TIG dont teach anything useful , fast . Fullfillment comes from learning a easy way and seeing all the use it can be put to .
If you like to create in metal , stick weld first for low cost , then MIG . MIG is low cost and can create faster than any other . Its so fast and productive , they call it a "production" welding method . TIG is not , nor is gas welding .
Like TIG on Aluminum . Its difficult to learn for the quickness required in safeing the Tungsten as you apply filler rod . Thats why you always see good welds are little separate beads . The weldor quickly retracts the torch , or if he was slow , you hear him curse and stop welding and go to the grinder to clean his Tungsten .
91% Tun 9% Zinc soldering is a big surprize , it works ! You dont have the problem of cleaning off the Al oxide , just scratch the solder in with a brush and apply a bit more filler rod . Its strong .
But aluminum welding is not a cost effective factory method of making stuff . It has too many "competitors" that beat it out .
Just a last thought on MIG ... CO2 will provide perfect wleds and set the wire speed higher than needed , then back it down slower til you are not pushed out , as you weld . This prevents a large gap , and lost heat . The wire is so small , it has trouble delivering amps to the work piece , so you must use the largest wire and the fastest speed you can and move fast to get penetration . Fast , for if you weld slow , the heat WILL build , but theres a thick layer of wire built up , so you can't improve the penetration ! Its too late . But it helps to preheat thicker MIG work pieces . Theres many things they wont experiment with , today . Why cant i cut with MIG ? Preheat with arc , apply MIG ( to thin work only ) , and quickly make cuts , but the edge will not be sharp as Plasma or others
Imagination works ! Tiny copper washers , swedged around a 0.030 plug gage . Stack them in your torch . Beats tossing tips , for you can quickly renew the washers as often as you like .
Another tip . Dont save old MIG wire , even tiny corrosion will make trouble . Make a box charged with a bit of CO2 to keep out the air . CO2 is far heavier than air . And if you cover the work well , you can turn down the gas to almost nothing . 2 psi thru a long plastic line !
Dont buy a MIG with a gas solenoid , its not needed .
And a copper block behind the thin work will let you start up without burning holes , also used for spot welding , but your box must have a electronic heat control , not steps .
I get some PC power supplies next week , ill mod them to power MIG welder . They are 100% . 150 amps . 60 minutes welding in each hour . The 5 vdc winding is usually center tapped and they use only one side . Ill full wave rectify the whole winding and get 12vdc at same amps ( 35 amps each supply ) PC power supplies can be safely series'd or paralleled to make any combination you like .