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Tungsten Sharpening

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Al Napier, May 27, 2008.

  1. narducci
    Joined: Jan 3, 2008
    Posts: 194


    If you grind the tungsten sideways, the arc can be unstable. It wants to follow the grooves. Always grind in line with the length of the tungsten. In other words, point the tip at the wheel , not sideways
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,749


    Your supposed to sharpen them ? UH_OH
  3. keeper
    Joined: Jul 24, 2006
    Posts: 397

    from So Cal

    wheeeew I am glad someone said this, I was curious what the percentage of guys that were this strict with the tungsten. Although I just might dedicate my left wheel just for it...(got me nervous now)
  4. Richard Head
    Joined: Feb 19, 2005
    Posts: 501

    Richard Head

    I use a cordless drill to hold the electrode to the grinding wheel. If I welded anything other than 18 gauge body panels, I would use a dedicated grinding wheel. Once the bead is hammered flat, I don't give a shit if there is contamination in there or not.

  5. gearheadbill
    Joined: Oct 11, 2002
    Posts: 1,299


    I think there may be something here. I have recently switched from an old Miller Syncrowave transformer-style to an HTP inverter-style machine. Since I no longer do any heavy TIG welding (sheet metal and light fab only these days), I didn't need the full power of the old machine....other reasons too.

    Anyway, the new inverter machine is VERY touchy about what appears to be weld area cleanliness, whether it be the material to be welded or the tungsten. Almost always get an intial arc that is YELLOW (also blinding; as in can't see) in color rather than blue white. With my old Miller machine, the only time an arc would be yellow would be if the gas was contaminated. Only happened 2 or 3 times in 20 years. Now happen almost everytime I strike the arc. Never occured to me, before this thread, that it might be due to a contaminated tungsten. Very interesting!
  6. HasonJinkle
    Joined: Mar 29, 2007
    Posts: 154


    You don't need to piss away a bench grinder dedicated to your tig rig.
    I just use a 9 inch grinder with a 120 grit soft pack on it. Chuck the grinder up in a vise with the pad facing up, turn the grinder on and lock it on. Chuck your tungsten up in a drill and spin it slow, pointing in the direction of rotation. If you do it right (i.e. don't mash on it and keep it steady) the tip will be slick as hell with no grind marks on it. You can use a 4 inch but most don't have a trigger lock.
    And wear your damn gloves because it hurts like a mother to get poked.
  7. Gas Huffer
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 272

    Gas Huffer

    It's because the corkscrew grooves that are cut into it by grinding at 90 degrees causes the arc to corkscrew as well, versus the electron flow having as little ressitance to pass by gringing it straight. I found that grinding it straight is just about as easy.

    Or, if you don't want to grind your tip, don't touch it to your work.

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