Different kinds of TIG welding supplies and equipment available. They often include a hand or foot pedal to control the heat. They come in both AC and DC current. Both water and air cooled torches are available. Each type of machine carries different amperage ratings and run on single or three-phase power. Consult the appropriate guides/manuals for the type of machine and torch to use.
For TIG welding you will need electrical power, shielding gas, and a water inlet and outlet for cooling. Personal protective gear, especially gloves, shields and eyeglasses, should be worn to protect the weldor.
Argon gas is supplied in steel cylinders similar to oxygen/acetylene cylinders. Use a two-stage regulator for better gas flow control. (The rate of flow required depends on the kind and thickness of the metal to be welded.)
Tremendous heat from the arc and high electric current may make water-cooling necessary. The cooling water and the TIG torch must kept be clean and well maintained to prevent damage to the equipment. In some cases filtered water, instead of tap water, may be required.
TIG welding machines are usually rated as light, industrial or heavy duty. They run on both AC and DC current. Most machines are capable of TIG and Stick welding and they work on single or 3-phase power and have varied amp settings. When purchasing a TIG welding machine package all you need is a bottle of shielding gas to get started.
Most light duty packages feature a TIG output adjustment with the remote foot or fingertip control; an AC output for superior aluminum welding; a DC output for mild and stainless steel Cost range for a light duty package runs $1200 to $2400.
Industrial duty packages include a cart for the water cooler; micro-start technology for state-of-the-art low amperage starting; and water-cooled torch connections. Most outfits include stick-welding capabilities with E6010 and E7018 electrodes. Some machines have advanced control panels that integrate TIG “pulsing” and trigger controls into the machine. Most industrial duty machines have an interior automatic cooling fan. These packages usually range in cost from $2000 to $5000.
Optional or separate TIG supplies can include A) an undercarriage for the machine itself. It has a single gas cylinder platform bracket with a chain to accommodate 6 to 9 inch diameter gas cylinders. B) Hand amperage controls that fasten to the TIG torch for convenient thumb control. C) A water solenoid kit that enables use of tap water for an economical water-cooled system. C) Various air and water-cooled TIG torches are available.
In addition, there are TIG ovens which are designed to store a combination of welding consumables. These mixed-use ovens are capable of maintaining dryness in filler wire, electrodes and flux-cored wire.