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Old 04-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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Default Buying a welder

Rather than create an account on weldingweb.com and immediately start spamming them, I'm going to spam you guys instead.

I'm looking for a TIG which can do basic car-related welding. I do want to do the honda IM mod, so it needs to be powerful enough to weld the cast aluminum on the IM, I can't really think of anything on the car I would be welding that is thicker.

I'd like to spend under a grand, since I know I will need plenty of money for gas/materials to practice.

This is on my local craigslist: Miller Dialarc TIG Welder

It looks quite big and old, but the price is right for a 310 amp welder (which is probably super-duper overkill also).

Otherwise craigslist looks pretty quiet as far as decent tig welders in my price range.

Then there is always the Chinese option: PowerTig 185 Micro - Tungsten Electrodes, Welders For Sale, Diesel Generators, 140 Welder

The one thing that scares me is that the foot pedal apparently controls the entire range (5-185 amps) instead of up to what the controls are set at. I've only used a Miller Diversion 180, so I immagine going to a pedal like that would be quite different.

What do you gays think?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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How soon do you need/want the TIG welder? If you are in no hurry then I would wait for a Lincoln 175 or Miller 180 come up on CL. They seem to rarely come up, but when they do are usually a decent price. I picked up a Lincoln 175 last fall and it works great. Honestly the miller that you linked to looks like it would work great, but it seems very large and immobile which could suck.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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As far as cheap goes, I still love my Eastwood TIG. It's only 200 amps, but so far I haven't had any issues with the power limitations. It was enough to weld my turbo manifold. I've also stuck some pretty thick aluminum together. To do an intake manifold you might have to preheat it, but it should do the welds without too much trouble. In the spirit of full disclosure, I managed to tear the argon hose going to the torch and it's turning out to be a huge PITA finding another because of the strange metric fitting on the machine.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:07 AM   #4
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I was going to create a thread like this soon.

I've got a slightly newer version of that Miller you listed at work. To sum it up in a few words. Big, old, clunky. The foot pedal, if it's the original metal hunk it's not very smooth. I find it to be more of an on off switch. Though, once it's dialed in it works very fine. It's also really really damn loud. I would make sure you have good enough power going to thatthing because it will burn your house down.
But overall it's a very nice machine for heavy duty work, or very small stuff. Probably overkill for a garage.

I'll more than likely be buying one of these by the end of the month.
PowerTig 200DX - Used Welders For Sale, 250 Welder, Used Mig Welder, 175 Welder, Tig Welders
Probably with a water cooler. Without is just over $1000

Tig Welder,AC DC Tig Welders, AC DC Welding Equipments
Any one of those would probably work for you. I think someone else on here has one.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:08 AM   #5
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Yeah I'm kicking myself for not jumping on a Lincoln Squarewave 175 that I think I mentioned in the custom fab thread.

I've still got one more class on Monday, but I don't want to wait too long after and let my skills go to waste.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:18 AM   #6
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All I can say is if you are going to go the Chinese welder route, look into parts availability, and then find one that also has a plasma cutter built in.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:30 AM   #7
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Ah Ok Erat, now I see that I have to go for the 'digital' to get the foot pedal that doesn't control the whole range. That sucks. If I am going to go over-budget, it won't be on a Chinese welder. So that's out.

Also the place where I am taking the class sells some used welders, I'll have to keep my eye on their site. Diversion 165 for $1200, I wonder if I could talk them down since I took the class and I would buy some argon from them too.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenuge26 View Post
Ah Ok Erat, now I see that I have to go for the 'digital' to get the foot pedal that doesn't control the whole range. That sucks. If I am going to go over-budget, it won't be on a Chinese welder. So that's out.
Just kind of a random question. Why would you not want a whole range in the foot pedal? By whole range i mean zero up to what have it set at 110-130.

Looking around for tig+plasma combos. They look to be mostly chineese. Eastwood has a couple. I'm really not being sold on eastwood products though. Anyone have any suggestions? The site is only giving me eastwood ads now... Nevermind. I'm an idiot i just needed to look more.
http://www.everlastgenerators.com/pr...tegory-61.html
That's really not a bad price for the 205.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
Just kind of a random question. Why would you not want a whole range in the foot pedal? By whole range i mean zero up to what have it set at 110-130.

From the first cheapo Eastwood that I posted: PowerTig 185 Micro - Plasma Cutters, Welders, Arc Tig Mig Welding Equipment, Multi Purpose Units, Diesel Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by the top of the page
IMPORTANT PRODUCT NOTE: Foot Pedal is optional. Foot pedal controls the full range of amps only (approx 5-185A DC or 20-185A AC). The foot pedal is not controlled or limited by the panel amp adjustment.
On the Diversion 180 I use in class, if I set the panel for 120 amps, 50% foot pedal gets me 60 amps and 100% gets me 120 amps. In this thing, no matter what you set the panel to, 50% gets you 92.5 amps and 100% gets you 185 amps. At least that's how I read that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
Looking around for tig+plasma combos. They look to be mostly chineese. Eastwood has a couple.
Yeah but if I'm going to spend $1500 I'm going to buy a used Miller or Lincoln, despite them not having the plasma cutter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
That's really not a bad price for the 205.
The one that is $899 won't do AC, the one that will is almost double that.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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Ahh, i see what you're saying about the eastwood one. I don't like their version of "full range". It should be like all the other ones, like you said the millers are. That would annoy the hell out of me.

I've used quite a few different welding machines. I must say, the only ones i've found to be crap are chineese brand, or little baby 110v buzz boxes. All other machines have welded just fine for me, and i really have no problem not buying a miller, or lincoln. I'd like to have a dual machine in one. The ability to do cutting and welding with a single machine is awesome.

I'm going to guess that adding on AC changes the guts completely. But having the ability to do aluminum is practically priceless.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #11
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Old dirty bastard at work:
Name:  Image04252013153312.jpg
Views: 34
Size:  79.4 KB

I'm more embarrassed of my shitty phone, than my shitty welds.
Anyway, this is what that welder produced today. Re-making a chip conveyor.
Name:  Image04252013153258.jpg
Views: 34
Size:  50.2 KB
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:52 PM   #12
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I jsut bought the 2013 Everlast 200DX and Im really happy with it. Its just as good as my Lincoln 185 that I replaced it with.

The 2013 200DX is avaliable in dual voltage (which I bought, and it works great) and it is the first year the 200DX allows the panel control of amperage with the foot pedal control too. I picked mine up about a month ago and have been using it a few times a week for at least 3-4 hours per time.

For me it was mainly the upgrade to inverter to help aluminum welds, dual voltage since my garage only has 110 right now and i needed to finish a job since I moved and that its WAY smaller. My lincoln I had to use an engine crane to lift it, the everlast I can carry with one arm.

Cheers.
Matt @ HellaFab
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:42 PM   #13
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So i went ahead and bought the Everlast PowerPro 205, they are out of stock, so the guy said he could upgrade me to the 256 for $100 more. With a free premium accessory kit(which he's giving me anyway).

I said no, but i think i'll call him back in the morning. Though he did send me an invoice... Stupid me, should of just upgraded for $100.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:42 AM   #14
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Don't call him yet. For close to that price, you can get a new Diversion 180. Miller has a 15% rebate on right now until the end of May. You need to buy $150 in accessories though, not sure if you need any. If you do, I think it comes out pretty close. I think it comes out to around $1700 for the welder and accessories after the rebate, so that's like $1550 for just the welder.

The real problem is BOTH are $500 more than I wanted to spend, but I'll probably give in anyway :(
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:06 AM   #15
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They're hardly the same.

The 205 comes with a plasma cutter, which is what sold me on it. Also, the 205 is capable of welding up to 3/8 material. That's huge, the 180 can only handle 3/16. (i'm just going off of the specs charts). The 180 has MVP, which is nice. But i'd hate to tig weld on 110. But being mobile is nice i guess...
I also saw some reviews that did the everlast vs the miller and the everlast welds looked better on smaller thinner material.
So i think they are hardly the same, and i did my research before buying it.

If $1500 is $500 over your budget, and you'd rather not have a plasma cutter. Go back and look at the everlast prices again. You could get what you probably want for less than your budget, or right around it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:45 AM   #16
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I wanted a powerpro 205 but alas, you couldnt get it in dual voltage.

Its a shame. There are a few things i could have used the plasma for already.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:48 AM   #17
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Wire that garage up for 250v, pull 4 wires, slap it on a 60a breaker.

My Miller mig welder is MVP, i love how mobile it is. I figure if i need to weld something somewhere other than my garage i'll use that.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:09 PM   #18
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I'm confident the miller 180 can do 3/8 steel on 220 I've done 3/16 steel on 110.

And that 150 of accessories is REALLY easy to do, just buy the best welding helmet the sell. I am so happy I bought the top of the line Lincoln helmet, its so much lighter than my tractor supply special and the viewing area is MASSIVE... oh and it doesnt flicker for the first 15 minutes of welding while the battery charges like the tractorsupply one.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
They're hardly the same.

The 205 comes with a plasma cutter, which is what sold me on it. Also, the 205 is capable of welding up to 3/8 material. That's huge, the 180 can only handle 3/16. (i'm just going off of the specs charts). The 180 has MVP, which is nice. But i'd hate to tig weld on 110. But being mobile is nice i guess...
I also saw some reviews that did the everlast vs the miller and the everlast welds looked better on smaller thinner material.
So i think they are hardly the same, and i did my research before buying it.

If $1500 is $500 over your budget, and you'd rather not have a plasma cutter. Go back and look at the everlast prices again. You could get what you probably want for less than your budget, or right around it.
Oh, I know the Everlast has a lot more bells and whistles. Features vs reliability I guess.

My problem with the Everlast welders is (from what I can tell from their site) only the digital ones work with a foot pedal like I learned with on the Division (and the digital ones start at the same price as I can get a Div 180). It appears the analog models are just 'set it and forget it', or the pedal ONLY controls the entire amp range (5-200) rather than up to what you have it set for. But now I just watched a video review of the PowerTig 200DX and he says it's great for aluminum and the foot control is great for controlling the amperage. Now I'm really confused. I guess I should call Everlast and ask them about it.

But I've only welded on the Diversion. How useful are the fine-tune adjustments you can make with the pedal? Of course when I started out welding 1/4" mild, I didn't need the pedal, just mash it all they way down and go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
I'm confident the miller 180 can do 3/8 steel on 220 I've done 3/16 steel on 110.

And that 150 of accessories is REALLY easy to do, just buy the best welding helmet the sell. I am so happy I bought the top of the line Lincoln helmet, its so much lighter than my tractor supply special and the viewing area is MASSIVE... oh and it doesnt flicker for the first 15 minutes of welding while the battery charges like the tractorsupply one.
Crap but I already bought the Harbor Freight helmet! It was only $35, so it's not a huge deal I guess. The supplier where I took my class even has a package up on Ebay with that exact thing: Miller Diversion 180 TIG Welder 907460 w Cart ADF Helmet with $283 Rebate | eBay

So that comes out to $1766. Again, more than I want to spend but seriously tempting. Mostly because during the class I was using a Diversion 180.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenuge26 View Post
Oh, I know the Everlast has a lot more bells and whistles. Features vs reliability I guess.

My problem with the Everlast welders is (from what I can tell from their site) only the digital ones work with a foot pedal like I learned with on the Division (and the digital ones start at the same price as I can get a Div 180). It appears the analog models are just 'set it and forget it', or the pedal ONLY controls the entire amp range (5-200) rather than up to what you have it set for. But now I just watched a video review of the PowerTig 200DX and he says it's great for aluminum and the foot control is great for controlling the amperage. Now I'm really confused. I guess I should call Everlast and ask them about it.

But I've only welded on the Diversion. How useful are the fine-tune adjustments you can make with the pedal? Of course when I started out welding 1/4" mild, I didn't need the pedal, just mash it all they way down and go.



Crap but I already bought the Harbor Freight helmet! It was only $35, so it's not a huge deal I guess. The supplier where I took my class even has a package up on Ebay with that exact thing: Miller Diversion 180 TIG Welder 907460 w Cart ADF Helmet with $283 Rebate | eBay

So that comes out to $1766. Again, more than I want to spend but seriously tempting. Mostly because during the class I was using a Diversion 180.
The 2013 powertig 200dx has panel and foot control together. so I set the panel for 80A, pedal will only get up to 80A. its a new feature for 2013.

if it didnt do that, I wouldnt have been interested in the welder that I have. its an analog unit, not digital.

2013 Powertig 200DX(dual voltage)
Name:  20130326_172456_zpsa76ef593.jpg
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The foot pedal is really important with me doing aluminum. once the parent material is hot i need to pull amps back a little because I can only travel and dip so fast without getting dirty welds.

Matt
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