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magclamp for TIG welding

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  • magclamp for TIG welding

    I decided to post a topic on a project I have designed and machined. The following is a description of the project, the steps and pictures of the steps.
    Pictures are accessed via links--I hope they work--if not, I will remove the topic and try again. Use your browser "BACK" feature to come back to this topic.

    One can buy magnetic holders, but most are heavy, thus not especially handy with TIG welding of thin metal--they weigh more than the metal sometimes and are hard to use. I designed a small Al holder that is easy to make and is lightweight. Material is 1 1/2 " Al rod, cut into 1 9/16 " lengths. I usually make 6 at a time. The magnet is a 1 1/4 " round rare earth magnet I buy from Amazon for just over $2.00 each. So far, these are delivered by USPS. KEEP THE MAGNETS AWAY FROM ANYTHING ELECTRONIC!!! Handle them with care. They are strong enough to hurt you and WILL SHATTER IF ALLOWED TO RAPIDLY FLY TO METAL OR EACH OTHER!!! Don't ask me how I know.

    First, use a V block to hold the round Al bar for METAL bandsaw cutting--it is unsafe to attempt to hold the bar for cutting without a V block--even with one--be careful--hold tight. It is safest to cut the bar using a horizontal bandsaw. I do not accept any responsibility for your safety--just telling you what I sometimes do. I made a wooden V block on my mill. . Rounds were cut on a slow, vertical, metal cutting bandsaw. . Cut just half way through, turn the rod around, finish cutting to keep from cutting the V block in two. Rod gets hot, so wear gloves. The disc shaped magnet just fits inside the rod piece.

    Chuck in a lathe. Note the boring tool I ground to turn shallow cuts in the bar piece. Bore a cavity to accept the magnet, making the cavity a slip fit. Using the point of the boring tool, cut an inside groove to hold the magnet with room for the magnet to wiggle around a bit--not tight. You will need this wiggle room in a bit.

    Take the piece back to the metal bandsaw, make shallow cuts equal distance at four locations around the cupped end of the piece, just going as deep as the cavity. You are ready to think about how to squeeze the cupped piece end around the magnet. I made a die from a scrap piece of AL, larger than the rod piece. You can close the open end of the rod piece using a hammer (risk of shattering the magnet is high!), use a bench vise carefully, but take time to machine a die to fit over the rod piece with a taper in just the right place inside. Take it to a press and lightly close the end of the piece--BE SURE TO PUT THE MAGNET IN FIRST!! The die MUST be made from something non-magnetic--otherwise, the magnet will jump out of the cavity.

    Each magclamp must be the same height. I placed a steel strip on a reference magclamp, placed that in the lathe chuck, set the carriage, locked it, removed the reference magclamp, inserted the 'just-made magclamp and turned it to proper length. There---done!

    Cautions: A magnet close to a TIG arc will deflect or distort the arc (VIA Toolguy) and may also affect the magnet's later use. It's best to use the magclamp during 'tack-up', thus no welding over the magclamp itself.
    Last edited by homestead; 04-18-2021, 01:31 PM.

  • #2
    Be aware that a magnet in close proximity to the arc will distort it and make welding difficult. If the magnet is far enough away, it will be OK.
    Kansas City area


    • #3
      Toolguy---You are correct--I neglected to point that out!
      jbarnes (homestead)


      • #4
        does the field from the TIG impact the magnet at all? same goes for heat. they'll demagnetize if you exceed their temperature rating.

        neodymium magnets have a range of temperature ratings and I always used the SH or better grade (150°C) when building PMAC/BLDC electric motors.