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Son can't get a handle on TIG

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Misfit, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Misfit
    Joined: Sep 8, 2006
    Posts: 99

    Misfit
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    He's in welding shool and really likes it, has passed stick, flux, and MIG, but he's struggling with TIG. He said he is struggling with the coordination of torch, wire and pedal. He's not giving up, but are there any techniques to help out? I'm sure his instructors are doing thier best to guide him and it probably will juist take a lot more practice, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

    Thanks
     
  2. Chris Casny
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,874

    Chris Casny
    Member

    Think of it, as playing the drums. It takes a minute, to get the hang of it. It will just click one day.
     
  3. Honestly, this just comes with time and practice. If he has passed the others, he will eventually pass the TIG but it is the hardest to learn. One thing that might help is to try to set up the welder so the weld flows nice with the pedal fully compressed. Once he gets better, he will learn to control the heat with the pedal and his hand speed, but if you can take one of the three things out of the equation (in this case the pedal) then it can make it easier to learn. So if he can just compress the pedal completely with the right heat, then he can focus on his torch and fill rod rhythm. This is kind of hard to explain but I know it does help. Once he gets his rhythm down, he can increase the amps and learn how to control/pulse the pedal correctly.
     
  4. Tell him it's a video game!

    Then tell him that nothing in life is easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!

    Practice... practice... PRACTICE!!!!

    No one becomes great overnight.
     

  5. I was walking in New York City one beautiful day on a street in Manhattan. A tourist came up to me and asked, " How do I get to Carnegie Hall ? ".

    I told him the answer was simple, practice, practice, practice.

    Seriously, maybe the instructor has a thumb control torch he could try. He has probably absorbed a ton of information and techniques over the last few month's and is a little burned out and stressed, it will come to him. Tell him to hang in there, TR
     
  6. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

    It is best to just run the pedal and torch for abit with no wire. When i started I did this and it helps you to get the feel and not have so much going on. Others will chime in with their methods but this worked for me. Practice, practice, practice, after awhile it becomes second nature and you don't even think about what you are doing. When he catches on, and he will, he can then add some more learning into the mix, the dreaded under car welding. I have pushed the pedal against the tire with either foot, between the knees, the elbow and even the side of my helmet...it's all good:)
     
  7. Maybe if they had taught him to gas weld first. Gas welding was a mainstay when I first started welding so picking up tig was no problem.

    Just tell him that practice makes perfect.
     
  8. I agree with porkybeaner, for once.
     
  9. exactly what i thought of as soon as I read the title.
     
  10. David Totten
    Joined: Nov 21, 2005
    Posts: 248

    David Totten
    Member

    Ditto on Porkbeaner if you can gas weld tig is no big deal.
     
  11. iammarvin
    Joined: Oct 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,197

    iammarvin
    BANNED
    from Tulare, Ca

    x3 on learning to gas weld first.
     
  12. Zombie Hot Rod
    Joined: Oct 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,453

    Zombie Hot Rod
    Member
    from New York

    Except your can either play drums or you can't. . . some people will never have that day where it just clicks.
     
  13. King Karl
    Joined: Sep 27, 2007
    Posts: 384

    King Karl
    Member
    from N.C.


    This ^^^ is good advice. In addition he can also put down the filler and do some fuse welding first. That way he is only getting use to the movement of the torch, and can add the other two factors in at will. I would probably add the heat first and throw in the filler last.
    He'll find his rythm with plenty of practice as everyone has pointed out.

    Good luck and show us some pics of his beads once he nails it.
     
  14. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3,012

    Slick Willy
    Member

    Well maybe he wont be the next jon bonham, but maybe listening to music while welding might help!
    That is if its allowed and not a safety issue...
     
  15. CharlieLed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2003
    Posts: 2,460

    CharlieLed
    Member

    Having done gas welding definitely helps...however, if you dip the gas torch too low the worst you'll get is a flame out, no such luck with TIG. If he is anything like me he will be an expert at sharpening electrodes long before mastering TIG welding.

    Ron Covell has some good DVDs on TIG, excellent advice and good camera work.
     
  16. well then they can't tig weld either. ;)
     
  17. My dad had coordination problems with the pedal (no issues with the rod or torch) so he switched to a sliding thumb switch instead of the pedal and he liked that a lot better. But I hear a lot of guys prefer the pedal for whatever reason.
     
  18. Leebo!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 800

    Leebo!
    Member
    from Yale OK

    Who's John Bohman??

    Seriously, I'm kidding!! We all know he's the guy who built the Moonglow:D
     
  19. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

    The pedal is traditional;)
     
  20. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 892

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from ABQ, USA

    wax on.

    wax off.
     
  21. mohr hp
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 364

    mohr hp
    Member
    from Georgia

    One of the guys that taught me had me take the filler rod home, so I could learn to feed the rod through my fingers while watching the TV. So I just repeatedly worked it through til the muscles developed the memory.
     
  22. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 891

    fiveohnick2932
    Member
    from Napa, Ca.

    Its hard to give tips because it just comes to you after many hours of practice. One thing I will share is dont let the whole thing intimidate you. Just do it, the machine wont bite and who cares what others think, you are learning, if you f up just re grind the tungsten and start over again.

    Its like driving a stick, you tell a person to let the clutch out slowly and they still dump it. They eventually create a techneque of their own and for the rest of their life they can do it without even thinking about it.
     
  23. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,270

    oj
    Member

    The single biggest thing is to throw plenty of heat at it. When people are trying to learn they try to sneak up on it and they don't have enough heat - that is why he is dipping into the puddle, he subconscienciously knows he need more heat so he move the tip closer to the puddle.
    You got to do it with authority, you are melting steel not stacking eggs, throw heat at it and when you got too much you'll know it - but you will be welding until the heat gets too great. When you don't have enough heat you aren't welding, you're just getting frustrated.
     
  24. D-fens
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 369

    D-fens
    Member
    from Huntsville

    Black Sabbath works for me.

    Don't laugh.
     
  25. weld on...
    I struggled when I first got my TIG. After about three hours I figured out
    that I needed to weld left handed.......a miracle.....Thin aluminum will take awhile
    to master......
     
  26. Pewsplace
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 2,799

    Pewsplace
    Member

    I am 72 years old and learned to gas weld from my dad. I have been welding with a TIG for over 20 years and still get frustrated. Watching the puddle is key to making a good strong weld. New machines make it easier to produce the rolled coins looks but if yours is not perfect but strong you will be O.K. Practice make not make perfect but being pretty is not required.
     

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  27. I bought a TIG and jumped in - was very frustrating at the start (even with a good Miller suitcase welder). I kept hearing guys say 'watch the puddle' - but it was hard with three things going at once. Damn peddle, tungsten and distance and the rod.

    I think the ideas of learning to watch the tungsten and the heat - without rod is the way to start. Just lay two 1/8" strips of steel over one another (with one 1/2" away from the edge of the other) and practice fuse welding. Once he learns to control the tungsten and watch what is happening, he'll be able to graduate to adding filler rod. You have to learn to have patience and really WATCH what the hell is going on.

    Make sure you have a very high quality helmet, clean lenses and if you wear glasses, the right prescription for seeing what the hell you're doing. If you can't see really well, it is hard to learn.

    Have a very comfortable place to sit and practice. Being comfortable is the KEY to starting out. This makes it possible to control the torch, get the peddle working and learn to keep the tungsten out of the peddle - or the rod off the tungsten.

    I still sharpen a LOT of tungsten - as I don't weld all the time and when I put it down for a few months, need to practice to get the hang of it again. Make sure he understands to NOT continue trying to learn once he's fubared the tungsten - just have a bunch ready and sharpened and don't worry about it.

    Also - I like welding with a gas lens . . . just makes it easier to have a nice argon shield around the weld and for variable distances and stick lengths to work well.

    Best of luck - he'll get it!
     
  28. 48 Chubby
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,014

    48 Chubby
    Member Emeritus

    Most guys worry about blowing a hole when they are learning to TIG or gas weld. Don't worry about that.
    Realize that when you are starting out you ain't trying to WELD-you are trying to LEARN.
    Melt, dip, move, melt. 1 2 3 4. Just like danceing.
     
  29. Wild Turkey
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 903

    Wild Turkey
    Member

    Does he need a cheater lens or change in his glasses? Since TIG is all about puddle management he may not realize what he's not seeing clearly.

    Stick and MIG are fairly easy to do without seeing well he might not realize what the problems is.
     
  30. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,407

    The37Kid
    Member

    Very true, us tone deaf people can't tell one note from the other. Gas welding and TIG are one in the same, with a foot pedal added. . Bob:)
     

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