Register now to get rid of these ads!

Hot Rods Tungsten sharpening

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatford39, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,547

    flatford39
    Member

    Going to try my hand at TIG welding after years of MIG. I got the basics down I think but I would like to know what you guys are using to sharpen the point of the tungsten. Seems like a critical path to me.
     
  2. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,103

    Jmountainjr
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I tried about every possiable way for a number of years before finally getting a tungsten sharpener. I find it faster and much more convenient and consistent.
     
    ottoman likes this.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,096

    squirrel
    Member

    I use a very old little grinder that has a fine stone, that I keep well dressed. It just takes a few minutes to learn the technique.

    You want to sharpen it well, but it's really not going to keep you from welding if it's off a little bit.
     
  4. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,459

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,280

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I have a belt sander that I use to sharpen the tip
     
    ct1932ford and ottoman like this.
  6. I use a tungsten grinder as well. So much more convenient. You can have it right beside you when you are welding so if you have sharpen in the middle of some work you can do it right there and not have to disturb what you are doing to get up and go over to a grinder.
     
    ottoman likes this.
  7. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,504

    rusty valley
    Member

    i use a fine stone to shape it, and a cheap diamond blade from HF to finish it. the little blade is 4" flat thing made for sharpening carbide saw blades, cheap, like 12 bucks or so, i mounted it on the outside of the stone
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,096

    squirrel
    Member

    I keep 5 fresh tungstens with me, so I dont have to get up and grind quite so often :)

    A good welder would only need to touch it up occasionally, but that's not me.
     
    warbird1, catdad49, ottoman and 5 others like this.
  9. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,105

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I use a bench grinder with a fine wheel that I don't use for anything else. I keep a few tungstens sharpened with me also, and I sharpen both ends so I can just turn em around....
     
    catdad49, cactus1, alanp561 and 2 others like this.
  10. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,851

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Me too.
     
  11. I use a green wheel for carbide.
     
  12. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 2,241

    Lloyd's paint & glass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't own a Tig machine the days, thanks to an ex wife, but i had a fine stone on my bench grinder, and i would chuck my tungsten up in the battery powered drill and spin it while i put it against the stone.
     
  13. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,913

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    I have always done it this way... tig-04.jpg tig-04.jpg
     
    jvo and squirrel like this.
  14. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,643

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    If you are using 2%, Thoriated (red tipped) tungstens, just be aware that the dust produced by sharpening is radioactive and can be harmful if ingested into your mouth, nose, lungs etc. Thorium, (Th) atomic number 90 is a proven carcinogen. Always wear gloves, a respirator and safety glasses. We had a dedicated grinder that had a vacuum catch bag and once a month it was removed and sent to a hazardous waste facility. Also, don't sharpen both ends of the tungsten to save bench time. Once you remove the identifying color band you will have no way of knowing what tungsten you have.
     
  15. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,161

    noboD
    Member

    Big Duece is correct, dedicated wheel. By the book there should be a small flat on the very end, not to a point.
     
  16. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,048

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    OK, the topic is sharpening tungsten. On both fossil fuel and nuclear powerhouses when I was welding high pressure heavy wall tubing, we would chuck up our tungsten in a drill motor, fire up a 4 1/2 inch grinder, point the tungsten in the same direction as the grinder was turning and grind the tungsten to a needle point, 3/8 " long, for carbon steel or stainless. We would not use the same grinding wheel or tungsten for both metals to avoid carbon contamination of the stainless. If you use tungsten that has been used to weld carbon steel to weld stainless, your weld will rust. If you use the same grinding wheel on both carbon and stainless, the stainless will rust. If we weren't sure about what the last material the tungsten was used for, it got trashed. We used up lots of tungsten but we didn't have any welds fail because of carbon contamination.
     
    cfmvw, 41 GMC K-18, catdad49 and 5 others like this.
  17. Oh Crap! After doing it wrong for 40 years I suppose now I'm going to die. I thought the dust bag was for the Shop Vac.
     
    alanp561 and dirty old man like this.
  18. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,139

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have a small bench grinder, with fine stones, bolted to the top of the TIG welder. I only sharpen Tungsten with it.
     
    warbird1, cactus1 and big duece like this.
  19. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,664

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    A lot of good suggestions. I'm going to add that I use a cordless drill motor to spin the tungsten while sharpening them on a dedicated 6" bench grinder.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
    alanp561 likes this.
  20. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,514

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I do it like Big Deuce, but my dedicated stone has a slight groove down the center now which makes slowly spinning the tungsten easier to make a point.

    I have a LOT of experience grinding tungstens. Not because I weld a lot, but because I can sure stick the tungsten into the weld.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  21. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,504

    rusty valley
    Member

    you are not supposed to spin the tungsten that fast. the electrons flow off the point in a straight pattern, this is why most photos folks have shown show the tungsten running straight onto the grindstone, not spinning
     
    saltracer219 and gimpyshotrods like this.
  22. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,139

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah, I was raised to never do the drill thing. Just fingers, and slowly, at that.
     
  23. j hansen
    Joined: Dec 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,568

    j hansen
    Member
    from sweden

    I made a support thing, Skärmavbild 2020-06-30 kl. 07.02.33.png so I get the "right" angle.
     
    big duece and gimpyshotrods like this.
  24. I have a cheap HF 6in grinder bolted to my welder, course and fine stone works for me.... Fire ext locations (5).jpg
     
  25. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,664

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    Been doing it that way for over 40 years and never failed a certification so far. Maybe I'll start spinning them counter clockwise to make up for my evil ways.
    https://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/sharpening-tungsten-electrodes.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
    Pist-n-Broke and ct1932ford like this.
  26. flatmotor40
    Joined: Apr 14, 2010
    Posts: 533

    flatmotor40
    Member
    from georgia

    Bought one from Eastwood for tungsten grinder hand held and diamond disc.Think it was $79
     
  27. Graham08
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 123

    Graham08
    Member

    6" grinder with a fine stone here. If I really mess up the tungsten with a big blob of molten steel or aluminum, I'll cut the contaminated bit off with a cutoff disc before re-dressing the tungsten.
     
  28. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,547

    flatford39
    Member

    Thanks every boby for all the great information. I guess I will use my bench grinder as shown and see how it works.
     
  29. HRBOB34
    Joined: Oct 1, 2009
    Posts: 329

    HRBOB34
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Lots of good information!
     
  30. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,096

    squirrel
    Member

    sounds like a lot of work, compared to just breaking it off with a light hammer blow, over the edge of the bench. :)
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.