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Thread: Tig in tight places

  1. #1
    Jacob_Curtis is offline VSalonistas
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    Nov 2011
    Atlanta, GA

    Default Tig in tight places

    Wondering what tricks and techniques the experienced tig welders that frequent this forum are using to weld tight spots, like underneath fastback seat stays?

    I've heard about the so called 'big white tig cup' but can't seem to find much information about it.

    I've seen pictures of perforated copper boxes hooked up to gas, as well as foil wrapped around tube clusters to trap gas.

    I've also seen pictures of guys welding with huge cups on tiny torches.

    Zank? Tyler? What works for you guys?

  2. #2
    Rosko's Avatar
    Rosko is offline VSalonistas
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    Dec 2009
    New York, NY, USA

    Default Re: Tig in tight places

    You pretty much rattled off the list of every way you could possibly tackle that spot. If you have a lens and or foil prep the area and do a mock pass or two to see how the access and range of movement feels-Personally I prefer a dam to a gas lens in that area. You're on the right track, give it a go.
    Seth Rosko
    Rosko Cycles
    New York City

  3. #3
    Jacob_Curtis is offline VSalonistas
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    Atlanta, GA

    Default Re: Tig in tight places

    Has anyone tried these?
    Large Nozzle Gas Saver: Series 2 (9, 20, 280, CS310) [-userselected-] - $74.75 :, The Welding Accessory Experts
    They say you can get away with two inches of stick out.

    I tried looking for something like this at both the local welding shops today. Never seem to have luck with any of those guys, unless you're stick welding together busted farm equipment they just look at you funny.

  4. #4
    sebaudet's Avatar
    sebaudet is offline VSalonistas
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    Augsburg (Bayern, Germany)

    Default Re: Tig in tight places

    look at this post the discussion was interesting... Who uses gaz saver with pyrex buse ?
    and in conclusion I vote for the solution suggested : standard gas lens and cup n°7 or 8

  5. #5
    fortyfour's Avatar
    fortyfour is offline VSalonistas

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    New Hampshire

    Default Re: Tig in tight places

    I'm with Rosko on this one and I'll add these tricks I do in this spot in addition to my setup:

    No. 8 alumina cup (Stubby version), gas lens to match, 1/16" tungsten. Don't be afraid to pull the tungsten out, I do. Do not turn up the gas, as more is not better. Good even coverage is the way to go. Foil dam if you feel necessary.

    1. Work towards the acute angle between the tubes. Often times I'll work from the outside, wrapping over. Then work from the outside and wrap under, working towards that tightest spot.
    2. When you're close to closing the weld, I take the filler and bend it over a mandrel so the tip has a smooth hook. I clip off just enough so that I can ome in at a comfortable angle with the filler now that it has a hook at the end and I can lead or "push " the arc to that tightest spot. Expect to be flipping the frame this way and that, as you work your way around the weld.

    As Rosko states, I also will do practice passes with hood up and foot off pedal so I can see if I am comfortable, I can walk the cup and still maintain good gas coverage, angle of tungsten to work etc.

    That region is a tough spot to get at any way you look at it. That over/under trick is just how I feel comfortable leading my way up to that tight spot/s. Others may use a completely different approach.
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  6. #6
    Mike Wanner is offline VSalonistas
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    Dec 2012
    Sequim Washington

    Default Re: Tig in tight places

    Jacob, yes a large cup and lots of tungsten stick out. It’s quite easy to reach those tight places with this method. Arc zone is great for the parts. Good luck.


  7. #7
    MikeB is offline VSalonistas
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    Jan 2011
    Ashland, MO

    Default Re: Tig in tight places

    I have found that a gas lens and a no. 10 cup works well. For my torch head that requires a medium gas lens. I also have the setup for a no. 12 cup, that requires the large lens, but feel that the overall size of the cup and lens starts to get in the way of tight spots at that point.

    I also have one of the Gas Savers, and just never felt at home with it. YMMV.

    Talking to the grandmaster Steve Potts at NAHBS this weekend, he got me thinking about how Argon, being heavier than air will tend to sink, and to keep that in mind when you imagine the direction your gas is flowing, and how you have your foil might be set up.
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  8. #8
    Amaro Bikes's Avatar
    Amaro Bikes is offline VSalonistas

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    May 2011

    Default Re: Tig in tight places

    That's a tricky one!

    All the best advises had been already said here, so not much left than just patience and practice, probably the position is what really makes a big difference. About the cup, you're right, 10mm or bigger really can get in the middle of everything, specially with big sized road frames that result on really sharp angles for ss-st. My gas lens goes with a 8mm cup and I find it quite a good compromise for all

    I always get amazed and hypnotyzed with the welding beads around this area by masters as dario, brent, tyler, carl and company.

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