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Grinding contaminated tungsten

Motorsport TIG Welding Fundamentals

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Hi All,

I'm just learning how to TIG weld and I wondered; if I contact the weld pool with my tungsten and some metal is left on it and then sharpen the tungsten on my grinding wheel, will this metal transfer into my grinding wheel and essentially contaminate it?

Thanks for reading!

Materials like aluminium are gummy and will sick to the grinding wheel and can contaminate the tungsten, I'd usually clean up the tungsten on another wheel before going to the dedicated tungsten wheel or cut off the contaminated bit.

As a beginner you aren't likely to see too many I'll effects however and I wouldn't let it stop u practicing, as soon as the arc strikes it should blast off any minor contamination, if u see colour in the arc then you will know something is up.

If you're worried about the grinding wheel being contaminated, you can redress it, tungsten is hard on the wheels and will need redressing somewhat frequently anyway

Hi Anders,

In that case I will use one wheel of my grinder for removing any metal from the tungsten, the other wheel for sharpening and then regularly redress both wheels.

Thanks for your advice.

Always use a dedicated wheel for prepping your tungstens, laetly I have been using a 400 grit diamond lapidary wheel that I got off eBay for about $50 delivered, there's no dust, it hardly wears at all (it's designed for polishing rocks, so tungsten hardly any wear), and is quite cheap. Plus it looks totally different to a normal grinding wheel, so it's less likely to be used by accident for normal sharpening/grinding.



For me it depends on what I'm welding and how important the weld needs to be.

Tig welding aluminum, if the tip becomes contaminated, I break off the contaminated section on the edge of a thick steel table with a hammer and regrind.

I weld a fair bit of stainless in the 304, 316 grades at work and get a bit lazy sometimes and end up just regrinding them to point on a dedicated tungsten grinder.

when welding mild steel or carbon steels it is usually thicker materials 5 - 6mm at the thinnest. The tungsten is reground when it requires it. When we start getting to these sorts of thicknesses its usually more for framing of machine equipment. it would be quicker to MIG or ARC weld these parts but the cleanness of TIG is still required.

I re-dress my tungsten grinder with a diamond dressing tool before I re-grind a tip if its going to be a messy cleanup.

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