After trying to talk over the TIG welder while the machine is running, this how-to video begins with an explanation of why the new generation of TIG welders are so noisy. Kevin explains that manufacturers are now putting larger fans into the welders to try to increase duty cycle (the amount of time the welder will run without overheating).

Kevin was playing with welding aluminum with Everlast’s POWERTIG 255EXT and some of the AC settings on this new TIG welder, including the welder’s four wavefronts, or waveforms. It has

* Sine wave – what the old transformer TIG machines use
* Soft square wave – which is a little less powerful and less penetration than the advanced square wave and has a little wider bead than the sine wave
* Advanced square wave – which has a lot more power and penetration
* Triangular wave – which is for thinner aluminum, vertical or overhead joints and any time you want to hit the work and have the puddle freeze quickly

Kevin was playing with the wavefronts to see how they work and why. He recommends you listen to the difference of the sound of each waveform. He made all of his setting the same, changing only the waveform. Amperage is set at 125 amps, AC frequency at 110, and pulse is off.

First he welds using the sine wave, then soft square, then advanced square, and finally triangular wave.

Afterward the test, the sine wave bead looked a little cold, with lots of evidence of cleaning. The soft square bead is a little flatter. The advanced square bead is much wider – you can see there was a lot more power. Finally, the triangular wave bead shows a quick, sharp bead from going on and off quickly. He likes that triangular wave.

Kevin says it’s interesting to see how the wavefronts give you more options as you learn to use them, and playing with them is the way to do that.