Common TIG Welding Issues, Hard Starting - Back To Welding Basics | Part 6

Common TIG welding issues part 6. TIG: Hard startingSelecting too large of a tungsten for the amps used for welding will definitely influence arc starting behavior. Let me say this clearly: If you try to use an 1/8” tungsten to start and weld below 40-50 amps, you will probably experience much more difficulty while trying to start an arc, but also in maintaining a stable one. 3/32” is a much better choice for low and mid range amperages. It can be used fairly well down to 15-20 amps arc starts on AC or DC and with experience can be used for lower amperages. But really, if you are going to weld in the 5 amp to 50 amp range 1/16” tungsten is a better choice as arc starting will be easier. And if you are going to be welding sub 30 amps, .040” tungsten is worth considering as it will give the most reliable arc starts down to 1 amp (if your welding machine will adjust down that low). I try to explain it like this to customers: You have two water hoses. One is a large fire hose, another is your ordinary garden hose. But you have to connect both to your outside faucet to put out a small but rapidly spreading grass fire. Which one would you use? Keep in mind you are connecting both to your outdoor water faucet and not a fire hydrant. Which one would produce a better stream? The smaller hose would of course at this lower level of volume and pressure. The fire hose would put out the same amount of water, but it would do so while dribbling all over the place. The small hose would squirt out in a long, controllable stream. Sure you could try to use the firehose to put out the fire if nothing else was available, but it would be much more difficult wouldn’t it? The same principle applies here to using a smaller diameter tungsten for smaller jobs. Don’t expect an arc to start easily if you are using too large of a tungsten for the job. Everlast Power Equipment, your TIG welding experts.Learn more on our welding forum.

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