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[Orchid] Tig welder vs PUK
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Kevin Lindsey Friday, June 27, 2008
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Was: Kevin Lindsey workshop on tig welding

>     I'm not familiar with a Tig welder. How does it compare with a
>     PUK? 

    A TIG (tungsten inert gas) welder is not a brand, but a process. In
    formal terms: GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding). TIG has many
    industrial uses. Some routine like welding pipe together and some
    celestial like putting the space shuttle together. An electric arc
    forms between the work and the tip of the tungsten. The greater the
    amperage within the circuit, which is created by the work and
    tungsten, the greater the heat. An arc can be 1/4 of a millimeter
    long by 1/16 of millimeter in diameter or 70mm X 15mm. The big
    difference between a PUK and a TIG machine is that in TIG the arc can
    be of a very short duration (spot mode) like with the PUK (pulse
    welding) or continuous. When welding continuously the metal flows
    along the joint by stirring the molten metal with the arc and adding
    metal as necessary. This creates greater heat than the PUK which
    links individual puddles of molten metal together. 

    Some TIG machines have the option of spot (like PUK pulse) welding or
    running a bead of molten metal. Some will only weld continuously.
    Most TIG machine have a amperage range of 1 to 150 amps and some up
    to 700 amps. Believe it or not I have used 300 amps on silver
    projects before! TIG is the favored process for welding aluminum.
    When processing aluminum the machine is set to alternate polarity.
    This alternation is know as AC welding. AC welding is not to be
    confused with a TIG machine in pulse mode and pulse mode is not a TIG
    machine set to spot weld. There is a lot of good information on line
    about TIG welding but unfortunately not as it pertains to jewelry
    making. It's place in jewelry has been a more automated use in the
    manufacturing of seamless tubing. 

    TIG has a couple of closely related processes, MIG (Gas Metal Arc
    Welding) and Plasma Arc Welding. If you want to know more about
    Plasma ask Pat Pruitt, as he has recently begun welding with this
    process. For welding in general and You can go to my
    site and see a few images of TIG used on jewelry and for seamless silversmithing. 

    I will do my best to place more information and pictures on my site
    or here in the tip's from a jeweler's bench library, but there are
    these pesky jobs to complete and get payed for! If my customers
    would come to understand that it would be best if they would just
    send money regularly I could follow my interests as they wander to
    and fro. "That's a joke son, I, I say that's a joke" Weary with toil,
    I haste me to my bed, The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head, To work my mind, when body's
    work's expired: Shakespeare-Sonnet 27 

Best regards, Kevin

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