Gas Welding – Old School and Obsolete, Or Still Good?

Gas Welding went out with high button shoes. That is what lots of folks think. To be honest, I am one of them. I like tig welding better. It’s cleaner, its more precise, its faster, and it can weld almost anything.

So why are people still interested in gas welding?  The honest answer is because it works, and it is really good for a few things. Some old school airplane builders argue that oxyfuel welding is superior to tig welding for 4130 chromoly tubing airplane fuselages.

The argument goes like this. Because 4130 chromoly hardens if it cools too quickly, some people think that oxyfuel welding alloys the chromoly to cool slowly enough to prevent hard and brittle welds.  But lots of tests have been done and it has been proven that chromoly tubing that is not thicker than .120″ can be tig welded without any ill effects.  That being the case, I always choose tig welding over oxfuel welding a thousand to one.

Some people also argue that gas welding does a better job on oil soaked aluminum castings. I have welded lots of oil soaked aluminum castings with Tig. It is a problem sometimes, but by cleaning, preheating and a little finesse, it always works.

I have not seen one thing that could be welded better with gas welding than with tig. Not one thing. Steel automotive parts, stainless steel food service equipment, nickel alloy heating elements, aluminum cylinder heads, magnesium gearboxes, titanium tubing, cobalt alloy jet engine parts…you name it, it can be welded cleaner, better, faster, and better with a tig welder.

Oxy-acetylene welding is still good in a pinch for welding 4130 chromoly fuselage parts when a tig welding machine is not available or for welding a muffler or exhaust pipe on a car, or for soldering or brazing anything from a bicycle frame to an aluminum boat.  It’s portable, relatively inexpensive, and it works ok.

But lets face it…Tig welding is better.