Replacing Mig Torch
I was recently given an old Campbell Hausfeld Mig/Flux 80. I know.....it's on the bottom end of MIGs, BUT, since the price was right, I was thinking of using it as my flux core welder, and converting my Lincoln 100 Weld Pak over to dedicated aluminum. We all know how much fun it is to change the liner, so two welders is the way to go.
My problem is.....somebody either broke the swan neck off, or took it apart for some reason and didn't put it back together. Anyway, it is on the missing list. Campbell Hausfeld tells me they no longer stock it....what a surprise. My question is: Is it possible to cobble together something from an existing line, like Lincoln, or Miller, etc? I noticed that the prices for whole torches take this project way out of line. We're only talking about the copper tube the end of the liner fits in along with the nozzle and tip. Anybody been down this road before?
Not really. The chinese guns use odd ball connections at the machine so you would have to do a lot of adaptation.
None relevant data removed ;-)
My best advice is to take it too the scrap yard. As you have already seen, most mig torches are worth more than your whole welder.
My second best advice would be to watch craigslist.com and ebay.com. Who knows, you may get lucky and find another one that is broken but has a good torch.
Third best: Offer it for sale on craigslist or ebay and make someone with a good torch and a bad power supply happy. Then use the money as a starting point to get something that will work the way you want it to.
edit: Have you tried to weld aluminum with that Lincoln 100? I think you will find it quite underpowered for the task. And, because aluminum wire is very soft, unless you have a spoolgun you will find yourself struggling to keep the wire from birdsnesting. Here is a link to a Lincoln website article on what is required to weld aluminum with a compact MIG machine.
Last edited by BillDaCatt; 08-16-2010 at 12:47 AM.
Interesting article, Bill. Thank you.
To answer your question......No, I haven't tried Alum. on the 100, and I'm sure it will be an experience. Your suggestions are well founded and certainly make economic sense. Now that we have logic out of the way, my problem is what do we do with a "fix-it" mind that has no "Off" switch. The sight of that liner hanging out constantly nags at me to find a solution.
Many of my friends have accused me of being a candidate to fix a light bulb, if I could figure out a way to get the air out after re-stringing the filament. I'll admit my addiction to fixing has carried many projects well beyond the boundaries of common sense, but alas, I do it anyway. The thrill of a successful fix is obviously worth more than the functioning machine. I have no other explanation.
On that note, I did not expect to see a lot of ideas for this project as most people would never consider it, but I appreciate your taking the time to respond.
OK, if practical is not in your makeup then I would suggest carefully measuring the seat where the tube used to be. You might even try spreading some petroleum jelly in there and then press a blob of auto body filler into the hole. This will give you a better idea of how the tube is shaped.
The other thing you will need is the thread for the tube adapter on other end. Since you said that CH no longer makes it, try sizing it to the same one that fits your Lincoln. Then you will be able to use the same contact tips on both machines. Who knows, you may be able to adapt a tube from a Lincoln gun to your CH gun.
Oh and btw, light bulbs have an argon atmosphere. A gas you will need to have on hand to weld aluminum anyway. So your idea of replacing a bad bulb filament is quite possible, although quite impractical. Now you just need some ultra-thin tungsten wire and a glass annealing furnace.