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Thread: Tig Pens

  1. #1
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    Tig Pens

    Anybody use a tig pen? and if so how do you like it? I have a coordination issue in trying to feed the rod forward by hand and wearing a glove does not help, so I was thinking about getting one of the pens. They're cheap enough $30 and there are several to choose from.

  2. #2
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    Re: Tig Pens

    Never used one, but they seem kinda limiting to me though. I mean, depending on the weld, there's sometimes where you want to do more than just push forward filler. I think I use the flexibility of different angles you suddenly need to accommodate and often bend the filler into a curve before hand.

    They remind me of those Gawd Awful "Steady Grip" things. I don't know how anybody could use one of those

    But,,, might fill your need and, for the price why not just try one?

  3. #3
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    Re: Tig Pens

    Another thought...

    Is this really about "coordination" for you? Is there something physically that you're trying to overcome or are you just feeling like you're uncoordinated

    Because I think this is much less about being coordination, especially if you're comparing yourself to YouTube Videos, than it is about Muscle Memory. That "dip & move" that appears to be so effortless for those you might be looking at. And it IS easier because we're not thinking about what we're doing as much as you are. It's kinda automated after a while and you might just need the Hours it takes to develop that muscle memory...

  4. #4
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    Re: Tig Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    Another thought...

    Is this really about "coordination" for you? Is there something physically that you're trying to overcome or are you just feeling like you're uncoordinated

    Because I think this is much less about being coordination, especially if you're comparing yourself to YouTube Videos, than it is about Muscle Memory. That "dip & move" that appears to be so effortless for those you might be looking at. And it IS easier because we're not thinking about what we're doing as much as you are. It's kinda automated after a while and you might just need the Hours it takes to develop that muscle memory...
    It is just coordination and not being able to control/push the rod forward with my glove on. I am knew to this so I concentrate more on my bead and controlling the pedal. Hopefully with time the left hand will start pushing the rod forward, for now I just do the dip & move and when the rod gets to short I stop and extend the rod out further.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tig Pens

    That actually sounds about right, with time you will find a way to do everything at the same time because it will start to feel more "natural" without having to concentrate on it All at once.

    I think of it as being like a Taylor, getting those stiches to be perfectly symmetrical. And non-symmetrical stiches are Not bad stiches, they don't look as nice but Hold just as well and this applies to welding too. Expecting yours too start looking that way, in less than dz's of Hours practice, isn't realistic (and realize that the vids & pics you find are the Very Best that very experienced people are making, Not what they do everytime!)

    We all remember feeling as you do now...

  6. #6
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    Re: Tig Pens

    I have a Tig pen. I'm glad I didn't have to pay the $35 they get for them but it does a nice job on straight welds, filets, laps or just showing off on a piece of material. But when you have to do pipe or something harder to reach the Pen is a pain.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Tig Pens

    I try to put in a couple of hours everyday for the last couple of weeks to get some hood time, mainly working on aluminum right now which to me is much harder than steel. I will lay some nice beads and some nice beads on joints and then I will make a change on the settings to see what happens (usually nothing good LOL ) but at least I know what happens.

  8. #8
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    Re: Tig Pens

    Thanks for the reply. I might get one and try it since they are cheap, but really want to get that hand coordination down.

  9. #9
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    Re: Tig Pens

    Watch some YT videos of Dudes backing feeding open root on pipe. No TIG pens, I can't do it but it looks smooth as hell. I just cool the puddle let the wire freeze and grab it back a few inches's
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  10. #10
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    Re: Tig Pens

    I still suck at tig welding by comparison to the guys here but eventually the rod feeling just becomes involuntary.

    Everyone starts out by moving their hand in with the rod rather than feeding the rod, burns up a bunch of gloves and eventually gets the hang of it. It just takes a great deal of practice.

    If you handicap yourself with the pen, you’ll never improve.
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  12. #11
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    Re: Tig Pens

    I can tig but the lack of practice and mastering the feed is limiting.

  13. #12
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    Re: Tig Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post

    I think of it as being like a Taylor, getting those stiches to be perfectly symmetrical.
    Taylor is a golf club company
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  14. #13
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    Re: Tig Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by kwplot34 View Post
    I try to put in a couple of hours everyday for the last couple of weeks to get some hood time, mainly working on aluminum right now which to me is much harder than steel. I will lay some nice beads and some nice beads on joints and then I will make a change on the settings to see what happens (usually nothing good LOL ) but at least I know what happens.
    Many people find the biggest problem when switching from steel to aluminum is that you have to travel faster and feed wire faster. You may want to try different gloves so that you can find one where you can feel the rod better that also has more grip on the rod. For example, gloves that might work for MIG won't work well for TIG. Then you have to consider the filler wire diameter, with thinner wire being harder to feed and it's far more obvious with softer aluminum than steel. I think it was Jody from Welding Tips and Tricks who said he would keep a glove and piece of wire handy when he was watching TV and would practice feeding wire....run it out, then reverse and run it back in and just doing that over and over. I'm not sure the skill of bringing it back in helps much, but might build on the overall feel of moving the wire the way you want to.

    It can be frustrating, but it's just a matter of spending the time up front and then you won't think about it. I spent 30-45 minutes almost every night for months making coupons just to get my feed hand moving faster and while I'm no expert, it made a huge difference in the results so I'm not afraid if someone else looks at my work.
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  16. #14
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    Re: Tig Pens

    The way that was recommended to me, and what i would recommend to others in turn, is to take your gloves and a piece of filler wire home with you, and watch some television or something on the couch while feeding rod through your hand.
    Do this for a couple of hours, and you will build up muscle memory which is the important thing for feeding wire... its something you really don't want to have to think about consciously.
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