Has anyone else had problems with the 17h stubby kit sold on here? I started assembling my new tig torch today and found that the medium cap was not bored out correctly and non of the collets properly hold the tungsten at all. The tungsten just slides in and out but isn't held properly. Any ideas of what I can do to fix this?
I've been trying to get in contact with customer service to do so but it seems that their contact page is broken as it won't pull up the captcha to verify it. Do you have a direct email to customer service off hand?
I had a problem like that with one torch in particular when using a stubby gas kit (not from here). It might have been with just the 1/16" or 3/32" tungsten that wouldn't hold, I forget which it was. I have a few TIG torches that were very inexpensive, so I just got rid of the one that didn't play well with the stubby stuff.
I use the CK wedge style collets now too. They work great and don't "corkscrew", although the 1/16" tungsten can wear a groove over time that can cause a loss of grip. I think I just tapped the tip of the collet with a hammer to raise the metal a bit to overcome the groove though. But I almost exclusively use a 3/32" tungsten now, and its larger size doesn't tend to wear a groove at the tip of a wedge collet.
So, I'll recommed that you first buy a $10-$15 TIG torch via Amazon on eBay (free shipping and no tax) to see if that will take care of it.
And maybe the stubby gas lens I was using at the time was a poor manufacture, and was the real culprit. I think I didn't like that torch anyway, for having an insulator on the front and at the backcap area too, which tends to make a torch a needlessly longer, unless I'm hallucinating or mistaken. I now buy ones with the one insulator, and am kind of waiting for the new Nova RotoFlex to be released, which reportedly will be cheaper and better (more metal mass at swivel) than the CK FlexLoc.
The CK FlexLoc and the WeldTec iHeadRoto-something were about the only game in town for those style of torch, and I think were kind of colluding in keeping the prices quite high, so I've been holding out for the Invisible Hand of the Market to satisfy consumer demand at a competive or reasonable price.
So, waiting, in my case, may be over soon with the RotoFlex.