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A Modified Foot Control



raloftus1946
03-23-2010, 12:09 AM
I finally had to disassemble my 160P foot control after losing a treadle pivot screw, and to finally deal with occasional skipping between the rack and drive gear on the control pot. On inspection, it was pretty clear that these drive components were badly misaligned and would probably continue to jump teeth without a fair amount of rework.

At the same time, I must admit to finding the configuration of the stock foot control pretty awkward and uncomfortable, and I decided to try and modify the unit for a bit easier control (for me anyway) while fixing the alignment problems. I worked for a couple of hours on paper to lay out a treadle with a lot less heal lift and angular travel while still yielding full pot rotation, and using only the stock parts of the original foot control.

The attached pictures are what I ended up with. As can be seen, the drive rack arm pivots rearward with pedal depression saving a lot of vertical clearance. With that change, I was able to reduce the height of the base enclosure from 3 inches to 2. the heal of the pedal at rest is now 2 inches from the floor and pivots near the rear so there is little heal lift during pedal depression.

Again, for me, this configuration seems very smooth, positive, and precise in use. If you are a little put off by feel or comfort of the stock control, you too can modify it with an afternoon’s work with nothing extra required. I do recommend the paper layout to work out clearance and travel issues before sawing metal.

Gadget
03-23-2010, 05:57 AM
A nice little mod, thanks for sharing.

jbman45
03-23-2010, 05:59 AM
That is a nice option, it seems pretty straightforward but don't have mine apart right now. If you have a shot or drawing of the mods inside? if there were any, would help a lot as well. Nice thinking on your part!

arandall
03-23-2010, 12:22 PM
It does look like a nice mod.
When I have time, I'll try the same thing.

Cheers,
Art R.

KHK
03-23-2010, 01:24 PM
Very nice mod!! Although I have not had a problem with the height of the switch I think that your mod is worth doing. 1 in lower is a great improvement, thanks for sharing.

Hamstn
03-23-2010, 08:30 PM
If I did your mod to my pedal I might just be able to use it. As mentioned before and elsewhere these pedals are just to tall and the angle is uncomfortable. Looks like you solved both issues. I very seldom have to use a pedal but when I do I found by putting my heel on the upper part feels better (use backwards)

Gadget
03-24-2010, 06:51 AM
Another idea would be to put the control parts in a box and the pedal at ground level. Then connect the pedal to the controls at the high side of the pedal. Here is a quick drawing to show what I mean. I think a person could figure out how to make the connection and linkages work to operate the controls with the pedal in this way. If I decide to do this I might even cast a foot pedal in the shape of a bare foot as in the old hot rod gas pedals. I would also put the fine tune control on top of the box so it can be easily seen and adjusted.

raloftus1946
03-24-2010, 09:21 AM
Gadget, I think your layout is a great idea and very doable. To me, it seemed that control on the stock foot pedal was sort of a function of ankle rotation which just seemed really awkward. In my modification, and certainly in your suggested layout, control feels like it is more about toe pressure which seems more precise and really more dynamic in response to welding demand. At the same time, it remains more comfortable to hold a position on the pedal with long weld cycles. It is just darn hard to weld aluminum if you feel you are fighting the pedal to dial in heat control.

I may post a dimension sheet for my modification so others could try it if they feel it would improve their welding performance, and if you go ahead with your configuration I hope you do the same.

arandall
03-24-2010, 01:28 PM
Gadget:
I really like your ideas for the foot control, and think it would make it a lot more comfortable - and the "big toe" pedal would be a real gas!! - I've got two of them for my old Chevy coupe - a big one for the gas, and a small one for the old floor mounted headlight dimmer switch (if there's anyone here old enough to remember them).

Cheers,
Art R.

KHK
03-24-2010, 05:21 PM
Good idea Gadget. I also like the pedal idea.

Art R., I still have one of the dimmer switches, I think!

Gadget
03-24-2010, 05:53 PM
I've given it some thought and am pretty sure how I want to set it up. I'll draw something up and test it, if successful I'll share the prints and ideas. I have quite a few items on my plate right now though so it will be awhile before I can get to it.

Uncle Ed
03-25-2010, 02:22 PM
Even cruder drawings...

1177
1206

Gadget
03-25-2010, 04:14 PM
Yup, that is pretty much what I had in mind. I still want to cast a big foot type pedal for mine.

KHK
03-25-2010, 04:54 PM
Looks good Uncle Ed!! Thanks for sharing

arandall
03-26-2010, 01:45 PM
Gadget:
I can't resist - I'm going to cut out a "Big-foot" pedal. - Sorry for stealing your idea. - a cast one would be way nicer though.

Cheers,
Art R.

Gadget
03-26-2010, 02:55 PM
Gadget:
I can't resist - I'm going to cut out a "Big-foot" pedal. - Sorry for stealing your idea. - a cast one would be way nicer though.

Cheers,
Art R.

When I get ready to cast mine I will make two Art.

Gadget
03-26-2010, 03:03 PM
I submitted my pedal drawing to Simon and he is going to see if he can get the factory to make them with that configuration. Won't help us that already have pedals but it will be good for new users.

arandall
03-26-2010, 11:50 PM
When I get ready to cast mine I will make two Art.

Dan:

I'd be in your debt for ever!!

Art R.

Gadget
03-27-2010, 06:24 AM
Dan:

I'd be in your debt for ever!!

Art R.

I've got three ways to do it Art. I can make a pattern freehand, or draw it out and use the CNC to make a pattern, or cut with CNC in foam and do a lost foam casting. I will do some looking for a drawing or photo of an actual big foot pedal and trace it. What dimensions are you looking for Art?
I might just have to put the mill on hold for a week or so. laughingicon

Dan

Hamstn
03-27-2010, 06:53 AM
For a custom fit I would think tracing around your own foot would be best. Maybe take a cast mold and get it in 3D...therapeutic

Gadget
03-27-2010, 08:50 AM
After looking for a suitable image to start with I have determined it is cheaper to buy one than to make it. They still have an abundance of the gas pedals available on EBay for a modest price.

Big Barefoot Bare Foot Gas Pedal Old School Rat Rod NEW : eBay Motors (item 190382238928 end time Mar-30-10 11:21:27 PDT) (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Big-Barefoot-Bare-Foot-Gas-Pedal-Old-School-Rat-Rod-NEW_W0QQitemZ190382238928QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors _Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item2c53aa6cd0#h t_961wt_939)

les holt
03-27-2010, 09:43 AM
I would about have to agree about buying vrs. modifying. I just fixed mine, (spring unhooked) and I can't justify shop time to tinker, it's warm out and I'm busy. But I still want amperage control at the tig torch head.
Les Holt

Gadget
03-27-2010, 07:36 PM
Hey Art,
Here is the simulated cut of the big foot pedal at 11" long. What do you think? The pattern will take 4 hours and 40 minutes to cut out but that is automated so I can be doing something else while it's running.
Dan

arandall
03-28-2010, 01:40 AM
Dan:

It looks great - but I think you're right - it's jusst too expensive and time consuming to make, given the fact that they can still be bought out of the box.

Cheers,
Art R.

Gadget
03-28-2010, 07:19 AM
Just for giggles I may replace the rays in the foot with the Longevity logo. If I ever cut the pattern it will be when other projects are done so it won't be any time soon.
Dan

arandall
03-29-2010, 02:43 AM
Just for giggles I may replace the rays in the foot with the Longevity logo. If I ever cut the pattern it will be when other projects are done so it won't be any time soon.
Dan

Dan:
If you do decide to go ahead with this, I think you should cast in a "Gadget Enterprises" logo onto the top of the foot. - - Maybe little runner holding a lightning bolt??
Seriously - your stuff is too nice, and too much work not to have your name on it.
I'd stand in line all day for one of those!! - Maybe even stick it into one of my cars.

Cheers,
Art R.

Gadget
03-29-2010, 06:16 AM
I haven't given up on it yet Art, just because. Actually it is a good learning project and as such is probably worthwhile. I am just starting to work with 3D routing and this should be challenging enough with the text and free flowing lines. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate the text as raised bosses in the drawing. I'll keep you posted.