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Tig welding & Gas Lenses

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  • Tig welding & Gas Lenses

    Howdy all.
    Thought I'd take a minute to talk about gas lenses for tig welding.
    I know quite a few members here have a tig in their shop -- and there
    are probably quite a few folks here that have more experience with
    them than I do, but a forum search came up with zilch -- maybe not
    that many people use them or know what they do?

    I don't do exotic metals welding (what, I think, the gas lenses were
    born to do), but I do occasionally run into "tight" spots where its hard
    to reach with a regular cup.. so I picked up some lenses.

    These days its on my torch 90% of the time, with the rest just for
    the real high amperage jobs (where I wish I had a water cooled torch).

    A gas lens is basically screen filter that fits in the place of the collet
    body.


    Its intended purpose is to remove as much turbulence from the
    gas flow as possible.



    This smooth flow is a big benefit to welding finicky
    exotic metals.. but has two other benefits:


    1. you can stick your tungsten out a lot further! (hard to reach areas)

    2. you use less gas .. its more efficient. I think probably 50% less gas.

    So if you're worried about the added cost of a gas lens, think about it
    in terms of gas savings. Argon sure is costing me a lot these days.

    Gas lenses come in alot of shapes and sizes. Most often I find myself
    using a #4.

    Cup sizes are measured in 1/16th's IIRC -- so a #4 is 4/16th's or about
    1/4" on the ID.

    Anyway, I know this is old news -- but if you've never used them
    before I highly recommend you pick one up.

    -Tony

  • #2
    Yup. I like gas lense even if they are a little bulky by comparison - and they do save on shielding gas.

    As a side note and I hope not a hijack, a friend of mine had a jillion little TIG welds to make so he tossed the work, jig, and tools inside his blast booth, led in a ground and stinger, covered the grating with bricks,taped off all opening, and put a coffee can with a pint of of liquid argon inside. The cold argon displaced the air from the bottom up leaving an inert atmophere to weld in. No other shielding gas needed. There was a couple of days welding to do and Zeeko (Zeko? Never could figger out how to spell it.) said later that he saved the equivalent of two 220 cu ft argon cylnders.

    I didn't see the work in progress but I did see his blast booth stuck all over wth duct tape. Good idea though if you have liquid argon handy.
    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 12-29-2009, 03:33 PM.

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    • #3
      I always use a gas lens 100% of the time. I was told once you get used to them, stick with them

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      • #4
        Interesting. I got a set of gas lenses in a set of Pyrex (clear) Tig cups I bought from HTP. Haven't tried them yet, but looks like they would be great for corners.
        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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        • #5
          Thanks Knucklehead!
          I'm new to TIG, and I've been wondering what those are for, and how I would know when I should use one.

          Kerry

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          • #6
            Haha awsome at liquid argon trick.. Where does one even find liquid argon.
            Iv heard of people making speciality ventilated rooms for stainless and other alloys where they rig up 8~ 200CF bottles and flood an entire room and do 4~8 hours welding in there. With full breathing rig of course!

            Do these gas lenses apply to mig or any other processes?
            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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            • #7
              HEY.. they do have a welding forum here..

              Okay..

              Back-purging.. I knew a guy who had a old media blast cabinet.. he put two HONDA v65 engines in there and made a V8... 320hp you could set on the table by yourself..

              No transmission...
              Excuse me, I farted.

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              • #8
                A very timely post as I'm preparing to order a bunch of TIG welding supplies. Thanks Knucklehead.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by knucklehead
                  I don't do exotic metals welding (what, I think, the gas lenses were
                  born to do), but I do occasionally run into "tight" spots where its hard
                  to reach with a regular cup.. so I picked up some lenses.

                  -Tony
                  The guy that introduced me to Gas Lenses wasn't doing exotic welding either. Just Chromoly and Stainless Steel pipe on a power plant job.

                  Althou he was the 1 who welded 8" SS pipe in a mirror in some extremely tight spaces

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                  • #10
                    Joe That'd be Buck Rogers.. I went to go to lunch, the mirror was gone off my service truck.

                    He was welding in a two foot wide ditch with the mirror behind a group of pipes there. (Costa Mesa? 1986-7)

                    I've bent a 7018 rod double to weld the back side of stand pipes.. Hell, now with my vision I am more used to welding by sound anyways..

                    Don't laugh at Buck Roger's name, he had a cousin named "Roy".. I was drinking when I met them.. you know I was a ass.. THEM boys were tough.. full contact basketball..
                    Excuse me, I farted.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lazlo
                      Interesting. I got a set of gas lenses in a set of Pyrex (clear) Tig cups I bought from HTP. Haven't tried them yet, but looks like they would be great for corners.
                      Those are the gas-saver sets from CK Wordwide. I like them better than gas lenses.

                      http://www.ckworldwide.com/gas_saver.htm

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                      • #12
                        OOps, double...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by macona
                          Those are the gas-saver sets from CK Wordwide. I like them better than gas lenses.

                          http://www.ckworldwide.com/gas_saver.htm
                          Yes, that's the kit I got. The glass cups are great! What's the difference between the gas diffuser/saver and a gas lens?

                          This is the picture on the brochure in the box, which looks an awful lot like Tony (Knucklehead)'s gas lens picture:

                          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                          • #14
                            Could those help for Tig welding in a slight breeze outside as well ?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Forrest Addy
                              Yup. I like gas lense even if they are a little bulky by comparison - and they do save on shielding gas.

                              As a side note and I hope not a hijack, a friend of mine had a jillion little TIG welds to make so he tossed the work, jig, and tools inside his blast booth, led in a ground and stinger, covered the grating with bricks,taped off all opening, and put a coffee can with a pint of of liquid argon inside. The cold argon displaced the air from the bottom up leaving an inert atmophere to weld in. No other shielding gas needed. There was a couple of days welding to do and Zeeko (Zeko? Never could figger out how to spell it.) said later that he saved the equivalent of two 220 cu ft argon cylnders.

                              I didn't see the work in progress but I did see his blast booth stuck all over wth duct tape. Good idea though if you have liquid argon handy.

                              That's a very good idea. Argon is rather heavy as we all know, something like a molecular weight over 39.9 versus helium at 4+.
                              I wonder if it would be necessary to generate the argon from liquid. Once liberated it should stay put anyway, I should think.

                              I switched to gas lenses about 10 years ago and they are quite nice. I have lots of the standard nozzles in sizes from .040 to 1/8"
                              that I seldom use anymore since the lenses work better.
                              .
                              Last edited by gnm109; 12-30-2009, 12:17 AM.

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