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rockable 11-21-2021 02:19 PM

Tig Welding Sheet Metal Out of Position
What kind of controls are you guys using for welding mild steel sheet metal out of position? I can use a foot pedal just fine when I'm sitting but can't do it standing for very long. Plus, you just can't operate a foot pedal in some positions. My Tig is a Miller and has a high frequency start.


Gareth Davies 11-21-2021 05:02 PM

Foot pedals seem to be a big thing in the USA but donít seem as popular here in the UK where we seem to favour switches mounted on the torch handle. Yes, you donít get the amperage range with a switch over a pedal but it does allow you greater flexibility with regard accessing awkward to get at welds. I have a Kemppi AC/DC TIG set that has pedal and switch facilities so you can swap easily between the two. I use pedal for aluminium welding and switch for carbon and stainless steels so I get the best of both worlds. For the cost of a micro switch and some thin 2 core cable, Iíd look at setting up a torch mount switch as I think youíll like it once youíve tried it. Hope that helps.

rockable 11-21-2021 05:09 PM

Thanks. So, basically, you dial in the amperage you want and then just have an on-off switch instead of one of the rotary controls. Makes sense for mild steel.

Gareth Davies 11-21-2021 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by rockable (Post 171324)
Thanks. So, basically, you dial in the amperage you want and then just have an on-off switch instead of one of the rotary controls. Makes sense for mild steel.

Yes, thatís it. Once you get a feel for the individual welder and the different thickness materials it just becomes second nature to choose the amps you need. I always go very slightly high and then dial in about half a second to one and a half seconds fade out and pulse the switch manually. Alternatively, if your machine has pulse facility then let it do the work for you. As said, I like the pedal for ally work when I want to build heat quickly then back it off to gain weld pool control but Iíve never once used it on stainless or carbon steel. The torch switch can sometimes be tiring but if you mount it correctly it shouldnít be an issue.

lots2learn 11-21-2021 10:28 PM

I use this on a Synchrowave 300. It cost less than some on off switches.

Uses several resistors and switches so that you get more amperage in steps with spring loaded paddle.
I would prefer the last 2 to be closer together but it works pretty good. If welding a bunch of parts at my table I plug the foot pedal in.

crystallographic 11-22-2021 12:34 AM

Done overhead on thin aluminum and steel, but no other metals.Used all sorts of TIG machines since 1972.
Inverter models helpful.

Old Miller Synchro works fine, with hifreq. And the late models, too.
Footswitch is fine. Thumbslide okay.
Elbow prop/slider bar helps steady the hand, and less tiring on long welds.

Knee action on pedal takes a pillow/shotbag/spare helmet.

Hot splatter, drips not fun.
Spray water bottle handy.

(Journeyman/ lead welders agree: even when in contact with molten metal - you finish the weld.)

heinke 11-22-2021 11:22 AM

I TIG weld with a Miller Dynasty and I bought it with a torch mounted rotary dial instead of foot pedal because most of my welding is "in place" not on the bench. The torch switch starts the arc and controls the heat just like a foot pedal but I can effectively use it lying on my back welding overhead. I weld on aluminum mostly, but recently a lot of 304 SS in building a set of headers. The torch mounted switch works great for both.

James. V. D. W 11-25-2021 05:37 AM

I seldom use a pedal. We also seem to favor the button. There is a guy on youtube that sells a variable amperage button for your torch. Check on Not cheap, but seems worth the spend. Another option is a thumb scroll. The Guy from Fireball Tool has a video about it.

rockable 11-25-2021 09:12 AM

Thanks. I ordered some cheap switches that I will try. I think I would have a hard time with som of the track and linear types I have seen. Besides, I'm not going to be welding aluminum or stainless out of position, hopefully.

Gareth Davies 11-25-2021 05:04 PM

Let us know how you get on.

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