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Gas Lens + Pipe Screens = No More Spatter in Lenses!

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  • Gas Lens + Pipe Screens = No More Spatter in Lenses!

    I'm new to the forum here but I'd like to start off by saying that welders get screwed a lot when it comes to supplies and equipment. Welding gas, hoods, tungsten grinders, consumables, specialty clamps, cleaning solvents, even tig coolant can be a total rip-off for welders if they aren't careful. This thread was meant to share a few tips with other welders so they don't get scammed, starting with a method to avoid the need to buy any more gas lens collets.

    There is a myth that welders do not represent a meaningful market to gas distributors and other retailers and therefore there is not a lot of profit made off of welding gas and supplies. This is a complete misunderstanding. If you walk into a LWS and buy without calling around, you are going to pay several times the amount you could be paying. Argon comes from the air. No matter how many resources become scarce or unfeasibly expensive, there will always be argon in the air, so jacking up the price of argon and other fractionally-distilled-from-air gases cannot be justified. Just don't give a LWS business if they stick you with high prices and hazmat charges.

    If you are already using a gas lens you are probably aware of either the fact that welding gas cost can get expensive, or the need to provide better shielding to stainless and titanium parts. Welders just use these gas lens collets until they get clogged-up with spatter, then they toss them and use another one. This is money thrown down the toilet. There are these stainless and brass mesh screens known as pipe screens which can be purchased online or at what is known as a "head shop" or a place where tobacco pipes are sold (call them first to check). I recently purchased 1000 brass screens from Amazon for $14.95 with S/H included-- that gives you an idea of how inexpensive they are. I recommend the stainless ones over the brass but either can be made to work.

    Punch or drill a hole just slightly smaller (or the same size if possible) than the diameter of the tungsten you will be working with in the center of each screen and stick one on your tungsten between the alumina cup and the gas lens like a stainless sausage patty on a shish kebab. When you start using these more often you will probably find a more sophisticated way of holding the screen in place. If the diameter of your screen is the right size (buy the right size screens so you don't have to cut them down) they will fit right in the back of your cup and will be stopped at the constriction in the front. If you have an oversized cup you may not have that constriction as a backstop. What an easy way to save expensive gas lenses from the rubbish bin!

  • #2
    So much for a warm welcome

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    • #3
      I am confused.
      Nothing welded, Nothing gained

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      • #4
        Originally posted by shovelon View Post
        I am confused.
        me too... "head shop" "spatter" ??????

        guess I will keep on using the gas lenses I already have...
        .

        *******************************************
        The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

        “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

        Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

        My Blue Stuff:
        Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
        Dynasty 200DX
        Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
        Millermatic 200

        TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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        • #5
          What is there to be confused about? Spatter is not frequent in TIG, yes, but from time to time little balls of molten metal will fuse to the stainless diffuser screen in a gas lens. That is why a pipe screen comes in handy to prevent the lens from clogging.

          These are the sorts of screens I am talking about:
          http://www.rollingforce.com/?c=29&cn...s+Pipe+Screens

          There are no cheaper alternatives as far as I can tell; pipe screen are the cheapest available screens that will readily work.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can understand your desire to save money... but from my point of view, the actual equipment that has been developed and proven is inexpensive enough for the job that it performs... and while pipe screens may "look alike" a gas lens screen I am not sure that is a viable answer..... just because something looks like an item does not mean that it will perform the same.... looks to be maybe penny wise but pound foolish...
            Good Luck with it nonetheless.................
            .

            *******************************************
            The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

            “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

            Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

            My Blue Stuff:
            Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
            Dynasty 200DX
            Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
            Millermatic 200

            TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

            Comment


            • #7
              I am telling you I am using gas lenses but putting pipe screens in front of them to prevent spatter from reaching the lens. I don't think I can be any more clear than that. It means I can use the same gas lens over and over again and not have to change it. Pipe screens cost literally pennies. I have not seen gas lens collet bodies for less than about $2.15 each and those were cheap Chinese imports. Weldcraft gas lens collet bodies can go for more than $6 each depending on your supplier. Wouldn't it be nice to make good consumables last a long time?

              I think some people would definitely appreciate this idea, it has saved me from swapping lenses already!

              Comment


              • #8
                Fair and free,

                I appreciate what you are trying to help with.
                But I believe it would get the message across better if you post detailed photos showing the application of this along with the description you have provided.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I get it without any additional visual aids.... will use my gas lenses as designed and intended... any mods will change their functionality...
                  is not a matter of understanding your intent... just that the cost benefit ratio in my case dictates using unadulterated equipment...
                  .

                  *******************************************
                  The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                  “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                  Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                  My Blue Stuff:
                  Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                  Dynasty 200DX
                  Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                  Millermatic 200

                  TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hardcore

                    Thanks for tip. Most of guys on hear are hardcore welders and overly friendly to noobs, don't take it personal. If you are looking for a more social group to noobs try everlast forum. I don't do alot of posting here just sit on the side and try to suck up info from the pro welders on this forum.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks, I got that impression. If anyone has trouble visualizing it: I took one of these,
                      made a hole in it to allow the tungsten to slide through (should be snug), and then slid the tungsten through an ordinary gas lens so that this screen shown in the photo (impaled with a tungsten electrode) shields the gas lens collet body diffuser from spatter and weld debris. Then you just screw / press on the gas lens alumina or pyrex nozzle and start welding. It works great and I save money. What's not to like?

                      Another trick is using several drops of Physan 20 in distilled water as a TIG torch coolant additive for water cooled torches. Keeps the water clear of algae, fungal spores, and other microbes that might end up growing in there. Far cheaper than expensive coolant, but Miller will void your warranty if you use anything other than their recommended coolant in their Coolmate circulator. I'm using a brass carbon-vane Procon pump to circulate my water-based coolant and it works well. You can use reverse osmosis water if you have a DI filter after the RO membrane, much faster than waiting for water to distill.
                      Last edited by fairandfree; 12-15-2011, 04:29 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like the idea very simple. don't see it changing gas flow just a added protection for a gas lense. some may need you to draw them a picture can't grasp it. or try to get over technical and analize it to a science
                        (lmbo) Have a good day!!!!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not for nothing but I haven't noticed that much "splattering" inside my torch - I am not a professional, just a hobbiest.

                          I get a little splatter from MIG but not TIG - is that not one of the advantages?
                          Roger Troue

                          Retired since 2004

                          Miller 211
                          Miller 200 Syncro
                          Miller 375 Extreme

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                          • #14
                            Yes, TIG is usually spatterless, but spatter does still happen. This is an arc-welding process; spatter can result at any moment you hit a not so clean area on the work, if you get a gas surge for some reason or if something goes wrong momentarily, etc. It takes a split second and you get little steel balls stuck on your diffuser which will not come off. This is how a gas lens collet body meets its demise.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would suggest that if someone is having a spatter problem while TIG welding... that the problem is NOT a need for auxiliary screens inside the cup... but a problem of technique or preparation..... it is usually a result of improperly cleaned weld area, contamination, corrosion, or submerging the tungsten in the puddle.... and very rarely a contaminated bottle of gas....... If you are having that severe a problem with spatter inside the cup...I would back up and take a close look at technique and process......... TIG Welding requires scrupulously clean material, tungsten and filler....... "Welding Through" contaminents is a bad practice....

                              Why worry about putting an additional screen on the gas lens when the "real" answer is to eliminate the cause of that spatter...??... that is the root of the problem....
                              Last edited by H80N; 12-15-2011, 09:14 PM. Reason: clarity....
                              .

                              *******************************************
                              The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                              “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                              Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                              My Blue Stuff:
                              Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                              Dynasty 200DX
                              Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                              Millermatic 200

                              TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                              Comment

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