Welding Cable repair

The cable that came with my used welder is Vari-Flex #1, and is in pretty good shape. Haven't stretched them out yet to see how long. I'd say about
75'. There is one place where there is about a two inch melted coating. Would it be better to just fix it with tape, or cut the cable and put a connector in there? If tape, or something other than a connector, what's good to use?
Steve
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I would try to use heat shrink tubing. (you'd need to remove the stinger)
i
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wrote:

Would that be a welding store item?
Steve
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Heat Shrink is available at most electrical supply places. Yes, if you're lucky, you may find it at the welding supply. I think I've seen it advertised with Harbor Freight and Northern Tools and Equipment, but I may not trust HF's as well as that from some of the electrical suppliers. OTOH, You're dealing with a bit lower voltages than you'd the electrical industry is used to.
==== SteveB wrote:

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Electrical store item. Often in hanging bags in the walk in area.
Radio shack has little mostly small for electronics.
I bought some from MSC - a nice sample kit. Try them.
Electrical / electronic second hand / scrap / sales store - overages...
Fry's if you have one. Used to be mostly electronic parts now much more and less of the engineering build stuff.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
SteveB wrote:

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McMaster has them. I can send you a couple of large diameter pieces if you want Steve. You may use two, one over another (first shrink one then slide another on top of it), for best abrasion resistance.
i

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SteveB wrote:

A welding cable butt connector. If I were you I'd consider whether to add a break there, meaning a male end and female end. Lots of times it's handy to use one shorter cord or two short cords in series as needed ..
Grant
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Excellent suggestion. I have to lay them out and clean them with a solvent anyway. That would let me see where the bald spot is relative to the length. I have seen too many cables arc and sometimes it was just pretty and sometimes it was pretty hairy.
I also liked to have a 10' lead of slightly smaller, but more supple lead to which to attach my stinger. Less weight to hold up all day. Put together with a twist connector, IIRC.
It's also easier at times depending on what you're working on if you have a short ground, and a long lead. Depending on the job, there's advantages to different lengths. Not sure how that affects the electricital habits, or if good or bad. Also I have seen ground cable wrapped around weldments to counteract arc blow by reducing electromagnetic fields. May also have to adjust power settings from situation to situation, but no biggie.
Ernie? Is there anything detrimental about uneven cables?
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

I'm not Ernie, but I know the answer to this. The welder sees the total resistance of both cables. If you have 2 50' cables it's exactly the same as if you had 1 99' cable and one 1' cable.
I have never understood guys who like ground leads a lot shorter than the work lead. I like 'em exactly the same length. Sometimes I have to stretch one way out and sometimes the other. To me, having two long leads just works out to be the most flexible arrangement.
Grant
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On Sun, 16 Mar 2008 06:00:43 GMT, Grant Erwin

Im one of the Short ground guys. I cut my cables to be 1/3 and 2/3 lengths. I seldom ever have to move the ground, but I always have to move the stringer around to the far side, so try to keep the stinger lead as long as possible.
Now if I was pipelining or something...shrug
Shrug
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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It all depends on each job. I have seen long/short to be an advantage in a shop situation where there was a large weldment. If the machine was close to the piece, a short cable was better than a long one that was a trip hazard. Multiply that times X machines, and there can be a lot of unnecessary cable laying about. The long one allowed for the weldor to get all around. Sure, you could coil the extra, and some places had places to hang it, but I think an assortment of cables is good, and it's just personal preference.
Thanks for the info on the 2/50 vs. 1/99 thing.
Steve
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wrote:

Everyone around here uses tape, or good quality heat shrink tubing. Need some, email me an addy and Ill put some in an envelope for ya.
Most of my leads are taped. Shrug..easier than pulling the clamp or stinger and sliding the heat shrink down the cable.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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i'm a big fan of cleaning up the cable break in solvent (rubbing alcohol usually) and the jacket as well for several inches each way. then after that any cable getting waht i consider rugged use will get at least two layers of heatshrink on it. first layer should be very close to the actual cable diamater or it should be 3:1 ratio shrink (Automotive stores usually carry the 3:1) first layer seals the break itself in then the second serves as a protection of the fix or a wear layer and is a few inches bigger on each side than the original patch
if youre feeling REALLY creative there is transparent heatshrink and you could slip in a paper with the owner in between the 2 layers then shrink it on with transparent shrinktube
but thats getting fancy.
the most important thing to remember is that welding cable gets pulled through some really inhospitable conditions and heatshrink will NEVER be as tough as the original cable jacket
Brent Ottawa Canada
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On Sun, 16 Mar 2008 00:33:25 -0700 (PDT), Brent

Ive inherited some blue heat shrink, that reminds me of Goodyear hose. Wall thickness is at least .060..really thick stuff. I had a hard time cutting a piece off with a marginally sharp pocket knife. Tough stuff. No markings. I got a plastic bag with about 50 pieces, all about 2-3" long.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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SteveB wrote:

Tape - Initial wrap with 3M 2155 Temflex self fusing splicing tape or similar, top off with 3M Super 33+ Electrical tape or similar.
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SteveB wrote:

Is the melted section melted from contact with something outside that was hot or did it get mechanical damage and heat up from current flow in the resistance of the damaged wire? If there is no mechanical damage, the heat shrink or tape that everybody is suggesting would be fine. If the heat came from mechanical damage to the wire, I would cut out the damaged area and put in a connector.
Bob
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Steve B asked about repairing welding cables and to this I say:
I have patched up more cable than I care to think about. This is the way I do it. 3M makes A liquid electrical tape that you brush on the bare spot. I put enough coats on to level the spot with the rest of the cord. When the repair is cured (over night is good) I put on A shrink fit sleeve at least an inch longer than the repair. I also like to use shrink fit tubing that has A heat activated adhesive in it. This can be tough to find but is worth it. The stuff I had was used to patch underground electrical service wiring when it was damaged.
Good Luck! H.R. "The best way to have A good idea is to have allot of ideas". Dr. Linus Pauling
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If the conductors in the area with the melted insulation have not been damaged, you can probably use self-fusing silicone tape and not have to hassle with removing the cable ends. The tape will "fuse together" bonding to itself as well as the (clean) undamaged insulation. The thickness will be determined by how many wraps you decide is adequate for the repair. The flexibility and toughness should be about the same as the original insulation.
If the internal conductor is damaged, like someone else in this thread suggested, cut out the bad area entirely and either splice with a butt connector sized for the gauge wire of the cable, or better yet install a male/female set of connectors allowing you to configure the cable to be long or short depending on the situation. (again, per someone else's suggestion here and excellent idea at that...) I would then use heavy duty heat shrink tubing with "sealant" to protect the connections, which will also make this area stiffer, which is desirable to inhibit flexing of the repaired connections as much as possible. Regardless of which repair idea you choose using the heavy duty shrink tube with sealant will also water-proof the connection while providing structural stiffness to the joint.
Here is a place http://www.wiringproducts.com/index1.html that sells everything you might need, or I have sometimes found good deals on heavy duty sealing heat shrink and large gauge splices and connectors on ebay. The self fusing tape is a little harder to find but is available from the supplier above. Good luck, enjoy your new toy and let us know what you finally use as a fix to the cable issue. Best regards, Joe.
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