TIG vs. MIG Welding and Why It Matters for Miro
3 Min Read October 16, 2017
One of Watson’s most iconic product details is the Miro leg – a sleek triangular steel tube, hand-mitered at the corners and welded in-house. It’s a detail that delivers clean, modern design alongside superior strength and durability – and it’s all possible thanks to the skilled welders here at the Orchard.
Did you know that every Miro desk and meeting table is hand-mitered, hand-welded and hand-ground before it makes its way out into the world? The 14-guage cold-rolled steel tubes that make up the legs are miter cut at the corners and fitted in precision fixtures, where they’re then TIG (or GTAW) welded and hand-ground to create the strong, seamless transition where the tubes were joined together.
TIG welding is a choice Watson made deliberately to deliver our customers a better product. It’s a slow, skilled process that yields a strong precision when performed by expert hands.
TIG stands for tungsten inert gas welding, also known as GTAW, or gas tungsten arc welding, which means it uses a tungsten electrode to produce the weld. Many other manufacturers use MIG (metal inert gas), also known as GMAW (gas metal arc welding) instead, primarily because it’s faster.
The major difference in how MIG and TIG welding are performed is that MIG uses a continuously feeding wire to form the arc, and TIG uses long welding rods, slowly fed into the joint. Because TIG welding requires feeding the rod into the weld to create the arc, the process requires two hands. One hand holds the welding torch, and the other slowly adds the filler metal to the weld joint. Because two hands are required to weld, TIG welding is also the most difficult type to learn and perform. It’s slow going, but it gives the welder lots of control over the process. For more details on welding terms, you can find out more at Weldingtech.net
TIG welding is also resistant to loss of filler metal alloys, which means the final welds have a similar chemical integrity as Miro’s original base cold-rolled steel. That means the joints are resistant to corrosion and cracking, resulting in stronger, higher-quality products. That’s a primary reason why TIG welding is used in critical operations like sealing spent nuclear fuel canisters before they’re buried and manufacturing space vehicles. It’s also used by metalworking artists and ornamental welders because the results aren’t just strong but precise, clean, and beautiful.
Watson’s Miro line probably won’t end up in space or housing nuclear fuel, but it does need to hold up to your fast-paced work environment and look good at the same time. Thanks to the skilled welding professionals who craft the iconic Miro legs right here on-site, it does.