As we talk about the various ways that nuances can affect our welding product, there are some things like cleaning and preparation of the metal that we discussed that may be overlook or consider unimportant or just make a feeble attempt at the cleaning of the metal base that result in poor weld quality. In some situations especially when working with hot rolled steel, mill scale can be so thick that even a good cleaning can result in poor ground connections. So the key phrase here is bright shiny metal. That’s how clean metal must be for TIG welding.
But there are other culprits that can drastically affect your welds. Some unintended, and some so obscure that you don’t even think to look for them. One of those unintended and unintentional nuances can come right from our friendly local welding supply store, and it happens so often that you wouldn’t believe it. But after you read this, it should never happen to you.
As we speak about TIG welding, for the sake of this discussion, we should by now understand that it requires 100% pure Argon gas. While TIG welding has become an extremely common form of welding, MIG welding still remains much more commonplace, especially for DIYers. For whatever reason, when you visit your friendly local welding supply store and ask for Argon, whether it be out of habit or just unconscious repetition, all too often they grab for some kind of gas mix and give it to you by mistake. You get home, connect it to your welder and attempt to TIG weld, never even thinking that the gas that you just got is about to give you a ton of trouble. Spitting and spattering, your arc acts crazy, your weld is loaded with soot, and as you hunt through your settings on the machine double-check your cleaning, you never expect the brand new gas you just got is the cause of all your issues. So remember 100% Argon gas, check it before you leave the welding supply store, double check that person giving you the gas has given you the correct tank, and then check it once more before you leave. Next time we’ll talk a little bit about tungsten and the preparation required for it to work well for you. Happy welding!