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to point or not to point

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  • to point or not to point

    Now that I have my TIG setup working and Ive messed about a bit I have a question about pointing the electrode. It seems that all texts say the electrode should be pointed. However, they never explain exactly why. So, I did point it checmically and found that the longer and thinner the point the wider the arc. I also tryed not pointing which gave a very narrow arc. I liked this one the best. In fact I could throttle back a bit using a blunt electrode (face 90 degrees to the edge). What I experienced is consistant w/ what the Miller TIG handbook says about pointing. So, why exactly do you need to point the electrode? Not doing so works well. The TIG book says pointing is handy for welding thin sections. However couldnt you get the same result by welding at a lower amperage?

  • #2
    i have been taught that the longer the taper on the tungston electrode the less likely the arc is to jump off the sides to the work. This is useful in very thin fillet welds. I was also using a 1/8 ZURTUNG on 1/2 aluminum on a Thermalarc 300 and found that a more blunt end would keep its shape better. (this was at 275 amps due to the size of the piece i was working on and the tungston held up fine)
    hope this helps


    • #3
      Zirtung is designed strictly for balled end welding on AC. Placing a flat on the end of the tapered electrode is standard practice for inverter machines. My experience with standard squarewave machines is a pointed electrode, thortung or lanthtung, works best on DC and a balled end Zirtung is best for AC.


      • #4
        The steeper the taper the higher the amperage the electrode will handle within its capacity range. I use a 3/32" electrode with a 35 degree taper and a .030" flat on 2% lanthanted tungsten alloy for inverter welding on DC and AC. I can run up to 300 amps with a 75%helium/25%argon shielding gas on the Dynasty 300 welding up to 1" aluminum on AC with this combination.


        • #5

          Like Hawk says, Pointing will somewhat depend on the type of machine you have. I don't recall your other posts so you may have said what type unit you purchased...but anycase, point on DC, Blunt end on AC and let it ball on it's own. If the inverter is your unit, point for all but just put a small blunt end (just a touch) for AC.

          Thoriated for DC and Pure or Zirconiated for AC on standard square wave welders and Ceriated or Lanthanated for Inverters.
          Your taper really doesn't need to be more than 2 1/2 or 3 times the tungsten thickness.

          Good luck