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How to Choose Filler Rod and Tungstens for TIG Welding

Kevin is looking at three different sizes of E3 tungstens - the purple top tungstens. He has the 1/8", the 3/32nd and 16th of an inch.

Next he shows a helpful chart from the American Welding Society that shows how E3 tungsten size relates to amperage. You don't want to put in an 1/8" tungsten and try to run it at 20 amps. It won't even light! You also don't want to try to use 1/16" tungsten and try to weld at 250 amps. It'll just burn it up.

How do these tungsten sizes and amperages relate to filler rod?

Kevin puts a freshly ground 1/16" E3 tungsten into his AHP AlphaTIG 200X TIG welder's torch and turns down the amperage to 60 amps.

He tries to feed 1/8" filler rod. "It's like welding molasses!" Kevin says. It takes about 3 seconds to get the 1/8" filler rod to melt. Then he switches to a 1/16" filler rod. It just vanishes as he easily feeds it into the puddle.

Next Kevin shows the welds. It's easy to see the difference - where he tried to feed the 1/8" filler rod, the weld is lumpy and cold looking. It didn't want to flatten out. As soon as he switched over to the 1/16" filler rod, it flattened out and is looking pretty good!

Kevin recommends you make a copy of the E3 tungsten and amperage range chart and post it right on your welder where you can consult it.

A too big filler rod into too small of an arc - lower amperage - is like taking a huge chunk of firewood and throwing it into a tiny campfire. It'll literally dampen that fire - or arc - down and cool it off. Then you have to wait for it to warm back up again.

Whereas if you throw a little log on the fire, it'll catch fire right away and burn right in.

Kevin offers another little trick. If your filler rod is sticking as you dab into the puddle, it's probably too big, and you'll get a little hesitation. The filler should disappear the moment you stick it into the puddle.

Before he goes back to work, Kevin asks viewers to find the "Support" button on his YouTube homepage. If you like his videos, help him out a little by donating $1. Thank you!

Well, you might want to stick around one more moment and see his tongue get tied ....

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