Well, as a result of Hot Wheels' mig thread, I ended up with a TIG, so I thought I'd post about it here...
Bought an AHP AlphaTIG 200X.
AC/DC 200A, 110/220
$760 + shipping ($30 for me) on Amazon
I was looking at the Eastwood TIG when it was on sale, but this one has a little more adjustability for about the same $$, still has a 3year warranty. I was torn over the great customer service provided by Eastwood, compared to an unknown from AHP, but decided to pull the trigger.
Welder showed up in 3 days, and this morning I picked up a gas bottle, splurged on an HF cart and fired it up. I know the first thing you're supposed to do with a new welder is build the cart yourself, but I did that with my MIG years ago. I really didn't want to take the time to do it with TIG, and when you figure the time and materials... well **** it, I just bought one.
On the cart:
So, I've built a bunch of stuff with MIG, but I've never TIG welded, and haven't gas welded since Jr. High (Carter was in office!). Today, I mostly wanted to make sure the welder worked, so I was just trying a few butt welds with some scrap 3/16" flat stock I had laying around. I used a 3/32" 2% Thoriated Tungsten (Red), ground to a point. Top amps varied from 100-130, as I was playing around with the settings.
Top left is the first arc I struck with the machine. No filler, just getting a feel. Bottom right is a little more power, with filler rod. I was weaving around a bit, and lifted the torch too fast. Bottom left I was trying to move a little faster, but still lifted too fast.
Same setup in this one, far left is no filler. I think I may be moving too slowly, 'cause it seems I'm getting too much heat into the piece. What say the experts? How am I doing?
I already LOVE this thing. It's so much more controlled than MIG, I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with this!