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How to TIG Weld With AHP's $240 Alpha 160ST

Kevin wants to try out the TIG function on this amazing little welder, which both stick welds (arc welds) and TIG welds.

There's no gas solenoid on this machine, so you have to use a TIG torch with a welding gas line you hook right to your flowmeter. Then you control the gas with the knob on the welding torch body.

Setting the machine up for TIG welding is really easy. Your TIG torch screws into the negative side - line up the barb and give it a little twist. Your ground, or return line, goes on the positive side - again, line it up and give it a twist. Now turn on the machine and click the mode button to switch from stick to TIG. It's that easy.

An important welding safety tip: once everything is plugged in and the welder is turned on, your torch is hot electrically! So if the tungsten touches metal, you are welding whether you want to or not. So make sure you put your torch in a holder or hang it on a hook safely before you turn on the machine and flip the switch to TIG.

Kevin has the welder set to 121 amps, and the gas is hooked up with the flowmeter set at about 12. He's using 1/16" E3 tungsten and has some 1/8" cold-rolled steel that he's cleaned up clamped to the workbench. It's time to make some sparks!

He turns on the gas and rocks up the TIG torch so the tungsten touches the metal. Kevin notes that, when he started the arc, it started with a real low amperage for maybe 3 seconds, then all of a sudden the full amperage kicked in. That little "ramp up" is great - you're not putting all of your amperage on your start so you don't have to worry about contaminating your tungsten. Once you get to the end of your run, you just snap the tungsten away from the metal and turn off the gas.

Kevin shows the weld. "That's pretty nice for a little machine!" he says. It can stick weld and do lift-start TIG, takes up almost no room, and costs $240. He says it's a great entry-level machine for someone who wants to get into DC TIG welding.

To buy it, call AHP directly at 925-391-3599. "I think you'll like it," says Kevin.

But first, stick around for one more moment to see Kevin suffer a brain fart ....

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