Tungsten welding is important in several industries. The process offers more control over other welding techniques. Known as Tungsten-Inert Gas (TIG) Welding, it uses the special properties of the metal along with a shielding of inert gas such as argon. Among the elements, tungsten has the highest melting point. Along with its above-average hardness, this metal becomes ideal for high-temperature usage.
TIG welding is useful in many fields, such as the aerospace and bicycle industries. The technique is also used to make the first welds for different kinds of pipes. Repairing dies and tools can also be done by the skilled wielding of tungsten electrodes.
To make sure that the points are sharp and free from contaminants (which may compromise the weld), the tips have to be ground or sharpened. One may use a sharpener instead of a grinder, since both basically do the same jobs. However, a grinder is more important and versatile than a basic sharpener.
Specialized tungsten grinders are needed — regular bench grinders won’t be able to do the job well. The latter usually have contaminants that may compromise the purity of the electrode. They may also not be powerful enough since tungsten is much harder than anything regular grinders are meant to handle.
The Jetline tungsten grinder units – TEG-1A and TEG-1E
There are a slew of portable grinders in the market, but most of them cannot replace the larger bench units for anything above hobby and small-business use. Usually, the smaller grinding wheels of portable hand-held units produce inconsistent grinding results the wheels may produce either a convex point or one that has spiralling grind-marks.
Jetline remedies this by creating its TEG-1A and TEG-1E products. These Jetline tungsten grinder units are meant to still be portable while providing precise grinding results. The grinder allows the user to pivot the electrode holder from two points. This allows the tungsten to be ground at different locations on the wheel. At the top (12 o’clock) position, the grinder will produce longitudinal arks. Such marks are more suitable for initiating the arc in welding. It also helps avoid arc wandering in the TIG welding process.
When grinding at the 9 o’clock position (horizontal, closest to the user) the grinder can grind as short as half an inch. In this position, the grinder will impart longitudinal marks on the tungsten.
The Jetline tungsten grinder has a powerful motor backed by a durable belt-and-pulley mechanism. The motor is fully adjustable, allowing the user to change the belt tension. It is located to the pedestal’s rear. The unit also comes with two grinding wheels, one coarse and one fine. The former is used for preliminary grinds or for roughing the electrode. The fine wheel is meant for finishing the grind.
The Jetline tungsten sharpener also has an electrode holder assembly that holds and rotates the tip. This assembly is mounted to a yoke on the device, which can then be used to adjust the grinding angle.
Each unit of the Jetline tungsten grinder comes with two collets as standard. There is one with a 1/16” diameter, as well as one with a .094” diameter. There are additional collets available as add-ons to the device.
Each unit Jetline produces has been designed to be as maintenance-free as possible. The robust design allows for trouble-free operation. Periodical checks can be made just to ensure that the belt tension needs adjustment. The machine can keep grinding a lot of electrodes and still work flawlessly. The Jetline tungsten grinder manual is also explicit about the durability and preferred working conditions for the device. Spare parts are denoted as either Level 1 or Level 2. Those who do not exceed 200 hours of use per year are advised to have a replacement on hand only for Level 1 piece. Those who use more than 200 hours a year are advised to have an additional replacement belt, rough wheel, and finish wheel.
Another interesting feature on the Jetline tungsten grinder is the dust collection. Some tungsten electrodes are made with thorium mixed in. Thorium is slightly radioactive, and prolonged exposure to its dust can cause health concerns. The dust collection feature in the Jetline tungsten grinder is meant to prevent worker inhalation of the grinding by-product of thoriated tungsten.