with what you've got, using some ingenuity, and making things from scratch. Sure you can point and click with your mouse and buy a "hot rod in a box" from online vendors, but I think that those cars lose the soul that makes a hot rod so dang cool. Recently I built a chassis for a 1930 Ford Model A coupe I'm putting together and I needed to make some simple motor mounts to attach the Flathead to the chassis. I know you can buy some, but where's the fun in that?! I decided to show a simple way to make some mounts from scratch.
  • How to Convert Late Ford Banjo Rear End to Spring Over Axle

    When you're building old cars you sometimes have to work with "what you've got", especially when you're on a tight budget. If you're building a hot rod using period correct parts you may need to mix and match parts to get something that works for your particular vehicle.
  • If You're Welding an Auto Darkening Helmet is NEEDED!

    The key to good welding is being able to see the metal.  Ditch those old standard lens helmets and get yourself an Auto-Darkening Helmet. You'll see light!, but not too much.  I remember when I learned to weld all I had was an old ARC welding helmet which was like trying to see through a black piece of paper.   The only time I was able to see what I was doing was after the arc was started but at that point it was too late if the weld was not in the right place.

    old helmet

    Auto-Darkening helmets are not new technology but many people are unaware of the benefits of using one.  Almost all welders on the market today come with a small fixed lens mask but thats only to get you started in case you don't already have an auto-darkening helmet.

    These masks are great because they only go dark when you are welding, as soon as the arc stops the lens isn't any darker than a pair of sunglasses.  Many of you know the struggle of having to constantly flip your mask up after every weld just to make sure its right.  Now you wont have to even touch the mask keeping your hands free to continue working.  An Auto-Darkening helmet also gives you the ability to adjust the level of lens shade.  This feature comes in handy if you do multiple types of welding since each requires a different level of shade to protect your eyes.




    Would you believe that both of these pictures were taken under the same conditions.  On the left is a view through a standard fixed lens helmet.  All you can see is the faint outlines of the LED Work Light.  Imagine trying to see where to weld once your mask is on.  The view through an Auto-Darkening Helmet (right) is clear and bright, you can even read the side of the Eastwood MIG 250 on the other side of the bench.  Once your helmet is down rarely will you need to take it off in order to make small adjustments or to change position.



    You wont even need to take it off to change the settings on your welder.  Making current and wire speed adjustments just became so much easier and far less time consuming.  If you've ever used and Auto-Darkening Helmet its near impossible to weld again without one.

    Eastwood offers three different Auto Darkening Helmets that will bring your welding to a whole new level.  For a beginner welder these are a must have, you will find yourself making perfect welds in no time.  Click the pictures below to find out more info on each of Eastwood's Helmets

    Auto-Darkening Helmet

    auto dark


    Large View Auto-Darkening Helmet

    large auto dark


    Extra Large View Auto-Darkening Helmet

    extra large auto dark



    Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

    - James R/EW

  • How to Prep Metal For Welding - Quick Tip


    The key to any good weld is clean metal, but what is the best way to clean metal before you start welding? Depending on the tools you have and the overall goal of the project there are a few ways to prep your metal to get a nice clean weld every time.

    The best welds come from pure clean metal to metal contact,  any foreign materials in the welding area can cause welding imperfections.  Even brand new metal must be prepped before it can be welded because there is usually a coating put on new metal so it does not rust or oxidize during the shipping process.  This is a factor that is often overlooked and will always result in a weak and ugly weld.  Be mindful, once you remove this coating the metal is exposed to the elements,  if left out unprotected steel will begin to rust, even indoors.

    To start, the type of welding you are doing will determine how you prep the metal. Inherently MIG welding steel does not need the metal to be perfectly clean. On the other extreme, TIG welding aluminum requires contaminant free metal to create a strong clean weld.  In all of the examples below you can see the difference the dull color of the "new metal" (left) compared to how it looks after it is properly prepped (right).


    Angle Grinder with Flap Disc

    Using an angle grinder with a flap disc works great to prep steel for MIG or TIG welding.  Mild steel does not require the surface to be super clean to get a good weld.  In the picture above you can see the left side is brand new untouched steel, it may look clean but it has a thin coating like stated earlier.  Once you remove the coating with the flap disc, all it takes is a quick wipe down with Low VOC PRE or Acetone and you will be able to make clean and effective welds. This method works great for heavy welding on chassis parts, this area is always exposed to the elements which will build up contamination over time.  Take the time and clean the metal, you'll thank yourself later.

    Be careful a flap disc will remove a lot of material so don't use this on thin sheet metal, it may compromise the metals strength.



    Sand Paper

    Similar to using a grinder this method will work great for MIG and TIG welding steel or stainless, but it can be time consuming and does not always remove all of the coatings. Like using a grinder, you must wipe the metal down with Low VOC PRE or Acetone before welding.  In the picture above I used 80 Grit sandpaper,  it worked well by removing the coating but also left deep scratches that may not look good.



    Abrasive blasting

    If the metal you will be welding is very rusty and is not suitable to be sanded or removed with a grinder another option to prep the metal is to blast it.  After blasting the metal may look clean but it will still need to be wiped down with Low VOC PRE or acetone to remove and chemical contaminants.  The abrasive material can sometimes trap pieces of other metals that can cause the metal you are welding to rust or corrode.  Never rely on a blaster to prep aluminum for welding, it is very sensitive to contaminants that can get trapped even after wiping it down.



    Cleaning for aluminum TIG Welding

    When prepping aluminum there is a slightly different process that you will need to be mindful of.  Aluminum is very susceptible to contaminants therefore the cleaning process must be done in reverse to produce clean welds.

    First you must wipe down the metal with Low VOC PRE or acetone, this will remove any oils or grease on the surface.  The next step is to remove any oxides on the surface of the metal.  To do this use stainless steel wool or a stainless wire brush on the area to be welded.  Make sure that the Steel wool or wire brush is used exclusively for aluminum to avoid contaminants from other metals.  Once these tools come in contact with mild steel they can transfer steel bits into the aluminum which will eventually create rust.  Finally wipe down the metal with Low VOC PRE or acetone with a clean cloth or rag, from here you are ready to weld.


    It doesn't matter what kind of welding you are doing its always important to take the time to clean your metal before welding.  Not only will your welds look amazing they will be a lot stronger which is always an added bonus.


    Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

    - James R/EW


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