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New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

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New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby flytyer232 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:35 pm

Hello,

I am new to this forum, but have been welding for a couple of years, as i have passed the 3/4g welding tests (back when i welded for a living, with mig/stick). Currently i just weld for hobby, and side cash, welding mostly Mig and Stick, though i just picked up n AHP AlhpaTig. I decided on this machine, as it would be a good starter machine on a tight budget.

My question is, what else do i need to begin learning how to tig weld? i already have plenty of scrap 1/8-1/2 inch thick mild steel, and aluminum plate around.

Here is a list that i have put together so far, please let me know what you think:

Filler Rod:
-5lb ER70s-6 1/16"x36"
-5lb ER70s-6 1/8"x36"

-5lb ER309L 1/16"x36"

-5lb ER4043 1/16"x36"
-5lb ER4043 3/32"x36"

Tungstens:
-20x 2% Lanthanated (Blue), 3/32" (2.4mm)
-5x 2% Lanthanated (Blue), 1/8" (3.2mm)
-5x 2% Lanthanated (Blue), 0.40" (1mm)

As far as torch components, i have no idea what to get, or if i need to get anything. Please let me know if there is anything else i need, to get started. My plan is to practice with steel 1st, then move to aluminium, will probably take a couple of months. I already have several good auto darkening elements, welding gloves, tig finger, etc.....

For my argon tank i have a mid sized one, i think around 140 CuFt, hopefully that is good enough.

I am trying to do things on a budget, as i am a full time college student (Electrical Engineering), so i don't have much disposable funds...

Thanks,
Mike
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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby Farmwelding » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:06 pm

Well that is a pretty good start! Eventually you'll need more filler, especially when you start aluminum. Other than that you've got everything to start. No need for a special torch set up just yet. Make it work with what comes for know.
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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby WoodpeckerWelder » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:42 pm

Farmwelding wrote:Well that is a pretty good start! Eventually you'll need more filler, especially when you start aluminum. Other than that you've got everything to start. No need for a special torch set up just yet. Make it work with what comes for know.

+1 There is a guy at work that for the most part uses the same setup for everything he welds. The only thing that he changes is the type of tungsten and the polarity. Generally it is : 1/8" tungsten, #8 cup, thumbwheel on his torch, and the machine maxed out @ 310 amps. If he is doing something very precise, he may change the size of his tungsten. (He also TIGs without gloves and has been in the trade for 33 years.....)
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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby Farmwelding » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:50 pm

WoodpeckerWelder wrote:
Farmwelding wrote:Well that is a pretty good start! Eventually you'll need more filler, especially when you start aluminum. Other than that you've got everything to start. No need for a special torch set up just yet. Make it work with what comes for know.

+1 There is a guy at work that for the most part uses the same setup for everything he welds. The only thing that he changes is the type of tungsten and the polarity. Generally it is : 1/8" tungsten, #8 cup, thumbwheel on his torch, and the machine maxed out @ 310 amps. If he is doing something very precise, he may change the size of his tungsten. (He also TIGs without gloves and has been in the trade for 33 years.....)

I'll bet his hands are tougher than the steel he welds :lol: I guess I won't knock the method if it works.
A student now but really want to weld everyday. Want to learn everything about everything. Want to become a knower of all and master of none.
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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby Otto Nobedder » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:11 pm

Our 250DXs max out a 310 Amps, and I will set them there when using the thumbwheel (so all the current I need is in one swipe of my thumb). We jokingly refer to it as "taking the 3:10 to Yuma".

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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby Otto Nobedder » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:12 pm

We also commonly set the machine at 222 Amps, because it's 1/3 evil...
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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby flytyer232 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:14 pm

Hum.... I don't know that i would weld without gloves, as i have gotten bad burns with gloves (dual shield flux core....). How do the UV light affects your hands?

So i shouldn't worry about getting a gas lens kit (whatever that is, though i hear Jody marketing them all the time)?

thanks,
Mike
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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby Otto Nobedder » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:18 pm

flytyer232 wrote:Hum.... I don't know that i would weld without gloves, as i have gotten bad burns with gloves (dual shield flux core....). How do the UV light affects your hands?

So i shouldn't worry about getting a gas lens kit (whatever that is, though i hear Jody marketing them all the time)?

thanks,
Mike


Gas Lens is a good thing, but not required to start. Work with what you have, and upgrade as you can.

To weld without gloves/sleeves, use sunblock. I use SPF45 all the time (Apply twice a day to arms, more often for hands because you wear it off) because it's too damn hot to weld in sleeves on the gulf coast in the summertime.

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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby WoodpeckerWelder » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:19 pm

Otto Nobedder wrote:We also commonly set the machine at 222 Amps, because it's 1/3 evil...


:lol: :lol: Yep. Same machine. Same rationale.
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Re: New to Tig welding, what do i need to get started

Postby Farmwelding » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:20 pm

flytyer232 wrote:Hum.... I don't know that i would weld without gloves, as i have gotten bad burns with gloves (dual shield flux core....). How do the UV light affects your hands?

So i shouldn't worry about getting a gas lens kit (whatever that is, though i hear Jody marketing them all the time)?

thanks,
Mike

I'd wait awhile to invest in something like a gas lens kit or a stubby kit or something. To learn you just want bare bones. So don't use all of the extra dials on your machine for awhile either. Just amperage and polarity and maybe pre/post flow to save on gas a little maybe.

Oh and I think I'll just go with a jacket and gloves. Or nothing if I'm on the farm. All you need is the hood there. Too hot in the shop and no other gear to use anyways. That's the farmer way-cheap and any damage to my body ain't that bad.
A student now but really want to weld everyday. Want to learn everything about everything. Want to become a knower of all and master of none.
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