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  • Tig amperage control

    Foot pedal or hand control on the torch, which is most popular with the pro tig welders?

  • #2
    i would say foot.more versitile.less problematic.
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    • #3
      Foot provides the most control. I have been using foot for 6 years. I have used the miller N-S finger control for some tasks that require it, but haven't liked it. I have been looking for a better design. I think the one that might work best for me would be a switch on-lock-off, but miller only sells a momentary on and I haven't seen any 3rd party like this for the millers. I wonder if something like that would damage the machine..?

      As a side note, the reason I don't like the N-S rotary control: the starts are fine; you ramp up the amperage, but when you're done with the weld you can back off fast like a pedal so it can mess up the end of the weld a little. Also using the control limits how you can hold the torch.

      I have sometimes used the pedal with my knee or simply manipulated the piece I'm welding to avoid having to use the fingertip control.
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      • #4
        foot control on finger

        Most the time you can get by with just the foot control but if you have to lay under a pontoon boat or bend excessively to weld a commerial sink and anything else that is out of postion then the finger control is nice to have. It all back to what your jobs are but being in a field that requires a lot of different tasks, it is nice to have the convience of both that is why I have both in my operation. I personally use the hand held slider control all the time so that I don't get too use to just the foot control. You might get rusty by not using the finger controller if you use the foot controller all the time and when you need to switch because of a certain job, you you could have a problem for a short time. Trials of variations are good to know.

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        • #5
          I am frustrated by the lack of variety in finger controls for 6-pin. It seems like there could have been a standard or adapters.
          Miller Maxstar 200 DX
          RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
          Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
          Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
          Hitachi 4.5" grinder
          http://mhayesdesign.com

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          • #6
            I've been TIG welding for 15 years, and there's nothing like the control a foot pedal delivers. Amperage control on the torch means less dexterity during welding and less control of heat output. I've used the torch mounted amptrack and found it only useful for tacking out of position, or when a pedal is not going to fit in a tight work space. It's all a matter of preference, I'm sure there's alot of guys here who would swear by it. That's my 2 cents!
            Miller Syncrowave 250

            6000+ hrs Al TIG

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            • #7
              You can even use a foot pedal while laying under something. I put one foot behind the back side of the pedal, with the pedal on it's side, then operate the pedal with the other foot. Where there's a will...........
              "smokin' joints for 19 yrs."

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              • #8
                with the foot control you can stop a bead and move around then start the bead right back where you were, but with my experience with the finger control if you try to add on the back of a worm bead then you will get burn marks and it will be harder to get the arc set right.

                I also prefer foot over finger any day.

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                • #9
                  I've been looking at the mastar 150 sth and 200 dx and discovered that they both have a software function that makes the miller momentary finger control work as an on-click off-click type switch with ramp up and ramp down. I could almost live without the foot control if I had this.
                  Miller Maxstar 200 DX
                  RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
                  Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
                  Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
                  Hitachi 4.5" grinder
                  http://mhayesdesign.com

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                  • #10
                    tasslehawf I've been looking at the mastar 150 sth and 200 dx and discovered that they both have a software function that makes the miller momentary finger control work as an on-click off-click type switch with ramp up and ramp down. I could almost live without the foot control if I had this
                    i think all the new inverters have that option....... ok maybe just the good ones. from what i have heard its fairly nice with the momentary switch. i tried it once with my foot control (by mistake) but have not put much time into it, those that have really like it. if you are learning i would start with a foot control then move on to the others. the foot is the easy-est to learn on.
                    thanks for the help
                    ......or..........
                    hope i helped
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by crucks View Post
                      Foot pedal or hand control on the torch, which is most popular with the pro tig welders?
                      Safetydave here and I prefer the on-off button model that fits right on the torch head because it give you more freedom of movement when your in-out of position and also i'm not the type to sit done when welding and when I have used the foot pedal it feels weird to me with my style. so this is why I prefer on the torch control.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tasslehawf View Post
                        I am frustrated by the lack of variety in finger controls for 6-pin. It seems like there could have been a standard or adapters.
                        Hello tasslehawf
                        I was just looking in the miller book and they really don't have much of a selection for tig controls, I have a 14 pin east-west control and seem to like it very well but in years past i've used the on-off button type and like that style much better because I do alot of custom work and seem I have more movement and can get a better arc control. this is only my opinion and you need to use what works best for you. Safetydave
                        Syncrowave 250/Coolmate-3-(home)
                        RMS-14 (kisser button)-(home)
                        Craftmans/S-K tools-(home)
                        Grizzly 16" vert band saw-(home)
                        DeWalt chop saw-(home)
                        Craftsman 4"-7" hand grinders
                        Lincoln 225 arc welder
                        Lots of vise clamps(not enough)
                        assortment bar clamps

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by abprt View Post
                          Most the time you can get by with just the foot control but if you have to lay under a pontoon boat or bend excessively to weld a commerial sink and anything else that is out of postion then the finger control is nice to have. It all back to what your jobs are but being in a field that requires a lot of different tasks, it is nice to have the convience of both that is why I have both in my operation. I personally use the hand held slider control all the time so that I don't get too use to just the foot control. You might get rusty by not using the finger controller if you use the foot controller all the time and when you need to switch because of a certain job, you you could have a problem for a short time. Trials of variations are good to know.
                          This pretty much sums up how I feel as well....If I had to depend on a foot pedal to do my job it would be a joke a lot of the time. Yea you can make a foot pedal work just about anywhere but in some situations the weld quality WILL suffer because that is where you are putting your effort.
                          I have worked in a few factories welding pontoons and ambulance bodies and trust me is is far to fast paced for someone to use their foot pedals
                          On the boats we used the button...you just set max amps and bust @$$!!
                          On the ambulances we used the east-west style fingertip controllers...they have a faster action than the north-south and you can simply flick them off when you get used to them. The north-south is too slow...for some reason almost everyone tries them and it seems Miller tries to sell them the most...they TRULY suck IMO..they do NOT work the same.
                          Both (button and figertip) were a little hard to get used to at first but I will assure you there is no way in God's green earth a man with a pedal could ever keep up in a situation like that. You would simply be fired or never even hired. They DO test you with what they use there. We have a half dozen or more factories in my area that tig weld aluminum products exclusively and only ONE uses the pedal and they DO sit all day...lucky ba$t@rd$. (my son worked there)
                          I like the pedal... it is just not practical to use while in the field and besides I'm getting old enuff that when I'm crammed back in a hole under something lower than my head while sitting but still can't lay down I tend to get tired way faster trying to make something work that just don't. You might do say a bead or two but after say 2-3 or more hours you'll be looking for a better way. Besides in the field it is one more cord to get tangled up...the button or fingertip control is run in the sheath.
                          All that said if you can sit down and weld in a shop and don't have a boss/customer pushing you to get done or have the time to stop and work thru how to position yourself perfectly then by all means get the pedal!!
                          BTW do a search on this and the other site and you will find this an ongoing subject that will never go away!!
                          Last edited by FusionKing; 01-01-2008, 09:24 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fun4now View Post
                            if you are learning i would start with a foot control then move on to the others. the foot is the easy-est to learn on.
                            Heh. I've been learning on the foot pedal for 6 years. I got the N-S rotary a few years ago for my Syncrowave 180. I didn't know there were any other finger controls when I got that one.

                            I noticed the cheap welders have a on-click off-click switch and concluded that I would prefer that when I'm out of position. I am about to pick up a maxstar 200 dx and am definitely going to get the momentary control.
                            Miller Maxstar 200 DX
                            RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
                            Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
                            Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
                            Hitachi 4.5" grinder
                            http://mhayesdesign.com

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