TIG Welding
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Our TIG Welding Course is Sponsored by Lincoln Electric Lincoln-Logo

Course length: 2 days

TIG welding is fast becoming the welding method of choice for people building their own aircraft. TIG stands for tungsten inert gas and is also known as gas tungsten arc welding. The ease with which you can weld both 4130 chromoly tubing and aluminum and the high quality welds make TIG welding a perfect match for aircraft construction.

Some time will be spent in a classroom learning the basics of welding, but the majority of the course will be spent in the welding booth. Participants will learn and practice the techniques needed to weld 4130 steel plate and tubing, and will see demonstrations on TIG welding aluminum.

Do I need to be an EAA member to attend?
No, the workshops are open to anyone interested in learning the skills necessary to build their own aircraft.

Why is the TIG Workshop more expensive that other SportAir Workshops?
The TIG workshop uses special welding gasses, filler metals, electrodes and welding coupons that add a significant cost to the workshop. The difference in price from the other SportAir workshop offerings helps to cover a portion of the costs of these materials needed in the TIG class.

Can I take more than one workshop at a location on one weekend?
You are only able to take one workshop each weekend. Each workshop is a full two days in length.

When I complete a course will I be able to do all the related work on my project unassisted?
Since each workshop is only two days in length, it is impossible to teach you everything you need to know. We do tell you where to get further assistance and we certainly provide you with the confidence necessary to begin your project. The fundamentals are taught and you will need to go home and practice.

How much time is actually spent doing "hands-on" activities?
The majority of the workshop time is spent doing "hands-on" activities. Be sure to wear your work clothes. In most courses, about 25% of the total time will be spent in lecture and discussion.

What are the hours of the workshops?
Registration for the workshop begins promptly at 7:30 a.m. on day one with the workshops beginning promptly at 8 a.m. Day One activities conclude about 5 p.m. Day two is 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, but we’ve been known to continue until 5pm as needed on Day two.

Do I need to bring any tools with me?
No, all tools and materials are provided.

Can I purchase materials at the workshops?
No, however you will receive a discount sheet from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty that will allow you to order materials at a discount with complimentary shipping.

Will I have time for lunch?
Yes, 1 hour is scheduled for lunch each day.

How many people will be in each class?
We try to limit class size to an instructor/student ratio of no more than 16 students per instructor. The welding classes are limited to 12 students due to tooling requirements.

How can I find out what hotels are available in the area?
The best source is Google Maps, Expedia or other travel site. They have the most up to date information and special pricing

I would like to bring my spouse or building partner. Is that possible?
Yes, we encourage family and friends participation. Each person attending the course with you must be a registered and paid participant. There are limited seats in each course and each participant must be enrolled at the current course fee. There have been questions in the past about bringing along a spouse, family member, or friend to observe or audit the course with you. We’ve found over the many years we have presented these courses that unpaid observers quickly become hands on participants, which is unfair to other paid participants of the course, which is why we require all to be enrolled. If you have a specific question about this policy, please feel free to email us at sportair@eaa.org

I would like to bring my child. Is that possible?
Children 16 or older are allowed to enroll and participate when accompanied by a parent that is also registered for the course.

Can I pay for the workshop the day I arrive?
No. We must receive payment prior to the workshop. In the past we have experienced a number of "no-shows" from people who have not prepaid. If you need to cancel, a full refund will be provided as long as you notify us at least seven calendar days prior to the workshop.

What if I have to cancel my enrollment?
A full refund will be provided as long as you notify us seven calendar days or more prior to the workshop. These workshops are specialized courses with limited attendance to enhance your learning experience. If you cancel within seven calendar days of the workshop a $100 cancellation fee will be assessed. A “no show” will not be entitled to a refund.

How will I know where the workshop is located?
Workshop addresses and map locations can be found in our information packets. In addition, we will have signs directing you to the workshop.

Do I take anything home with me?
All courses provide you with a detailed workbook and a certificate of completion. In several courses you will build a small project to take with you.

Do I receive a workbook?
Yes, a workbook is provided for each workshop.

Are the instructors volunteers or professionals?
All of our instructors have high qualifications. They are professionals in their field and have years of experience.

What if I am undecided about building an airplane?
We recommend that you take the Fundamentals of Aircraft Building workshop. This workshop will give you "hands-on" experience in all types of aircraft construction.

Can I get credit for IA renewal by attending your workshop?
Several FAA district offices have given credit for the workshop. It depends upon the local FSDO.

Will I learn to weld aluminum in the gas welding class?
Because of the complexities we do not demonstrate aluminum welding.

Can I bring my own welding torch?
Yes, we encourage you to do this.

What type of covering system is used in the fabric covering class?
The Poly-Fiber system is used. However, nitrate and butyrate dope is also discussed.

How much time will be spent vacuum bagging in the composite class?
A very limited time is spent on vacuum bagging. The technique is demonstrated and is enough to familiarize you with the procedure.

Do you teach us how to finish a composite airplane?
Yes, we discuss all aspects of composite finishing.

What spraying system is used in the fabric workshop?
Depending on the facility, we may spray some of the fabric coatings. If this is not possible, spraying technique will be covered. We use primarily the HLVP systems.

May I bring my own project to the class to work on?
We do not encourage people to bring their own project. We have a set curriculum that includes a project that we have designed. If we had separate items to work with it would only create confusion for the rest of the class.

Does the electrical course teach me how to install avionics and antennas?
Yes, in addition to basic wiring of the electrical systems.

I’m designing my own aircraft, do any of the workshops cover basic design issues?
No, structural design will not be covered in any of the workshops.

Why do you not have the workshops in more locations?
The EAA SportAir Workshops are presented as a self sustaining program of the EAA. It is very difficult to find suitable locations. We ship everything we need for the classes in large wooden crates. It is very expensive for us to travel. We try to schedule classes only where we can be assured of a large attendance.

I would like to host a SportAir Workshop. What are the requirements?
Finding new facilities are the biggest challenge for this program. EAA is a non-profit organization and the SportAir Workshops are presented as a self sustaining program. It is very expensive for us to take this program on the road. We try to schedule classes only where we can be assured of an attendance cover operational costs.

Minimum facility requirements are as follows:

  • Location must be in or close to a sizable metro area
  • Forklift rated at 1,000 pounds for loading/unloading large crates
  • Enough space to hold at least 4 workshops with 16 students simultaneously
  • Adequate lighting
  • Bathroom facilities
  • Willingness to help grow grassroots aviation

If this sounds like something you could host, we would love to hear from you at sportair@eaa.org or 1-800-967-5746.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Very helpful class. Instructor was very knowledgeable and the equipment was top notch. Excellent environment for such a class.”
- Russell C.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Outstanding focus on hands-on experience, good ratio with lecture. Style of instruction including real world stories was insightful.”
- Mark S.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Excellent overview course. Lots of time to practice on different materials using various techniques. Instructor has vast experience and it was a delight to have him share his knowledge.”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Outstanding training – Even (or especially) for a beginner.”
- Mike B.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I never TIG welded before, I really enjoyed learning the basics.”
- Kyle P.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Excellent workshop! Not sure (its) possible to find more knowledgeable instructor. Appreciated covering stainless and especially aluminum welding. Had TIG welding experience before workshop, but learned a lot of new things. Would recommend to others. Definitely worth time and cost!”
- Galen J.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“This course exceeded my expectations!”
- Art K.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“A great class with a tremendous environment. The space is great and the equipment and supplies are top of the line. I have never welded before this weekend. I learned a lot. Let me close by saying I can now start to learn how to TIG weld. If it were not for this EAA class I would not be able to add a new skill. Thank you!”
- John O.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Outstanding instructor. Lots and lots of time. I came to learn how to TIG weld and now I can!”
- Don R.



Safety

  • Intro to GTAW
  • Welding Gasses
  • Gas and Flow

Equipment Overview

  • Torch Elements
  • Control Devices

- DC Polarity

- AC Polarity

- High Frequency

- Electrodes

- Preparation of Electrode

- Filler Metals

- Classification and Types of Fillers

- TIG Welding 4130 Steel

Machine Operation Overview

  • Basic TIG welding techniques
  • Butt Welds
  • Lap Welds
  • T Joints
  • Welding 4130 Tubing

- Introduction to Stainless Steel Welding

- Introduction to Aluminum Welding

- Individual work on Practice Projects with Instructor Oversight and Coaching

- Summary, Discussion and Q&A

- Conclusion and Award of Completion Certificate

Dick Kohler With over 30 years experience, Wyatt Swaim is known throughout the world as the leading expert in the TIG Welding Industry. Wyatt founded Hi-Tech Welding Services Inc. in 1986, developing a complete production facility geared towards providing the highest level of welding, R&D, welding engineering, and metallurgy to high technology industries. This facility includes TIG, Plasma and Electron Beam Welding, as well as Non-Destructive Testing, X-Ray and Penetrant Inspection. The author of a number of articles on high technology welding, today, Wyatt consults for The Lincoln Electric Company, and is dedicated to training others to the level of Aerospace TIG Welding. Known throughout the industry as "Mister TIG™", Wyatt conducts advanced training seminars for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Motorsports teams, and is part of the trackside welding team at the Indy 500. He has done IRL and CART race welding throughout the United States and Brazil, and regularly demonstrates TIG Welding at the AWS Show, the Essen Welding Show in Germany, and the Canadian Welding Show.

TIG GALLERY