How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

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SteveHGraham
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How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:08 pm

I have had my TIG for weeks, but I haven't tried using it yet because it's so complicated. I am planning to fire it up today, to lay some practice beads on a piece of scrap steel. I am using a purple 1/16" E3 electrode and 1/6" filler rod, with pure argon. I cleaned the crap out of the steel with a belt grinder and then finished with acetone. I kind of wonder how you're supposed to get a metal part clean enough to weld without completely destroying it.

I finally realized the reason I had two "ground clamps" was that one was an electrode holder for stick. I feel pretty smug about that.

Before I get going, can someone tell me how bad the UV light from TIG is? I've done a bit of MIG without long sleeves, and I've never had a problem, but when I read about TIG on the web, it seems like people are more afraid of it. Am I going to have a problem if I practice for ten or fifteen minutes with just gloves, a helmet, and shorts? I believe the setting will be about 90 amps.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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10KPete
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by 10KPete » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:24 pm

Always cover any part of your body that could possibly be exposed to the arc light. UV will cause skin cancer!! I've been welding for about 55 years and have seen some guys with horrible cancers and a few that died. None recently 'cause the issue is, I thought, pretty well understood nowadays.

BELIEVE IT!!!

Pete
Just tryin'

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SteveHGraham
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:28 pm

I live in Florida, so I guess the TIG would just screw up whatever areas aren't already mutating.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:48 pm

This is an interesting subject. I found some government sites. I learned a few things.

Something like 2% of the UV that reaches the earth from the sun is UV B, which is the most carcinogenic. Our atmosphere kills most of it before it gets here. When you weld, you produce all types of UV, and some of the B makes it through the air to your skin (if you're not covered), so medical people assume welding will raise your risk of cancer. This has not been borne out by studies yet.

I can't find anything that says why they say "some" of the UV B from welding reaches the skin. You would think a foot or two of air would not block much of anything, especially since tanning beds that pump out UV B work fine in the air.

The same sunscreens that protect people from sunburn can be used to keep welding UV off the skin.

I can't find any sites saying TIG is worse than MIG, exactly, but they do say TIGing aluminum is particularly bad.

I hate sunscreen worse than sweaty clothing, so I guess the sunscreen idea is not going to help me.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

hammermill
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by hammermill » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:05 pm

steve tig will fry you! the area where you cover with a tie is really susceptible. use gloves, a long sleeve shirt. may have to order from minnesota hey.

oh and long pants no speddo

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SteveHGraham
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:07 pm

Not even a leather speedo?
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GlennW
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by GlennW » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:20 pm

What you are doing won't be too bad, but when you get into higher amperage, and especially AC it'll definitely turn your throat and the inside of your biceps a nice shade of pink. (Assuming that you will be wearing a shirt with the Speedo)

A long sleeve shirt will help as well a "mud flap" hung from the lower front edge of your helmet to cover your throat.
Glenn

Operating machines is perfectly safe......until you forget how dangerous it really is!

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SteveHGraham
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:27 pm

Well, now I'm worried. I started an arc and fooled with it a bit, and then I noticed light reflecting under the helmet. I shut it off and quit. Hope I'm not going to be up all night squinting. I can't believe I didn't push the helmet down tighter.

I did wear a shirt buttoned up high, though.

On the up side, it's really easy to see what you're doing when you TIG, isn't it? I can barely see anything when I MIG.

I wondered why I made a huge ball of filler instead of a bead, but then I realized I was dragging the rod along with the torch instead of dipping it. When I stopped doing that, I think I managed to deposit some filler nearly correctly.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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GlennW
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by GlennW » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:29 pm

SteveHGraham wrote: but I haven't tried using it yet because it's so complicated.
I've never seen a machine with that many switches and knobs!
Glenn

Operating machines is perfectly safe......until you forget how dangerous it really is!

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GlennW
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by GlennW » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:32 pm

I's kinds six of one and half a dozen of the other...

A white T-shirt will reflect the light up under the helmet, but a dark one will absorb more rays.

I usually end up with a smudge on the inside of the lens from my nose contacting the glass so the helmet shields more light.
Glenn

Operating machines is perfectly safe......until you forget how dangerous it really is!

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SteveHGraham
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:35 pm

Either tonight will suck or it won't. Nothing I can do now but pray. I've never even come close to flashing myself before, so it's pretty annoying.

Apart from the possibility that I irradiated my eyes, this was a great experience. If TIG is really this controllable and easy to see, it will be a giant leap for me. I find MIG very clumsy.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: How Bad Will TIG Fry my Hide?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:37 pm

For anyone else who is wondering what to do with all of the AlphaTIG's knobs, I found a forum post by a guy who lays it all out. He gives a place to start. Without the Internet, this would have been a real puzzle.

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?58 ... -Alpha-Tig
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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