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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    432
    Location
    Lampasas, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Bad Day

    I started to mow the grass this morning before I got back to building fences but noticed a wobble in one of the wheels of my JD mower. Turns out it had a defective weld. Seems that whoever did the welding missed one of the pieces with the bead so I pulled out my Heliarc welder out to do the job right. As I finished the weld I noticed that the torch was getting pretty hot. Someone, me, had inadvertently turned off the water cooler for the torch. I turned it on and got a shower of antifreeze from the hoses going to the torch. A hole was melted in one of the water hoses - bummer. Fortunately it was only about 4 inches from the end. I spent the rest of the day looking for parts to repair the hose. Well no one stocks parts for this so I had to fire up the lathe and milling machine to make the part I needed. Now I have to find some .020 stainless steel wire to use for hose clamps in the torch. This is also hard to find. I hope I can find some at West Marine tomorrow. I thought I would be able to find some stainless MIG wire but the lame welding supply stores here don't have any of that either. I still need to mow and get back to fence building.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    5,777
    Location
    Wylie, Texas
    Tractor
    JCB165HF

    Default Re: Bad Day

    Doggone it Don! You have my kind of luck! And that ain't bad. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    It always seems that things break when they should where it's where I can do a fix some way some how.

    As for the lame welding suppliers. It's all about the new way of doing business and being competitive. Walmartitis I guess might be the key word. You carry only what moves in a minit and only an hour's worth of that.

    BTW my tig is my Miller Dialarc with a high frequency box and an air cooled torch.

    I also repaired the front end of a tractor week before last. It was off of about a fifty horse NH. But it's problem was bud was too cheap to buy a construction tractor for construction work. So he bought a farm tractor with a front loader. They ain't made the same.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    432
    Location
    Lampasas, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Bad Day

    Good morning Harv.

    Like you said I had some good luck in that I did not melt my torch and the hole was close to the end where it could be repaired. My first plan was to just cut the hose back and see if I could pull it up over the feed wire and reattach it. This would have been quick and easy but when I tried to pull the hose up the wire did not want to go back in the hose so I said heck this fitting is surely a stock item so I will just cut the wire, get a new fitting and crimp it on and the job is done. Well it seems that no one sells parts to repair TIG hoses. They want to sell you new hoses. I did not ask the price of the hose but I had heard they are very expensive and I was determined not to buy an expensive hose because of a part that should cost around $2.

    There are 5 welding suppply stores in Austin if you don't count a couple of specialty stores. I went to 4 of the five. At the first one the guy at the counter just said he did not have any parts and probably did not have the hose either. At the second store the guy was at least sympathetic and offered some suggestions about who might have the part I needed so I bought $100 woth of supplies from him. At the other two stores the guys at the counter just looked at the torch and in 1 second said they did not have any parts for TIG torches but that they would sell me a new hose.

    As it turns out I had a piece of copper tube of the correct size so that it was easy to copy the design of the fitting so I made up a copy and silver soldered it onto the fitting.

    I have a cloth protective cover on my hoses and since it had gotten soaked in antifreeze. I removed it so I could wash it. When I put it back low and behold the feed wire was 4 inches back inside the hose! What this means is that I gave up too quick on trying to get my first idea to work and I could have saved many miles and much time if I have just removed and washed the hose cover first. Live and learn except that what I learned is that I should have never stopped checking the water cooler for water flow when I start the welder. I did this for 20 years without fail and the one time I did not check it was not on. The cooler plugs into a switched outlet on the welder and I leave the power switch on the cooler on all the time so I should always come on automatically but I must have accidently turned it off. I will now always check the sight glass on the cooler as I did in the past. And I will only do business with the welding suppliers in Lampasas and Burnet from now on. These are small towns and even though they only have one welding supply store the guys that run them are much more helpful than at the stores in Austin. They also hire people (or train them) who know something about their business. I cannot understand a welding supply store where the people behind the counter don't know much of anything about the business they are in. Two of the guys in Austin did not know what a TIG torch was when the handle was removed. I just ordered a bunch of TIG consumables from a supplier on the internet because it is so hard to do business with the incompetent people in Austin. I also ordered $440 worth of TIG/gas welding rod from a remote supplier. I would have bought locally if someone had even suggested that they could get the rod for me but if you ask about something they don't stock these guys just say they have never heard of it and they don't have it (translate - too bad sucker).

    I have a Linde 250HF Heliarc machine that I bought in 1981 or 1982 when it first came out. It was a new design with electonic controls and was a better design than the corresponding Miller machine at the time. It listed for more than the Miller 250A machine but I got a very good deal on the machine and excelent service from the dealer. They got Linde to install a power factor correction kit in the machine at not cost to me. This has been an excellent machine that is especially good for aluminum. It has variable high frequency and post flow control for the shielding gas. The foot control was included in the package. I went to London to work for two years in 1988 and this welding supply store went out of business while I was gone. I really hated to see him go because he was by far the best welding supplier in town. I also bought a 225A Linde wire feed welder from him. On this deal I was supposed to get a reconditioned used machine and at 1/2 the new price. The reconditioned machine took longer to get back to the store than they planned so they gave me a new machine at the same price with the rationalization that they got some new machines in to put in a lease program and they would just give me the new machine and put the reconditioned on in the lease program. They also installed a new spot/stich timer in the machine for no cost to me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bad Day

    0.020 stainless should be easily found through an airport facility or tool supplier. Safety wire is not exactly cheap though. Ask nice and someone would probably give you a couple of feet of it.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    432
    Location
    Lampasas, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Bad Day

    I finally found some .023 stainless MIG wire at $34. I got the torch fixed and now I am going to faithfully check to see that coolant is flowing everytime I turn the welder on. I don't know what I am going to do with the roll of MIG wire though. I will probably just put it in the drawer with the two rolls of aluminum MIG wire that I bought 20 years ago and never used.

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