Common TIG Welding Issues, Hard Starting - Back To Welding Basics | Part 7

Common TIG welding issues part 7. TIG: Hard starting.

While working with solving an particularly difficult arc starting problem don’t forget to eliminate yourself as the cause. These days with the wide range of welding videos online, people tend to think that this is an easy thing to learn. It is not. It’s a rewarding skill to learn, yes, but not an easy one. Welding Videos often magnify what the demonstrator is doing and it is easy to distort the dimensions and scale of what is being done. In many of the cases I have worked with the cause of the arc starting difficulty is from the operator holding too far of a standoff for the amperage being used while trying to start the arc. More than once people have told me they were trying to start the arc at about ¼-1/2” off the piece of plate metal because that’s how far it looked in the video. Well, they have forgotten about the fact that the video uses magnification that is 2 to 3 times of the real life thing. Not only will it magnify the torch and tungsten, it will also magnify the distances. What looks to be a huge chasm of space between the tungsten and the workpiece is frequently no thicker than the thickness of an American quarter. The lower the amperage, the more naturally difficult it is going to be to start and hold an arc, especially when the stand-off height remains unchanged. While starting and welding at an amperage level of 5-10 amps, you may only have 1/32”-1/16” of standoff height.

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