Looking for a recommendation on a good small
one-piece torch for my new Thermal Arc 185STW.
The CK-17 that comes with the T.A is great, but
I'd like to also get something a lot smaller and ligher
for sheet metal work under 50 Amps. Does anyone
make a really small one that is one-piece that has
a really small cable? Maybe somehthing deticated
to .040 electrode (or 1/6" electrode max) ?
It is a one piece hose and does not take a special adapter. The hose it came
with also fits my WP17 torches also, so I just have to change the torch. I
already have a 25' hose, I bought this one with a 12' hose when I work off
the back of my truck. It is a no brand name torch but seems to do just fine
so far. I only paid like 25.00 for the torch and hose.
Weldcraft makes a tiny TIG torch that is 50 amp max, air cooled, with a
I have one, and it is very tiny.
It takes a special collet and holds tiny tungstens.
What I recommend for you is a CK100, 100 amp air cooled torch with a
It is one of the 3 torches that travel with my Maxstar 200DX inverter.
The larger torch is a CK210, 200 amp, air cooled.
The 3rd torch is a CK110, 180 deg (inline), 100 amp, air cooled.
So on this CK-100, does it come with this super-flex cable,
and is it one piece or two? and where did you get it from ?
CKworldwide themselves, or somewhere else? (ckworldwide
doesn't seem to have an online order deal on their webpage).
All CK air cooled torches can be ordered with single or double cables.
You pick your torch handle, and then your cables, by length and type.
The Superflex cables are a newer thing you can upgrade to.
Go through the CK site and write down all the numbers for the pieces
Then call your local welding supplier and give them the numbers.
Or you can order online from Central Welding by sending them an email.
This sounds like what I need for building bicycles. My arthritic hands
are getting pretty weak, so my primary goal is ease of manipulating
the torch around small tubing joints. The low amperages I use, and
the fact I only build a few bikes a year, don't seem to justify the
expence and/or bother of water cooling.
But I have a few questions.
Will it fit an L-Tec 250 Square Wave (ca. 1990)?
The torch is made with both 1 piece and 2 piece cables. What are the
pros and cons of each type?
Are consumables, collets, gas lenses, cups etc. readily available at
local welding stores?
Can you recommend a reliable online vendor for the torch?
BTW my current torch, Heliarc 17, suits me OK. Is the CK100
significantly smaller? If not, would it be possible to just put a
more flexible hose on my torch?
Any TIG torch can fit any TIG welder.
Linde set the standards for connectors 50 years ago.
They still hold.
If you are using a compact TIG that feeds the gas through the power
connector, a single cable is used.
For most other applications a double cable is used since it is easier
to hook up.
One power line, and one gas line.
You can use a single cable on any machine, and just use a gas block on
the power lug of he machine.
A gas block allows the gas to feed through he power connector.
All TIG parts fit all torches.
It doesn't matter who made it.
A 100 amp air cooled torch uses #2 series parts just like a 200 amp
water cooled torch.
Central Welding has an online store, but for special orders you will
have to call it in, and hey will mail order it to you.
A CK100 is very light and small, much smaller than a #17 series torch.
For bike frames I would recommend buying a CK110, 180 degree torch.
It feels more like a fountain pen in your hand and makes fillet welds
on tubing much easier.
Check out the webiste.
You can buy both torches and just one cable set.
To swap out the torch you just break the cable connection in the handle.
Since there is no water to deal with, it is easy.
This is what I do for my portable inverter TIG rig.
The one piece cables are tidier,a nd less likely to snag on things, but
a little stiffer.
The new CK superflex cables are silicone rubber so they are really
A collar takes the place of the torch head and the handle becomes the
The downside is they get hotter faster than normal torches, but for
fillet welds they are amazing.
The CK wedge collets are an improvement in longevity of collets, but
the downside is that they are extremely picky about tungsten diameter.
Often the colored band on new tungstens will jam in them.
If you get smutz on your tungsten it can jam in one as well.
Reverse collets are interesting and last forever, but hey don't always
fit in newer torches.
Often they protrude enough that you can't get a good gas seal on the
I believe older torches had slightly longer heads.
Weldcraft just came out with a one-piece collet/collet-body that does
away with the collets altogether.
The PDF on their website shows normal versions but I hope the are doing
a gas lens version as well.
It is like a standard collet body and reverse collet machined from the
same piece of copper.
I would welcome the chance to not deal with collets at school.
I didn't learn this stuff overnight.
I struggled and fumbled around for years, pestering sales clerks and
technical support staff with nasty questions.
I am just trying to save others the same struggle I went through.
Then you guys can learn things I never did and pay me back.
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