Walking the cup for Tig Welding Stainless Steel pipe
A Pinoy welder struts his mad skills walking the cup while tig welding stainless steel pipe. For those who are wondering the word “Pinoy” means Filipino...like from the Philippines.
In this welding video, the welder is walking the cup and tig welding pipe like a monster.
If the only tig welding you have done has been in a shop with a remote foot pedal amperage control , you may not realize that most pipe welding that is tig welded in the field and on construction jobs is done without high frequency start and with no foot pedal amperage control. The arc is usually begun by resting the ceramic tig cup on the pipe in the place where you want to start and then rocking the torch slowly so that the tungsten electrode comes into contact with the metal. At that point, you rock the torch back quickly so that the tungsten won’t stick and you begin welding.
When you are ready to stop welding, since there is no foot pedal, you just trail out of the weld with a twist of the wrist and snap the electrode away from the weld. Sometimes you have to file and brush the area that lost shielding buy it is not a big deal and xray welds are made every day using this method of tig welding.
How do you control the amperage? You don’t. You figure out the sweet spot either by other welders telling you what works, or by a written welding procedure specification, or by what worked on a welding test.
Walking the cup is a technique favored amongst pipe fitters because the technique of walking the cup allows the welder to travel long distances without stopping and also provides a way to uniformly progress the weld. If you have ever moved a 55 gallon drum across the floor by rolling it sideways back and forth a little at a time, then you have an idea of how to walk the cup.
Cup walking is good to learn but my advice is don’t get hung up on it.
Because there are plenty of times when it just wont work. Like for instance what if the weld done in this welding video had another pipe running next to it and under it with only inches of space in between. In cases like this, walking the cup is not the answer. This is when you have to free hand by propping your knuckles on the pipe and just moving the electrode back and forth evenly by eye. With a little practice, you can get just as good without walking the cup and then you wont be limited to only one welding technique.
Here is quick tig welding pipe tip…
Cut the thumbs out of a pair of old heavy duty stick welding gloves and slip them over the middle finger of your torch glove.You may need to use some aluminum tape to keep them in place.
Then lightly rest the back of your knuckle on the pipe with just enough pressure to keep your hand steady. You should then be able to slide your hand along the pipe and make a pretty decent length of weld before having to stop welding for a reposition. You will really like this for small pipe like 2 inch and under , because it is a much more flexible tig welding technique than walking the cup.