How to Set Up a TIG Welder for Steel: 7 Easy Steps for Beginners

How to set up a TIG welder for Steel-welderpoint is the best blog for welding.

TIG welding technique is indeed a complicated welding technique to learn. However, once you master the technique, you will end up creating flawless metal masterpieces.

You are learning the technique doesn't mean you will only learn how to operate a TIG welding machine; but also how to set up a TIG welding machine.

We know TIG welding is a versatile welding technique that can weld a wide range of metals. If you are a newcomer in this field, you need to learn and practice more to master the technique. For the learning purpose, start your welding project with welding Steel, and you might want to know how to set up a TIG welder for steel.

In this article, we will discuss how to set up a TIG welder for steel in 7 easy steps for the beginners.

Welderpoint- It shows Tig welding setting up and installation procedures

Warning: 

The following instructions are for typical TIG welders. To ensure complete safety, read the Owner’s Manual of your TIG Welder for setting up and installation procedures.

7 Easy steps to set up a TIG welder

As I mentioned, TIG welding is a complicated technique to learn, thus needs proper concentration while setting up. So follow the steps carefully to set up the TIG welder:

1. Get prepared first

Before setting up the torch and the TIG welder for steel, you should have the TIG kit, a pair of welding gloves for TIG welding, an auto-darkening helmet, the TIG calculator, and a cleaning brush specific for steel.

2. Calculate torch parameters

Once you have all the equipment you require for assembling the TIG torch; now you need to know how to set up the torch (tungsten size and gas cup size) before you proceed for assembly. You have to take help from a TIG calculator to figure this out. You might download a TIG calculator from Google play store or Apple store.

TIG calculator is easy to use. Once you figure out your metal type (e.g.,Steel), thickness (e.g., 1/16"), and welding joint type (e.g., fillet), the calculator tell you the exact:

  • Tungsten size
  • Gas cup orifice diameter
  • Filler rod diameter
  • Current type and amperage range
  • Gas type and flow
3. Assemble the torch

If you are using an air-cooled torch, use an adapter from the TIG kit and plug the torch into the front of your machine. But before that you have to assemble the torch first:

  • Take the bare torch.
  • Screw the specific collet holder with the front of the torch (white round stripe)—the rounded end of the collet holder should be pointed forward.
  • Push the specific collet into the back end of the torch.
  • Now screw the back end cap onto the back end of the torch (the end without the white stripe).
  • Then screw the gas cup on to the collet holder. Make sure the rounded end makes contact with the white stripe on the TIG torch.
  • Insert specific size and type of tungsten into the torch. The size of the collet and collet holder should be proportionate to the size of the tungsten.
  • The radius of the gas cup suggests your tungsten stick out. Suppose the opening of the gas cup is 1/4”, your tungsten stick-out should be 1/8”.
4. Assemble the torch
  • First of all, make sure the TIG welding machine is turned off.
  • Also, make sure the high voltage safety switch is turned off.
  • Now plug the machine into the high voltage socket.
  • Once the machine is plugged in, turn on the high voltage safety switch (TIG machine should still be OFF).
  • The breaker is in the ON position—it’s time to turn on the machine.
5. Opening the tank and setting the gas flow
  • The regulator must be off. While it is unscrewed, the regulator should be set to off until no resistance can be felt.  It’s better to do with one finger since the resistance isn’t easy to feel.
  • Open the bottle all the way, with your hand on the side of the valve. Don't put your hand on the valve.
  • Set the bottle to the proper flow according to the recommendation of the TIG calculator. You can set it to the house level of 15cfh.
Precautions:
  • Stay away from the dangerous area. The valve and the regulator assembly both can come flying with the potential speed to injure or kill someone.
  •  The pressure range should be between 250psi  and 2200psi.
6. Display instructions:
  • When the machine is turned on, or you load a program, it will default into AC. You have to put it into DC by pressing the AC/DC button.
7. Set the work clamp
  • Plug your work clamp/ ground clamp into the machine.
  • Clamp the other end with your working table.

Setting TIG welder for Steel welding

These following points should be kept in mind while welding steel:

1. Tungsten

The tungsten should be ground to a long point with the taper length about 2-3 times the diameter of the tungsten. The long taper and sharp tip usually improves arc stability. Suppose you want a butt weld or open corner weld the stick out should be 5-6mm.

2. Gas shrouds

The number 7 gas shroud works well for general steel work. It's a rule of TIG welder that, the larger the shroud, the better the gas coverage. But the number 4 shroud is more suitable for fillet weld.

3. Shielding gas

Typically pure Argon gas is used as TIG shielding gas and is suitable for steel welding. And the shielding gas must be completely inert.

  • Generally, the flow rate will be 6-7L/min and can be increased slightly due to drafty conditions.
  • Post-flow-time protects the tungsten and weld when they cool. It's better to increase post flow time by 1 sec/ 10 amps since tungsten takes a long time to cool down.

4. Polarity

Switch the polarity to DCEN because in TIG welding technique, the negative torch helps protect overheating the tungsten.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that we tried to make you understand the procedure of how to set up a TIG welder for steel in 7 easy steps. If you are a beginner and this is the first time you are setting up the equipment by yourself, make sure to get help from a professional.

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