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Thread: thumb control tig torch add-on

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    northwest wisconsin
    Posts
    1,145

    Default thumb control tig torch add-on

    im not going to try to search for the answer, just ask the question.

    i have a lincoln ac/dc/ tig welder with a foot pedal control. any of you that know foot pedal controlers know how difficult it is to use it in many applications so what about the thumb controller that fits on the torch ?

    they are a simple yet quite expensive add-on that i would think would be a whole bunch handier in most applications.

    considering the $ 200 or so price tag, has anyone one fabricated there own little controler ? its just a small pot. . . but quite special im sure, and a length of triple wires. . .

    we of this forum are able to make just about anything so i thought it must have been done already and someone has the information they would gladly share. . .

    anyone ? ? ?

  2. #2
    gnm109 Guest

    Default

    I built one for my former Lincoln 250/250 AC/DC Idealarc TIG/Stick. Depending upon mow many of the needed pieces you have when you start, it may not be cost-effective.


    You need at least the following: Prices were about what I paid plus shipping from Mouser and McMaster-Carr, etc.

    1. 5 or 6 conductor 18 ga. cable, sufficiently flexible to use for the purpose. ($1.25 a foot X 25 feet = $31.25)
    2. Amphenol six pin connector. ($35-40)
    3. 1 Watt 10K (or 5K) slide potentiometer, depending upon model of welder. ($3.00)
    4. Capacitors, two each, probably 4700 uf at 3KV. ($2.00)
    5. Some method to package the components. ?

    After I got all of the parts together, I was close to $100 and still didn't have it packaged to my liking. I then tried it out and found out that I didn't like it. LOL.

    I now have a Miller Syncrowave and if I want a hand TIG control, I'll just bite the bullet and buy one but I doubt I'll bother since I only use my welder at the bench and I can deal with the foot pedal OK.

    My 2 cents.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    287

    Default

    You might find that you can buy the whole torch, cable, etc. at about the same cost as the control alone.

    Here is one such example.

    http://www.weldfabulous.com/Tig-Weld...-p7606202.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    northwest wisconsin
    Posts
    1,145

    Default

    that looks exacttly like the one miller furnishes with its new welders. saw one today, held it, like it but its only for a miller. . .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Southwestern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,243

    Default

    They make holding the torch a bit awkward, takes a bit of getting use to especially tring to adjust the dial while welding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,259

    Default

    Loose Nut said it all. I have one for my Miller tig welder. Tried to use it a few times. Very awkward to click it on and regulate your amps and concentrate on welding no matter where I positioned it on the torch. I have always used a foot switch. Unless I had to weld something working off a ladder or some position where a foot switch was impossible to use I would not consider it.

    JL....................

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Regina and Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    5,950

    Default

    Anyone who says a hand control is no good doesn't know much.
    I do tig repairs on anything that people can dream up....daily in my job shop.
    I've been trying to get Worldwide to build me my "ultimate" hand control tig torch for about 8 (?) months now....a crappy company to deal with BTW..
    In that time I've been using a foot control again.
    I absolutely hate it. Even on a larger bench job it takes many times longer as i'm always draggin the damm foot pedal around...trying to position it so it'll work etc. What a pain in the a$$.
    Yep...the Lincoln thumb slide control took a little getting used to and is not ideal but it's at least a thousand times better than bending over and repositioning the foot pedal every two minutes.
    Or trying to make the pedal work when you are shoved up under a snowmobile tunnel to weld a cooler...that's very flippin fun also.
    My part time weldor learned to tig with a hand control. She now is trying to use the foot pedal. She absolutely hates it also.
    Give me almost ANY hand control anyday...
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Central Pa.
    Posts
    474

    Default

    I am with Torker! The foot control is alright if you are sitting down at a bench say for production, but any where else I prefer the hand control. Sadly I can not get 1 for my Tig 300/300. Too old. Took me several years just to find a foot control for it!. If I win the lotter or find a rich girl the first thing I will replace is the tig with a hand control!

    mark61

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Regina and Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    5,950

    Default

    There you go...I just built a big alu frame for a guy...to put up a 2'X4'solar panel.
    Doing that thing was a royal pain with a foot pedal. Between tacking and welding the thing out...I bet I had to move that damm pedal at least a hundred times.
    woulda been a snap with a hand control.
    (Cursed Worldwide anyway)(too bad they make the only torch I really like)
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Salmon Arm, BC, Canada
    Posts
    185

    Default

    I have both, I think they each have their place.
    On a bench, sitting on a stool, doing tiny little precision beads, I find the foot pedal setup more controllable. The thumbwheel seems to make me wiggle around more and I don't get as nice a looking bead.
    Laying on my back, squished into the interior of my race car, running an overhead bead on the roll cage, I'll take the thumbwheel.
    I mostly use the thumbwheel, just for convenience but for a production run at the bench, I think I get a nicer bead with the foot pedal but that's just because I hold it differently so its more stable.

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