How a TIG Welder Works and When to TIG Weld? (6 Steps)

I have been welding for a fair amount of time. Some days ago, I took part in a welding campaign as a mentor, and one of the organizers of the campaign was a friend of mine who asked me to join the battle.

Even though each of us, the mentors, was supposed to give lessons on welding procedures as much as he or she wanted, we kind of focused on sticking to the one we are very good at.

Most of my lives I have done arc welding. Hence, I was providing them with lessons based on MIG welding, TIG welding, stick welding, etc. As I mostly work with MIG welders, after I started teaching in the campaign, I got to realize I have some lacking in TIG weld.

Before I started studying this type of arc welding, I was not completely aware of its whole working procedure as well as was not quite sure when to implement it.

That is why, while I was working in the campaign, I attended some classes where weld experts gave lessons on TIG welding. Now I am going to describe everything I got to know from the campaign.

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What is TIG Welding?

TIG Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is also known as Gas Tungsten Arc welding (GTAW). It is one kind of arc welding process that employs a tungsten electrode for producing the weld. It uses a shielding gas, usually argon for protecting the welding area from different sorts of contaminations.

A consistent flow of current supplies power which later on produces energy used to do the weld.

How does it Work?

TIG welding has two types of operation. The usual procedure is manual but can be mechanized as well. This process uses an electric torch and hand feeds filler rod into the melted puddle.

In between the edge of a tungsten electrode and the work, an arc is always preserved. The current is governed by the power source setting, and the electrode is non-consumable. If the flow is low, the arc gets unstable. The ground cable with a clamp needs to be attached to the torch on the edge.

The torch is differentiated into different parts. To describe how a TIG welder works, you need to know about the process that you should follow to use the machine to get done with your job.

Step 1: Determine an Electrode

For welding aluminum, use a tungsten rod. You can use any number of tungsten alloys which go along with the pieces of metal alloys that you are going to weld.

Step 2: Insert the Electrode into Its Collet

Fill in the rod after unscrewing the back end of the electrode holder. If your electrode is already read, then you can skip this step.

Step 3: Manipulate the Settings

Usually, a TIG rig has three major electricity options, namely- DCEN, AC, and DCEP. For aluminum, choose AC. Set the ‘cleaning’ setting as 7 on a scale of 10. Set the ‘max amps’ around 250.

Step 4: Turn on the Gas

Use pure argon for aluminum. For steel, you can go for a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide.

Step 5: Prepare Welding Table and Metal

Prepare Welding Table and Metal

Even if you manage to work in a very congested area, you might not be able to give precisions to your works. That’s because an unextended working place might lead you to discomfort and thrive indifference in you towards your work.

Hence, to let electricity flow through your metal, use a large metallic area. Moreover, scrub the metal and the welding table to assure that there is no dirt on them.

Step 6: Start Welding

Never touch the metal with your electrode and try to hold it an inch away from the metal. Make sure you start welding as soon as the metal gets heated up. Start your weld from the edge of the object.

Tips for TIG welding

If you just follow the usual way of operating a TIG welder, you will undoubtedly end up with a good weld. To get an even better result, here I am providing you with some tips.

  • Never let the tungsten touch the workpiece. If it does, you will be able to hear a different sort of sound and notice a different color, which indicates that the tungsten is polluted.
  • As the tungsten is hot, slip it out after loosening the rear cap. Later on, clean the end of the tungsten with a grinder and if necessary, reshape it.

When to TIG weld

Right after you get to know about the uniqueness of a TIG weld, as in, after you are aware of the objectives of a TIG weld, you have to know about the prerequisites of using a TIG welder. I have mentioned some circumstances under which you are supposed to do TIG weld.

  • If you have to weld very thin metals on exceedingly low amperage settings, you need to go for TIG weld.
  • For building race cars you might need to TIG weld as well.
  • For beautification purposes, you can use a TIG welder.
  • Besides, for welding non-ferrous metal like copper, aluminum, and magnesium, you might require to use a TIG welder.
  • For a high-quality weld, you need to have a TIG welder.
  • It is a tough task to weld thick pieces of sheet metal and let them fuse by only heating them. Hence, to weld thicker materials that need more energy to heat, you need to work with a TIG welder.


I hope these will help you to know a bit more about TIG welding and its overall functionalities. Lastly, I would like to suggest you that never try to work with something you are not good at, not even try to teach about it to someone.

Welding can bring you hazard and without knowing the objective of a welding machine when you start working with it, you might end up getting a very bad output.

Therefore, if you do not know the proper use of a welder, do not ever use it for your work as I did a couple of days ago.

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