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Old 10-26-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default Tig Welder?

I want a tig, mostly for some body work i have to do. Any ideas?

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=91811
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:30 PM   #2
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They work, you just have to make sure you abide the duty cycle or they will burn out pretty fast.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki047 View Post
I want a tig, mostly for some body work i have to do. Any ideas?

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=91811
Buy a used lincoln or miller. I've seen Corky Bell score big tig machines cheap on a regular basis. He spent less on some really great machines than I spent on my 175 square wave new. So look around and get a good quality tig machine, not that HF unit... it's not in the same league. MIG is a different ball game, HF sells some ok MIG machines.

Problems with the HF TIG welder

1. Scratch Start
2. No automatic gas start
3. No A/C current
4. Doesn't appear to offer reverse polarity (but it might)
5. Air cooled torch (limited duty cycle, especially at high heat settings.)
6. No foot pedal!!!


The reason to go TIG is to weld aluminum, to weld aluminum you want A/C current and a water cooled torch.

Mark

PS - Take your time and look for a good deal on a used welder.

This looked interesting but I know nothing about the company:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Super160-P-AC-DC...ayphotohosting

Last edited by Markp; 10-26-2007 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markp View Post
Buy a used lincoln or miller. I've seen Corky Bell score big tig machines cheap on a regular basis. He spent less on some really great machines than I spent on my 175 square wave new. So look around and get a good quality tig machine, not that HF unit... it's not in the same league. MIG is a different ball game, HF sells some ok MIG machines.

Problems with the HF TIG welder

1. Scratch Start
2. No automatic gas start
3. No A/C current
4. Doesn't appear to offer reverse polarity (but it might)
5. Air cooled torch (limited duty cycle, especially at high heat settings.)


The reason to go TIG is to weld aluminum, to weld aluminum you want A/C current and a water cooled torch.

Mark
Watercooled torch would be nice. My lincoln standard torch is a little warped from welding manifolds together.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:39 PM   #5
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Yeah, I would go for a used Lincoln or miller tig welder myself. I'm also in the market for a new tig welder and have been eyeing a couple of local sales to see what they have been going for. I've found older high frequency units have been selling for 600-1000 bucks and usually have all the necessary parts to get going. Generally, the older units have enough juice to weld any project you may come across. The drawback is they tend to weight 400-500 pounds and need at least a 100 amp beaker for operation.

I've decided to go with a newer squarewave or precision technology. I narrowed my search down to the Lincoln 225. It's got enough power to weld 1/2 steel. I may change my mind and go with Lincoln 175, Lincoln 185 or Miller syncrowave 180 if I come across a killer deal. The only problem with these smaller welders is they are only good for 180 amps or so.

If you go with a cheap Chinese welder, let us know how it works out. The price is appealing if you're a weekend warrior.
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:49 PM   #6
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iweasle has a cheap chinese tig. Don't think he's used it yet though.
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:49 PM   #7
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I have a Riland Tig 200WSME, 200 amps with pulse, no problems yet.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:01 AM   #8
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You should also consider the ThermalArc/Thermal Dynamics products. The TA185 is a "modern" TIG with an inverter-based power supply. I found it to be cheaper than the equivalent Miller with the same features and that model in particular had adequate power to weld up a manifold (SS schedule 40 pipe) and just about every other automotive project I've come up with but only requires 40 amps input and doesn't weigh a ton.

You should read up on machines at "Weld Talk" off Hobart's website. There are a lot of reviews on equipment there and a lot of experienced fabricators/weldors (some of them certified) on there who can help you out. You'll find quite a few favorable reviews of the TA185, not sure what they go for used these days. I bought mine "used" (owner had it as a "toy" and needed the cash) for a few hundred less than they sold for new about 2 years ago and haven't regretted my purchase one bit and taught myself how to TIG on it (the long road indeed and I'd recommend taking a class or getting someone to sit down and teach you).

The water-cooled torch is nice when you start welding in the higher amperage range. I've pushed 185 amps here and there through my CK17 torch (that comes with the TA185) without breaking it. The standard air-cooled torch is about right for the amperage output range of most 200 amp welders, since you can't weld continuously for very long at the higher amperage range but I think I may eventually build myself a water cooler setup (see Weld Talk for plans on the cheap) - not something you HAVE to have to get started but would be nice to have. I'd invest my initial spare money in instruction if you don't have a lot of experience and a set of gas-saver lenses (helps with having shield gas coverage, especially when welding stainless steel). Oh and you may eventually want a second argon regulator to purge pipes/manifolds instead of using Solar Flux as a "backing" agent when welding stainless but you only mention using the TIG for body panels...
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:57 AM   #9
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I was pulse tigging 6061 aluminum this evening. I just laid beads and did a butt weld. The pulsing really helps, I turn it down pretty low so I can time it with my filler-dabbing and it puts down some real nice beads.
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iWeasel410 View Post
I was pulse tigging 6061 aluminum this evening. I just laid beads and did a butt weld. The pulsing really helps, I turn it down pretty low so I can time it with my filler-dabbing and it puts down some real nice beads.
Is it possible to see some pictures, I just like to see tigged AL?
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