If you have been looking for the best free resource ever on how to tig weld aluminum for beginners, you just found it. Welcome!
I also have a premium content site called welderskills.com where experienced welders create videos on more advanced techniques for tig welding aluminum.
Why not take a free test drive and see for yourself?
The first thing you need for tig welding aluminum is an AC/DC tig welding machine.
You will be using the AC setting for tig welding aluminum.
You will also need a cylinder of argon shielding gas. MIG gas wont work....you need Pure argon.
TIG welders have become more affordable than ever but not all companies have good customer support.
That is why I currently only sell 2 brands of TIG welding machines on my store at weldmonger.com
The 2 machines are shown below and I have lots of videos showing exactly how to TIG weld aluminum for beginners using both of these machines.
Even If you already have a tig welding machine, the videos I have done using both of these welders should still be helpful because a lot of tig welders on the market today have similar settings and knobs.
Tungsten electrodes - Tungsten is used as the electrode in TIG welding and comes in a variety of sizes and types. For tig welding aluminum, I recommend a 3/32" 2% lanthanated tungsten electrode.( a 3/32" 2% lanthanated is a good all around tungsten for both steels and aluminum)
TIG Welding machine - You need an AC DC tig welder with high frequency start capability. High frequency allows you to start the arc without touching the metal with the tungsten.
Shielding gas - TIG welding requires a shielding gas to protect the weld from contamination. For welding aluminum, you'll want to use pure argon gas.
Filler rod - Filler rod is used to add material to the weld. For welding aluminum, you'll want to use a filler rod that is compatible with the grade of aluminum you're welding. there is a great chart for selecting aluminum filler rod at alcotec
Welding gloves - TIG welding aluminum makes a lot of heat, so you'll need a good pair of TIG gloves that can protect your hands. But you also need the gloves to be both comfortable and durable. I had many samples sent to me and picked the best ones to put my logo on and sell at weldmonger.com
Welding helmet - I suggest an auto dark welding helmet for tig welding aluminum. TIG welding uses both hands and it really helps to be able to see exactly where your tungsten tip and filler metal are before starting the arc. But dont buy the cheapest thing you can find. A really good quality autodark welding helmet that is also affordable is on my store right here.
Wire brush - A clean stainless wire brush can be used to clean the aluminum prior to welding and also to remove soot when you accidentally crap up your tungsten and get a puff of black soot on the weld.
Ground clamp - most tig welders come with a ground clamp
Welding table - A welding table is helpful to provide a flat, stable surface to work on and to hold the workpiece in place during welding.
I started off with table I made myself but then I added portable stronghand welding tables and even a build pro precision table.
You can even use saw horses with a piece of metal on top in a pinch but eventually, you will want a nice welding table.
TIG welding torch - One of the big problems with affordable tig welders is some of the come with a pretty crappy tig torch. But both the PrimeWeld TIG 225x and the CK worldwide mt200 come with a really nice CK 17 air cooled tig torch with superflex cables. Once you use a tig torch with the superflex cables, its hard to go back to those more stiff cables.
Dont buy a tig welder that comes with a crappy torch.
Grinder - You need a grinder to cut and sharpen your tungsten. Tungsten comes in 7 inch long pieces and thats fine for practicing or welding out in open spaces. But eventually you will want to use a short or medium back cap and cut your tungsten so that you can reach tighter areas.
You can use either an angle grinder with a hard grinding wheel, or a bench grinder with an aluminum oxide wheel to cut and sharpen tungsten. There are special tungsten grinders available with diamond wheels and they are really nice to have but not necessary,,,especially for beginners. ...and since this page is all about how to tig weld aluminum for beginners, a simple grinder will work for cutting your tungsten and putting a blunt taper on the tip for tig welding aluminum