My husband was brave enough to share his experience in tig welding with me. He is not the most patient person, but he does enjoy showing me what skills he has acquired when he can slow me down enough to teach me. Sometimes being asked to step into the man’s world is a benefit for the relationship. I know I was impressed at how much he was able to convey to me in such a short time, which didn’t even touch the amount of knowledge he has to carry around in his brain on a daily basis!
So, from a woman’s point of view, an amateur welder by far, and from the perspective of a wife, here is what I learned about tig welding in one afternoon! Although I was proud of the courage I showed to give it a try, I was still amazed at how something can look so simple but require so much thought. My list is not necessarily in the proper order.
1. Argon comes in mixes. The best tig weld to be had requires 100% Argon gas.
2. Know how to hook up the Argon.
3. Know how and when to sharpen the tungsten. The tungsten is the metal piece that you strike to begin and continue welding.
4. Know how to strike your tungsten.
5. If you have no Argon gas, it will burn up your tungsten.
6. Know how to keep your tungsten from sticking to your metal.
7. Know how to hold your torch.
8. Wear your gloves to protect your hands from accidental injury (burns included).
9. The cup comes in different sizes. The cup is the sleeve around your tungsten.
10. The cup gets very hot.
11. Know how to ground.
12. Hook up the lead to the positive side of a tig/arc welder for tigging so that the Argon gas can flow.
13. Know how and when to adjust your temperature.
14. Know how to turn on your welder.
15. Know how to grind your welds to clean the rough edges.
16. Know how and when to use filler rods.
17. Filler rods come in different sizes.
18.ALWAYS wear your welding helmet.
19. The best welding helmet is adjustable for the size of your head and has an auto-darkening lens.
20. Know how to change your lens should it become necessary.
Let it be noted that while I definitely would require much, much more practice before I could claim any positive achievements in this field, I still very much enjoyed what I learned and observed. Thanks to my husband and to all those welders (male or female) out there who make this skill a part of their lives to help provide something useful for our world.