This is my TIG Monster Claw! It's purpose is to aid in feeding rod for TIG welding and I designed it in CAD/Blender and printed it on my 3D Printer. Yes it looks like the raptor claw from Jurassic Park cuz that's where it's modeled from. It just has a functional purpose still 65 million years later
There are 5 total paths for rods to ride on. I think it's perfect for the n00b all the way to the expert but I'm hoping to get feed back on just how well it helps your TIG life. I'm a n00b but we'll see just how quick this might make me an expert :P
This claw really only works on the middle finger which was a bonus convenience. You can use your ring finger but it's not as functional IMO. So let the hand gestures roll and now you've got a legitimate excuse to flip the bird, cuz you're just TIG'in!
I demonstrate the various angles that can be used in this Youtube video and you can see the various rod angles I used in CAD to cut the paths out in some of the thumbnails. I'm in AZ and it was 112 outside so I was sweatin in the video. My first Youtube face video too so why not look "hot"? Judge away... https://youtu.be/xa1KH_aA9d0
The rod paths work perfectly for a 1/8 rod with my large finger scaling for prints I recommend below. There are rod guide paths in each cut that accommodate said 1/8, and then a separate rod path logically aligned that accommodates pretty much any smaller rod you could imagine but hey prove me wrong, and edit the .blend file if you'd like
The model that can be downloaded is a left handed only model, and must be used on the middle finger unless you want cramps but feel free to experiment! To print a right handed claw, just mirror the image usually on the X axis.
I'm curious for those that have a 3D printer or access to one, if you'd print one or a set and let me know your thoughts. I'm just a n00b and I'm gonna learn with this but I wanna know what some pros, novices, and other n00bs think about my new invention! Be as honest and candid as you'd like
Apparently my images are showing broken even though I uploaded them to this site. Not sure why but either way, if you check out the thingiverse.com site, you can see all the thumbnails and the model. That's all here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1682883
I'm printing with ABS and it has a pretty high melting point. 105 celsius glass, and you usually print it at 230 celsius. It generally remains pretty solid up to about 200 degrees and of course everyone is familiar with ABS since it's what most thing are made out of including your fairings for our bikes so you know what they can handle. P.S. 200 degrees celsius is 392 degrees Fahrenheit and 230c is 446f
If I'm not mistaken, TIG torch bodies are made from ABS as well. It's possible it could melt but that's part of the idea to test the design out and see if it holds up. At worst it costs about $1 to make, and about 4 hours of print time if printing two claws.
The reason I'm finding this tool useful is the fact I can let gravity and friction hold the rod in place letting my thumb and/or index finger focus on feeding the rod rather than balancing and feeding. I can also rest the rod on the claw in any of the positions then take my finger off the rod and it will stay with gravity/friction. The youtube video gives a quick demo of this in the beginning and mid way through.
Another reason I enjoy this tool is the ability to feed and retract the rod consistently and about 3x as fast as I can without it. It's also more comfortable to feed the rod than without so I was able to feed rod probably about 3x as long as without too before my carpal tunnal started bein a problem and my hands would start hating me.
The guide paths also keep the rod straight and consistent, or true as some professions would say. Rather than rely on your fingers to keep it straight which is damn near impossible, this tool does it for you.
This also slips on a glove or can be sewn in permanently. All in all there's quite a few advantages I see to it and plenty more I've forgotten to mention or haven't found I'm sure.
Still this is all my opinion, so stay tuned for some real experts to give their brutally honest opinions!
I've put together two videos that give a bit better idea as to how this thing works.
This video shows that you can go pretty fast, although I can and most anyone else experienced can likely go much faster than I do here. The key point was to show you can feed as fast and faster than you can travel.
This video shows me doing my basic coupon training while learning how to TIG. The key point to illustrate here is swapping the claws and hand tasks out is not cumbersome at all. The plate looks pretty bad but this is after numerous tries of left hand/right hand swaps, trying different pedal pulses (bad idea on steel) trying out filling in crap runs, and just trying out a bunch of stuff. The goal was really to show it's functionality and show some feeding action, not promote my horrible n00bing
After a lot of testing, I have concluded this tool belongs on the Ring Finger! It takes the laziness away but the ability and control of rod feeding might be hard to beat without something mechanical.
The keyhole and basic rod guide path is all that's necessary i.e. I added a lot more to this tool than is necessary. Regardless as it is just swap to the ring finger and you might be pleasantly pleased that you can use your index, pointer, and thumb to deliver exceptional control. Perhaps unbeatable and I'm about ready to stake this claim.
The feed and retraction speed that I can do just as a n00b is nothing like I've ever seen any Youtube teacher/expert portray.
While I plan to re-design a few points, I think that if you use the TIG Monster Claw and you switch to your ring finger, you might find a whole new world when feeding rod.
Can't wait for the people who have a set to give some honest feedback. Seriously though, moving the TIG Monster Claw to the ring finger and keeping the light grip between the index and middle finger for the rod while feeding/retracting with the thumb made a significant difference and truly convinced me that in the sense of laying fast beads with TIG, you will not find a better method beyond a mechanical device.
Please prove me wrong! This isn't a pissing contest or me getting cocky either, it's a fair challenge because if there is an easier way to manually do this, I'd love to see it because every way I've seen so far and tried just kills my wrists. So if there is an easier, faster way to feed, then I'm all ears!
Feeding rod manually is an art form in itself as well so hopefully some people will show off their skills, not just their welds too
I'll be posting a video soon to demonstrate how you can use this TIG Monster Claw in a variety of positions including vertical up/down, horizontal, and I'll try to come up with some uncomfortable positions. I'll also show the consistency and accuracy as well as the speed I can feed at while not welding since my welding capability will not help my case