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Thread: TIG torches, tungsten, cups, collets, etc.

  1. #1
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    Default TIG torches, tungsten, cups, collets, etc.

    I recently received a Lincoln Precision TIG 185 from my father as well as a bunch of consumables. The torch that came with it is in pretty good shape, but the gas line is bad. All of the consumables are in pretty bad shape and I'll need to get more of everything. The problem is that I don't know what I need or what is good or not. I have no idea what type of rod should be used for tubing either.

    This is where I ask for some help from the TIG Gods in this forum. Do you all have any recommendations for torches, consumables, filler rod, etc that you could pass along? I'm really excited to get practicing, but need some gear before I can play around with it.

    Thanks in advance.

    Brandon Poser

    BAHL Cycle Works

  2. #2
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    Default Re: TIG torches, tungsten, cups, collets, etc.


    I'm sorry this question has gone unanswered for a bit here in "the path", but will try to give you some guidance.

    The precision tig 185 is a great starter machine and will handle all bicycle fabrication duties with ease. With both DC and AC capabilities, it really broadens your material options. The primary question you have to look at is what package your machine came with for torch cooling; air only or water cooled. Though the rated output of your machine is easily handled by air only torches, the addition of a water cooler and torch has many positive attributes; smaller torch size for better close/cramped weld area, longer on duty run times, and greater life expectancy. Knowing how your machine is equipped will determine your needed equipment moving forward, as air and water torches use different sized collets, collet bodies, and cups.

    What I can tell you is that the most common sizes of hardware used in bicycle fabrication are 1/16" and 3/32". These sizes will allow you to run majority of your available amperage with pinpoint precision.

    Do get collet bodies with a built in gas lens...a screen that helps to diffuse the argon, providing greater coverage. The most common size I use on my WP20 (water cooled torch) is a 45V44 3/32" gas lens with a #7 cup...this accommodates most applications over a broad range. I do have a dizzying array of other sizes that I have found work best for me for other applications.

    Numerous types of tungsten are available and you will find ardent advocates for each. I honestly have not found that much difference in performance and after a brief curiosity period, have returned to my old comfortable standby, 2% thoriated.

    Your filler will be determined by the substrate material. What type of tubing will you be working with?

    As for your ailing torch, if you choose to replace it, two great options are Weldtec and CK worldwide. I really like the Weldtec Speedway and have one sitting in box waiting for my current torch to die. Lightweight, nice size, abrasion resistant cover, and you can run it all day without getting warm.

    There is so much that could be covered, if you have follow up questions, please ask.

    Rody Walter
    Groovy Cycleworks...Custom frames with a dash of Funk!
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: TIG torches, tungsten, cups, collets, etc.

    As an air cooled alternative to Rody's suggestion, I like the WeldTec WTS-9 stubby torch (they make a water cooled version too, which I also have). Everyone has a different way to hold the torch. Mine is to pretty much hold the cup and the stubby torch, combined with a superflex hose is a REALLY comfortable combination. It takes a lot of the weight of the hose off of your fingers.
    Sean Chaney
    a peek behind the curtain

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