Tag Archives: Welder
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.
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
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
When you're a beginner at TIG Welding there's a lot of steps to go through to lay a nice weld down. Getting a setting incorrect, or setting something up just a little off can be the difference between a gray mess of bird-turd welds and rainbow colored stacks of dimes. It's no secret TIG welding takes A LOT of practice and even with a perfectly setup machine it won't replace repetition and practice.
Setting up Tungsten stick-out is something that a lot of beginners get confused with. There are some formulas out there to help you determine stick-out, but those don't always work in real world applications. It boils down to setting your torch up to match what you're welding. I have two quick tips that will help get your torch set up (or at least very close) in seconds. Use these methods until you're more confident in your torch setup and it will eliminate one of the stumbling points that beginners struggle with.
1. Quick Stick-out Setup- After grinding you're Tungsten/Electrode you should have a nice taper on the tip. What I like to do is use the taper as my guide for how far the electrode sticks out past the cup. Get yourself close quickly by allowing the entire tapered portion to stick out past the cup. Tighten the torch down so just 1/16" or less past the tapered portion is visible outside of the cup. This setup is a good way to get you in the ballpark and it will work for welding on flat butt joints and many other common weld joints.
2. Use a Spare Tungsten Electrode- When welding a joint together other than a butt weld you may find that the method above may not work and the tip of the Tungsten could be too close or too far from the weld joint. A quick way for a beginner to get the stick-out correct is to lay a piece of the filler rod being used on the weld seam. You can then set your hand and torch where you'll be traveling across the work piece. Then pull your electrode out until it just about touches the filler rod laid in the seam. This will quickly get your electrode set to roughly the right height off of the work surface and with just the right amount of tungsten sticking out from the end of the torch.
These methods aren't super scientific, but they will get you close quickly and easily. Once you get more comfortable you will be able to eyeball the torch setup, but until then you can use these methods for setup and focus on perfecting other portions of the TIG welding process. I hope this helps a few beginners as it definitely helped me out in the beginning! Drop us a comment if you have any suggestions for future tech articles.