It's winter here now, and my main garage is not heated. I probably won't be doing any more welding out there until spring. I fully agree, that the secret to making good looking welds is practice, and practice and practice some more. I thought that a good book would be something I could read over the winter and give me some insight into machine settings, why some things work, and why other things don't work. I know that there are lots of videos available, and I have watched many of them.----Brian
Hmmmmm - - - machine settings - - - if you have something like a Lincoln 225 (stick TIG m/c) you have almost no settings. If you have a (top of the line) Miller Dynasty - - - - well there are more settings than a carcass has maggots after a couple weeks in the sun!!! (And I mean a LOT more!)
Some of the settings are useful for enhancing your skills, some are more for reducing gas wastage . . . . this is an area where one really counts on a welding engineer advisor - - - they have (AFAIU) found the best settings for a particular process/material/position/outcome.
IMO this is where the newish pulsed MIG shines - - - it enables the use of mig rather than tig for the thin sectioned materials. Don't think its as useful for exotic materials. Dunno if its considered 'usable' for very high quality welding (you know pressure rated reactor components!) but I do know that the, again newish, Pipefab line of welding equipment from Lincoln is being used for pipe welding - - - dunno if that's out in the field but I do know its being used in the fab yards.
As I have no idea as to what you're actually looking to tig weld - - - well - - - I have no suggestions on how to get to doing good work.
(One of the members here - - - - name presently escapes me) is a (or is it was) a welding engineer - - - - haven't seen him in this thread though I think.)