how to make a diy tungsten holder
Tig Welding Consumables...
The guts of a tig welding torch are pretty simple. You have the tig cup also called the nozzle, a collet, collet body, end cap, Teflon insulator, and tungsten.
So how hard could that be to keep organized?
Well, when you consider the fact that tungsten comes in sizes ranging from .020” to 3/16” ( and even bigger although most welders dont go much bigger than 1/8" ) and collets and collet bodies come in the same sizes to fit all the different tungsten electrodes, and the fact the end caps come in different lengths, and tig cups come in all different sizes also….
Before you know it , you can have a big amorphous pile of crap to sort through when you want to change your set up. ( the word of the day is amorphous...it means lacking organization or unity)
There are products out there to help you do it,like the Tig Caddie, but I found my solution on the cheap.
Drum roll please……………
Foam…high density packing foam to be exact.
Using a piece of high density packing foam like you find in all kinds of boxes in all kinds of dumpsters, you can make your own tig welding consumable organizer...it is great for holding electrodes along with all the tig cups, collet bodies, collets, end caps,etc.
Its also a good way to hold a bunch of freshly sharpened electrodes…and to keep the sharp ones separated from the dull ones.
Welders I used to work with would use a piece of copper tubing with an end cap soldered on one end and another loose cap on the other to keep all their tungsten in a pocket. Thats great for in the field but for the shop, you have all that other stuff to store and its good it you can store it in a way that is useful.
What I found to work is to stick sharpened tungsten in the foam and then to slide several different common setups over them like kabobs on a grill.
What I really like about it is that everything is visible and matched up to the size of electrode.
You can fasten the strip of foam to a base of sheet metal to keep it from tipping over, or you can do what I did and use some 2 sided tape to hold it in place on top of your machine.
I actually think the base idea might be handier since it would allow you to keep it on your work table or anywhere else at arms reach.
Tip….if you cant find some high density packing foam, you can use a noodle. ( you know one of those long pool toys you see at the dollar store)