Why and How to Use Starting and Ending Amperage for TIG Welding
A viewer, Tyler, a new TIG welder, asked why how he should set TIG welding starting and ending amperage.
Using his AHP AlphaTIG 200, Kevin shows that he sets his starting amperage at 10 -12. Why? When using the torch finger switch and the machine is set on 4T, if you click the button and hold it, the arc will climb to whatever you have the starting amps set at and stop. That gives the metal a chance to warm up rather than dumping, say, 100 amps on the metal right away. This gives the metal a chance to heat up slowly.
As soon as you let go of the switch, the TIG welder will ramp up, in about 2 seconds, to the main, or welding, amperage. Then you're ready to weld.
When you click and hold the torch finger switch again, the machine will go to whatever the ending amperage is set at. So the amperage will drop down to 10 or 15 amps (or whatever the ending amps is set at). It takes 1-1/2 or 2 seconds to drop down, giving the metal a chance to cool down.
That's really important when you're welding aluminum. If you're welding along at 125 or 130 amps, for example, and all of a sudden kill the arc, the metal will crack every single time. Back it off slowly - click it and let the metal cool down slowly at the ending amp setting so the aluminum doesn't crack. That will also prevent cratering at the point you stop welding.
Kevin hopes that helps Tyler and other beginning TIG welders.
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He's ready to go back to work, so you have time to see his wild sculpture at http://www.kevincaron.com. Well, you might want to stick around to see Kevin not realize what he just said ....
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