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Old 04-26-2022, 08:21 AM
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idickers idickers is offline
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Default TIG torch lead question

I am about to upgrade my TIG welder to a water-cooled torch. Is there a need for a 25' length torch lead vs 12' lead?

I have one of the newer inverter machines on a rolling cart. I'll be using this primarily for automotive mild steel sheetmetal and roll cage fabrication in a car, and my aluminum will mostly be accessible to a rolling cart.
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Old 04-26-2022, 08:39 AM
latoracing latoracing is offline
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Really would never need a 25' lead, unless you were having to move around a lot. 12' works great for me.

I use an air cooled torch and have no issues with it getting too awfully hot, even when welding for hours. For lower amps on steel / stainless steel I don't personally see the need for a water cooled torch. Now, if you start welding aluminum often, that is a different story.
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Old 04-26-2022, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latoracing View Post
For lower amps on steel / stainless steel I don't personally see the need for a water cooled torch. Now, if you start welding aluminum often, that is a different story.
Aluminum it is. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 04-26-2022, 12:31 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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"Roll cage" welding/fab ....
NHRA used to offer specs.
Was .090" wall thickness for some. ... That might tend to get hot, if sustained. Might plan coffee breaks, accordingly? (just noodling the details.)
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Old 04-26-2022, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystallographic View Post
"Roll cage" welding/fab ....
NHRA used to offer specs.
Was .090" wall thickness for some. ... That might tend to get hot, if sustained. Might plan coffee breaks, accordingly? (just noodling the details.)
Thanks, Kent! It's for road racing, mostly 1.5" x .095 and 1.75 x .120 wall DOM. I may keep migging the stuff while I explore options with TIG.
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Old 04-26-2022, 04:15 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idickers View Post
Thanks, Kent! It's for road racing, mostly 1.5" x .095 and 1.75 x .120 wall DOM. I may keep migging the stuff while I explore options with TIG.
Yep, sounds right.
The MIG ain't so bad - if you use dualshield, spatterstop, a quench bucket for the gun ....
preheat can hep, or warm the shop - had one guy call me from N. MI, January, complaining about "crax" in gas welds/4130 airframe.
Hmmmm: "How cold is it in your shop?"
- "Um, 20F."
"Got a heater on your body?"
"...Yes..."
"Why not get another small radiant heater for the area that you are welding? Move it along with your progress on the frame?"
".... Okay."

That extra bit of temp. stopped his post-weld hardening, as I heard back later.....
But that extra 50F also helps weld smoothness/penetration.
Small things matter.
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Last edited by crystallographic; 04-26-2022 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 04-27-2022, 01:22 PM
Gareth Davies Gareth Davies is offline
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Iíve always used 25í leads as the standard 12í ones you seem to get with new welding sets always seem a bit restrictive. I have a water cooled Kemppi AC/DC set so tend to leave it in the middle of the workshop and move between jobs as required. My workbench is 6í square so Iíd struggle to get round with 12í leads. That being said, longer leads are more prone to damage and it can be difficult to repair water cooled ones. If you can make do with shorter leads, thatís your best option. If you like flexibility of movement then itís the longer ones you need. Thereís no best choice other than what suits your needs.
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Old 04-27-2022, 01:23 PM
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I do a lot of tig work and the longer the lead the nicer it is. the short lead seems like it’s plenty long until you actually get started doing stuff then your always trying to get the machine closer. Also he water cooled torches are the way to go. the torch body is smaller so it’s easer to get into tight places and move around. also get a good leather cover for the leads to protect them and don’t step on them. that was the first thing i was taught about tig welding “don’t step on the leads”.
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Old 04-28-2022, 06:51 AM
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You can not make a short one long but a long one does not need to be fully extended. Go with the 25' with covered hoses and a leather sheath over all 3 hoses.
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Old 04-29-2022, 04:39 AM
billfunk29 billfunk29 is offline
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Default Tig torch length

I have 25 foot on my old transformer machine. It pretty much just sits at the bench. My portable thermal arc has 12 ft. If the machine is easy to move, 12 is best. 25 ft of cable can be a trip hazard most of the time.
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