Looking for a swivel handle tig torch
I just got a Weldcraft WP17 air cooled tig torch. I want a swivel to go between the torch head and the welding lead so I could spin the handle between my fingers. I looked on line but found nothing. Im not talking about a swivel head. It would not be too hard to make one out of brass but I dont know if it would swivel with HF AC weld current going through it. Any thoughts?
C-K makes a swivel head called Flex-Loc.....but apparently that's NOT what you wish?
(I've used the liquid cooled Flex-Loc for about 13 years....on my fourth one.
It's highly ergometric, allowing torch attitude changes 'on the fly' with arc on, push or drag,
right or left hand, etc.)
There's a fairly wide variety of torches available from Weldcraft, C-K and others;
that exist for specialized applications.
What is the intended use, that requires the handle body to swivel instead of the head?
Fixed heads are available in different configurations and angles.
I've never seen a swiveling handle, either.
I tig a few times a month on whatever comes through the door. The lead on my new torch is flexible enough but it resists torsion. When I first attached it to the torch, finger tight, it acted as a swivel and made it very easy to position the torch. If I made a swivel out of brass with about 1" of bearing surface and lubed it with hi-temp never seize do you think it would arc solid? This swivel would fit nicely inside the hollow torch handle. Is there anything off the shelf that may work?
Originally Posted by Danny D
The off the shelf solution is silicone rubber jacketed leads, which are much more flexible, compliant,
longer lasting than the low cost vinyl.
I only use liquid cooled, but presume that the rubber leads are available.
Silicone rubber leads, water cooled are the only way to go. I could not believe how nice they were the first time I used them. In my opinion air cooled tig torches suck.
Since you have both a gas line and an electrical lead, how, exactly, does the mechanics of the thing swiveling work? The two points (the centerline of the gas hose and the centerline of the power lead) are not centered on the torch lead. I guess you could center the gas hose, and have the entire swivel conduct electricity, but I am dubious that it would work, and not, basically, weld itself into one position.
And, obviously, since no commercial torch company makes one, there is either no demand or pretty expensive technical problems.
And it certainly would be impossible with a water cooled torch, with one gas hose and two coolant hoses.
Just give her a little flick... The cord straightens right out. I guess when you are used to doing automotive work in contortionist position the tig torch is the least of your concerns
Ries, The air cooled torch has a single line going to it with a fitting on the end very similar to an automotive brake line. The gas goes through the hollow center and the weld current goes through the metal part. If I loosen the fitting it swivels very nicely but the gas would leak and the fitting would be likely to arc itself together. My swivel idea would basically be a tube inside of another tube with an O ring to seal the gas. The fit between the tubes would have to be very close. Maybe I could split the inside tube and give it a little spring tension pushing out. Before I spend a few hours making this thing I would like to know if such a swivel would carry high frequency AC weld currant without arcing itself stuck. As far as it not being commercially available, have you ever said to yourself 'Why didn't I think of that'. I guess this Thread blows my chance at a patent.
Originally Posted by Ries
I have a watercooled tweco wire gun that has a ball swivel and a sheith.
It gives pretty free motion and some twist.
Patent US5916465 - Torch - Google Patents
"I would like to know if such a swivel would carry high frequency AC weld currant without arcing itself stuck."
Originally Posted by Danny D
To prevent arcing, it will need to be in tight contact, which is what's done with power lead quick disconnects,
the swivel head torch assemblies. Arcing raises the resistance, creating heat oxidation and one thing just feeds
Thomas & Betts 'Koppershield', conductive copper grease serves to prevent heat oxidation in fittings, works well;
but intimate contact is required.
Weldcraft for one, does offer silicone rubber jacketed leads in the air cooled torch line, for an off the shelf,
economical fix to your problem.
I do have the silicone rubber lead and it is a lot nicer than my 1980's torch lead. I will give my swivel idea a try and post an update when I get it done.