I’ve embedded a little video that I made with the help of my son. It has a little bit of information on TIG welding sheet metal but was more just something we did for fun. But I want to offer some tips and techniques on TIG welding sheet metal that should help you make the most of your TIG welding jobs.
As you all know, TIG welding is short for Tungsten Inert Gas welding. TIG welding pipe or TIG welding sheet metal is an arc welding method that uses tungsten electrodes or tungsten alloys. Most likely your equipment already comes with tungsten electrode or if not you can pick an appropriate tungsten alloy for this. My first piece of advices is to sharpen the electrode to a point before each welding job. This helps with accuracy, maintains a very nice arc and in creating a nice round shape when the heat starts.
I recommend that you guys always carry at least 3 different tungsten and tungsten alloy electrodes. At a minimum you should have 1) a pure tungsten electrode great for overall welding and AC, 2) 2% thoriated tungsten electrodes which are terrific for DC welding, and 3) zirconiated tungsten electrode which produce a terrific arc but can’t be used for DC.
So depending on your application, you’ve inserted the electrode into the collet. Now you need to determine your settings. There’s only one choice if you’re welding aluminum and that is AC. If TIG welding sheet metal that is an iron alloy of some sort and is thick choose a DCEP of about 7 for best results. DCEN is a great option for the thinner metals. Remember also, that depending on your base metal you will need either a pure argon for welding aluminum sheet metal or a blend of argon and carbon dioxide if welding stainless steel sheet metal for example.
In TIG welding sheet metal and most of my gas welding sheet metal jobs I always prefer to use DC if I can, I just find it gives a much smoother weld and a sturdier one, though I don’t have science to back that up.
Something to always keep in mind when TIG welding sheet metal is to keep the surface flat so that the argon can do its job of keeping corrosive elements away from the weld you’re doing. Also remember that TIG welding equipment and TIG welding can not only cause you to go blind but can also create sunburns. For these reasons I always wear protective welding gear including a mask, long sleeve coveralls and closed toe boots.
Lastly guys, when I’m TIG welding sheet metal I always like to use the push method whenever possible. I just find that this creates less chance of burn through or warping and also allows for more even gas coverage over the weld pool for less chance of oxidation. Not only that, but the push method in TIG welding sheet metal creates a much cleaner and better looking weld any day if you ask me.