Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder
RSS | Subscribe | Contact Us | Advertise | About Us
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Yuma AZ
    Posts
    2,479

    Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    The Chicago Electric TIG welder available from Harbor Freight for $499 (on sale) is a fairly basic TIG welder. It does have a High Frequency start, which is controlled by the rocker switch on the TIG torch. I discovered using it that it’s very difficult to keep the torch lit while pushing the button. My hand was just in an awkward position.

    Another drawback with this welder is the lack of “on the fly” heat adjustments. I would have to start the weld, then pause to adjust the amperage. This left less than desirable start/stops in the welds. That & trying to manipulate the bulky torch & filler was next to impossible for me to do accurately.

    So to solve the problem I was determined to add a foot pedal to the welder. This is the story.

    I purchased this welder from a fellow member of one of the forums I frequent. In our communications he let me know about a modification that could be done which adds a foot pedal. I followed that thread & tried to contact the original poster, but that was in vain. Half-heartedly I decided to attempt to do this myself.

    In that thread, there were links to some foot pedals on ebay that cost upwards of $300-700.00. I didn’t pay full price for the welder, why would I want to pay full price on the foot pedal. I was going to make one, but didn’t feel my fabrication skills would be good enough (the electrical part that is) to make it work. Further searching & I found a foot pedal listed for $69.99. Including shipping it was at my door in a week for the measly sum of $84.90.

    The foot pedal case is substantial. It’s made out of 14 gauge metal, has a heavy spring & a sliding pot. The hook up is a standard 7 pin & there is a micro-switch inside as well. Perfect for my needs.

    I needed a 7 pin bulkhead connector to connect the foot pedal to the welder, which I also found on E-bay. Cost more in shipping than it did on the connector. I think it totaled around $8-10. Then one last item, a 3PDT toggle switch. Not to be had locally, had to order it. Guess what I had that little gem in 2 weeks all the way from Shanghi. $12 was the total cost including the shipping. Not too bad considering I looked at Granger & they wanted close to $150.00, McMaster the same. Found one on Amazon for total of $42.00, but after it was ordered the company canceled the order due to not having any in stock.

    Well, I had my parts. A 7 pin foot pedal from Excel (E-Bay), a 7 pin bulkhead CB/Nam radio connector, a 3PDT toggle switch from China. I also downloaded the owners manual from Harbor Freight. It has a wiring diagram inside it that was very helpful.

    First thing I did was open the case. Pretty clean inside to be honest. Lots of wires & connectors. I looked at the wiring diagram & found the connector that controls the panel potentiometer. Pulled that pot out & discovered it was a 5K pot. Had 3 wires connected, Green, Black & Blue. I used my ohm meter to determine which wire was the wiper (center one) & could then calculate where I needed to put the toggle switch.

    I mounted the toggle switch in the center above the front louvers, as there was nothing behind that location. Using the wiring diagram I cut & connected the circuit board connector to the middle lugs of the switch. I connected the top lugs to the foot pedal panel connector wired the same as the foot pedal. The panel pot connected back to the bottom lugs. Now I can use either the panel pot or the foot pedal. Don’t even have to disconnect the foot pedal.
    The welder already had circuits to control the output. Switching to the TIG mode activated the High Frequency start. In Stick mode the HF start circuit is not activated.

    Now remember I had a micro-switch in the foot pedal? Well it got connected in place of the torch switch. Right into that 7 pin CB/Ham radio connector. That connector required soldered connections, so I used some 22 gauge wire to match the colors of the foot pedal.
    The connector also followed foot pedal colors from the potentiometer to the toggle switch. The colors changed at the switch to keep all of it straight in my mind (I’m kind of dense sometimes).

    Once I had the 7 pin panel connector wired, I connected the foot pedal to the connector, toggled the switch to the foot pedal & hesitantly added power. Using the foot pedal I could not get the amperage to change. I soon discovered I had a 1K pot (not the 10K pot that was advertised) in the foot pedal. Back to the internet, found a 5K pot (to match the panel pot built into the welder) & got it ordered. A week later I had it. Pulled apart the foot pedal, removed the 1K pot, soldered in the 5K pot & got it adjusted so I have full travel. This pot is a sliding pot, not rotary so it’s fairly simple to add.


    Pic 1 - Inside the welder, rather clean if you ask me,
    Pic 2 - The foot pedal in question,
    Pic 3 - Foot pedal connector,
    Pic 4 - The 7 pin bulkhead connector,
    Pic 5 - Inside the foot pedal.

    More to this story...........
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Mark
    I haven't always been a nurse........
    Craftsman 12"x36" Lathe
    Enco G-30B Mill
    Hobart Handler 175
    Century 230 Amp A/C stick welder
    Add a Foot Pedal to a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric 165A DC TIG
    PapaLion's Gate Build

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Yuma AZ
    Posts
    2,479

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    I soldered the wires to the 7 pin bulkhead connector which match up with the foot pedal. Then I took the panel potentiometer out & unplugged it from the circuit board. The circuit board connector has 3 wires Blue, Black & Green. The black wire is the wiper that varies the ohms. This is the wire that controls the amperage.

    I cut the wires & temporarily connected them to the 7 pin panel connector. Then the wires from the foot pedal pot was connected to the 3PDT switch. Following that, the circuit board connector was connected to the center lugs of the switch, then the panel pot connected to the switch.

    By throwing the switch up, the panel pot controls amperage. Throw the switch down, the foot pedal controls the amperage.

    Pic 1 - Circuit board connector # 13, 14 & 15,
    Pic 2 - Circuit board temporary connection to the 7 pin bulkhead connector,
    Pic 3 - A mess of wires. This is the lug side of the 3PDT switch. Color coding changes from the foot pedal to the circuit board here.
    Pic 4 - The switch wiring diagram,
    Pic 5 - The 7 pin bulkhead connector installed.

    More to come................
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Mark
    I haven't always been a nurse........
    Craftsman 12"x36" Lathe
    Enco G-30B Mill
    Hobart Handler 175
    Century 230 Amp A/C stick welder
    Add a Foot Pedal to a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric 165A DC TIG
    PapaLion's Gate Build

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Yuma AZ
    Posts
    2,479

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    After the pot was installed, I connected it back to the welder, added a bit of power & low/behold the amps adjust like they should. Minimum amperage is 10 amps, max amps is 177-178 amps. Wait a second, the manual says max amps is 165, where did the extra 12-13 amps come from??????

    I switched back to the stick mode with the toggle & 9 amps is the minimum shown with 165 the maximum amps. Hmmmmm, makes a body wonder, don’t it?

    My thinking is the addition of the foot pedal, the sliding pot has a greater range than the rotary pot on the panel. This additional range may allow the welder to pump out a few more amps. Either way I’m ok with it, my Hobart has 175 amps, now this does too.

    I tried it today & found I like the foot pedal quite a bit. It’s nice watching the puddle grow when I add amps & get smaller when I decrease the amperage. I can also ramp down the amps at the end of the weld like I’m supposed to, but I still end up with a little tit. That’s better than the crater I was getting before. I’ll have to work on that some to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

    All in all, I spent less than $125 for this addition to the welder. All told (including shipping) of the welder/foot pedal/switch/7 pin connector/5K potentiometer & miscellaneous wire, I have less than the original price of the welder in it. Original price is $599, on sale frequently for $499. I have less than that in the whole package.

    After it was all said & done, I tested it out & it works. I now have a foot pedal, the foot pedal controls the High Frequency start & keeps the torch lit.

    Pic 1 - You can see the 7 pin connector & the toggle switch above the louvers.
    Pic 2 - How the foot pedal connector is wired,
    Pic 3 - Minimum amps with the foot pedal,
    Pic 4 - Maximum amps with the foot pedal,
    Pic 5 - Maximum amps with the panel potentiometer.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Mark
    I haven't always been a nurse........
    Craftsman 12"x36" Lathe
    Enco G-30B Mill
    Hobart Handler 175
    Century 230 Amp A/C stick welder
    Add a Foot Pedal to a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric 165A DC TIG
    PapaLion's Gate Build

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Yuma AZ
    Posts
    2,479

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    Here is a few welds I did with the welder & foot pedal. The porosity, I'm not sure what is going on, other than I wasn't moving very fast there. Maybe boiling out the carbon from the steel? Or just plain old beginner's inexperience?

    The welds get better once I sped up & added some heat. I found this 1/4" steel likes the torch to be hot & fast. I was using a 3/32" red tungsten & 1/16" filler.

    Critique away, I'm all eyes (not ears cause no speakers plugged in).
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Mark
    I haven't always been a nurse........
    Craftsman 12"x36" Lathe
    Enco G-30B Mill
    Hobart Handler 175
    Century 230 Amp A/C stick welder
    Add a Foot Pedal to a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric 165A DC TIG
    PapaLion's Gate Build

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    880
    This is a cool project, and I really dig this kind of DIY spirit. So I hope I'm not a total jerk for pointing out that one can buy a 160 amp stick / TIG welder with foot pedal from Everlast (for one) for about as much as you have in the project. Normally, people might object to Chicom, but if you're shopping HF, I don't think that's an issue.
    Everlast PA160-STH
    ... and that's about it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Yuma AZ
    Posts
    2,479

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    Not being a jerk, I didn't pay that much for the welder or the parts. I have much less than the "sale price" of a new welder from Harbor Freight. I don't think Everlast or Longevity sell for what I have in this thing.
    Mark
    I haven't always been a nurse........
    Craftsman 12"x36" Lathe
    Enco G-30B Mill
    Hobart Handler 175
    Century 230 Amp A/C stick welder
    Add a Foot Pedal to a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric 165A DC TIG
    PapaLion's Gate Build

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    484

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    Thanks for the info!

    I bought the same welder (on sale) a couple of months ago.

    I managed to get some less-than-obnoxious practice beads without a foot pedal.

    But, my welder will have it within the next few weeks. The 5K-ohm pot was the key I needed.

    There are several non-funtioning sewing machines withing easy reach...

    I also noticed you kept the front panel control and added a local/remote switch. Nice touch!
    Be wary of The Numbers: Figures don't lie,. but liars can figure.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Yuma AZ
    Posts
    2,479

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    Thank you. Glad you can get some use out of my "playing".
    Mark
    I haven't always been a nurse........
    Craftsman 12"x36" Lathe
    Enco G-30B Mill
    Hobart Handler 175
    Century 230 Amp A/C stick welder
    Add a Foot Pedal to a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric 165A DC TIG
    PapaLion's Gate Build

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    54

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    Name:  DSCN4471.jpg
Views: 3769
Size:  63.0 KBName:  Pedalchopper Schwinn Stingray Motorized Bicycle Chopper.jpg
Views: 3763
Size:  100.8 KBName:  Schwinn OCC Chopper Fatboy_291.jpg
Views: 3757
Size:  55.8 KBName:  Krate_and_chopper_HiRes.jpg
Views: 3756
Size:  59.7 KB

    MarkBall2, thanks for an excellent post! As a hobbyist welder! I appreciate your posting this information! I too got my Model #98233 for a less than retail price and now want to add the foot pedal modification to it.

    Pictures show my welders, bicycle frame jig, stock schwinn stingray apple krate & schwinn stingray chopper. I stretch the schwinn stingray chopper bicycle frame converting it from child size, to adult size and then I motorize them!

    I have had this Horrible Freight Model #98233 Tig welder since January 2011, when I say hobbyist what I mean is that I'm a Custom Chopper Bicycle & Stretch Cruiser Bicycle & Vintage-Retro-Tribute bicycle builder!

    My other welder is a Millermatic211, it's a great mig welder for my Custom Bicycle Choppers & Stretch Cruiser Bicycles!

    The bicycles I build have 2 - 4 stroke motors on them, some are Tribute bicycles that look like 1912 thru 1919 Harley Board Track Racers, again these are just motorized bicycles that I build that resemble original Motorcycles from the early 20th century.

    I just wanted to know if you'd confirm that this ebay pedal will work? Here's the Link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Foot-Ped...30777880128%26

    Will the small adjustment knob on side of this foot pedal set minimum and maximum amps, so that pedal will only allow the amperage dial knob setting, like 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 amps at torch?

    Thanks,
    Krzndn.


    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBall2 View Post
    The Chicago Electric TIG welder available from Harbor Freight for $499 (on sale) is a fairly basic TIG welder. It does have a High Frequency start, which is controlled by the rocker switch on the TIG torch. I discovered using it that it’s very difficult to keep the torch lit while pushing the button. My hand was just in an awkward position.

    Another drawback with this welder is the lack of “on the fly” heat adjustments. I would have to start the weld, then pause to adjust the amperage. This left less than desirable start/stops in the welds. That & trying to manipulate the bulky torch & filler was next to impossible for me to do accurately.

    So to solve the problem I was determined to add a foot pedal to the welder. This is the story.

    I purchased this welder from a fellow member of one of the forums I frequent. In our communications he let me know about a modification that could be done which adds a foot pedal. I followed that thread & tried to contact the original poster, but that was in vain. Half-heartedly I decided to attempt to do this myself.

    In that thread, there were links to some foot pedals on ebay that cost upwards of $300-700.00. I didn’t pay full price for the welder, why would I want to pay full price on the foot pedal. I was going to make one, but didn’t feel my fabrication skills would be good enough (the electrical part that is) to make it work. Further searching & I found a foot pedal listed for $69.99. Including shipping it was at my door in a week for the measly sum of $84.90.

    The foot pedal case is substantial. It’s made out of 14 gauge metal, has a heavy spring & a sliding pot. The hook up is a standard 7 pin & there is a micro-switch inside as well. Perfect for my needs.

    I needed a 7 pin bulkhead connector to connect the foot pedal to the welder, which I also found on E-bay. Cost more in shipping than it did on the connector. I think it totaled around $8-10. Then one last item, a 3PDT toggle switch. Not to be had locally, had to order it. Guess what I had that little gem in 2 weeks all the way from Shanghi. $12 was the total cost including the shipping. Not too bad considering I looked at Granger & they wanted close to $150.00, McMaster the same. Found one on Amazon for total of $42.00, but after it was ordered the company canceled the order due to not having any in stock.

    Well, I had my parts. A 7 pin foot pedal from Excel (E-Bay), a 7 pin bulkhead CB/Nam radio connector, a 3PDT toggle switch from China. I also downloaded the owners manual from Harbor Freight. It has a wiring diagram inside it that was very helpful.

    First thing I did was open the case. Pretty clean inside to be honest. Lots of wires & connectors. I looked at the wiring diagram & found the connector that controls the panel potentiometer. Pulled that pot out & discovered it was a 5K pot. Had 3 wires connected, Green, Black & Blue. I used my ohm meter to determine which wire was the wiper (center one) & could then calculate where I needed to put the toggle switch.

    I mounted the toggle switch in the center above the front louvers, as there was nothing behind that location. Using the wiring diagram I cut & connected the circuit board connector to the middle lugs of the switch. I connected the top lugs to the foot pedal panel connector wired the same as the foot pedal. The panel pot connected back to the bottom lugs. Now I can use either the panel pot or the foot pedal. Don’t even have to disconnect the foot pedal.
    The welder already had circuits to control the output. Switching to the TIG mode activated the High Frequency start. In Stick mode the HF start circuit is not activated.

    Now remember I had a micro-switch in the foot pedal? Well it got connected in place of the torch switch. Right into that 7 pin CB/Ham radio connector. That connector required soldered connections, so I used some 22 gauge wire to match the colors of the foot pedal.
    The connector also followed foot pedal colors from the potentiometer to the toggle switch. The colors changed at the switch to keep all of it straight in my mind (I’m kind of dense sometimes).

    Once I had the 7 pin panel connector wired, I connected the foot pedal to the connector, toggled the switch to the foot pedal & hesitantly added power. Using the foot pedal I could not get the amperage to change. I soon discovered I had a 1K pot (not the 10K pot that was advertised) in the foot pedal. Back to the internet, found a 5K pot (to match the panel pot built into the welder) & got it ordered. A week later I had it. Pulled apart the foot pedal, removed the 1K pot, soldered in the 5K pot & got it adjusted so I have full travel. This pot is a sliding pot, not rotary so it’s fairly simple to add.


    Pic 1 - Inside the welder, rather clean if you ask me,
    Pic 2 - The foot pedal in question,
    Pic 3 - Foot pedal connector,
    Pic 4 - The 7 pin bulkhead connector,
    Pic 5 - Inside the foot pedal.

    More to this story...........
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Yuma AZ
    Posts
    2,479

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    I don't know if that pedal would work. I used one that didn't have the adjustment knob on it.

    I don't see why it wouldn't work though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laredo, Tx
    Posts
    1,223

    Re: Adding a foot pedal to the HF TIG welder

    Very nice work!

    BTW, I cleaned the inside of it with compressed air before I sent it.

    First person on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling signature!

    HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
    Eastwood MIG175 w/spoolgun
    Eastwood Versacut40 Plasma cutter
    .
    .

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
RSS | Home | Penton Media | Contact Us | Subscribe | For Advertisers | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement