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Old 07-07-2011, 05:05 AM   #1
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Default Good tig welder?

Need advise on good home/hobbyist tig welders. I understand the basics of welding but my application at it is laughable at best. I'm looking into getting a small tig welder for home use. Maybe make some exhaust stuff, fix a alum fence, or just tinker making brackets. need to get one on a student type budget. $500 or less maybe. Never really looked for one and it seems a handleful of guys on the forum do welding here and there. Keep your suggestions at the level of totally new guy to welding level
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:50 AM   #2
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Not sure if you are going to find a decent TIG welder in that price range. At least not a new one, maybe used.

A couple things to ponder if you are shopping for a TIG welder.
1. What do you want to weld. If you want to do aluminum you will need an ac/dc TIG.

2. Do you have access to 220v? 220v welders will weld much more than the 110v ones.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:43 AM   #3
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I too am interested in picking a welder, tig or mig doesnt matter but it has to run on 110. What I am seeing is that the really cheap ones from Harbor Freight and Northern Tool have very little or no options for heat control and that is what makes the cheap ones terrible for welding. 500 seems easily doable for a 110 mig, but with so many options on the market I have no idea whats good. The good brands like Miller or Lincoln are more than 500 and I have no idea what other brands are trustworthy.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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The first step is deciding what you are going to weld. For most people a MIG is a great all around welder that is easy to use. Stick with Miller, Lincoln, Hobart etc. It's worth the $$ to have a quality welder that will last a long time. I bought My Hobart 135 used from someone who only used it a few times for a 60% of what a new one was.

110 TIG... I don't know if I'd do that unless it was one of the dual voltage ones form Miller. Others here have MUCH more experience than I do.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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For a Tig that is acdc and under 500, you will have to scour craigslist for a great deal and call/pick it up within hours of the posting. For a 110 mig, check out the reconditioned Hobart units from toolking.com, that's where I got mine 6 years ago and it's working great still.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:22 PM   #6
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I'm ok with 220v, i'll just plug it in where the dryer goes. Is there a dual voltage for 220v/110v for say transport of more options. I'd prefer tig so I can to aluminum. Might be wrong but never known a mig to do aluminum. Feel silly on how little I know about buying a welder. Been around tons of them in the shops I used to work in. Course they where the size of a civic practically.

I'll be starting off new as **** but gotta start somewhere. Mostly want to weld up manifolds, intakes, brackets, exhaust, and experiment with ideas or just be able to do it myself. Also always wanted a rollcage style canopy bed. Dunno why, it's just cool and would support some serious bedroom activities
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