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Tig welder vs PUK


Was: Kevin Lindsey workshop on tig welding

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

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 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 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


Hi Kevin, I work with a tig welder on some projects in steel, and big
scale, I was wondering how to use my torch for jewelry but is too
big, is there any modification you make to the Tig torch, regarding
the ceramic cilinder or the tungsten needle, or you work with some
kind of special torch for jewelry?

Thanks in advance,