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What way do you ground your welder

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Retro Jim, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,860

    Retro Jim

    On my Lincoln welder and it has a cheaper spring clamp style for the negative cable . I have looked at some better alternatives and found these styles , a Brass spring clamp style , magnet style and "C" screw clamp style on a longer adjustable rod for thick metal .
    What is the best one for everyday car fab work on sheet metal and frames to get a really good ground ?
    Thanks for all the welding help !

    Retro Jim
  2. I have always used the Brass spring style clamp . I the job to be welded on was bulky or odd shaped ,I would weld a bolt to the job as an attachment point for the clamp ,seem to work well,,,,
  3. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247


    Heavyduty spring clamp, i've thought about getting a magnetic clamp too as sometimes the heavy clamp will shift your work piece if it is kinda delicate. I check to make sure the nut is tight in the attachment point for the cable, i'll touch it to feel how warm it is while welding, if it is hotter than i think it should be i'll take the time to take it apart and clean/tighten everything.
  4. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,374


    By default, all of my welders and plasma cutters are equipped with high quality bronze ground clamps. I use them in conjunction with a magnet ground when necessary for odd shapes. I even have a few double-ended ground cables for going between work pieces, for field welding, to avoid any chance of something like a non-removable fuel or hydraulic line taking some of the burden of high-amperage current.
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  5. 35desoto
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 761


    On my mig I sacrifice part of the steel clamp by welding the clamp to the piece I am working on. Don't have any problem with a crook earth then however when I am doing some delicate welding then I make sure the metal is super clean so the current can flow properly
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,048


    Just like this for me too, but with an amendment. I make sure that the "wire side" or cable side of the clamp is on the work. Even the copper colored jumper cable style clamps are OK as long as the wire side touches. If not then the ground is going through the spring/rivet gig and it'll heat up pretty quick.
  7. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,860

    Retro Jim

    I think I will invest in the brass heavy spring type and a good magnetic on also . It's very easy to swap from one clamp to the magnet . I might even make a jumper so either one or both can be used at a time .
    Thanks for the advice !

    Retro Jim
  8. Triggerman
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 578

    from NorCal

    I just use the steel/brass spring clamps that came with my welders. That's for TIG and MIG. For welding on the car I clamp the ground to the body but not near where I am working so it doesn't get in the way or disturb my material. On the bench I clamp it to the bench.
  9. 61bone
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 890


    Always clean the area the clamp is attached to. Apply the clamp with the wire side to the cleaned area. Don't put the clamp any further than necessary from the weld area. clean the wire to clamp connection regularly. And the one thing that seems to escape most everyone, clean the contacts in the clamp every welding day. The best clamp in the world will not work well with a bad connection. Stamped clamps work well up to about 80 amps. For 80-160 amps a cast brass works good. beyond that, a screw type clamp is best. As far as magnetics, try welding along side one..
  10. samurai mike
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 462

    samurai mike

    i took an old pair of vice grips and welded a bolt on the top jaw. then bolted the cable to the vice grips. now i have a good ground that won't fall off and it was cheap.
  11. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,860

    Retro Jim

    I bought a Hobart brass spring clamp . It did work better than the cheap ones that come with the welders . The problem I see is they can slide easily which I really don't like at all . I also bought a magnet style too but haven't tried it yet . I thought about a "C" clamp or converting a vise grip to just clamp it tight on the project . I did read on a welding site that they take a cable and twist it good in a vise then when they clamp they stick the welding cable piece in between the clamp and grounding area and seems to be getting a much better ground .
    I guess it will be a trial and error to see what works best at the job I am welding .

  12. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy

    Heavy duty spring clamp and clean spot for ground,a good ground is the key to a good weld.

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