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Thread: plans for a TIG torch cooler?
06-23-2008, 08:23 PM #1
plans for a TIG torch cooler?
anyone have a lead on building a home-brew TIG torch cooler? I'm thinking a 55-gallon drum with a small submersible pump. I don't need it full-time, counting on volume to absorb heat as opposed to a heat-exchanger like in a store-bought cooler. Pro's/con's to this thought? I'm also thinking maybe running 50/50 anti-freeze water mix, but that stuff likes to mold up from sitting, better off running straight water? I already have most of what's needed to build, wondering if I'm missing something?
06-23-2008, 08:59 PM #2
You don't need that much water. 5 gallons if plenty unless you're running 300+ amps all day. I replaced my leaky Bernard 6 gallon reservoir with a plastic toolbox from Home Depot - holds about 4 gallons, works fine. The hinged lid with latches is handy, I bolted the pump to the lid. I ran 1 gallon of antifreeze in the reservoir with no trouble for years, recently switched to TIG coolant from the welding store, see no real difference. Propylene glycol (RV antifreeze) might be a good solution. Try a small positive displacement pump from Grainger, the lines are small and need some pressure to push the coolant through.
06-23-2008, 09:47 PM #3
You need about 60 PSI to keep a torch cool. A sub pump will not do it. You will eventually burn out a power lead.
Go down to a restaurant supply place and pick up an old carbonator unit from a pop machine. Around here they are $50 used. Usually has a small 1 gal stainless pressure tank on them. Get an old heater core and put it inline. Stick a muffin fan on that.
Simple and can be made for less than a hundred bucks.
06-24-2008, 12:05 AM #4
60 PSI thru a heater core?
ummm....60 psi thru a heater core?
This might work, if one plumbed the heater core to take the outlet flow, from the small bore tig lines, then using the pressure drop occurring by mating up to the 5/8 ID core, then allowing the core to dump, back into the reservoir, which would not be pressurized
I've also used carpet spraying pumps successfully for a reservoir application you're describing.
06-24-2008, 12:25 AM #5
Yeah, heater core after the torch and before the tank.
There some nice radiators here:
Some have mounts for fans on them. They were intended for water cooling your PC.
06-24-2008, 07:44 AM #6
thanks for the input, guys. I was hoping to get off just cobbling something together from what I had laying around (most notably the sub pump), but if it won't cut it, I'll check out the other options, and save the sub pump for something else....I'm for sure going to check out the carbonator unit (there's a used rest. supply place here in town), for 50 bucks, well worth peace of mind to not burn up my torch....
06-24-2008, 12:57 PM #7
I have two coolers: A Bernard/ITW 3500 SS and a homemade water circulator that I got with my former Lincoln 250/250 Idealarc.
The water circulator is a stainless steel tank that is 12" X 12" X 24" with a 1/8" sheet wall.. The volume of the tank is approximately 15 gallons. When I use it, I keep it about half-full of distilled water with a gallon of coolant mixed in to prevent algae growth. Everyone has an opinion as to which coolant to use so I won't even talk about that here.
The pump was originally a combination antique GE 1/4 hp motor with a vane-type pump that was not self-priming. I replaced that with a new self-priming Procon Pump and matching Dayton drive motor, the type that permits a clamp coupling for the Procon pump.
To date, I've not needed any radiator, It works very nicely indeed and the coolant never even gets warm.
The pump and motor are mounted on a removable top which is kept in place by pins so it won't move around. The whole unit is mounted on a cart next to my Miller Syncrowave 200.
The Procon pumps are very good for cooling units such as a water circulators or the Bernard. Used pump ana motor combinations are on eBay all of the time for aound $50. I've purchased the Procon pumps new on eBay for as little $25 plus shipping. If you use a Procon, you need the matching drive motor. I bought one of those new for $49.95 on eBay.
The typical smaller Procon pump suitable for a welding cooler will put out about 1-2 gallons per minute at 60-100 psi and this is adjustable if you get the right pump.
I think you could build a water circulator with about 10 gallon volume for less than $100. You would still need the couplers for the welding machine, which in the case of Miller requres a Dinse connector that sells for about $50 plus the hoses and connectors.
The Bernards are also very good but unreasonably expensive for what you get. I got mine used in a trade but I would never pay $800 for one new. That's out of the question. .
06-24-2008, 01:08 PM #8
Here's mine. I put a 2" dia. plastic plug in the top to fill it through.
I've welded wide open at 375 amps for half a day, that makes it get warm but not hot.