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When you are first learning How to TIG weld, one of the best practice ways to get practice is padding beads.


But why not make it more interesting?

I have seen different versions of this log on instagram for several years so I thought it would be a fun project that would be every bit as valuable as padding beads on flat plate.

Material Type

I am pretty sure this round stock I used is 303 stainless steel.

The reason I say that is because I got it from a machine shop and machine shops really like to use 303 free machining stainless whenever possible.

When you just want some TIG welding practice on steel, it doesnt really matter if the metal is carbon steel, stainless, or some other steel.

For 303 stainless, I would typically use either er308L or er309 filler metal but because this was strictly tig welding practice, I used ER70S6 filler rod ...mainly because its cheap...and because I have a lot of 1/16" ER70s-6 filler rod.

First I built up branch stubs first so that the beads would have a crooked path to follow to look more natural.

Then I just started welding bead after bead ...letting the piece cool every 3 or 4 beads.

Normally, I would try to overlap each bead by half but the goal here was to get tig welding practice and at the same time, make the piece look sorta like a log.

For that reason, I didnt overlap at all.

I tried to weld each bead where the toe of the weld barely touched the previous bead.

After all beads were finished, I cut one end at an angle with a grinder and zip wheel.

And I made a  crisscross log holder out of 11ga hot rolled flat bar.

I am a believer in padding beads for tig welding practice and I usually just grab a piece of flat plate to stack beads.

But I think a project like this log is more fun and can be more interesting for welding students.

They key to this exercise of padding tig beads is to do it with intention and purpose.

that means think about each dab.

how much filler metal are you adding?

how is your arc length?

how is your torch angle?

how is your travel speed?

If you think about it, each welding bead is made up of a series of small decisions and slight course corrections.

I used several different items in the making of this video and I can heartily recommend each one.

First off the CK Worldwide mt200 tig welder has been doing a great job for me since April 2017.


The Furick #8 pro cups really help me see where I am going better. I am in my 60s now and I can use all the help I can get

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