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stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

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stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby jerje » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:50 am

I've bought a Lincoln Square Wave Tig 200 and plan to teach myself how to tig with the help of Jody's videos and posts on this and the welding web forums. I've been welding for over 30 years with a 220 stick and cheap Sears mig, but never done tig. I'm a hobby welder not a professional but over the years I've made welding carts, tables, modified trailers, made a car body rotisserie, fixed frames, made racks/shelving, etc. etc. I got the tig primarily to repair aluminum carburetor bodies and intake manifolds with but I like to make stuff so I'm sure this will go beyond just doing that as I learn how to do it.

I'm posing the following questions because I would just as soon learn with the same hardware I will use once I learn how to do it, and would like to avoid wasting time and money trying this and that as I learn, and end up with left over components that I then need to try to sell or give away. So...

- would it be a good thing for me to get, say, an HTP Artic Chill 5460 to put on my SW 200? And a ck20-12sf fx torch to go with it? Or just plan on using the air cooled #17 torch that came with the thing? It may be that the duty cycle on the SW 200 will never require a water cooled torch, I don't know?

- Jody really likes stubby gas lenses so is this something I should get and start using as I learn?

- Then there is another type of lense thing I saw Jody use recently but now can't find it in his store. It enabled him to have a 3/4" or 1" stickout of the tig electrode which would be helpful to me in repairing intake manifolds I'm thinking. What was this lense does anyone remember? I did see a Furick lense but you can't use them on ac current I think I read so no good on aluminum, right?

I am not wealthy but can afford the water cooler, etc. if those are things that would make for a better tig setup.

Pardon my beginner's ignorance and I appreciate any advice here.
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby cj737 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:58 pm

Skip the water cooled torch as it’s mostly needed for greater than 150 amps of prolonged welding. A good flex head 17with gas lenses will serve you very well. The Fupa ceramic cup is what you’re referring to for the extra stick out. CK superflex cables are a nice upgrade (25’) and some #5/#8 Pyrex cups with a 6-8 ceramic and your good to go! Spend the money on a better hood becasue your eyes and welds will thank you ;)
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby LtBadd » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:06 pm

I'll second the CK superflex hose and also suggest getting the 25' length hose. The superflex hose is so much easier to work with, and it'll allow you to focus on what you want to do, make a good TIG weld.

I've always used a water cooled torch so I can't speak to the air cooled, except it'll be a little larger then an amperage comparable water cooled torch. There are many threads and you tube resources if you ever decide to move to a water cooled torch and want to build your own cooler. Actually it's really just a water recirculator
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby MarkL » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:12 pm

I have the same welder, the only thing I bought right away were gas lenses and they allowed me to get much better results. For things that require longer stickout I can often use a long nose alumina cup, which is cheap. I like the torch that came with the machine, so I bought an extension cord instead of longer cables. The local big box (Menards) had a 25' welding extension cord for about $50. I've used water cooled torches and they're nice, but for what you describe I can't see it making any difference. By the time you're done fiddling around getting ready for the next weld, the torch will be cool. The only other thing I've invested in is a dual flow meter because it allowed me to have a purge and reduce contamination from the backside causing problems.
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby jerje » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:24 am

Thanks for the responses.

Would a CK17V-RSF-FX, which has the flex head and valve, and the super flex hose, be worthwhile. The valve would be used to shut off the postflow, which I've read complaints about on the sw200. Or is that complaint over blown?
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby cj737 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:27 am

Skip the gas valve torch. Learn to use the post flow to your advantage. It cools your tungsten and your weld puddle! Hold the torch over the puddle for as long as the gas flows; this is a better habit than shutting off a few seconds of gas. The solenoid will automatically release gas into the hose, so either post- or pre- the gas is going to be expelled from the tank. Operating the gas valve only determines "when" not "if" it will be purged from the line.
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby clavius » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:55 am

I have a SW200 as well. It changes the post flow time with the amperage setting, higher welding currents give longer post.

After I bought it I got a bit concerned after reading all of the comments about the lack of a post flow adjustment. And while I suppose it is a tiny bit annoying that you can't change it, once I sat down and actually did the math on how much the extra gas is costing me, I determined it amounted to very little, really. In the scope of things, it's nothing. If I were running a shop with several welders and doing hours of welding or hundreds of tack welds every day, I might feel differently, but I would also not likely be using machines of this class, either.
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby MarkL » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:29 am

jerje wrote:The valve would be used to shut off the postflow, which I've read complaints about on the sw200. Or is that complaint over blown?

For me to run 15cfh of argon it costs between $.04 and $.15/minute for gas flow depending on whether I fill the tank at the expensive national company or at the small welding supply place. So I decided I'd save more money by drinking generic cola instead of classic coke. My experience is a torch with a gas knob can be a pain. Sometimes it gets in the way of where you'd like to put your hand. To turn the knob off you either have to reposition your hand on the torch which means you run the risk of uncovering the weld area while you fumble with the knob. Or you lay down the filler wire and reach across to turn off the knob, which means half the time the filler rod falls on the floor or your lap.
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby jerje » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:37 pm

Thanks again for all of the input. After reading your thoughts I think I'm going to get some of Jody's stubby lenses and go with the sw200 just like it came and try to learn to do tig that way. If I'm successful and it appears I can actually do tig I may add another torch with superflex cables at some point in the future.
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Re: stubby gas lense kit, water cooler, what do I need?

Postby Oscar » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:50 pm

If you decide to practice AC welding on aluminum, you will revisit your thoughts about going water-cooled. If you keep your practicing on steel, you should be ok.
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