It’s no secret that an excellent welding outcome requires adequate preparation in the parts you’re welding. Tungsten grinder is often used in TIG welding. TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas that uses electricity to melt the bonding material or base metal.
Properly ground tungsten and a poorly-done one will make a massive difference with the results. Some utilize stone grinders to sharpen their tools. Some even have Instagram-worthy categories, ok weld, and a good one depending on the results. It’s a good idea to use tungsten grinders by TechSouth that will give you a smoother finish. However, the stone tools will often result in contamination and a poor grind of the tungsten right off the wheel.
Here are some steps to sharpen tungsten which is a critical part of any TIG welding setup.
The electrode of tungsten is the one that’s being transmitted to the metal from the welder. If everything were not set up accordingly, you wouldn’t get a strong and clean weld in the first place. One of the best things you can do while performing a welding arc is to sharpen the electrode before doing the job. Newbies in the industry may find this process a bit confusing.
So, how do you make the tungsten’s tips sharp in the first place? The answer is in the following simple steps:
- Cut off the contamination source that touches the electrode and ensure it’s situated in the weld pool.
- Use a dedicated sander or tungsten-only grinder that can be found on many websites online
- Always do the grinding parallel to the rod and never across this.
- The angle at where you should hold the electrode against the grinder wheel should be 22.5 degrees/
- Do the tapering for about 2/3 of the diameter and leave a flat spot if you want to achieve the best arc
- Wipe everything clean with the help of acetone
Choosing a Sharpening Tool
It’s best to start selecting tools that you’ll need to grind the electrode. Some of the specialized ones are:
- Disc or belt sanders
- Angle grinders
- Bench grinders
- Chemical sharpeners for electrodes
Many of them have their pros and cons. Regardless of the tools you choose, you need to follow the steps listed in the first part of this article to ensure a fresh and clean point on the electrode.
Tools that You Need for the Job
You may ask three experienced welders about their best recommendation for sharpening the electrodes before performing TIG welding. However, you’ll most likely get advice about four or five tools to use. You can read more about this kind of welding on this page here.
The truth is, there are simply a lot of them that you can use to sharpen the electrodes, and each of them has its pros and cons. These are not similar to the way you sharpen woodworking tools or knives. The entire business is done only by specific power tools, and there are no other hand mechanism substitutes.
Some companies are dedicated to making sharpeners and power grinders. These are the ideal tools perfect for the job you’re aiming for every single time. Most of them don’t work or anything other than the grinding electrodes, so they don’t have contaminants, and the wheel stays clean most of the time.
The tools are usually small to keep them beside the welding bench. This way, you’ll have access to the grinders and sharpeners every time you need them. They are very good at making the right angles, and you’ll be able to do everything in a snap.
Know that not all tungsten sharpeners were created equal. They are usually available in two varieties: the ones that are considered the high-dollar and expensive industrial brands and the inexpensive hand-held models. They don’t usually have any adjustments with the more affordable ones, and the grinding process is done at a fixed angle.
On the other hand, there are industrial-grade sharpeners that are more expensive. They are more flexible, angular, and offer more control. You may want to use them if you’re someone who needs to produce and crack out a lot of products and TIG welds every single day. You may find them ideal so you wouldn’t have to walk to another workbench to sharpen the electrodes.
An expert welder may use some of the sharpeners just like an artist would with a pencil. Whenever they notice that the tips are getting dull, they will poke the electrode to make it pointed and refresh everything again. This is an easier and quicker process, and it’s a hassle-free experience for most.
Others have attachments that are found in rotary tools whenever they want to sharpen their electrodes. Generally, they are the more affordable options compared to the dedicated tungsten sharpeners but are still pricier than most tools. It’s pretty common to use a rotary tool with the attachments and if you don’t have one, better buy a dedicated sharpener to save more.
The slots contained in the sharpeners may be ideal for holes with sizes of 3/32 and 1/16 tungsten rods. It’s a must to align them at a correct angle so you can just push a button, pop it in, and grind the ends away. The electrodes need to be rotated back and forth using your hands so you can avoid flattened spots.
About a Bench Grinder
These grinders are one of the usual tools used to sharpen an electrode. See more posts about electrodes in this website: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/explainer-what-is-an-electrode. If you’re not new in the welding industry, there’s a considerable chance that you’ve already used one of these. However, many find the distance and the contamination to be disadvantages.
Since the grinders are often used for almost everything, there’s a big chance of contamination by rust, aluminum, and steel bits. The particles will be transmitted to the tip of the electrode if you’re not cleaning the tool often. These additional contaminants and gunk will weaken the weld if you’re not careful, so it’s better to have a dedicated one for tungsten.