When you start learning how to TIG weld, there are two things that are going to happen to you. One, you’re going to learn a big word: ambidextrous.
Two, you’re going to take an eye examination with your welding hood on. In the latter, you must score high (“cheaters” are allowed – inside joke). And the former, you don’t have to know what the word means but you must show what it means.
TIG welding is one of the welding processes that success depends on the person who’s doing the actual welding. (This rightly implies there are some welding processes that don’t require a large input from the welder; extreme example is robotic welding).
When the person becomes very good at TIG welding, management ends up playing the part of the nurse who works in the operating room. “What tool can I pass you doctor that will help you be successful?”
So, in keeping with the above analogy (and this email is about TIG welding products), here is what the sales person would say to the successful surgeon: “Here are some tools that have been successful for other surgeons. I’ll tell you what they do and you tell me if they can be a help to you”
The wedge collet replaces the split collet. A split collet’s job is to hold the tungsten. But the twisting of the back cap to tighten the hold on the tungsten and the heat of the torch all leads to weakening the collet’s hold. Once it can’t do its job, to the “bone pile” it goes.
The wedge collet doesn’t use a slot to hold the tungsten. It wedges (hence its name) the electrode against the collet body. This wedging action creates three advantages. One, the collet becomes a better conductor of electricity. Two, it gives better arc starts and less wandering of the tungsten (the electrode will wander if its not tight). Three, it can increase the lifetime by 10X.
Of course, the wedge costs more but not by much. The hidden cost of most consumables is the time it takes to replace the part. Especially, if the defective part chooses it would rather fight than go peacefully. Plus the perfect tool to deal with the troublemaker is a long way from the work area.
The flexi lock TIG torch is made for those moments that cry out: “You’re wanting me to weld there!”
The flexi lock torch is great for tight areas and/or difficult angles. The smaller head allows the welder to get his hand into tight areas. But its main attraction is the head can be swiveled to a preferable angle. The normal TIG torch head is rigid, facing only one direction. This can force the welder’s hand into awkward position with cables wrapped around his hand like a python. The ability for the welder to adjust the head (not his hand) can reduce the difficulty of the weld; increasing the chances of a good weld.
The Pyrex cup is born out of the thought, how can we make the welder see better in tight spots? Since we can’t give him X-ray vision lets give him a see through cup.
The Pyrex cup is a clear glass TIG cup. So, if you’re welding in spots where you can’t see the weld puddle, this cup can help you. It’s made out of glass. It’s more money than regular cups. It’ll break if you let it roll off the worktable or drop something on it. It does have a limited use. And maybe its biggest appeal is the sci-fi look to your TIG welding setup.
These are just some of the things that can help you in your TIG welding. TIG welding isn’t the most common form of welding and it shows up in the lack of depth of knowledge in all involved parties: users and sellers. We do have some knowledgeable people on TIG welding who can help you become more efficient.