Howdy Gang:

Got the new Diversion 180 set up and running today. This is my first TIG machine but I've been MIG welding for years. I think I'm going to like it once I get the hang of it. Tell me what I'm doing wrong if you would:

1) The poor tungsten. Looks like a well worn 6011 rod when I'm done with it. I ground a nice sharp point on it, leaning into the brand new grinding wheel in a vertical fashion as suggested and not at a 90 degree angle. The first couple of times I stuck it to the and start over. Now that I'm able to keep it off the work I notice the arc dances around the point and my nice sharp point winds up looking like a charred hot dog. The point is gone and what remains is mostly a ball but black and charred. It's a 3/32 grey band Miller tungsten and the gas pressure is set at 15 CFH since I'm welding inside. Brand new bottle of argon. Any clues?

2) When welding, do I strike the arc and "push" it toward the crack leaving the molten puddle behind the advancing tungsten tip? From what I gather reading and watching Youtube vids, the torch is leaned back a few degrees and the arc pushed forward along the joint instead of welded "behind" and advancing tip.

3) Filler material. Welding two pieces of 1/8" inch material together, oddly enough once I got the hang of it I got a nice puddle going and dimed out along the joint. The end result was a descent bead that was below the surface level of the two pieces of material but it looked much better without using filler rod than it did with filler rod. Is filler rod necessary to completely fill the joint or is it just as strong without rod as long as the puddles are melted together?

4) When adding filler rod do I add it ahead of the advancing arc or can it be added in from the side at a 90 degree angle?

Thanks in advance for helping me get started!