It is like a rising superstar in this day in which we live. The art of TIG welding has been around for some time but is becoming an ever popular application for welding.
It is drawing upon the curious side of someone already interested in the field of welding. TIG welding is a very unique form of welding. When you begin to use the left and right hand simultaneously in any process there is more stress involved to the welder and this technique requires more agility than does the more common practices of welding.
When you embark upon a career in TIG welding there are normally pre-requisites that have already been achieved by the time you arrive in the TIG domain. Stick welding is normally a foundation before a welder steps into the world of TIG.
Rarely does the TIG process stand alone. There are places that you find the MIG and TIG process alone but those areas do not entail the vast majority. Some places you may see just the TIG would be the Aero-Space Industry, lightweight bicycles, hospital equipment, dairy production, etc. For the most part, the TIG process will find you in the Petro-Chemical Industry, Chemical Refining, and the Fossil Fuel Industry. Power plants, refineries, chemical plants and the likes is actually the place that the biggest money is made as well as the pipeline; which used to be downhill stick only and reserved for the welder with the big head and the rig truck he worshipped as a god.
Things have come a long was needless to say. The welder in general used to have an upper-hand in his craft but not so any more. Most people in these industries look at the welder in general as a cry baby and whiner who is always looking for the ideal conditions in which to perform his operation.
But! The TIG welder is someone that is still in high demand and carries some prestige connected to his ability to be ambidextrous. The TIG hand can weld stick, MIG, TIG usually whether it is carbon or alloy metals.
The further the welder can move into the realm of the exotic, the more in demand he becomes. The more certifications he can obtain, the more in need he will find himself (or herself). The bad part about the area of TIG welding that we are talking about at this stage is the different environments that go with this type of welding. The already mentioned places that usually call for this type of welding are not the most pleasant places to work.
These type of environments eventually take a toll upon the body of the individual. It is not easy to sustain good optimal health in fume and particulate saturated environments. Toxins and poisons are present. Elevated structures with scaffolding enclosed by fire retardant blanket. Noise levels that can and most of the time due require hearing protection.
Come to think about it, the bike factory is becoming more appealing all the the time. LOL!
Actually, a good TIG hand that is respected in his trade can call the shots. He sizes up the fit on pipe and if it isn’t correct he shoots it down, because once he starts welding on it he has taken the responsibility in saying I can make it happen. A good TIG welder can make a bad fitter look good. Or take a bad fit and turn the fabricators heartburn into Rolaids to the rescue.
An older man that has become well versed in his trade is widely respected by his peers when he becomes known as the TIG daddy, the man, the khaki daddy, etc. There are up and coming young men that are always following in the footsteps of the well accomplished mentor TIG welder.
TIG comes with a few essential items that must be recognized. Clean clothes every morning with starched shirts and a nice skull cap. A bandanna in the back pocket. A bandanna around the neck like a businessman would wear a tie to the office. Fairly new looking gloves that are not your run of the mill leather.
TIG welding requires sensitivity in the fingertips and hands. Most of the time a good TIG hand has cash in his wallet and is on top of his game. The problem we see with that in our economy is that he has to travel a bit more than he would like to keep that going. The benefit of that is that he will always have a job because of his skills. You see the TIG welder is selling his skill.
He doesn’t produce a product so to speak. His arsenal of tools contain his favorite hood or two, small hand tools that are used to accent his skill. Sharp tungsten stored in his tool bag or bucket. Files, die grinders, small wrenches, flapper wheels, emory cloth, filler rod, a coffee thermos (very important), extra gloves and lenses if needed, and possibly some small fit up wedges or flat head screwdrivers.
In our next article we will look at the actual components of his equipment for a further breakdown in lesson TIG 102. Until then, thanks for your time and take care!