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TIG Fumes

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  • TIG Fumes


    I am starting to TIG weld and have some questions regarding the fumes.

    I am welding in a double garage and the ventilation is not all that good.

    Are there respirators extraction guidelines for this? From what I have read each weldor needs a minimum of 15 foot ceilings and 300 square feet (something like that) of space for stick and MIG, what about TIG?

  • #2

    Good question,

    With stick and mig there is smoke and some particulate matter expelled into the air. With TIG, this is not the case unless you are welding on some galvanized or other coated material which should be removed anyway before welding. You are using Argon for a shielding gas which is heavier than air and blankets the weld zone and displaces any oxygen in that area. I don't think you will be welding enough to create a problem. You would have to have the argon flowing continuously all day to see any ill affects. The dog will feel it before you ever do.
    Do you plan on tig welding all day??



    • #3
      Thanks for the information. I would like to weld all day but work gets in the way of that

      I generally weld a bit followed by excessive grinding and then weld a bit more.

      There are times that I am welding quite a bit but for those instances I usually crack open the garage door a couple of feet. In general my welding times < 1 hour followed by set up, grinding etc.

      I am thinking of installing a fan in my attic access to suck air out. This is fine in the summer but in the winter it would be too cold to do that.

      I just want to be sure that I am not learning this new hobby that I enjoy while slowly killing myself from the fumes.


      • #4
        Weld on Steve.

        You are in good company. That Coke you drink every morning will kill you faster than the little Argon you are using.



        • #5
          Thanks Andy. My Coke in the morning is my morning cup of coffee. How he tells me. Guess that's why I'm getting frustrated and grumpy all day.
          The definition of courage. "It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through to the end no matter what." From "To Kill a Mockingbird"


          • #6
            My morning liquid of choice is Mountain Dew so I'm in the same boat


            • #7
              Getting back on topic (even though I'm brewing the java as I type), I have to disagree slightly with Andy. You can have a fume issue with TIG as well. Since I don't scrub the insides of my steel tubing (maybe I should?), there are oils (drawing and cutting) that will tend to smoke when the tube is heated. Those fumes are of more concern than the shielding gas. I have no good suggestion other than ventilation. My general guideline; breathing smoke, bad.


              • #8
                I agree with you MrX but I thought I said the same thing.

                If you are welding on something that has a coating, it should be removed. I guess I didn't specify oil but as I see it, if it has anything on it, it should be removed. My bad.
                Not only will it smoke less but it will also weld better. If I don't remove the oil from my tubing before I weld it, I get porosity.



                • #9
                  Hey Andy,

                  Hope you didn't think I was bagging on you...

                  Since I've never put together a cage, do you clean out the length of the inside of the tubing before welding? I've only done non-structural stuff for my own personal use and have only cleaned inside as much as I can reach with a rag and my fingers, but I still notice smoke coming out the far side of the tube. Is it recommended to rig up some cord and a rag/brush/solvent and clean the inner surface before welding up something structural like a cage? Sort of figured the oils left on the inside would be a rust inhibitor since I can't paint in there. To be honest with you, I've never thought about this before reading this thread.

                  As I'm about to get a bender to put together a cage for my project car, your thoughts would be timely.

                  Thanks in advance for your advice.



                  • #10
                    I didn't think you were baggin me.. I guess I wasn't specific enough.

                    I do what you do. I take a rag with cleaner and wrap it around a round brush that fits inside the tube and wipe as far as I can reach. I'm guessing I get at least 5" up the tube. I do this to not get any seep through the joint from the back side. I suppose there may be a slight emission of smoke depending on how hot the tube gets further up but I really don't notice it.
                    don't worry about the inside of the tube after welding, there won't ever be enough moisture in there to do any substantial rusting.

                    Have a great 4th.



                    • #11
                      Alot of the smell you get while tigging is Ozone, I have found that by having a small/not to powerful fan behind me the fumes are removed, just make sure you are not blowing across your weld area, and as always, keep your head out of the fume plume...Paul
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