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How to Pick the Right Size TIG Filler Rod

A viewer, Richard, pointed out that there isn't much if any advice on how to select the right filler rod. He was trying to weld 16 gauge with a 1/8" filler rod, and it wasn't going well. He was blowing holes in the metal and making a mess. So how do you pick the right size filler rod for the job?

Kevin likes to use a bigger diameter rod depending upon the amperage. So above, say, 80 amps, he's using a 3/32nd or 1/8" rod. It also depends upon how big a fillet you want - how big of a weld you want and hole you have to fill. More metal - 1/8" - bigger weld.

You also have to balance that with the amperage. Using less amperage for thinner base metal means you're going to have a harder time melting and flowing a larger filler rod. Suddenly, there's a lot to think about!

Kevin is going to put on his welding helmet and fire up his AHP AlphaTIG 200X. He's going to set the amperage at 55 amps to weld some 16 gauge steel, weld with an 1/8" filler rod, then weld with some 1/16" without changing the amperage, just to show you the difference the size of the rod makes.

He welds with the 1/8" welding rod, noticing how long it takes for it to melt. The 1/16" rod works a lot better!

He shows the results. "Richard, you're absolutely correct, man!" Kevin says. The weld done with the 1/8" rod shows where it got hot and tried to blow through the steel. Part of the reason is that Kevin had to stay in one place so long to get the large rod to melt. The weld done with 1/16" rod looks pretty good and went a lot quicker, letting him keep up with the heat, because the rod is smaller.

Thank you, Richard!

Before you wander off, though, why donít stick around for another moment to see another member of Kevin's team speak his piece ....

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