Tungsten length coming out of the torch is important. I like to set my tungsten to no more than 1⁄8 to ¼ inch out of the torch. Also, the arc length, or distance you place the torch tungsten to the base material, is very crucial to the weld. The closer to the base material the better, but no more than 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch away from the weld puddle. If you dip the tungsten in the weld pool you will need to stop and re-sharpen the tungsten rod. If you don’t, the weld will have a black or brown cloud around where you dipped and have porosity in the weld.