Upon my recent video submissions concerning the TIG welding, there have arisen some statements from some in the welding community with both a negative and a positive response to this matter.
I will say that there has been a more positive response than a negative reaction to the teaching on this subject. I wanted to produce this article to clear up some misconceptions about walking the cup with the TIG method I and many others teach as well as use.
You are probably familiar with TIG welding, and maybe you are not. TIG welding is made up of the electrode, current, filler material, and the electrode holder such as any other welding procedure.
The makeup of the holder for TIG is very unique. The electrode consists of some type of Tungsten. Tungsten is the means by which the electric current is carried to the metals that will be fused together.
There is also the gas lens and cup that is really what I want to focus on in this article. We can really look at this with the MIG process as well and may do so in another article in the future. So we have the electricity and the gas that is blended together in this process.
All this action is delivered to the weld area by the Cup.
The cup imparts a very important role in the way it is designed. I know what your thinking, what does this have to do with walking the cup? We are almost to that. First the cup is made of ceramic.
Ceramic construction allows the cup to sustain critical temperatures without failing in such conditions. The cup is also round for one reason and one reason specifically.
Welders that shun walking the cup do so because they either don’t understand this or they do not use this technique. Either way this is a great application that should be taken into consideration by every TIG welder.
Let me convey this truth to you as the reader of this article.
The Cup is round for a reason. It is not square. It is not elliptical. It is not rectangular or triangular. It is circular and this by design is why we can and should walk the cup when possible.
Now there are some times when you will not want to or be able to walk the cup. Certainly this is true. Then there are times when you will want to walk the cup. If you can retain what I am about to tell you and practice it you will benefit greatly in you skill and circles of influence.
Let’s look at some points.
First the pipe can get extremely hot, as I am sure you are aware, and if you as the welder are not careful you can burn your rig hand fingers. This is the hand you use to operate the welding rig.
Secondly there will be occasions when you as the welder can cover more ground by walking the cup than by manipulating the weld puddle by hand alone.
These two factors are probably the most prevalent reasons walking the cup can be a huge advantage. I personally have worked for companies that shy away from the stick welding process and rely solely on TIG.
These companies use TIG from start to finish in their procedure. Yes even on the cap of the weld. When you cap a weld with TIG, the material is usually screaming hot by that point and it almost impossible to touch the metal with your fingers or hand. Sometimes you can use what is known as the hobo or whino finger.
This is using a cup to cover your finger that rests on the pipe but it is not the easiest method but does come in handy. Walking the cup takes care of all the burns and inconvenient problems a TIG welder can face once he or she learns this method.
This is the reason the cup is circular and designed like it is.
Friend if you don’t agree with me on this that is fine but that doesn’t take away from this truth. If you don’t ever use this method that is fine too, but don’t brow beat a welder that can step into this arena and turn out some killer welds produced by this method. Well I hope this helps somebody, and it will if you can embrace this method and add it to your arsenal of welding technique you may already possess.
Thanks and God Bless!