Eastwood TIG Welding FAQs
Are you considering getting a TIG welder or looking to learn more about TIG welding? Before making your purchase, check out our TIG welding frequently asked questions. As pioneers of DIY welding, we’ll help you figure out whether a TIG welding machine is a smart choice for your shop.
What is a TIG welder used for?
TIG welding — short for Tungsten Inert Gas Welding or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding — has many uses for precise automotive and industrial work. The strong, clean welds it produces are ideal for sheet metal repairs, aircraft construction, fixing bike frames, pipeline joining and much more. TIG welding can be done manually or as part of a mechanized process.
Does the color of my tungsten electrode matter?
There are several tungsten colors and each has different properties which can affect your weld:
- Green tungsten. Pure tungsten with the lowest melting point.
- Red (thoriated) tungsten. Great starts, durability and current-carrying, but is slightly radioactive.
- Gray (ceriated) tungsten. Easy arc starts and great performance at lower amperages.
- Gold (lanthanated) tungsten. High current-carrying ability.
- Brown (zinconiated) tungsten. Stable option for AC welding.
What gas is used in TIG welding?
These welders require an inert shielding gas to protect the weld area and electrode. Argon is the most common TIG welding gas for all metal grades because of its price and accessibility. You can also use helium or an argon/helium mix, which improves overall weld penetration and the weld pool’s fluidity. Add hydrogen for a stronger effect on nickel alloys or nitrogen to improve the deposit properties on duplex stainless steel.
Can you TIG weld thin metals?
The high-quality joints the TIG technique produces make it a fine choice for thin sheets. Here are a few tips for getting the best results:
- Grind your tungsten rod to a fine tip
- Use a foot pedal to control the power
- Use smaller filler rods and less heat (in some cases, you do not need a metal filler)
- Weld downhill when you can
- Practice, practice, practice
Can you TIG weld aluminum?
The ability to weld aluminum and other non-ferrous metals (such as copper, titanium and nickel) is one of TIG welding’s greatest strengths. Although you can also use MIG welding for aluminum, the TIG process produces better results on thinner metals. To do this, you will need a welder with an AC power source, such as the Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder. The AC mode is ideal for aluminum while the DC mode works best on steel and stainless steel.
Is TIG welding easy to learn?
TIG welding is considered the hardest welding process for beginners because of the precise technique required. However, it allows for more control over variables such as heat and penetration. Once you’ve mastered the skills, TIG welds are some of the cleanest, best-looking welds around. If you do a lot of metal artwork or weld visible joints, it is worth learning this technique.
What if I want to use other welding processes?
There are many types of welding and the TIG technique may not always be the best option for your needs. For example, MIG welding often works better on thick metals and you’ll need a stick welding option to work on dirty metals. The Eastwood Elite MP200i Multi-Process Welder allows you to choose the correct process for the situation without switching machines. It contains a full TIG inverter welder with no shortcuts taken.