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Practical TIG Welding: Step 2: Welder Setup

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Step 2: Welder Setup


00:00 - Now that we have our part cut, fitted, cleaned and ready to weld, the next step is to prepare the TIG machine for our welding process.
00:08 Every TIG welder is going to look different but their accessories and settings are generally going to be very similar.
00:14 First, let's make sure we're using the right type and size of filler rod for the material we're working with, this is detailed in the relevant material specific welding module if you're unsure.
00:26 While we have given guidelines for filler rod thickness, remember that this will depend on the thickness of the material you're welding so don't be afraid to experiment on some test pieces until you're getting the type of results that you want.
00:38 To make the action of adding the filler rod easier, it's a good idea to cut the rod in half to give you more control and the ensure that you wipe it down with acetone because the same oxides and oils that affect our materials will also be present on the filler rod.
00:53 Next we need to consider the tungsten and as we've learned already, there are some options here.
00:58 A lot of which will come down to personal preference.
01:01 While the red thoriated tungsten has caused some potential health concerns, they're still the choice of many professional welders for DC welding.
01:10 Traditionally the white zirconiated tungsten is used for aluminium welding but alternatively the pink multi mix tungsten is a solid and safe performer on any material.
01:20 You'll also need to sharpen your tungsten and set the stick out before you can use it and you can reference the sharpening tungsten module in the practical skills section for more information on this and you'll also find our recommendations on the correct tungsten diameter, tip angle and stick out in the material specific section.
01:38 Using a medium length back cap on your torch allows the tungsten to be cut in half which reduces the overall length of the torch to help get you into those tight spaces.
01:49 While this will be suitable for most welding jobs, in very tight situations you can reduce the tungsten length even further and use the shorter back cap to gain a little additional clearance.
01:59 With the tungsten inserted, our stick out set and tightened up in our torch, we can now fit the nozzle or cup.
02:06 Again, the correct cup will vary depending on the task at hand and the material that we're welding and you'll find our recommendations on cup size in the material specific PDF.
02:17 With our torch set up, now we need to make sure that we've got sufficient shielding gas for the job.
02:23 You can adjust the gas flow rate at the bottle's regulator and cycle the gas solenoid on your TIG machine to check the flow rate on the regulator's gauge.
02:30 Depending on your cup size, you'll be looking to run between 10 and 15 litres per minute but specific starting points are listed in the material specific PDF.
02:39 Lastly remember that larger cups will require slightly more argon flow so when we're working with more reactive metals like titanium and stainless steel, we need to increase the flow relative to the size of the gas cup.

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