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I Forge Iron

Pedal or Fingertip Control?


harrismetalsmith

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I was a tig welder for quite a few years specializing in alum and stainless. Always used foot pedal but for some pipe work in the field a hand control is the only thing you can use. There are a few different designs of them so if you do go that route try them all first before buying. I think though for almost all work done in a shop foot control is the only way to go.
Rob

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The other man's grass is always greener,or you always want what you don't have.
My TIG is an old one with a shunt transformer and no foot control. It does me fine.I always want more control coming to the end of a weld on ali,a bit hard with a simple on/off, but, I don't do enough to warrant buying a new one.

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Thats it exactly. In the shop, especialy bench work, the foot petal is the best.
In the feild, you can't beat a finger switch. Ladders, stairs, awkward positions etc. Using a foot petal in the feild, I have had to use my knee, my butt, or the worst of all, have someone else run the petal. Given only one choice, I would use a finger switch.

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You will need to know your machine and how to use it. You can use the foot pedal as an on-off switch if you set the max power on the machine to your welding power. Then all you do in an odd position is stomp the pedal to the floor and if lucky you can back off at the end. That way the arc wont start untill you want it to. Not to be done regularly but you should know how. Also handy sometimes to use the foot pedal with stick rod but again not often. As arftist says fingertip for the field is best but you also should be able to weld without a pedal or fingrtip control. Set machine to welding amperage and weld, like dave e does. That is how to weld thinwall stainless tube with purge gas inside so the weld looks the same on the inside as outside, no filler rod either. You must know how to do all of the above. hope this helps.
Rob

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Thanks for the comments all.
I have a weldcraft crafter series torch. I have been welding with no control, but it has been tough. To do it right seems like I am constantly resetting the amperage. I am planning on getting a foot pedal, but I was hesitating, because you can get a finger controled torch for about the samecost as a pedal. I will plan on getting a finger control to run off my Trailblazer 302.
My tig machine is a Miller XMT 350 mpa. Mutiprocess unit.

Has anyone tried the metal built tig pedals off ebay instead of the cluncky Miller ones?

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I have a Linde UCC-305 and run a foot pedal. The smallest foot pedal I have seen was a Lincoln, it was about the size of a large wallet. Could easily slip it under your arm if you were in a in a difficult area.

Using a foot pedal with stick is nice, really helps being able to control the amperage on some items.

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I too run a Miller XMT 350 power source with a CK watercooled torch with a built in thumb control. The torch is cooled with a Milller Coolmate. I used to use a Esab gas cooled torch with an aftermarket thumb control that attached to the torch handle with velcro straps, but it was awkward, because it was bigger and sometimes slid out of position. The watercooled torch is much lighter , with a more flexible lead that is covered with a soft leather sheath.

I am not a welder per say , but a blacksmith doing artistic work. The thumb control lets me work all over a large complex piece from the best position.

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I use both and have to say I prefer a foot control unless in the field.... Miller makes several different pedals but I dont know about the one you mentioned

How do you like your XMT 350? I have a XMT 304 and a XMT 456 but dont use either one to tig with, I have a Maxstar 200 DX I use for field work and a 300 sq wave Lincoln in the shop

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I use both and have to say I prefer a foot control unless in the field.... Miller makes several different pedals but I dont know about the one you mentioned

How do you like your XMT 350? I have a XMT 304 and a XMT 456 but dont use either one to tig with, I have a Maxstar 200 DX I use for field work and a 300 sq wave Lincoln in the shop


I think I will definitely add a foot pedal ASAP. I have limited tig experience, that seems to be the way to go for the best control.
I love the XMT 350 mpa, it is the first machine that I've had that had pulse capability. It is a handful at first on the programing side. That's also the reason I went with it, I wanted to be able to program the starts, wire speed, amperage, etc. But the Miller rep came out and helped alot. I just added the dual mpa feeder, I'm running steel on one side, and a push pull Aluma Pro on the other. That is really nice. I have it mounted on a little boom arm abouv my main fab area. I had to add a secong mig machine, and I didn't have a tig, so the extra money to get a 400 amp inverter tig included seemed worth it. It doesn't do ac on the tig but oh well. The pulse mig is so sweet I don't need it. I don't do thin alum.
So, I like it alot.
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Sounds like a sweet set up..... I think its wise to get a foot control first but someday if you come across one Id snag a finger control too if you can... it can be a real bugger to try and run the foot control with your knee on a ladder (something I have tried to do) you get the most natural and I think most fluid control with a pedal though, its defiantly what I would pick if I only could have one.......

 

 

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I have both and each has it purpose. I have a Miller Syncrowave 250, 304 XMT and a 302 Trailblazer which I have used a hand remote on for field work. The remote is a Miller with the rheostat that runs at a right angle to the handle. I have also used remotes that run parallel to the handle, and a slide which I liked alot. My favorite though is a Miller Dynasty with a simple rocker on and off and a machine that you can program with a ramp up current a pulsing mode and then ramp down. I wish I could afford that machine but it was sure nice to use.

I have seen a lot of people who struggle with the hand remote. It is a bit difficult to learn to use if you are not very cordinated or have not done alot of TIG welding.

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It just depends. If I'm on a stool at a bench I like a foot pedal but if I'm crawling around the inside of a tank the finger control is better and lastly if I don't have to adjust in action I don't.

Get used to what you have, just like anything else.

Frosty the Lucky.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Son thats what the control is about. Foot or finger depending on your rig
shouldn't have to turn it down just less pedal or finger. I use 040 on low range. 062 on second range.3/32 on 3rd and 1/8+ on high. the dry rig is a backup
I need the wet one over 200 amps. Savesa little on the gas also.
Ken.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I started out with tig I used a foot pedal for everything but most of my work is aluminum stair repairs and railing so I got the finger control for my feild work. Now I use the finger for everything. For me I rarely get any work where I get to just sit there and weld, It's usually a larger piece that I gotta walk around. I find the finger control much more versatile and easier when switching positions around the piece and I dont have to drag the foot pedal with me.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 10 years later...

I'm on the edge want to try a wireless foot pedal. Been welding 42 yrs. Specializing and stainless pipe boilermaker cyanide bromine chlorine all the really nice stuff we didn't even have a finger control for heat it was air-cooled torch got turned the knob to turn on the gas and scratch start you would have to set your machine at whatever heat range you're going to want and you're on your own and the foot pedal is wonderful but I've got a spot where the cable has to be just in the right place for it to react so I really do want to try a wireless and see how it goes Miller trailblazer 302

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  • 1 month later...

I used a welder with a pedal once. Didn't much care for it. I guess I could get used to it if I used it more. But I grew up using an old transformer rig with no remote option for amperage.  It did have a on/off foot switch for HF though.

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