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I was thinking of buying a TIG welder for the shop. I have mig welded for years (I know, a monkey can mig weld) but I wanna try my hand at TIG welding. I would buy an AC/DC machine so I can do aluminum. My question is, do I pay for some classes or just invest in lots of rod and just practice practice? I know the schools will teach me about metalurgy and the like but do I need that? Right now we weld mostly exhaust and general fabrication for everything from lawn mower decks to pig roasters. I just know if I can "lay a nice stack of dimes" I could expand to more "fun" projects. What do ya think?
 

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i didn't go to school, just picked it up on the job. i never got into the metallurgy until my current job. it didn't make me a better welder, just made me aware of what filler to use on which grades of material, and that info is all over the internet if you need it. i'd just buy a machine and start practicing. if you know what a puddle is supposed to look like, you should be fine. practice on thicker material first with no gaps in your fitup and you'll be fine. it's not hard, just takes time under the hood to master.
 

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Go to school. I am self taught mig and knew nothing of tig went to school for 4 months tig only best money I ever spent. My school was geared toward pipe but the instructor was nice enough he said its your dollar i'll teach you what ever you want. mostly covered fundamentals nothing like real world as far as fabrication. weldingtipsandtricks.com and youtube were also a big help. go to school and atleast get help understanding the basics it will make the rest come easier to you.
 

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I am self taught. I had never laid down a tig weld before buying a tig, and I built the whole turbo system on my car... The best way to learn??? YouTube videos! There are a lot of YouTube videos from behind the helmet and they give you great insight on how to lay a bead!
 

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I just bought a decent tig machine and taught myself in about a day, with watching a bunch of videos and effin up some stuff. Still need a ton of practice but i can run a bead on stainless, aluminum and mild. I just need a ton more practice to get more comfortable. BTW i bought a lincoln tig 185. Get the little lincoln slide rule guide!!!!
 
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