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  1. #1
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    Default TECH: Make a cheap tig tungsten grinder

    I try and try to grind my tungstens without contaminating them but sooner or later the wheel I use on my pedestal grinder with the "tungsten only" stone on it get used for other metal too. Well, I decided I wanted a tungsten grinder that I can have right next to me when I need it.

    I could buy one of these really nice HTP handheld pieces for $230+ but I'm cheap.


    Or I could spend $50 and 15 minutes to build something portable and simple that would do a good job out of these three cheap pieces from HF.


    Trim grinder arbor on the lathe to fit the diamond wheel. You could just file the hole on the diamond wheel to fit the arbor if you don't have access to a lathe.



    Drill a couple different size holes for your tungstens in the grinder guard. Make sure you run the drill bit at an angle once you drill through the material so you can angle the tungsten so the grind marks run longitudinally (towards the point). I use the router rheostat to dial down the rpm on the grinder a bit.



    Some results. Just need some adjustments to get exactly what I need.
    Last edited by specialseventynine; 12-14-2010 at 6:06 PM.

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    Pretty clever as usual. Thanks for posting.

  3. #3
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    Ya know I can't remember exactly how we did it but about 30 years ago when i was welding for a living, we used a can of some kind of compound and shorted out the tungsten,when it was red hot, then dipped it into the compound and it basicly ate it into a needle point. There has to be some old time welders on here that know what I'm talking about. It worked very well. Other than that, I always ground it just like you are doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrotten1369 View Post
    Ya know I can't remember exactly how we did it but about 30 years ago when i was welding for a living, we used a can of some kind of compound and shorted out the tungsten,when it was red hot, then dipped it into the compound and it basicly ate it into a needle point. There has to be some old time welders on here that know what I'm talking about. It worked very well. Other than that, I always ground it just like you are doing.
    It's still around. I wanted to try it but never have.
    http://weldingdirect.com/chemtunpoinp.html

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    that shit is pretty interesting.... Might try some, cheap too. Although with only 500 sharpenings per jar, I'll need another jar by the end of the weekend.

    I was just going to buy one of these for about 100 bucks on special. Cheap shit but keep a belt just for doing tungsten, cheaper and easier and nicer to use than a grinding wheel.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jrotten1369 View Post
    Ya know I can't remember exactly how we did it but about 30 years ago when i was welding for a living, we used a can of some kind of compound and shorted out the tungsten,when it was red hot, then dipped it into the compound and it basicly ate it into a needle point. There has to be some old time welders on here that know what I'm talking about. It worked very well. Other than that, I always ground it just like you are doing.
    Chem Sharp is some cool stuff. The old timer that showed it to me said its what they use to sharpen hypodermic needles. It works great, but takes a little more time than using a grinder.

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    http://www.stilotig-tig-welding-accessory.com/

    add this to the set-up and your styling , great idea i have to do something similar AC tig which i just started playing with seems more finicky when it comes to grind quality when compared to DC .

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    great info !

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyfrombc View Post
    http://www.stilotig-tig-welding-accessory.com/

    add this to the set-up and your styling , great idea i have to do something similar AC tig which i just started playing with seems more finicky when it comes to grind quality when compared to DC .
    I think he's using one in the photo. I see a lot of guys chuck tungsten up in a screw gun to rotate while sharpening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imtheslime View Post
    I think he's using one in the photo. I see a lot of guys chuck tungsten up in a screw gun to rotate while sharpening.
    I'm actually just using a pin vice but that stilo setup looks nice. The pin vice is really inexpensive and fits all the tungsten sizes I use most often.

    I've noticed that I'm getting a better arc from the tungsten when I grind the point with the wheel spinning into the tip rather than away from the tip as pictured.

  11. #11
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    the stilotig works really well we have one at work , it,s great for short tungstens and the fact the it spins by its self as the wheel rotates makes for nice consistent points and angles

    i use a cordless at times but when you have a full length tungsten the drill becomes useless

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    Quote Originally Posted by specialseventynine View Post
    I'm actually just using a pin vice but that stilo setup looks nice. The pin vice is really inexpensive and fits all the tungsten sizes I use most often.

    I've noticed that I'm getting a better arc from the tungsten when I grind the point with the wheel spinning into the tip rather than away from the tip as pictured.

    the burr is being ground towards the body of the tungsten and away from the tip instead of at the tip so the tip is a truer sharper point

  13. #13
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    Nice little tool to help keep some money in your pocket!

    Make sure you're wearing a dust mask when you're grinding those tungsten electrodes. The dust is hazardous. Many welders don't realize that the welding electrodes they use contain Thorium, a radioactive element added to the Tungsten material to improve the arc starting and welding characteristics. Thorium is a carcinogen and even though the levels in the dust might be low, over time it could possibly hurt you. Just a little safety tip to keep in mind.

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    Nice work

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDJose View Post
    Nice little tool to help keep some money in your pocket!

    Make sure you're wearing a dust mask when you're grinding those tungsten electrodes. The dust is hazardous. Many welders don't realize that the welding electrodes they use contain Thorium, a radioactive element added to the Tungsten material to improve the arc starting and welding characteristics. Thorium is a carcinogen and even though the levels in the dust might be low, over time it could possibly hurt you. Just a little safety tip to keep in mind.
    I thought you could lick the new orange banded shit? thats what I use on everything.

    -A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 66triumph View Post
    I thought you could lick the new orange banded shit? thats what I use on everything.

    -A.
    I've actually started using the 2% Lanthanated on recommendation from the "Welding tips and tricks" website.....best choice I've made since buying my Dynasty. Not the readily available 1.5% ones, they actually deteriorate rather quickly. I really recommend them to anyone who does both Aluminum and steel welding.....they keep a nice point for a long time, even when welding with AC........
    Last edited by bwagner; 01-29-2011 at 8:19 PM. Reason: spelling errors

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    Why the speed-control box? It's in the pic, but not mentioned in the write-up. Can you not just run the angle-grinder at normal speed?

  18. #18
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    You can run the angle grinder at full speed, I just find it nice to be able to dial it down a bit for tip grinding control.

  19. #19
    PipefitterJosh
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    Another tip from a welder, always rotate the tungsten in the same direction when sharpening. Sounds minimal, but a swirling pattern of grinding on the tip will affect the characteristics of your arc

  20. #20
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    What besides aluminum are you using AC for?

    We had to weld coupons for high pressure steam black iron tests, TIG the root and cover for 4 or 5 passes .We always brought our Tungsten to a sharp point,the welder dude that was overseeing the testing told us that we should be blunting our tips.

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