GTAW is neat

In addition to two weighty pre-engineering courses, I'm taking a GTAW (perhaps better known as TIG) welding class. Each type of welding I've taken has been interesting, but this is perhaps the neatest: no smoke, no showers of sparks, little noise, much control. Since it requires both hands (one feeding filler, the other controlling to arc) and a foot (controlling amperage) to be working simultaneously, it is considered the most difficult.

We have had two proper welding sessions to date. Tonight we did outside corner joints on 16- and 11-gauge metal. The former is beastly, as the filler rod is quite thin (so it bounces about it your hand trembles or jerks) and the metal can melt out of control if you're not careful; the latter is easier, as there's more leeway for using too much heat, and its larger required arc better illuminates where you're welding.

I'm looking forward to working on stainless steel and aluminum.

It would be very nice to have a GTAW setup!