Arm Support for TIG Welding

This is an arm support I made to help me when TIG welding. It was made entirely out of things I had lying around in the garage and took less than half-an-hour to make. The difference it has made to my welding has been enormous: it was well worth the small amount of time and effort to make it!

The arm that you can see was taken from the swarf shield on my M250, although I've since bought a replacement on ebay (for less than £10) so I can keep the swarf shield in place. The bracket that it's attached to was made from two short lengths of 50 mm × 50 mm × 5 mm angle, both tapped with two M8 holes. This bracket can be used to mount it to a bench or to a work-piece that is being welded.

The other component is a bit of T-slot extruded aluminium that came out of a skip at work. If this hadn't been available, then I probably would have just drilled and tapped a few holes along the length of some aluminium bar: that would work almost as well.

This photo shows the arm in use on the bench. The aluminium extrusion is very smooth to run your hand along as you proceed along a welded joint. I no longer have to find a pile of bits of wood of the right height and then find my gloves catching on the rough wooden surface as I move across it.

This photo shows the clamp mounted onto a frame that was too big to fit on my bench. I wanted to run a long weld bead along the joint between the frame and the piece of angle you can see in the top-left of the picture. I clamped the arm (with some protective spacers to stop the cap screws marking the frame) to the frame and it gave me a comfortable support for welding smoothly.

All-in-all, this has been one of the projects with the highest "benefit to time-spent" ratios I've ever done. For only half-an-hour's work, I've ended up with something I use every time I weld and results in far fewer tungsten-dips.

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