In the face of supremely bad news on Tuesday morning, I’m going to write a little bit about welding class so far to keep myself from screaming. So far, I love both oxy-acetylene and TIG with a new passion; both are excellent in their own way and both come with drawbacks. But it’s like my instructor told us: each one has its uses. Oxy-acetylene is slow and methodical: it’s heating metal with a flame. It’s also the coldest of all methods, so it takes longer and demands patience. But I enjoyed a kind of meditation while welding two sections of 1/8″ metal together. It’s soothing; “knitting with fire” is how my instructor described it. Not quite something I’d do on the couch in front of Netflix, but it would definitely go with some cool jazz or mellow electronica in the garage.

TIG is immediate and gratifying and makes short work of anything. It took half the time to weld the same length of steel together with TIG, and it’s easier to dial in the temperature and keep it steady. I see now why the pros on YouTube bust out the TIG torch when making metal stick together. But I spent half the night running to and from the sander to clean the electrode, even when I kept the tip away from the puddle. That’s a pain in the ass. With skill I bet there would be half the tungsten cleaning nonsense and a lot more productivity; I’d need to take the intermediate TIG course to learn more about how to dial the machine in for different thicknesses and situations. On Thursday we’re going to do another hour of TIG and then start learning about different chemical processes in the leadup to plasma cutting, and then I think we move to stick welding next.

Date posted: May 4, 2022 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »

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