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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    near rochester NY

    Default a helping hand for TIG welders and aluminum projects

    i got really frustrated trying to hold the piece and tack it at the same time when i was practicing on aluminum. i also hated trying to tack steel with the magnet screwing up the TIG arc. so at some point i decided i needed to make some thing to hold that lil piece or tab in place wile i started to TIG it. as we all know the magnet screws up the arc and it also dose not work on aluminum.
    so my simple solution was to make an adjustable arm with a few interchangeable pieces so i could reach into almost any position i needed and keep the magnet as far or close as needed. i can leave the magnet attached to the work table and reach out and hold a piece of aluminum to be tacked or clamp the first piece to the aluminum frame and let it reach out to where the tacking needs to happen. i made a bunch of lil butterfly so to speak nuts and welded the bolts in place so its a simple twist with the fingers to lock any of the joints into place. you could buy butterfly nuts if you wanted to, but i have no $$ and plenty of time. i also coated on of the starter pieces in blue rubber dip coating so i could clamp it to aluminum without marring the surface, i had started with a small aluminum piece to clamp to the aluminum work but decided for the sake of simplicity i would coat one so it would work off the magnet and clamp to anything without leaving marks. i found the rubber tool dip at bargain outlet and thought it would be worth a try.
    just so ya know its a long process but the finished piece is nice so well worth it in the end i think.
    i used a small enough piece of steel bar/wire to allow it to be easily bent if needed but still stiff enough to keep a fair sized part secure wile tacking it.
    an old battery charger clamp dose the final hold and worked out well, bet you all have one laying around some where. a small pair of vice grips could also be used but i don't have enough of them to start with much less extras for some thing like this. any how with a few extra pivot pieces you can build it to hold from almost any angel or distance needed to get the part held where it needs to be and still be able to get the torch in to tack wile the magnet is far enough away to keep from effecting the arc for TIG welding, or MIG but MIG is better at not getting messed up as bad. one of the best parts is you can always add a piece if some thing comes up that needs some thing special or you just need more reach or even add a 2nd clamp to hold 2 pieces at the same time to insure a good fit up. its quick and easy to add pieces as needed and if you throw all the pieces into a box when you are done you will always have the helping hand ready when needed. TIG can be challenging enough without having to struggle with finding a way to hold some thing.
    this has worked well for me and i hope you all find it just as usefully as i do.
    thanks for checking it out, hope ya like it.
    so on to the pic's.

    003 this is one of it clamped to the aluminum and holding the tab out in the middle for tacking. simple, quick, and effective. you can see the extra parts and connectors in the back of the pic. the blue one is the one dipped in rubber tool grip.

    004 this time i used the magnet attached to the table and held the part up in the middle of a vertical piece to show its versatility with aluminum and the table so you don't have to clamp to it. its a lil faster and just as useful. part is held secure ready to tack/weld

    006 this is another angel of 004

    009 this is a steel piece. i attached the magnet to the side just to give it a challenge and show its capable of meeting any angel needed should you need to reach around some thing.

    012 this is just a close up of the pieces showing the ones i have to work with. you could of coarse make ones that suit your needs if some thing strange was to come up, just add a piece as needed.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    thanks for the help
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat.
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.

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