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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Tungsten sharpening

    Hi guys, I'm on the site alot reading , but never posted much. I've been around drag racing for many years now and also race. I do some tig welding in my home shop, have a dedicated grinding wheel for my tungstens and sharpen them vertical to the wheel. I've been in alot of chassis shops (some well known) and see the tungstens held horizontal to the belt sander. The same belt sander they use to debur, remove chrome moly, mildsteel etc. and their welds come out beautiful. Here's the question, what's the right way and does it really matter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Queens NY


    I'm a little curious too, i have alays sharpened mine along the length with a belt sander or diamond wheel. recently i started a TIG class and the instructor sharpens his on a grinding wheel that is not dedicated, he uses a slight angle from parallel and has clear spirals. Another welder who is a certified AC welder with over 40 years of experience showed my friend the same technique and makes his point slightly convex. They both use a very long taper. I have always gone by the Miller/diamond ground reccomendations. I wonder if there is any advantage to each method.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    La Porte, Tx.


    We've always used a bench grinder to sharpen the tungsten, personally I point my tungsten up into the wheel, resting my hands on the table, I also use a twist drill holder to grip the tung. and rotate it.

    I like to take mine to a fairly decent needle point, also when sharpening with the point "up" into the wheel the material removed goes away from the finished point instead of down and collecting on the point if you held the tung. down.

    Holding the tung. level/ perpendicular to the wheel is the way I use to do it, but I found I could do a better job vertically.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    National City CA


    The text book answer is grind it in the direction of the rod not perpendicular to the rod.
    But it comes down to this One is the grit of the abrasive you are using. Too course will foul things up either way you grind it. so if there is a fine enough abrasive it wont matter much. Then there is the matter of what you are welding and how many amps you are using. The more power put through the tungsten the less the grind matters.

    Either way I use a bench grinder and grind it like the book shows, Inline with the rod and always finish it up on the fine wheel.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Austin, TX


    I am ready to get a freakin' Sharpie. I spend way to much time grinding my tungsten. I guess I don't have a steady enough hand but it's been years since I last sat at a table.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Lake of the Ozarks MO


    Here is my take on tungsten grinding technique...the shape matters more than the method.
    Once you get so good that the only area you could improve your welds is the little inconsistencies in your tungsten surface then you would be wise to spend your time on that.

    I have laid down some of my best beads ever, that nobody will ever see, using a 4 1/2" grinder loaded with aluminum with one hand and tungsten in the other because I was simply too wore out to crawl out from under the boat on a trailer and use a better method. SAFE? NO! PERFECT SHAPE? NO!
    BUT... perfect enuff to get done and get paid
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008


    I am new to TIG and got this tip from an old timer using Chem Sharp.
    Extend the tungsten about an inch out of the torch
    Start an arc to heat up the tip
    Dip in Chem Sharp a few times and you get a nice sharp point
    Slide the tungsten back in to the correct stick out and your on your way.

    This can be done right where you are welding without having to take the tungsten out and walk over to the grinder.
    Chem Share under $20
    Tungsten grinder over $500
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  8. #8


    Chem sharp works fine. It takes a bit of getting used to in order to get consistant points. You can easily get too much of a taper or even have part of the tungsten get thinner and thicker before the point. Dipping and letting the Chem sharp roll on the tip and dipping again and again just enough to keep the reaction going. When done, brush off with your dedicated SS brush and weld on. There will be hard crust deposits that form in the chem sharp. You can crush these up or just pull them out and toss them. Try not to breath the fumes generated by the sharpening reaction.

    Have fun!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Alberta Red Deer


    that stuff works great, but tricky to use at first but no contamination, which is great.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Camillus, NY


    Am I the only one who runs the tungsten, on the grinding wheel, in a cordless drill to get a real quick and very well shaped point?


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