GTA welding- Can a tungsten be bent?

I've been doing a bunch of tig welds on OS and HS steel using a standard tig torch with a number 7 cup. The torch is a solid back, no way to use a long tungsten.

These welds are in tight spots which preclude getting a good torch angle. Can a 2% Lanthanated tungsten be bent slightly at the tip to direct your arc force downwards while holding the torch cup in a horizontal position?

What I've been doing is adding a little more amperage (170 amps) so my puddle washes around to smooth out the toes. This still doesn't look as nice, and it's hard to control the puddle very well as the steel heats up like that.

Anyone make specialty tig torches for tight spots? I don't just mean the clear pyrex cups, but a real short gas lens and cup that will take

1/16th or 1/8th inch diameter tungstens?

Imagine a flat 5/8 inch fillet weld done with only one inch of clearance above the part being welded. That's what I've been doing most of this week.

Thank You!!

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The tungsten that I used would break before bending.

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It does bend hot, though.


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It may bend when it's hot, just do it fast.


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Steve B

Isn't this what they created the compact flex head torches for?

Tungsten is pretty brittle stuff, I can't see any successful bending unless you can do it with the Tungsten very hot. If you don't need a lot of angle you might be able to get away with using an oversized tungsten and grinding it asymmetric to give you a point off center, i.e. 1/4" tungsten with the point ground to the edge 1/8" off center.

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Pete C.

I have not tried this, but think you could use two pieces of tungsten and weld them together. Perhaps using a thicker tungsten in the torch handle and welding a bit of a somewhat smaller diameter length of tungsten to it at the angle you want.

Or make a fixture that would hold a tungsten with some bending force on it. And then heat it where you want it to bend. I can't see bending it cold working.

Good luck.


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