View Full Version : new stick welder leads
05-02-2005, 02:49 PM
I found a place with 00gage multi-strand cable for less than a dollar a ft. Is tinned copper of that gage any better/worse than regular cable? The rubber insulation covering the cables on my welder are so old they are splitting. A buddy said to just put some heat shrink over the old leads, but that isn't MY preferred way of fixing this. Any input?
05-02-2005, 09:19 PM
Tinned certainly is good. The idea of tinning is to put a thin layer of a metal of 'higher order' on the wire to increase conductivity and decrease corrosion. So if you've found cable that is equal in all other ways Plus has the tinning, without a lot of added cost, that's a good thing.
05-03-2005, 03:18 PM
SWEET! Good answer Sandy. I will have to get back up there and get some more. At >1.00ft I can't go wrong.
05-13-2005, 01:53 PM
welding leads are often designed for specific features and performance. if these are outside your area of needs then no problem, otherwise - see if any of these things would affect you.
1. stick welding leads that are wound in the same direction ( stranding) and run close together for a distance will leap apart as the weld current rises fast when you strike the arc. this is due to magnetic fields formed around the leads under high current flow pushing against each other. some lead wire is made in polarity types identified by the direction of the lays, left or right hand, made to be used in a pair of one left with one right. typical electrical cable is usually all RH lay.
2. welding leads are made using very fine stranding to be very flexible and have durable flexible insulation so sthat they can flex many many times and not break down their conducting capacity or their insulation, where normally stranded wire is not meant for ongoing flexing and often results in brittle formations from work hardening and the resulting breakdown of the conductors at the connections or points of flex.
3. weldng leads are sometimes ( often) fitted with terminations that relieve high angle flex at the terminal connections to prevent the work hardening etc. effects of high angle flexing. normal wire insulation and stranding may be less compatible with these items.
4. connectors used by welding lead manufacturers for welding lead service are designed to maintain low contact resistance and low susceptibility to corrosion damage over a lifetime of exposure. some connectors may function initially but with a lower degree of performance on cables other than their design basis. suitable installation of connectors is critical and affects not only welding performance but also the life of the termination.
overall it is quite possible to use other than items designed specifically for welding lead service. just understand what you are likely to encounter and adjust your expectations and your individual work accordingly. things can work out just fine with the right attention at the right time and place.
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