Everyone has heard of welding, but not many people know how many different types of welding there are.
The main ones that are used today are MIG, TIG and Stick. TIG welding is one of the more difficult but rewarding weld processes.
What are some of the most important items you need for TIG welding?
Some important items that you are going to need for TIG welding include your personal gear such as helmet, safety glasses, gloves and jacket (or sleeves, whichever you prefer). You will then need a welder and the TIG Set up.
The TIG Set up includes a torch, your choice of an electrode, your choice of hand control or the pedal, and your choice of gas you will be using for your shield. You will also need a grinder to take off any paint or to smooth the surface where you will be welding.
TIG is also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). It uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode.
This electrode transfers current to the arc. The tungsten and the weld you are making are quickly cooled by an inert gas. The protecting gas is usually argon.
While the initial supply list for TIG welding might seem a little overbearing, it is necessary.
While welding is somewhat of an expensive hobby, you can make a lot of money from it if you choose – and your investments will pay for themselves in no time.
So, let’s dig into the details of the ultimate TIG welding list.
What You Need for TIG Welding: The Ultimate List
When it comes to TIG Welding, you need more than a few pieces of equipment, but once you have everything, you will see why it’s all necessary.
The ultimate list with price ranges:
- Auto-darkening helmet $50-300
- TIG Goggles $5-30
- Gloves $10-200
- Jacket $40-200
- Welder $1,200-2,000
- Gas Tank $200-400
- Tungsten $10-30
- Grinder $100-300
- Sander $100-300
- Rods $25-50
You are required to wear a welding helmet.
Welding helmets are the main necessity when it comes to welding.
Besides the welder, the most important thing in welding is your helmet. When it comes to welding helmets, you can choose between auto-darkening or manual darkening helmets.
The auto-darkening ones are nice to have if you are doing welds that need to look good. These will usually run you anywhere from $50-$300.
The most common auto-darkening helmet is made from Miller and costs around $160.
If you want just a regular welding helmet, you will spend around $20-100, depending on the quality and brand.
If you plan to do other welding processes such as MIG or Stick, you should stick with a welding helmet: however, you can buy TIG googles too.
These are cheap. You can find them for $5, and they range up to $30.
These goggles can be nice to have for a little project, but they do not protect your eyes from larger projects that use higher heat.
There are many different brands and styles of welding gloves.
You can get cowhide gloves, goatskin gloves, or just flame-resistant gloves.
Cowhide gloves cost between $10 and $200. Goatskin gloves are what most TIG welders use. These range from $15 to $130. Flame-resistant gloves cost between $10 and $100.
Before you buy the gloves, do your research. If you are only going to be doing small MIG welding projects, you can use the regular cowhide.
If you’re going to just use TIG welding, goatskin is the most common. They are more lightweight and flexible.
Welding jackets come in the same fabrics as welding gloves.
They also usually have a satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer, so make sure to keep your receipt.
Cowhide jackets are the most popular. They range from $40 to $150. The goatskin jackets range from $70 to $200.
These are more expensive because they are longer lasting. Flame-resistant jackets will cost between $15 and $110.
Before you go out and buy a jacket, you should do your research.
Go onto the web and look at the customer reviews and see what they have to say. This will help you find the right jacket for you.
The welder is the most important item in your welding arsenal.
If you are looking to do different welding processes, you will want to get the 3 in 1 welder.
I would recommend Miller for any and all welders. ESAB is a great brand as well.
Do your research and decide which is going to fit best for your projects or jobs. The 3 in 1 welder prices range widely.
The small ones can cost you around $500. If you want a medium sized one, they are going to range from $1,200 to $2,000.
If you want the big industrial one, this is going to cost you anywhere from $2,500 to $5,500 and up. It all depends on what you are planning on doing with it.
You can also just get a TIG welder. A TIG welder alone is going to cost $350 to $2,000.
With TIG welders, you need to have gas to hook up to.
More than likely, you will be purchasing argon.
Argon is the most commonly used shield gas in this type of welding. Shield gas is going to protect your weld pool.
To get a tank for gas, you can either buy one for $200 to $400, depending on the size, or you can rent one for $70 a year.
In order to fill these tanks, you will need to bring them into a place that sells argon, or you can have the gas delivered.
The cost of the fill is going to depend on the time of year and what the prices are during that time. Right now, argon tanks can be filled for $40 for a tank size of 80cf.
The bigger the tank, the more money you spend for the tank itself, but the less money you spend on filling the tank.
All TIG Welders come with tungsten rods for the torch.
However, you are eventually going to have to purchase more. Tungsten is basic and easy to pick out.
You can get 1/8”, 1/16” and 3/32”. It ranges in price from $10 to $30. You can get packs or just single tungsten rod.
Grinder, Sander, and Rods
The last thing that you are going to need is a grinder wheel.
This is to sharpen your tungsten.
You must have sharp tungsten for it to work right. The grinder wheel will cost you around $150.
You can purchase a grinder just for tungsten, or you can purchase a bench grinder that includes a sander.
You would be able to use that for many other purposes as well. This is going to cost from $100 to $300 or more depending on what you would want and the size.
Depending on the size of the metal you will be using, you need to figure out which filler metal rod you are going to need. These vary in size.
You can purchase 1/8”, 3/16” and 3/32”. The prices of these are going to range from $25 to $50 depending on the amount that you are buying.
TIG Welding Basic Necessities
TIG Welding may seem a bit overwhelming after looking at the list of what you will need, but it is a rewarding hobby and job that it is all worth it in the end.
Once you get into the welding, you will be amazed at how smooth it all goes. There are some other TIG necessities you will need.
The necessities of TIG Welding include:
- TIG Torch
- Foot Petal or Hand Control
- Filler Metal Rods
The TIG Torch is going to be where you insert your tungsten.
This is what you are going to be controlling in order to weld.
The tungsten is placed inside the torch after it is sharpened. It is going to be what makes the weld pool and heats the filler metal to make the weld.
Foot Pedal or Hand Control
The foot pedal or the hand control will help control your amperage.
Everyone likes to weld their own way. Some people use the hand control, while others use the foot pedal.
Tungsten is what is going to make the weld happen.
Just make sure that it is sharpened and does not contain a blob on the end.
If this is the case, you need to take it out and sharpen it in order to have a decent and reliable weld.
Filler Metal Rods
The filler metal rods are going to be what you hold in the opposite hand of the TIG Torch.
Once your weld pool is formed from the tungsten melting your metal, you dip the filler rod in.
You can also “follow the cup” and keep it in the weld pool at all times. It is a preference of what you like best. Once you start, you will learn what you like to do best.
In order to do so, you have used the grinder wheel or bench grinder to sharpen it. This is simple and takes less than 30 seconds.
Maintenance of TIG Welding Equipment
Along with gathering the right tools for TIG welding, you will also need to work to maintain them.
This will allow you to keep your investments for a long time and preserve the working quality for as long as possible.
The main thing you will maintain while TIG Welding is going to be your tungsten. In order to get your tungsten to work right, you must make sure it is sharp.
In order to do so, you must use the grinder wheel or bench grinder to sharpen it. This is simple and takes less than 30 seconds.
If your tungsten is touched by the filler metal, you will see a blob on the end of it. This is an indication to stop and sharpen.
If you let the blob stay, your weld is going to end up filled with pores and will be unreliable. It won’t be the strength it needs to be.
Determining Whether or Not to Use TIG Welding
Determining when to use which type of welding process is a huge part of welding.
It is not a very hard question to answer.
TIG is used for artistic welding, and it is also used for welding that people may see and find appealing. You can use it for stainless steel and aluminum.
The biggest way to know which type of welding you need to be doing is the thickness of the metal. With TIG, you are burning super-hot, but you want to focus on thinner metals.
Once the metal starts to get thicker, you should change to MIG welding. MIG does not burn as hot as TIG.
MIG melts faster, conjoining the metals together in a bulkier weld pool. It is a stronger weld and is used for heavier duty projects. But it looks are not as appealing.
Stay safe and make sure you are protecting yourself before starting any project. Do not get too overwhelmed with the guide list, it all comes easy, and soon you will be a professional.