learning TO TIG weld

TIG welding is not easy!

I have been soldering since I was a child, from an old soldering gun to cheap irons to Metcals. I have also done some MIG welding for projects as a teenager, as well as some oxy acetylene cooking and some stick welding in there too. So I thought it was time to tackle TIG welding since I hadn’t mastered the other types yet. I bought a Miller STH 150 unit used on eBay. It runs off both 120v and 240v, does both stick and TIG, with high frequency start and built in gas solenoid. While you pay a premium for the high frequency start, it does remove a variable from the learning curve and is very user friendly.

Learning the most basic of things has been a challenge but very fun, it is not often as an adult that you try something you’re interested in but terrible in executing. I haven’t been this bad at something I was interested in since I was a child. If you watch any TIG welding videos on youtube you’ll see people laying down a perfect bead (along with some great camera work) and it looks so simple. To say the least, it has been a humbling experience while being lots of fun.

I have been mostly practicing on stainless sheet metal, 14-16 gauge, using 308 and 309 1/16th filler rod, running 3/32nd 2% Lanthanated electrode, 100% Aragon at ~20 CFH on a Fupa #12 cup with a gas lens. I am currently using a torch control for the current adjustment, the plan is to move to a foot pedal soon to avoid mistakes made while trying to adjust current and finish a weld. The goal of using TIG welding over MIG for the projects was to tackle thinner applications like sheet metal and just to make those cool looking welds, or at least try. As the projects get past their infancy I’ll post more pictures. Below are some practice attempts on 14 gauge stainless, ground clean, wiped with acetone. Some welds didn’t have enough heat, others not enough filler, and a few good fusion welds.

Roman Lilligren