TIG Welding 101

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!


About thewelderslens

I have been welding for over a quarter of a century(25 years). I am 43 years old and have a successful business, a beautiful family. I pastor a church as well. My hope in all this is to bring what I have learned to the forefront so others can get a huge head start. I have lived through it for you. Be thankful. Later. View all posts by thewelderslens

22 responses to “TIG Welding 101

  • Mathew

    ya really tig welder is an ever popular application for welding.. its come with an essential item…

  • John Ibrahim

    Am eagerly waiting for our next artice, waiting to know components of the equipments….

  • thewelderslens

    I am already working on the next article. Thank you both for commenting so quickly on it. Good to see someone out there that is interested in this stuff. I don’t know if you have visited my website but I have a phenomenal TIG series I have produced on real time welding videos. All my packages are on sale at present.
    http://www.thewelderslens.com Thanks again. Talk soon

  • Steve Huff

    Have been welding for years, stick and oxycetylene mostly, have owned an awesome TIG welder for a year and am just now ready to start learning, hope to get it all set up in a month or so.

  • thewelderslens

    Hey that sounds great Steve.
    If you are interested in accelerating
    your ability to weld, I have the TIG
    series DVD’s that are on sale right
    now at my site. Here is the link.
    Thanks for the comment. If there is anything
    I can do to help, let me know. Michael

  • Peter

    Thanks for your kindness in making your experience available.I have been stick and gas welding for approx 40yrs. I am not a welder. I bought a cheap Tig rig 2 weeks ago and am pleased to say that it is performing better than expected. I am making recumbent bikes as a hobby and needed a process that was faster but as delicate as gas. I was able to weld components that I would previously had to braze as they were so small and thin, with the added advantage of the strength of a proper fusion weld. My needs are somewhat different to the industrial type welding that is the province of the professionals such as yourself. I am now happily experimenting to find what works best for me. Many thanks, Peter.

  • thewelderslens

    that sounds like an interesting hobby.
    We have a few of those riders where
    I live that buzz up and down the road.
    I had a friend years ago that owned one
    and he said he would never ride a regular
    bike again after he owned a recumbent.
    If I can help in any way, just ask. Michael!!

  • Gregg

    Now if I could only afford a nice TIG setup, then would be the best of all. A nice little Miller 350LX wouldn’t hurt my feelings too much, or better yet, maybe someone could give me a good deal on a Miller Aerostar. I would even pay money for one of those! Cheers.

  • ian

    hey Michael, I appreciate all the tips and advise! i really don’t know the first thing about welding, other than what i’ve read on your site and a few others. i’m really trying to learn to do some solid MIG welding. other than the little around-the-house jobs i know i’m going to start noticing, i’m trying to learn MIG so i can weld motorcycle frame bits together to make one solid chassis. any tips or tricks for this type of job? once again, i really appreciate your willingness to help people like me with no experience to learn this helpful trade. keep up the great work!!!


  • Tony Dench

    Hi Michael,
    Am working through the blog and emailed workbook.So far there is a lot to take in. I am a novice in many ways, I’ve done a little oxy cutting and attempted welding with it (steel and copper). I also have a mig welder 200amp that I weld with most weekends, with patchy results. I am keen to learn as much as I can: weld types (i.e. joins), gas properties, and perhaps what the other functions on the mig welder mean?? other than that, I can make what i need to with a fair amount of satisfaction as a hobby welder. I do make great bread though.

  • Gary

    Michael, I really appreciate what you are doing. I have been welding (poorly) for years. I have never had any formal training so your information is priceless. My main interest is gunsmithing and light repair work.


  • ayman

    hey mate ,your tig welding dvd’ r bloody good , worse the money , i really improved , even one of my teachers in the taff , after he saw me welding 2 tubs in 5 G position & he saw the weld after i finished he was suprised , he even told me i couldn’t believe it u were shooting the filler rod from the gab , he told me only a really pros does these stuff

    so really thx to you mate , keep the good work
    by the way it would be awesome if u make any dvd’s on pipe fabrication

  • calvin jones

    mike, ive got 15yrs as a d1.1 code welder, t-1, t-8 & 7018 stick. im currently in practice to certify 4 the aws b2.1-1-021-94 qualification (gtaw/smaw) 6″ sched 80 pipe 6g. it’ll qualify me for aws d1.1 & asme sec. 9. my instructor is, as some of the bloggers refer to is a “master welder”. ive never tiged until now but ihave a vg work ethic, i treat my classes like a job. i only get 8 to 10 hrs. a week seat time and the rest of the time im trying to watch videos and read articles on the subject. your site is doggone helpful…thanx

  • thewelderslens

    thanks so much for you kind compliment. Good luck on your testing and learning curve. I have some videos on youtube
    as well as for purchase at my website. http://www.thewelderslens.com and http://www.youtube.com/mdtread

  • Ron Star

    Hi Michael!
    The initial e-book was great background reading. For a beginning welder it certainly is good information. I personally am interested primarily in the TIG process. I have a older Thermal Arc inverter model as well as a Miller MIG. I’m using the TIG primarily – works very well for my needs. I weld for mostly for pleasure creating “art tables” out of stainless and mild steel. Lately, I have been practicing on aluminum and I have a strong interest in learning more. I enjoy the information on your site– It is well done and very informative. Thanks for the e-book and your time! You are helping many people (including me) to improve their art of the craft. It is very much appreciated!
    Best regards!
    Ron Star
    P.S. I visited Cody, WY some years ago on vacation- Great Country!

    Best Regards,
    Ron Star

  • thewelderslens

    Hello Ron,
    Great to hear from you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your king remarks. It means the world to me.
    There are a great deal of character assassins on Youtube. Usually the people that end up at the blog are pretty
    kind like you. Anything I can do to help let me know. Thanks Michael

  • Hafiz Nadeem Khalid

    Hi, how are you sir sir I could not find tig welding videos kindly instruct me how to view your videos.

  • Ger

    Hey Michael,

    Last week i ordered the 6 dvd’s about Tig-welding and i did receive your mail.
    My experience in Tig welding is not so big, but i bought a machine and I did take a little welding course.
    I also have an Mig welding machine, but i want to learn the Tig process.
    I want to use it for welding on my old cars, so thin sheetmetal and some piping.
    I apologyse for my English, but i Hope that you can understand me.


    Ger Jacobs

  • thewelderslens

    Hello Ger,
    I see that you live in the Netherlands. I as wondering what type of work there would be for a welder there?
    Is there refining or chemical plants or maybe even a need for a man to run his own small welding
    shop? Take care and anything I can do to help let me know.

  • Uncle Dick

    Hi Michael. I received the e-book so thanks. I’m attending Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville Fl. Currently a little more than half way thru and this phase is TIG root, fill, cap on mild steel 3″ pipe in 2G 6G 5G positions (what the heck is this new language I’m speaking!!). Anyway, this is fun and challenging. My goal is a second career in the welding field. I spent nearly 30 in corporate Information Tech jobs, always wanted to learn a skilled trade / art like welding. Your videos have augmented my training at school somewhat. The instructors are excellent but it comes down to practice and time. Since I’m a bit older than most students I got the nickname Uncle Dick. Later….got to go to welding class.

  • thewelderslens

    Hello Uncle Dick,
    I thing that has a nice ring to it. I am thankful to hear that there are
    some instructors that actually know what they are doing. I have heard
    nothing but horror stories lately about the welding instructors out there.
    Wow! Thanks for posting and good luck. Anything I can do to help please
    let me know.

  • Sarah

    I’m so excited to hear that Tungsten is being used in so many ways. So far, besides jewelry, I’ve read about the uses in fishing and now welding!

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