pictures are hereThanks to acrobat ants, Wayne Cook, Keith Marshall, bobbym, Boris Mohar, Brian Hill, RDF and others for encouraging me to overcome my TIG frustrations and giving suggestions. Today I made my first TIG butt weld that I am not as embarrassed to show..
I welded 1/8" steel plate and used 1/4" steel plate as a mini welding table. I first ground them a little bit to make a little groove on one end. I laid a piece of filler rod in the groove. I set the tig welder to 138 amps. I ground the electrode to not have a sharp point, it was ground like a pencil that had its very end filed off. I also made sure that the rod barely sticks out of the cup.
Importantly, I made sure that I was comfortable and practiced my hand movement without current.
I simply went with the torch a little above the filler rod laid down.
The weld looks relatively uniform. You can see pictures of the destructive bend test performed on a little cutout. It bent but did not break.
One defect that is apparent to me is a little groove on one side. Not sure why it happened. Had this piece been repeatedly stressed, it would probably experience particularly acute stresses in that groove.
As much as I liked stick welding, TIG welding clearly is superior to it in terms of neatness, being able to weld small stuff (like a nut to a steel plate), and controllability.
(Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge)