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Why I Love TIG Welding



Kevin is TIG welding a bell stand for one of his sound sculptures. He often gets asked why he likes TIG welding more than MIG welding, stick welding (arc welding) or oxygen-acetylene welding. Yes, he does like TIG welding better, and the reasons are pretty simple ....

One of the biggest reasons he likes TIG is that it is so clean. He is welding the bell stand with TIG, then he can come back and just touch it lightly with an angle grinder, feathering the top edge, the side edge and then run his grinder down the edge at a 45 degree angle to round it off. That makes it look like a solid piece that he bent, rather than four pieces that he put together.

Kevin keeps hoping that, if he spends enough time under the helmet and burning through filler rods, all of his welds will start looking like the weld he was doing at the beginning of this video. If he could weld like that every time, he wouldn't even grind them! "That's just purty as all heck," he says. It just takes more time and practice welding in different positions. After a while, you get good.

As long as you have a good fit, with your joints nice and tight, TIG is perfect. If you have a big gap, that's where MIG welding comes in.

Another way it's clean is that, with TIG welding, there's no smoke, no soot, no spatter like you get with MIG or stick, where you get all those "dingle balls" you have to grind off. There's always one you miss that you catch on your hand or that you send to the powder coater then see after it comes back. That just doesn't happen with TIG welding - when you're welding correctly.

The last thing Kevin loves about TIG so much is that it's quiet. He usually has the radio playing with some light rock or jazz and you can at least hear the music. Or if someone walks in the studio, he can hear them, unlike if he is MIG welding with all that crackle, hiss, pop and noise. TIG is just about silent when you're doing it right.

Speaking of doing it right, Kevin is going back to work, but you might want to stick around for one more moment to see just how incredibly quiet a TIG welder can be ....

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