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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    107

    Default CK FlexLoc Tig torch query.

    I've seen the videos of CK's range of FlexLoc torches with the 360 degree rotating heads and they interest me quite a bit.
    I'm just trying to get my head around the water cooled range and how they actually work in getting water up around the head of torch during welding.
    I just can't see how they can rotate the head around and still get water and gas flow and still keep everything sealed.
    Do they in fact run water up to the head or is the head of torch just air cooled?
    Perhaps those that may have the torch or seen them in action would have a better idea on if they actually water cool the head of the torch.
    Regards Andrew from Oz.
    We are tig welders, gravity doesn't worry us.

    Miller Dynasty 350 Tig.
    OTC AVP300 AC/DC 300 amp hybrid wave Tig. (now retired)
    Kemppi MLS 2300 230amp AC/DC Tig for home with all the bells and whistles.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    yuba city, CA
    Posts
    52

    Default ck flex lock torch cooling

    Quote Originally Posted by awill4x4 View Post
    I've seen the videos of CK's range of FlexLoc torches with the 360 degree rotating heads and they interest me quite a bit.
    I'm just trying to get my head around the water cooled range and how they actually work in getting water up around the head of torch during welding.
    I just can't see how they can rotate the head around and still get water and gas flow and still keep everything sealed.
    Do they in fact run water up to the head or is the head of torch just air cooled?
    Perhaps those that may have the torch or seen them in action would have a better idea on if they actually water cool the head of the torch.
    Regards Andrew from Oz.
    I'm on my 4th flex loc head since 1998.
    I think it's the 2nd complete torch set.
    The gas flows thru the swivel.
    The coolant does not flow thru the swivel.
    The brass construction of the swivel acts as a heat sink, transferring the heat thru the swivel, where it's cooled.
    The CK design of the coolant passages in the head, per CK's
    claim--allows for better cooling than the Weldcraft version.

    The swivel part will gradually degrade and wear out,
    requiring at least replacement of the head, sometimes the
    torch body. Figure 3-4 years, depending on total arc time.

    The swivel coolant passages are still more restrictive than a regular
    torch. I have to adjust coolant pump pressure to 50-60 PSI to
    get 1 quart/min. outflow back into the cooler.

    I try to extend the life of the flex loc by intermittently cooling
    it down with compressed air, when pausing-anyway and always before shutting off the cooler. The ceramic cup is by far--the hottest part of any torch and holds lots of heat.

    Combined with the silicone rubber jacketed leads (which I argued
    with and asked CK engineering to do, in '98, which they did, despite their conviction that stiff vinyl leads were easy to use)
    .......the flex loc is the easiest, mid amp range, ergometric, user
    friendly torch to manage.........that's 'why?' I've spent the bux to keep using them.
    You can change torch attitude on the fly, you don't have to contort
    to get desired torch attitude, you can get the torch head (with a button cap) into small places, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Dave, thank you for your prompt answer.
    Are you using your torch in the small wp20 or the larger wp18 ?
    I see the FlexLoc's are rated at 230 amps for the 20's and 250 amps for the larger head 18's
    I've used large 18/26's for most of my working life but recently started using the smaller water cooled wp20 torches which I've grown to appreciate, particularly for their flexibility and ability to get into small areas.
    I see by your post the heads need replacing after a while. Can you remember how much just for a head replacement?
    We do a lot of tubular chassis work and I can see the benefits of using them but I'm a little concerned about their ability to handle heat when welding Aluminium.
    Regards Andrew from Oz.
    We are tig welders, gravity doesn't worry us.

    Miller Dynasty 350 Tig.
    OTC AVP300 AC/DC 300 amp hybrid wave Tig. (now retired)
    Kemppi MLS 2300 230amp AC/DC Tig for home with all the bells and whistles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    yuba city, CA
    Posts
    52

    Default more answers raise more questions

    Quote Originally Posted by awill4x4 View Post
    Dave, thank you for your prompt answer.
    Are you using your torch in the small wp20 or the larger wp18 ?
    #20
    I see the FlexLoc's are rated at 230 amps for the 20's and 250 amps for the larger head 18's
    I've used large 18/26's for most of my working life but recently started using the smaller water cooled wp20 torches which I've grown to appreciate, particularly for their flexibility and ability to get into small areas.

    I see by your post the heads need replacing after a while. Can you remember how much just for a head replacement?
    about US $230--that's actually for the torch body and swing head assembly, about 3 years ago--no leads.

    We do a lot of tubular chassis work and I can see the benefits of using them but I'm a little concerned about their ability to handle heat when welding Aluminium.
    .....ummm..on a dynasty 350...by focusing the AC arc, one can pump an amazing amount of heat without running He mixed Argon.

    The Chris Razor, Miller videos point this out. He may be running He mix, sometimes, but none the less--note what amp settings he mentions when welding on massive AL engine blocks. The same work is wholly possible with a 350 setup to really pump heat on AC without He mix.

    I only use 100% Ar. For example--max. amps on new, 3/8" 6061 tee joint plate welds was.......150 with 3/32" lanthium. Once the weldment came uP to heat, kept backing down from that 150 amps with the pedal.
    It's all about focusing that arc, then playing with the EN/EP, trading off with balance, frequency, etc.
    I've yet to see just how much more heat is possible under ideal conditions.

    On large castings or weldments, with my old TA 300 GTSW inverter, focusing the arc as the machine allowed, my max. setting using the #20 was 230 amps and it rocked.
    I never smoked a torch.

    Regards Andrew from Oz.
    Andrew, I sent you a PM a while ago, don't know if you saw it.
    dave

    (now there will be Diversion 160 owners whining that they can't weld 3/8" AL plate at 150 amps)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    178

    Default

    I've been using the 150 amp air cooled CK flex lock tig torch for several years. I like these torches. The torches with the gas valve are the units I use. No complaints about them from me.
    Lincoln Idealarc 250 stick/tig
    Miller Bluestar 2E
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
    Torchmate CNC table

    Ironworker Welder
    Operating engineer
    Owner/Operator Devlin Metal Works
    Custom CNC Plasma Cutting and Welding

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