Basuc TIG question: Which hand???
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  1. #1
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    Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    I've watched several videos -- some good, some weak, some not worth the effort -- but no one explains "Which hand" for torch or filler rod.

    Some seem to hold the torch in their "strong" hand but others seem to use it to hold the rod.

    Is there a consensus or is it whatever works best for the welder in question?

    I'm thinking rod in strong hand since it needs the finer movement and I can't remember which hand I used last time I did oxy/act brazing I thought I'd ask here.

  2. #2
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    I go against the norm, mainly for the reason you mentioned. It helps that my left non-dominant hand has good dexterity and control from playing a musical instrument for 27 years.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    i've seen people recommend to hold the torch in the hand you write with.
    torch requires far finer control to keep that very short arc length. a puddle is usually big enough to have a choice of locations to feed into, plus you can move the torch out of the way if need be (if your not already moving it to allow for bead height to grow).
    however it never hurts to practice the other way around. sometime you will need to do it with your poor hand.

  4. #4
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    I'm predominantly left handed, and i still jump back and forth between torch right or torch left. Depends on the setup and what feels comfortable. Maybe i'm more ambidextrous than some. Either hand feels fine holding the torch. But i mostly hold torch in right hand.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    Both. Same with mig, same with electrode.Same with writing altho the right is a bit better there. Makes no difference. Thanks to having my right arm in a cast for six weeks. TWICE !
    TIG I generally torch left and feed with my right when possible.

  6. #6
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    I think most people use the torch in their "strong" hand (R for most of us) but I suspect the pros are just as good with either hand, since sometimes there's no way to do something the conventional way. So probably best to learn to use either hand...while balancing filler and a rum-and-coke in the other hand while holding a hand-mirror in your teeth so you can see/weld backside of a pipe in a blind hole. Have fun!

  7. #7
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    I think most people use the torch in their "strong" hand (R for most of us) but I suspect the pros are just as good with either hand, since sometimes there's no way to do something the conventional way. So probably best to learn to use either hand...while balancing filler and a rum-and-coke in the other hand while holding a hand-mirror in your teeth so you can see/weld backside of a pipe in a blind hole. Have fun!
    Mirrors are tough ! Ever tried ? Not bad with a so called drag rod like a 7014 in a corner but man........Miggin an exhaust in place is a byatch.

  8. #8
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    Both, and sometimes I use one hand for both torch and filler and the other to hold a part. Its a trick.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    Both. Same with mig, same with electrode...
    Same here. tig/mig/stick/plasma either hand..
    but I'm all screwed up anyway..

    fork/spoon / left hand
    throw a baseball/left hand... bat righty..
    pen / pencil- left...
    wanking- either
    play drums -righty
    bass guitar-righty
    rifle-right
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  10. #10
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Same here. tig/mig/stick/plasma either hand..
    but I'm all screwed up anyway..

    fork/spoon / left hand
    throw a baseball/left hand... bat righty..
    pen / pencil- left...
    wanking- either
    play drums -righty
    bass guitar-righty
    rifle-right
    It's actually a good thing and I force my understudies to practice both ways. Ironically most tig or braze with the torch in the so-called off hand so they can feed-dab with more control with the scribbling hand.

  11. #11
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    Thanks for the replies -- they confirmed what I was thinking.

    But it seems a really basic thing that is overlooked in the "basic" videos

  12. #12
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    I'm right handed and I tend to prefer holding the torch in my left hand. My right (dominant) hand is more "twitchy", so it being in control of the filler rod seems to be more of a natural fit for TIG welding. I also play the drums, where my right hand is doing the constant cymbal hitting to the rhythm, remarkably akin to a dab-dab-dab technique...I don't know...works for me!
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  13. #13
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    I'm right handed, hold tig torch in right hand.

    Works for me, but I don't think it matters really.

    Just use what ever is comfortable, and also train the other hand because it will be needed on occasion.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    you got it backwards... the torch has the finer movements....

    i use my right hand to hold the torch, which is my writing hand.

    there is no "certain way" to do this, whatever feels good to you.

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  15. #15
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    The torch does require finer movements, and I prefer the torch in my right hand, but regularly switch when I need the torch to come in from an angle on the left side. The wire can always have a bent end to deal with obstructions.

  16. #16
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    You should learn to use both hands when Tig welding. If you ever have to take a 6-G pipe test.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    I never switch hands on a 6G test. I can somewhat weld left handed in a pinch, but I would never want to trust it on a test.

    I had to mirror weld a 2 inch pipe weld once, talk about a mess! Many, many tungstens were fouled.

  18. #18
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyTIG View Post
    I never switch hands on a 6G test. I can somewhat weld left handed in a pinch, but I would never want to trust it on a test.

    I had to mirror weld a 2 inch pipe weld once, talk about a mess! Many, many tungstens were fouled.
    Same with me. I can weld circles with my right hand. Up, down, left, right. In a pinch I weld lefty. I write letters and numbers in tig and am most comfortable doing so as a righty.

    I can't rotary table weld as a lefty though to save my soul.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyTIG View Post
    I never switch hands on a 6G test. I can somewhat weld left handed in a pinch, but I would never want to trust it on a test.
    Tim when you do a 6-G pipe test, do you walk the cup? If my grandson gets on with the Navy, they don’t allow their welders to walk the cup!
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  20. #20
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    Re: Basuc TIG question: Which hand???

    I finger the root on the bottom, then walk after that. That 2 inch gets really hot.

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