One of the industry best practices in TIG pipe welding is known as the "Walking the Cup" method. It is simple to understand and provides consistent results that are uniform in appearance. There is a simple reason for this. The pattern used and the length of the arc remains constant at all times. The walking the cup method is effective in eliminating excessive handshaking and wobbling. The reason for this is that the cup of the TIG torch leans on the metal being welded at all times.
In order to start, you first need to have an understanding of the types of equipment used for TIG pipe welding and how they affect the technique. Air cooled TIG welding torches are mainly used in the field when TIG welding pipes. Foot pedals and controls are not used for heat regulation and there are no high frequency starts. For the arc start up you can do one of two things. First, you can flick your filler rod in-between the pipe and tungsten, this will get the arc started or you can bump start the tungsten, once the pipe reaches the right temperature and when the puddle becomes fluid, increase your speed to match up with the puddle.
When TIG pipe welding, Walking the Cup can be done using two methods. The first way is to move the TIG torch handle in a similar fashion to a socket wrench tightening a bolt. The second is to move the cup in a wobbling motion similar to moving heavy barrels across an area. With practice, both methods will provide uniform end results.
The second method of Walking the Cup is a lot easier to master when compared to the ratchet method. To carry out the wobble the cup all you need to do is lean the TIG torch cup on the pipe and get the arc going. Once the arc has started, wobble the cup side to side. Just like a barrel, move forward in a constant consistent motion. Adding the filler rod is fairly simple; all you need to do is lay the rod before the tungsten and move right over it.
The ratcheting method is a bit more complex but it does produce a stronger weld. The reason for this is the consistent nature of the arc length. The procedure is similar to wobbling the cup, but it does require greater skill. For this method once the arc is ignited you need to turn the torch in back and forth motions similar to a socket wrench tightening a bolt, it all lies in the wrist movement. In order to move the cup forward you need to have a slight twitch in your wrist once you reverse the motion. You need to develop a consistency in your hand rhythm at the end of each turn.
With a little practice you can make TIG pipe welding your B, if you catch my drift.