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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    23

    Default Fit of gas lens into insulator?

    I had a gas lens for my Weldcraft WP-17 torch and clogged the screen with spatter due to inexperience, so I ordered a replacement off eBay.

    The replacement lens screws into the threads fine, but the taper at the back of the lens is different and doesn't seat fully into the insulator, leaving about a 1/16" gap between the rear of the threads and the insulater. The problem is that the collet won't close on the tungsten on the new gas lens. I measured the thick part of the tapers on the old and new lenses. The new one that doesn't fit is 0.030 larger in diameter.

    I have an inquiry in to the vendor to learn their thoughts, but I'm waiting to hear. Have others encountered this before? Is this an odd size gas lens / defective gas lens? Do you have to match the insulator to the brand of gas lens that you're using rather than the torch? (I would think not, but I don't know). Is the insulator flexible enough that you just screw it in until the collet will work or will this break the insulator?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    140

    Default

    Hi RWL,

    I have had a similar problem but not with a Weldcraft torch. What gas lens are you using? I have used a 45Vxx medium and large and a 17GLxxx stubby gas lens body with my WP17. None of them have a "taper" to their shape. The only one I know of with a taper to the body is the 11GLxx which is for the WP12 water cooled torch. Have a look here http://www.weldcraft.com/parts-accessories/ for some great pictures and a cross reference to part numbers.

    Please let me know what model you are using and I will think on the problem some more.

    Ken

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    23

    Default Taper on gas lens

    It is a 45V26. If you look closely at yours, you'll see a short taper at the rear of the large diameter threads. This is what seals the body to the insulator. I don't think either my original gas lens or the replacement are Weldcraft parts. The manufacturer isn't identified on either gas lens, just the size.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    140

    Default

    OK, I think I am on to something... I have looked through my collection of medium gas lens bodies. I find 2 distinct variations.

    A genuine Weldcraft, a CK Worldwide and a generic from one on-line source are all square at the place where the copper stem joins the larger diameter brass piece. When these are fitted along with the 54N01 spacer insulator and screwed in tightly the spacer insulator is free to move. The seal is achieved between the spacer and the gas nozzle.

    I also have some with the small taper on the brass as you described. I had never noticed before but this style will snug the spacer. I guess that is a good thing as it would force all gas to pass through the lens and not around the large threads. I also observed that the copper stem on these style gas lens bodies is about 1/16" shorter than the other style if I measure from the small end to the start of the large threads.

    Here is what I would recommend. Screw the gas lens body into the torch WITHOUT the spacer in place. See if the collet will hold a tungsten when you tighten the back cap. If so, the gas lens body was probably not fully screwed in. Try tightening the gas lens body against the spacer with a little more conviction

    It does not take much. I had just purchased a couple of stubby gas lens bodies. I installed the special insulator and the body on my (EXPENSIVE) CK Worldwide Flex Lock torch. And I could not get it to pinch the tungsten. The gas lens body and collet were genuine Weldcraft (there are no generics yet), the insulator was genuine CK. All EXPENSIVE. I was not happy.

    So I tried the body in a Weldcraft WP17 with a genuine Weldcraft insulator for the WP17 (ridiculously EXPENSIVE) and it worked. But of course the Weldcraft insulator will not work on the CK torch. I went back to the CK torch and reinstalled everything. Still no go. I snugged the gas lens body less than 1/4 turn more and it works like a charm.

    Give that a try. If it still does not work... were these 2 for $5.99? from a vendor in Georgia? If so, I know where you purchased them. I have used their products with great results. If there is a problem I am sure the vendor will work with you.

    Ken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by taylorkh View Post
    Here is what I would recommend. Screw the gas lens body into the torch WITHOUT the spacer in place. See if the collet will hold a tungsten when you tighten the back cap. If so, the gas lens body was probably not fully screwed in. Try tightening the gas lens body against the spacer with a little more conviction

    Give that a try. If it still does not work... were these 2 for $5.99? from a vendor in Georgia? If so, I know where you purchased them. I have used their products with great results. If there is a problem I am sure the vendor will work with you.

    Ken
    If the insulator is not in place, the gas lens seats fully and the collet works. Below are two photos showing the problem. One with the original gas lens fully seated, and the other with the new gas lens that won't seat by about 3/32". I'm afraid that if I screw the gas lens any tighter it will crack the insulator - $$$$.
    I did some measuring. The large part of the taper on the original gas lens measures 0.555" The new one measures 0.582 dia. The inside diameter of the insulator is 0.520" with my digital calipers.

    Yes. The collets did come from the vendor in GA and we've been in email contact today.

    01 Original lens that fits (Large).jpg
    02 Lens that doesn't fit - name wiped out (Large).jpg
    Last edited by RWL; 03-04-2013 at 08:40 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    140

    Default

    Where did you get that insulator? Is it Weldcraft brand? I purchased one as an accessory for my CK Flex Lock torch. I experienced EXACTLY the same problem with the gas lens body from the same vendor. That is when I determined that the stem on the body with the taper was shorter that the non-tapered body.

    Until I found the one-piece CK insulator I always understood that two pieces were required. An 18CG attaches to the torch body and will allow the use of a standard collet body. Then the 54N01 spacer adapts from the 18CG to the gas lens nozzle. You might pickup those two parts and give it a try. If you purchased several gas lens bodies from the vendor - explain the problem and he might even send you the two insulator pieces for free or at least pickup the shipping.

    Ken

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by taylorkh View Post
    Where did you get that insulator? Is it Weldcraft brand?

    Until I found the one-piece CK insulator I always understood that two pieces were required. An 18CG attaches to the torch body and will allow the use of a standard collet body. Then the 54N01 spacer adapts from the 18CG to the gas lens nozzle. You might pickup those two parts and give it a try. If you purchased several gas lens bodies from the vendor - explain the problem and he might even send you the two insulator pieces for free or at least pickup the shipping.

    Ken
    I think this is the vendor from which I got my gas lens setup:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/TIG-welding-...item20ab39f7de

    At least the picture matches what I remember buying a couple of years ago. They refer to the white insulator as the "heat shield" rather than as an insulator. I don't think these are OEM Weldcraft parts, but rather aftermarket knockoffs. Is their "heat shield" not the same as 54N01? I didn't realize 54N01 needed to be used with the 18cg insulator. I thought it replaced the 18cg since the "heat shield" worked without the 18cg insulator.

    ...I'm confused about what I have and what I need. Are my original set of 4 gas lenses not a standard size or is the one I got recently from the vendor in GA not a standard size? I'm awaiting a response from the vendor in GA, but in your experience, what do you think I need to make the new gas lens fit? I can find the 54N01 in the parts list, but I'm not sure what a CK is or whether that's what I need.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    140

    Default

    Here is the setup for a medium gas lens on a WP17



    The 18CG snaps onto the torch. The 54N01 goes next. I have had no problems with this setup and any medium gas lens bodies.

    And next we have a LARGE 45Vxxx gas lens body. It uses a 54N63 insulator, spacer, gasket whatever you wish to call it.



    And last but not least, well rather my favorite a stubby gas lens.



    The stubby uses an obscure insulator 17GLG20. I have not found any generic ones and the Weldcraft ones are $$$. On the other hand CK Worldwide makes CK4GHS which will fit but is loose. It will work and is a little cheaper.

    For what it is worth... To quote a CK tech support fellow I spoke with a few weeks ago "CK consumables will fit other manufacturer's torches but other manufacturers consumables might not fit our torches." In the case of insulators, Weldcraft and most other torches have a rubber or plastic end over which the insulator snaps. On a CK torch the insulator snaps over the solid brass body of the torch. Thus is must be of a little bigger inside diameter because the brass will not flex.

    Hope this helps.

    Ken
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by taylorkh View Post
    Here is the setup for a medium gas lens on a WP17

    The 18CG snaps onto the torch. The 54N01 goes next. I have had no problems with this setup and any medium gas lens bodies.

    And next we have a LARGE 45Vxxx gas lens body. It uses a 54N63 insulator, spacer, gasket whatever you wish to call it.

    And last but not least, well rather my favorite a stubby gas lens.

    Ken
    Yes. Those photos and your summary were very helpful. WeldingCity refunded my purchase price without asking. Now that I've seen your photos, I've ordered a 54N01 insulator from them. If the gas lens works with the new insulator, I'll send them back a check for the cost of the gas lenses.

    What's the purpose / when do you use a large gas lens or a stubby gas lens?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    140

    Default

    Glad I could help. I knew Liang would make things right. I have been very pleased with the service from weldingcity since I first purchased from them several years ago. And if you have not yet put in your order, get one of his WP-17F flex neck torches. It will let you bend the neck of the torch when necessary to more easily obtain the correct angle to the work. You need only purchase the torch head as it will fit to your existing cable/hose and the consumables you have will fit it. I purchased one a couple years back and have found it to be nearly indestructible. It will carry max amps better than my high dollar CK Flex Lock or even my Weldcraft brand WP17.

    As to the large gas lens... I guess it will provide a little more gas coverage as the outlet diameter of the nozzle is huge. A #12 nozzle has an outlet ID of 12/16 or 3/4". It might be useful for stainless or titanium where max coverage is necessary. I purchased a couple just to try them. I have tried them and not used them since as it is like welding with a billiard ball on the end of the torch.

    As to the stubby gas lens... Now we are getting somewhere. I got the idea from the #1 TIG salesman on the Internet, Jody Collier at weldingtipsandtricks.com. WARNING - if you watch his videos 1) you will learn a lot and 2) you will want to buy a lot. His videos prompted me to purchase a TIG Finger (his product which supports his site), a CK Flex Lock torch, a Dynasty 200 DX (for pulse capability) and the stubby gas lens.

    The advantage of the stubby is that it is small and very easy to manipulate and get into tight places. The only down side I have found is that the medium gas lens acts as a much better heat exchanger than the tiny stubby. My CK torch especially will run much hotter at 150 amps with the stubby lens in place.

    As far as obtaining the stubby lens and insulator... weldingsupply.com has them at the best prices I have found. However, their shipping is murder on a small order. arc-zone.com has them but the shipping charges computed by their web site are outrageous. That said, I left some items in my shopping cart after I saw the shipping. I got an email from them a couple of days later asking why I did not complete the purchase. I told them that for the shipping quoted the items should arrive in a chauffeured limousine. I got an email back saying to call them and they would work with me on shipping. I have not done so but it might be worth a try. weldfabulous.com also has the parts but at a higher price.

    The collets are the same as for the WP17 non-gas lens stubby collet (e.g. 10N24S) and the nozzles are the same as for the WP9 gas lens. Both are available as generics.

    Ken

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