I'm wanting to learn tig welding. I used to be a oxy welder in a former life but have recently invested in a tig set up but I'm seriously struggling to get my head around it all.
Would anyone be prepared to offer me some training (happy to pay) or point me in the right direction.
Its likely a local college will have metal fabrications courses which should cover tig.
yeah a college isnt a bad idea. But difficult at the moment with the whole disease thing.
You can learn a lot of youtube
Or post your welds here and people can attempt to solve things
I did a course at.my.local.college (TIG level 1 and 2). we got interrupted by covid but did eventually manage to complete and I believe they started in September. where do you live? and what are you struggling with?
I'm in Wimbledon.
Main thing I'm struggling with is the set up of the actual machine.
I've worked out 2k - 4k, pulse etc, but just struggling to penetrate the material correctly.
no, burnley college, which is actually about an hour from me
what are you practicing on? and what kinds of practice welds are you doing?
are you aiming for bike welds? or just general welding
If you have an arc/MMA/stick setting on your machine, you probably will, that’s a good place to start so you can understand how the weld pool and the metal react with different amps. It’s also cheaper and easier to mess about with, so good for learning.
Tig is pretty tricky but you get the best results, unless you have someone there to show you it will be a steep learning curve. I’ve been doing it for about 6 years and still learning. There are so many variables and it is very much a skill that requires practice.
YouTube is a great place to learn from, welding tips and tricks probably the best channel for tig welding.
Also interested to go on a welding course when I return to the UK next year before returning to studies in September. I would like two learn some basics then probably buy some cheap equipment to continue to self teach. I'm studying design so it'll be a useful skills for prototyping/ making etc... but also have the intention on making some bicycle frames / modifications / racks for personal use. I've done a fair bit of metal work and prep in last couple years but none of the actual welding myself. Could anyone point me in the right direction to begin with ? Would starting with MIG / stick be best option ? Pref a course in London or Midlands.
if you want to do anything bike related, TIG is the only bet. Its a lot harder but unless you wanna weld farm equipment back together, stick wont go very far.
If you want to do bike stuff, an easier entry into joining metal in an effective way is brazing.
Yes brazing would be easier I understand. I thought for my practice, apart form bicycles, tig will be more beneficial however. But I am not ruling out brazing yet. My reference to stick / mig, was to learn this as an intro, then progress onto tig. Or should I try a find a TIG course to begin with ?
I reckon just dive into TIG. Its pretty hard, so whatever happens it will take a while before you feel like you can put together a frame. Its not that other welding would be pointless, its valuable to learn to manipulate a puddle in any welding method, but itd be a better bet to borrow a mates kit and spend a few afternoons melting stuff to get the feel for it, rather than embark on a full course, as i think after a bit you'll be wanting to just get the TIG hoodtime.
Ultimately for most stuff you can spend a few weeks learning MIG off youtube and be fairly successful. But with TIG it took me 4/5 months of frequent practice to get to the stage where i could weld a frame together sort of successfully and it was shite. It wasnt until probably frame 3 or 4 where i started to get the hang of it.
Sound advice ! Thank you sir. Thinking about it, there may be a chance a family member will have some old mig equipment kicking round in a farm shed which may be a start before a course.
i agree with biggles, basically. TIG is what you should learn, but the specifics of TIG (feeding the wire, millimetre dabbing precision, not dipping your tungsten) comes only with TIG practice. local colleges will offer a good value course – i think my level 1 was £300.
I’m currently on a welding course here is Wales. I took to Mig like a duck to water but Tig took me much longer to get a hold of.
First of all two hands is always going to be trickier than one. I found it difficult to get used to feeding the rod in consistently, but practice and a decent set of Tig gloves helped.
I guess the main thing I had to learn was understanding and management of the weld puddle. Learning how is moves and how it needs to be maintained and worked is key. I found keeping a consistent distance of the electrode from the puddle and good torch handling really important to get good welds.
In terms of settings I find that 90-95 on a 2.4mm rod turns out nice good looking welds on 3-5mm plate. But it really depends on your setup and what you’re welding.
Overall, practice, practice, youtube, practice.
Edit* I forgot to say that I’ve found that the importance of a sharp, clean tungsten is paramount for effective arc control. Being able to rely on a consistent steady arc pushing and manipulating the puddle is super important.
Just gonna add that I did the C+G course levels 1 and 2 which are heavily focused on getting you to pass certain test joints, so you don't really learn how to build stuff out of metal more generally.
Since passing, I've had to get to grips with accurately cutting, shaping, cleaning, and fitting up parts (and welding them in non optimal positions). On the course we had perfectly cut pieces where we could practice for weeks. Just a thought.
Thanks and cheers @LeChef . I’m fairly experienced with some metal work leading up to welding for various projects in my atrskool. I’m also a big fan of making jigs. So I think a course similar to the one you described would work well I guess. Would be amazing to have some welding skills under my belt and make the most of all the metal working facilities for my final year in September. In an ideal world I would just learn this in the workshop but unfortunately hasn’t been an option these last couple years.
I now have several hours experience and as LeChef said a nice sharp and clean tungsten is very important and has made my skills increase.
I've now been able to join two pieces of steel together and bent them 90 degrees and my weld has stayed together.
I'm just practicing welding in a straight line for now.
And after all the practice practice practice I got over my frustrations and enjoying it.
Really the best thing is to grab somebody for 1h tuition at a time, then go away and practice for a couple of days.
I don't think an intense course is the best way because there is alot to take in and you'll forget when you have the torch in hand.
Having somebody look over your shoulder at stages is really helpful - keeping the angle of the torch right etc.
YouTube is handy.
Avoid social media pics of TIG welds, it just makes you feels shit when you probably aren't 😊
Ps. Just to add, If I can do it, anybody can. Go for it, there's lots of work out there for somebody that can TIG weld properly. It's just tricky to build up the experience without having a patient boss or your own kit.
Ah you never did gas welding then ;)
EDIT Did you find better quality machines made the welding easier?
I've gas welded brass before, it was with a fluxer and torch, proper welding with a bead and pooling parent material etc. I do alot of brass tig'ing usually. Thought I'd try it with a torch and it worked really nicely with the gas fluxer going. Ended up with a nice bead around a sphere.
Would like to try gas welding aluminium though. Not as noisy as tig'ing it!
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