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Old 04-15-2012, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Welding ground clamp

I am picking up a new ground clamp here soon because the factory one is crap and met the end of it's life span...I have a couple choices but I would like some opinions on whats to get...I am using a 3200 hd/ 135amp Lincoln mig machine but want to get a miller 211 later down the road and I only weld on steel ..


Thanks ahead of time for input
Jay

Choices
1#-Hf 4" Magnetic Ground Block


2#- HF or someone else ,400 Amp Welding Ground Clamp


3#Magswitch 200 AMP Switchable Magnetic Welding Clamp
( I really like this setup but not sure if I should go with a 200 amp or 300 amp if I get the miller 211, but I don't have the $40 bucks to blow either so wtf)

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Old 04-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I like the HF ground but everything sticking to it gets old quick. That mag switch looks like a nice $30 to spend.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would get the actual clamp if it was only 1. Get that and later get the mag switch for the special jobs.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the mag ground switch and prefer the regular clamp any day.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I would get the actual clamp if it was only 1. Get that and later get the mag switch for the special jobs.
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I have the mag ground switch and prefer the regular clamp any day.
Would get the HF clamp as in pic #2 or is there something better and what is it ???
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have the mag ground switch and prefer the regular clamp any day.
Why?
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Welding ground clamp

I've had the mag base ground. I have a Lincoln 180 and I got the 200 amp one. Worked great. Only drawback was if I was working in the air where I couldn't take my welder and had to ground out up high, it would tend to fall off but other than that I would highly recommend it. Really nice grounds
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The flat magnetic works great on plasma tables. I melted the spring out of the smaller size, even tho it was rated within the output specs of my plasma. So I got the bigger one to replace it. Going on a couple of years.

Clamps suck on water tables.

Back to the topic of welding.....
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Put the name brand one on the bottom of the post in the ground clamp of my stick machine and ran a few 6011s at 90A and it gets HOT.

200A rated my ass, the magnets would get cooked. I can see the HF one having a better ground pathway. If you're getting a clamp style, don't get the HF one, go to a welding store and get one that you won't have to use both hands to open further than 1/2".
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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got one of these at my local hardware store.. for 11 bucks... it's big enough to clamp to 2" tubing.. it's better quality than the pic shows.. (i just put that there for a reference)

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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got one of these at my local hardware store.. for 11 bucks... it's big enough to clamp to 2" tubing.. it's better quality than the pic shows.. (i just put that there for a reference)


I just picked up a very similar Hobart or Lincoln (can't remember which) at Lowe's not too long ago. Appears to be a better piece than the one that came with my Millermatic 210.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I have the 1st mag one and the open round jaw one and I only use the open jaw one.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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An all copper Tweco similar to #2 won't set you back that much and seems to be the industry standard IMO. I think I've posted this here before: the only problem "we" had with the Tweco is the spring is so strong SWMBO couldn't open it enough to get it on the 3/4" table top. I replaced w a weaker spring from the Hillman asst at the local hardware store. Works fine, except I can't really put it on the bottom of vertical surfaces as it'll slip off...........which is surely the reason for the strong spring in the first place. But, if you have more hand strength than the average woman you won't have any problems.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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An all copper Tweco similar to #2 won't set you back that much and seems to be the industry standard IMO. I think I've posted this here before: the only problem "we" had with the Tweco is the spring is so strong SWMBO couldn't open it enough to get it on the 3/4" table top. I replaced w a weaker spring from the Hillman asst at the local hardware store. Works fine, except I can't really put it on the bottom of vertical surfaces as it'll slip off...........which is surely the reason for the strong spring in the first place. But, if you have more hand strength than the average woman you won't have any problems.
I can make one of the "grip gauge" things say 70lbs with my right hand, and that damn spring still gives me shit. I think it is just the bad geometry, the jaws have more leverage on the spring than the other way around, then they compensate with a stupid strong spring.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Does it make a difference wither the clamp is all copper or brass on style number 2??
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Realistically, no.

Just get one of the stamped steel variety. They are so much nicer, they grip better and they're easier to squeeze open.

Get one that the cable bolts to the jaws and the amount of steel in the curcuit is minimized. Oh hey, if steel was a significantly bad conductor then you'd need to put your ground clamp close to your weld. You don't, so really it is a non issue.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Realistically, no.

Just get one of the stamped steel variety. They are so much nicer, they grip better and they're easier to squeeze open.

Get one that the cable bolts to the jaws and the amount of steel in the curcuit is minimized. Oh hey, if steel was a significantly bad conductor then you'd need to put your ground clamp close to your weld. You don't, so really it is a non issue.
Ya think so? The stamped steel ones just seem so cheap. My Ironman 210 came with one and it just seems like a cost-cutting ploy. Once I pulled my head out, ignored the stupid chart in the machine and started welding w enough heat (I weld just about everything down to 14ga w.t. on the 2 highest settings) it would always get hot, suggesting to me there's resistance which shouldn't necessarily be there.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:18 AM   #18 (permalink)
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got one of these at my local hardware store.. for 11 bucks... it's big enough to clamp to 2" tubing.. it's better quality than the pic shows.. (i just put that there for a reference)




These work fine.

The brass ground clamps work good on flat material but can be a PITA on round parts (it keeps poping off). The plain jane mag ground is going to fill up with grinding dust as well as start arcing. The Mag switch looks beter in respect to grinding dust but will start arcing at some point and only get worse.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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These FTW!
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Ya think so? The stamped steel ones just seem so cheap. My Ironman 210 came with one and it just seems like a cost-cutting ploy. Once I pulled my head out, ignored the stupid chart in the machine and started welding w enough heat (I weld just about everything down to 14ga w.t. on the 2 highest settings) it would always get hot, suggesting to me there's resistance which shouldn't necessarily be there.
The only ones I've noticed that get hot are ones that the circuit pathway is through the body of the clamp [usually all brass, or one brass jaw] rather than the cable being bolted on one of the jaws. Oh, and you make sure to put the "cable" jaw on the bare metal.

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Old 04-18-2012, 02:34 PM   #21 (permalink)
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this style is my favorite.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:07 PM   #22 (permalink)
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An all copper Tweco similar to #2 won't set you back that much and seems to be the industry standard IMO. I think I've posted this here before: the only problem "we" had with the Tweco is the spring is so strong SWMBO couldn't open it enough to get it on the 3/4" table top. I replaced w a weaker spring from the Hillman asst at the local hardware store. Works fine, except I can't really put it on the bottom of vertical surfaces as it'll slip off...........which is surely the reason for the strong spring in the first place. But, if you have more hand strength than the average woman you won't have any problems.
Hate the compression force (going over 1-3/4" tube is a stretch), but love the resulting clamping force. I vote this way as well.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #23 (permalink)
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We have sold a ton of the Magswitch over the last year and a half and actually a couple the last couple days, I am guessing it is from this thread?

I am not going to lie to you we have had a couple people hate them and return them, but for the amount we have sold that is pretty small margin. If you decide to go with the Magswitch and you are not happy we will take it back for a full refund.
Magswitch is actually based out of Colorado not too far from us and as a company they have been great to deal with.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:23 AM   #24 (permalink)
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You can always attach an alligator type clamp to the grounding post on one of those magnetic clamps (not necessarily HF either).

I do this all the time on pieces where the alligator clamp would be difficult to use.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:46 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Yup, been doing that for years. The only thing though is it takes a little bit of fussing sometimes because the weight of the clamp will sometimes pull the contact "button" away from the steel a bit.

Some shit you can't really clamp to well and other shit the magnet type ground wouldn't work (small tube, small material, etc)

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You can always attach an alligator type clamp to the grounding post on one of those magnetic clamps (not necessarily HF either).

I do this all the time on pieces where the alligator clamp would be difficult to use.
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