What is TIG welding used for?
Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding involves heating the metal about to be welded with a non-consumable tungsten electrode. As this arc welding process occurs, gas shields the weld material from oxygen in the air that could contaminate your work.
Initially developed to weld magnesium and aluminum in the aircraft industry in the 1930s, TIG welding provided an alternative to gas and manual metal arc welding and is still used across many DIY and industrial applications today for the clean, exact, and corrosion-resistant welds it produces.
In TIG welding, the welder creates an arc between the tungsten electrode and the base metal; once the two make contact, a weld pool materializes. The welder then adds a thin wire of filler metal to the pool, where it proceeds to melt. The flux-free process is relatively straightforward and helps maintain the base or parent metal’s properties. You can learn more about how TIG welding works.
The development of TIG welding paved the way for the usage of aluminum in various structural applications, although it can be used with other types of metal. Today, it’s still used for aircraft and spacecraft applications, as well as for artistic purposes and in auto body repair, where it’s preferred for its corrosion resistance. DIY wise, it’s ideal for repairing fenders, bike frames, motorcycles and choppers, equipment like lawnmowers, and broken door handles.
What do you need for TIG welding?
TIG welding requires a constant current power source, either AC or DC.This process prevents drawing a too-high current onto the metal’s surface in the event of a short circuit. High frequency (HF) is also needed to create an arc: this process generates thousands of volts to create a cloud of electrons and ions and offers a smooth, consistent path for the power source’s current.
Along with these factors, TIG welding requires a shielding gas. Argon is the most common, as it can be used across several types of steel, titanium, and aluminum. For a cleaner weld, some mix it with H2 (hydrogen) or with helium for a hotter arc and faster welding speed.
Watch this video to see what you need to get started.
Additionally, you may want to consider a tungsten grinder
for some of your TIG welding projects.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of TIG welding?
The visual results — clean, sturdy welds — are the primary advantages of TIG welding. As well:
It’s versatile, able to be used with a wide range of metals and alloys compared to other methods and ideal for creating welds in all types of positions.
TIG welding offers a greater degree of control, thanks to a pedal or remote control-like mechanism for adjusting the heat and amperage. In the process, because the welder hand-feeds the filler into the weld pool, TIG welding is far less likely to splatter or generate sparks, fumes and smoke.
The process does not require a flux, as the argon gas acts as a shield against contamination. For the welder, this means a slag is less likely to block your view.
Argon gas can be used across a wide spectrum of applications, no matter the metal and its thickness.
TIG welder equipment is thinner and low amperage and allows for a greater degree of precision for smaller, finer projects and with thinner sheets of metal.
Yet, as a point to keep in mind, TIG welding involves a significant amount of hand-eye coordination. Before starting a project, understand how to use the equipment, and see how close the flame will be from the base metal.
What Is The Best TIG Welder For Your Shop Or Garage?
TIG welding is an essential process for auto restorers and fabricators who do a lot of work with thinner gauge metals, especially aluminum or chrome-moly steel. If you’re considering purchasing a TIG welder, but you’re not sure what exactly you need, we’re here to help you select the right machine for your job.
Eastwood offers the TIG 200 DC, the TIG 200 AC/DC and the Digital TIG 200 AC/DC welder for mechanics and bodyworkers. Each unit will weld steel up to ¼-inch thick and all come with a 3-year warranty from Eastwood against defects. Both AC/DC machines will also weld aluminum up to ¼-inch, which is seen much more on modern vehicles.
If MIG welding is like using a paint roller, then TIG welding is like using a small detail brush. It requires skill and technique. With it, you can work better with the types of thinner gauge materials and wider variety of metals you're likely to find in a restoration project. Additionally, TIG welding gives machinists the flexibility to realize some of their more creative visions.
That's why TIG welding kits are becoming common sights in the garages of restoration enthusiasts and body shops. At Eastwood, our portable TIG welders and TIG welder supplies are part of more than 4,000 available items we offer to enthusiasts. We put our 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee behind all of our TIG welders and welding equipment, because we know that the right tool for the job is essential for completing your project and protecting your investment.
Eastwood TIG Welder Equipment
If you need the highest-quality finish for your metal work, use TIG welders that are up to the challenge. Tungsten inert gas welding involves using a non-consumable tungsten electrode and welding rod to practically melt two pieces of metal together. While it requires more time and a skilled hand, this process will produce a superior-looking result without needing to sand or grind. Check out an Eastwood TIG welder to get the best value and results for working on non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and stainless steel.
Portable Industrial-Quality Welders
The Eastwood TIG 200 line of welders has the power and versatility you need for complex projects. For DIY enthusiasts who need a lower-cost option, we recommend the lightweight TIG 200DC, which uses DC power for precision fabrication on up to 3/16-inch steel. An Eastwood AC/DC TIG Welder has an AC power inverter that will benefit more experienced steel and aluminum workers. The most advanced professional features can be found in a TIG 200 Digital Welder. Other options include portable ARC Welders with TIG torches for on-the-go work and Multi-Process Welders that can do all major types of metal joining.
TIG Welding Kits & Accessories
Our TIG welders arrive with all the basics such as regulators, torches, foot pedals and power adapter cords. If you need a complete fabrication setup right out of the box, check out our TIG 200 Weld Kit. It contains a complete AC/DC TIG Welder, a Versa-Cut Plasma Cutter for slicing through metals and a multi-unit cart for rolling both around your garage. You'll save money and stay organized while getting all the necessary equipment. The kit can be ordered without the cart as well if you already have one.
Easy DIY Welding Solutions
Eastwood Auto is a TIG welding authority and has all the equipment, accessories and know-how to help you produce clean welds. In addition to leading machinery from the R&D team, we carry safety equipment, tools, and instructional DVDs. We've been the welding experts since 1978 and are available seven days a week to answer questions.
Contact us today and tell us about your project. What kind of parts or components do you need to craft? Our experts will point you toward the perfect solution, ensuring you have the right tool for the job.
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