Identifying TIG rods
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  1. #1

    Identifying TIG rods

    Guys, I was just given a couple of lots of welding rods and TIG rods. Welding rods are marked, TIG are not. The TIG rods are copper coated and I believe them to be steel, as they are magnetic. I have gone over a couple of them with a jewels loupe, and could not find any markings.


    Is there any good way to ID the alloy, or should I just use them as if they were "known" mild steel?

  2. #2
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    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    they should have a marking on one end of the rod, like this. If they don't I wouldn't use them. They could be RG45 rod for gas welding, and would mess up your TIG welding.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    Quote Originally Posted by tom fleming View Post

    Is there any good way to ID the alloy, or should I just use them as if they were "known" mild steel?
    Light one up... see what it does.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    Marketing bullcrap is a wonderful science. You can get a degree in Marketing.
    Thankfully Harris is still honest.

    Mild steel is mild steel, and it don't much care if a TIG torch melts it or an O/A torch melts it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    What are you planning on welding with them?

    I guess you could do a spark test ... or find somebody with a PMI gun. That had one at the salvage yard I sold my monel wire to.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    TIG rods are dirt cheap to start off with.

    If they’re magnetic, likely they’re an ER70S-2, -3 or -6, only difference is the amount of silicon and how smoothly it flows.

    I’d just use them for practice or non-critical welds and see how it works.

    I’ve TIG’d with coat hanger (just as an experiment) and even that works. I wouldn’t trust the weld, but it melts and flows.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  7. #7
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    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    they should have a marking on one end of the rod, like this. If they don't I wouldn't use them. They could be RG45 rod for gas welding, and would mess up your TIG welding.

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    Bingo!

    Be super careful. An experienced tigger would see the differences. But it is worth wrecking stuff?
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  8. #8
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    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    And to think in just 25 years the welding supply industry has gone from little stickers on each rod to stamping rods so "experienced Tiggers" know which end to hold and which end to melt.

    Gee, even Horrible Freight and Neverlast along with some other bunch of salesmen are now Welding Suppliers.

    WHERE HAS MY TRADE DISAPPEARED TO?

  9. #9

    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    Thanks guys. I have been burning rod and wire for a long time in my hobby and on the side doing light fabrication. I have not done any TIG. Now, I am taking the "plunge", and have been gathering supplies and components. These TIG rods are 1/8", copper coated, magnetic, and absolutely ZERO markings. with that said, I will probably burn them as I practice and teach myself TIG. If anything, they won't be used for important or structural type welds. I really appreciate the comments and feedback. I have a bit of brazing and gas welding (yes, have used coat hangers as well in a pinch), so I am hoping that TIG is similar with a lot more finesse. Again, thanks for all the feedback.

  10. #10
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    Re: Identifying TIG rods

    Quote Originally Posted by tom fleming View Post
    Thanks guys. I have been burning rod and wire for a long time in my hobby and on the side doing light fabrication. I have not done any TIG. Now, I am taking the "plunge", and have been gathering supplies and components. These TIG rods are 1/8", copper coated, magnetic, and absolutely ZERO markings. with that said, I will probably burn them as I practice and teach myself TIG. If anything, they won't be used for important or structural type welds. I really appreciate the comments and feedback. I have a bit of brazing and gas welding (yes, have used coat hangers as well in a pinch), so I am hoping that TIG is similar with a lot more finesse. Again, thanks for all the feedback.
    From a total hobbiest: Started with O/A (hated it), moved to MIG (got the hang of it pretty quick), picked up stick (great for gluing tractors back togeter)... Then found TIG and fell in love with welding all over again!
    Be wary of The Numbers: Figures don't lie,. but liars can figure.
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    2008 Lincoln 140 GMAW&FCAW
    2012 HF 165 'toy' GTAW&SMAW
    1970's Cobbled together O/A

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