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TIG Welding Basics

Author: Rich Marker | Updated April 22, 2024 | October 21, 2014 basics of TIG welding, stainless steel welding, welding fabrication

TIG welding is a great skill to learn, but it can be difficult knowing how to get started. In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of the art including form, getting the right torch angle, and some things to keep in mind as you’re welding.

Proper form
The most basic key to TIG welding is controlling the distance between the tungsten and your project to around one millimeter. If you’re new to the craft, you may feel nervous when picking up the welding tool. If you feel your hands starting to shake, take a quick break before resuming work. Ideally, you want your muscles to be relaxed as possible when working on a TIG weld. That means if you’ve recently been utilizing other tools, take a few minutes before starting work on a new weld.

TIG welding also requires good eye site, and top of the line hand eye coordination. Some welders realize they need glasses or contacts after picking up the skill. If things look a little blurry, you may want to visit an optometrist before doing any further work.

Getting the proper angle
Under perfect conditions, you want to hold the weld torch about 20 degrees from the vertical position. As you tilt, the tungsten should point in the same direction as the weld, which allows the weld pool to form directly ahead of the torch. By keeping your weld pool ahead of what you’re working on, it’ll be a lot easier later on to add on the filler rod.

To really set yourself up for success, it’s a good idea to dry run the torch across the welding area a few times. This way, you can make sure the angle of the tungsten and the distance between your welding tool and your project are good to go. After you’ve TIG welded for a while, this will come more naturally.

Things to keep in mind
Your first attempt at TIG welding is probably going to be a little messy. That’s expected, and perfectly okay. There’s a lot going on at once, and it is difficult to make sure you’re doing everything right all at the same time. Getting the arc gap right should be your top priority, followed by adjusting the width of the weld pool and adjusting the speed of your weld so that you get the proper penetration.

TIG welding can really be both an art and a science, and with practice you can produce some fantastic results.

About the Author


Rich Marker

All Metals Fabrication Owner and CEO

Rich Marker is an 18 year, skilled professional in metal fabrication and manufacturing. Co-founder, owner and principal of All Metals Fabrication, Rich has helped to sustain the company’s success over a variety of economic conditions. He has extensive background in continuous improvement, training and process improvement, and emotional intelligence—among other specialized proficiencies. He loves to learn, fly fish, watch college football and devour NY style pizza! He has the best family on earth, loves a good plan, great teaching and the opportunity to get better.

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