How to TIG Weld Magnesium: 8 Easy and Inexpensive Steps

How to TIG Weld Magnesium

Magnesium is a lightweight metal that is often used in the manufacturing of cars, airplanes, and buildings. Sometimes people may need to weld magnesium as well. This can be done with less expensive equipment than other metals like steel or aluminum. Here are eight easy and inexpensive steps on how to Tig weld magnesium!

How to TIG Weld Magnesium

Step 1: Get the Right Equipment

The first thing that you need to do is make sure you have the right equipment. Aluminum wire works well for this process, but it tends to be a little more expensive than welding with steel wire. You will also want to buy some gloves and safety glasses.

Step 2: Clean the Material Before Welding

Before you start any type of TIG welding project, always clean your material very carefully. Magnesium has a tendency to catch fire easily because it oxidizes so quickly when exposed to air or water vapor in the atmosphere.

If there are grease stains on your magnesium sheet metal, they should come off before you try using your MIG welder on them. Oil stains may not melt during inert tungsten gas (TIG) welding, but they can create a problem with the finished weld.

Step 3: Prepare Your Work Area

You will need to set up your work area and all of your tools before you begin any type of welding project because it is very difficult to do this while holding onto hot metal.

If you use too much heat for too long when trying to start an arc between the electrode and magnesium sheet metal, there is a chance that shear forces may cause cracks in the surface of your material. It’s important not to let steel wire touch other types of metals during TIG welding, so make sure everything else has been removed from close proximity before starting.

Step 4: Get Ready To TIG Weld Magnesium

Before you can actually start TIG welding magnesium, you will need to use a filler rod around 14 inches long with diameters of 0.030 inches or less.

The tip is usually beveled on one side, but it doesn’t have any sharp edges so that when the electrode starts being used, slag from the weld puddle is able to cover the surface more easily and protect your finished metalwork.

Step 5: Start TIG Welding Magnesium

To start the actual welding process, you need to make sure there is a stable arc between an electrode and magnesium. To do this, hold your tungsten electrode about one-eighth of an inch away from where you want it to be bonded with magnesium sheet metal.

When doing so, remember that if your ground clamp is not touching anything solid, you may notice buzzing sounds on the surface of either material or both instead of having a continuous sizzling noise that signals that current is flowing through the weld puddle at all times. If this happens when starting off, move closer slowly until sparks begin flying before backing up slightly again. –

Step 6: Finish Up Your Welding Project

Once your entire piece of magnesium is welded, you can grind it down and sand off any rough edges that the metal may have before priming it to prepare for paint. You will also want to make sure your torch stays clean during all TIG welding processes but especially when working with a filler rod made of aluminum because this material tends to leave behind very fine particles which contaminate the entire work area if they are not removed completely after completing each pass on your project.

Step 7: Rinse And Repeat

Afterward, rinse everything in the water and dry both pieces of sheet metal thoroughly before using them again or storing them until needed. When storing magnesium, be careful about moisture getting into contact with the surface at all times. This causes rust stains even though magnesium itself is not a ferrous metal that easily corrodes.

Step 8: Continue To Weld Magnesium Whenever Possible

As long as you know how to TIG weld magnesium, there is no reason why you should avoid doing this type of welding project whenever it needs completing. The benefits far outweigh the costs and difficulty of using your MIG welder on something like sheet metal made from this lightweight but strong alloy. If done correctly, finished results are usually very sturdy and functional for whatever purpose they were created for in the first place.

Tips When TIG Welding Magnesium

Tip 1: Keep Your Electrode Clean to See Where You Are Welding

It is important to keep the electrode clean. When you are TIG welding magnesium, a dirty or contaminated electrode will result in poor welds and less than desirable results.

Tip 2: Clean Your Work Area of Debris to Avoid Magnesium Fire

Before starting your project it is important that you make sure there is no debris anywhere on the work area. Suppose an errant piece of wire or metal gets into contact with magnesium scrap. In that case, it can cause a fire that may damage property and harm people nearby who inhale smoke particles from this reaction between metals, causing combustion.

Tip 3: Work in a Well-Ventilated Area to Avoid Inhaling Magnesium Fumes

Once again, when welding magnesium it is important that you work in a well ventilated area. If not careful and if the ventilation system does not clear out fumes created by the burning metal your health could be compromised and so will your eyesight which can lead to blindness due to excessive inhalation of magnesium oxide particles into your respiratory tract after they are released during combustion.

Tips Four: Use an Oxygen-Free Argon Shield When TIG Welding Magnesium

You should use argon gas instead of air when doing any kind of welding with this type of metal since oxygen readily reacts with magnesium at high temperatures causing magnesium oxide. This results in a weakened joint and since oxygen is present during the welding process you really don’t want to take any chances of weakening your joints, do you?

If you have never TIG welded magnesium before, now is your chance with these easy steps to follow. With a little practice and some patience, you too can show off those welding skills that will impress even the harshest critics. Remember to always be safe, have fun, and practice, practice, practice.

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