View Full Version : Inconsistent Ground problems

09-26-2008, 02:42 PM
I have been working on a gate built using 2 1/2" Square Tubing. It is a twin to one I built several years ago. I cut the materials back then and never got back to complete the second gate. Needless to say it is now pretty rusty. My ground clamp had been laying out in the weather a similar length of time. I kept having a hard time getting and keeping a consistent ground. While in the local welding supplier getting some other supplies I brought this up. One of the suggestions was a magnetic clamp with a center brass lug spring loaded to contact the work. I put it on on a 5 ft. whip end off my old clamp. It works better if you clean off the rust with the grinder before setting it. I cleaned up my old calmp and it works much better. I still have been thinking about either sacrificing a good C Clamp or making one that would penetrate the rust and establish a good ground. Do you have any suggestions or a better alternative.

09-26-2008, 06:33 PM
how about one of those strange looking vice grips that looks like a whale mouth. . . . ? i gave one to a muffler repair shop a few years ago.
he loved it.

09-26-2008, 09:57 PM
Even with a c clamp or other clamping or magnet, the easiest and cheapest is still hit it with a 4 or 41/2" flap or grinder disk to remove the rust. The other thing you have to consider is that each piece of steel you add will need a mating part cleaned for good contact. Its just a fact of life. Clean you clamp and the steel.:D

09-26-2008, 10:13 PM
Tack a bolt or something to the frame and attach your ground to that while your working on it. When your done snap it off and grind off the tack.

09-27-2008, 09:10 AM
First thing I would do is dis -assemble the ground clamp all the way back to the machine and wire brush the rust of all contact points. A little grease when re-assembling will help prevent rust returning for a while.


09-29-2008, 09:12 AM
Yep...that's a fact of welding life. Work in a pulpmill...EVERYTHING in the places are covered with a thick jacket of paint. You gotta whack away at it with a chipping hammer til you get a clean spot to clamp ground.
I always carry a magetic ground in my tool box...big loader buckets etc don't have anything on them that is thin enough for the copper type ground clamps I prefer to run.
I hate the steel ground clamps. They have more resistance than the copper ones and they run HOT. They get hot enough that they'll heat the temper out of the clamping spring.
I've used C clamps also... you may get pi$$ed when the arc welds the threads together and you have to hammer the clamp off ;)
Yes..you can weld a chunk of steel to whatever. I find that a lot of customers frown on that for some reason. One...a stinkin loader bucket,.. guy whined about making his bucket look "funny" where I welded the lug on...yeesh!