Friction stir welding (FSW) is a complex thermo-mechanical process which produces wrought microstructure with microstructural gradients in grain size, grain orientation, dislocation density, and precipitate distribution. The type and degree of microstructural modification is a function of the particular alloy chosen, its initial temper, the tool design and corresponding weld process parameter window, and other variables like material thickness, size, fixturing, etc. Since the microstructural changes produced can dramatically affect resultant mechanical performance and corrosion response, a thorough understanding of the variables involved in those changes is needed. A design of experiments approach was used to study the effects of welding parameter selection on the microstructural changes wrought by FSW with two different sizes of the same FSW tool design. A combination of microhardness mapping and electrical conductivity testing was used to investigate potential differences. The importance of these factors and the means for characterizing them for developing standards and specifications are also discussed.