Tig Welding with a Torch Switch and how to use 2t and 4t Settings
First, let me say that I like to use a foot pedal for most of my Tig welding. There is just no substitute for precise amperage control without the risk of moving the torch.
That said, there are times when a torch switch can be pretty handy.
torch switch is basically an on/off switch so whatever you have the
amperage set on the machine is what you get when you press the switch.
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With a Torch Switch you dont have any amperage control
Well, not exactly.
That is where 2t, 4t, and upslope/downslope settings come into play.
What is 2t and 4t?
The t in 2t and 4t indicates the number if touches on the switch that it takes to initiate a different phase of the ramping up or ramping down of the welding current.
So by using the 2t setting and by adjusting the upslope and downslope, there is a certain level of amperage control....not quite as good as a foot pedal amperage control, but better than nothing.
What are some applications where 2t and 4t functions work with a torch switch?
stainless steel tubing weld done on turntable using 2t settings and a timer switch
- Jobs that are large, and require dragging a foot pedal around a work bench can sometimes be done using a torch switch.
- Manual pulsing on aluminum tubing (use 2t setting along with 0 upslope and 2.5-3 seconds of downslope)
- Any thick part that does not require fine amperage control.
- Semi automated jobs using a stationary tig torch and a turntable.
- making quick burst tack welds ( I set my amps to 1.5 to 2 times what I would use to weld...and then using a tight arc, quickly press trigger and let off)
A typical 2t setup for an 11 ga thick lap joint using a torch switch
- pre flow set to .3 sec
- start amps set to 10 amps
- 3 seconds upslope
- 111 amps main amperage
- 4 seconds downslope
- 10 amps end current
- 7 seconds postflow
For really fine tig welding, you really need a foot pedal
While a torch switch comes in handy, it is not the best all around way to tig weld.
I can think of all types of jobs where a foot pedal is the only way to go because any extra hand motion can cause problems.
- welding really thin wall tubing whether steel, stainless steel, inconel, aluminum, or titanium
- tool and die repair
- injection mold repair
- aircraft parts
- any weld joint with a poor fitup or wide gap
see more tig welding videos
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